AXiom Power Amp Emulator PAE-1
Power Amp Emulator PAE-1
Power Amp Emulator PAE-1
AXiom Power Amp Emulator PAE-1 graphics

Power Amp Emulator PAE-1

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For the nerds and those who just like to read:  PAE-1 Technical Tips

It's common knowledge among practically all musicians that tube amps - particularly the power amp section - are more reactive and dynamic than solid-state amps.  They compress, crunch and produce harmonics in ways solid-state amps simply cannot.  In comparison, solid-state amps are often criticized as being "cold", "sterile" and "lifeless".  That's why guitarists will gladly shell out thousands of dollars for tube amps when they could get solid-state amps with more features for a few hundred bucks.  So is it even possible to capture the characteristics of a tube power amp without shelling out the big bucks and carrying around a 50-lb behemoth?  Well, you'll never capture the impact of big speakers moving big air with just a pedal and a 10-watt bedroom amp (sorry, but for that you simply need the power to vibrate the walls), but now you can have the dynamics, compression, crunch and rich harmonic content of a tube amp in a small package.

The only pedal of its kind, the AXiom Power Amp Emulator PAE-1 was created by intensively studying the electrical characteristics of power tubes, transformers and tube heads and reproducing their behaviors in a 100% analog stompbox.  To be clear, the PAE-1 is NOT an amplifier (it puts out about the same signal level as a loud overdrive or clean boost pedal).  It isn't an "overdrive" pedal (and it isn't voiced or meant to be used as one).  It isn't a digital modeler with cartoon-like exaggerations of what different tubes are "supposed" to sound like.  What it does is emulate the real characteristics of a tube head and make whatever you plug into it seem like it's plugged into a tube power amp.  Plug your overdrive pedals or preamp into the PAE-1 and plug the PAE-1 into your solid-state amp and voila:  your sterile, lifeless amp now has the compression headroom, touch-sensitivity, crunch and sag of a tube head.  Or, if you already have a tube amp, use the PAE-1 to give you that cranked tube feel at lower volumes or make your stiff, high-powered head more compressive and reactive.

  • 100% analog circuitry
  • Captures the dynamics, compression, crunch, distortion and rich harmonic content of a tube power amp.
  • A MASTER control that adjusts the signal level into the internal phase-inverter emulator circuitry (just as a tube amp does)
  • A FEEDBACK control that adjusts the internal negative feedback level:  From no negative feedback at all (like a Vox AC-30) to high level (like a clean Fender).
  • A POWER control that adjusts the behavior from that of a low-headroom 5W amp to a higher headroom 100W amp.
  • A TUBE control that mimics the dynamic compression and headroom characteristics of different power tubes.  You can dial from the stiffness and immediacy of ultra-linear configuration to the compression and bloom of EL84s.
  • A PI GAIN control that adjusts phase inverter gain from 1 (like an under-powered single-ended amp) to 100 (a 12AX7/ECC83 long-tailed pair)
  • A RECTIFIER control that mimics the power supply sag from completely stiff, through solid-state diode rectifiers, to the full-on sag of a 5Y3 tube rectifier.
  • You can set the PAE for the tightness and bass response of fixed bias amps or the compressed, spongier dynamics of cathode biased amps.
  • Select single-ended or push-pull configuration.  Combined with the BIAS control this allows you to adjust the balance of odd and even harmonics.
  • A BIAS control that adjusts the bias smoothly from cold bias to hot (centrally biased).  You can go from famous Class A clarity to the bite of Class AB operation (even produce cross-over distortion).
  • Features an internal trim pot that adjusts flyback voltage spikes in the audio waveform as produced by a tube amp's output transformer and speaker voice coil (or dial flyback out to mimic a purely resistive dummy load, ala the Hot Plate or other resistive attenuators).
  • Individually handmade
  • True bypass


The following demos were recorded direct with NO AMPLIFIER. The signal chain is:

Guitar -> AXiom DP-1 -> AXiom Power Amp Emulator (PAE-1) -> AXiom SCE-1 prototype (cab emulator) -> AXiom SCV-1 prototype (for stereo spread) -> interface -> DAW (reverb added, nothing else)

Demo #1: Fender Stratocaster with Dimarzio Virtual Solo bridge pickup and custom stacked neck pickup

Demo #2: Fender Stratocaster with Lindy Fralin Blues Special pickups

Signal chain for the following demo is:  Guitar -> AXiom CC-1 -> AXiom OP-1 (as a clean boost) -> AXiom Power Amp Emulator (PAE-1) -> AXiom SCE-1 prototype (cab emulator) -> AXiom SCV-1 prototype (for stereo spread) -> interface -> DAW (reverb added, nothing else)

Demo #3: Fender Stratocaster with Lindy Fralin Blues Special pickups