Tube Freaks Take Note: Randall yesterday announced that its innovative new swappable tube pre-amp system––officially dubbed the MTS Series Modular Tube Guitar Preamp System––is now available for your consumption.
I don’t know about you, but as a dyed-in-the-wool tube fanatic the idea of effortlessly hopping back and forth between entirely different tube pre-amps whenever the mood takes me is more than a bit mouth-watering…
The MTS modules (right,) which are based on the tone circuitry from classic Fender, Marshall, Vox and Randall guitar amps, are apparently built to easily swap in and out of the various MTS series amplifiers (via slots very similar to PC cards,) allowing tone-hungry guitarists to haul around up to four different tube pre-amps right in their rig.
While the current batch of swappable pre-amp modules aren’t particularly cheap––they’ll set you back anywhere from $249 to $349 (list price)––IMHO that seems like a very small price to pay for this kind of tonal versatility; particularly for the gigging musician. According to Randall, pre-amps come in a variety of flavors, including––
- Tweed – Big bottom end with a biting gain circuit. Ideal for blues tones
- Blackface – Legendary clean tone with cutting mid-range and sparking highs
- SL+ – Gain and punch able to handle anything from Zakk Wylde to Led Zeppelin
- Top Boost – Chimy hi-end ranging from classic Tom Petty to Lenny Kravitz
- DLX – Country lovers will enjoy the great mid-range and top end
- Clean – Perfect clean tone for jazz and blues guitarist
- XTC – Superior all-ground hi-gain module that covers any rock tone
- Ultra – Metal tone with extreme hi-gain, tight low end and liquid sustain
- Treadplate – Nu-Metal tone with strong mid-range
- UltraXL – Modern hi-gain with liquid gain, tight bottom end with cutting upper mid-range
- JTM – Classic mid-gain tone with huge bottom end
The amps themselves come in 20, 50 and 100-watt versions, and are available as both heads or combo amps. MTS pre-amp modules can be mixed & matched in any combination… clean & shimmering? Check. Guttural & nasty? Check. High-Gain insanity? Sounds like fun.