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This article was originally published in issue #61
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The clean voiced blue channel has a great throaty midrange that’s reminiscent of Dumble style cleans. It’s a lot more compressed than the spanky clean found on the UK Gold PLX, and this fatter delivery is ideal for bluesy lead work.
Two superb sounding preamp pedals
unbelievably feature-packed for such simple units
Built-in Cab Sim for going directly to the PA or straight into your audio interface.
No complaints from me
Mooer has just announced the latest two additions to their ever-expanding range of dual-channel micro preamp pedals with the UK Gold PLX serving some classic rock royalty and the BLUENO offering up the finest in American boutique. Nick Jennison puts these pocket-sized preamps to the test, as range reaches its incredible 19th and 20th release.
Mooer’s ever-expanding range of Micro Preamp pedals features just about every kind of amp under the sun. There are high gain metal monsters like the Diezel-inspired “Gas Station”, vintage classics like the AC30-derived “Day Tripper” and high-end boutique gems like the “Two Stone” - no prizes for guessing that last one.
Aside from puns of the absolute highest quality, the Micro Preamp pedals offer some very serious functionality for their diminutive size. Each sports two channels, three band EQ, gain and volume controls. The single footswitch can be used to activate or bypass the pedal, or it can be used to toggle between channels. There’s a defeatable cab sim, so you can either plug into your favourite amp or go direct for probably the most compact gigging/recording solution out there. There’s even an internal memory that recalls your settings controls for each channel. Seriously impressive for such tiny and affordable units.
#19: UK Gold PLX
Based on Tracii Guns’s personal 1967 50-watt Plexi, the UK Gold PLX is full of that classic sag and saturation that we love so much about cranked vintage Marshalls. The blue channel is ostensibly a clean channel and has loads of snap and sparkle. Plexi clean sounds really don’t get the love they deserve, this pedal offers a great recreation of this very underrated tone.
The red channel is thick and saturated, with a ton of 80s-approved grind and a sagging low-end thump that feels just right. There’s a great deal more gain available than I’d expect to find in a straight Plexi recreation. Whether the amp this pedal is based on has been modded at some point, or the extra gain is simply a design choice to make the pedal more flexible, the extra range is certainly welcome.
Sporting possibly the most tenuous play-on-words title in the entire range, the “Blueno” is modelled on a Bruno Underground 30 - an unbelievably rare and expensive custom-made amp made. While I’ve never had the pleasure of playing an Underground 30, the “Blueno” offers up all the sweet cleans and fat overdrive the original boasts.
The clean voiced blue channel has a great throaty midrange that’s reminiscent of Dumble style cleans. It’s a lot more compressed than the spanky clean found on the UK Gold PLX, and this fatter delivery is ideal for bluesy lead work. Flipping over to the red channel, the distorted voice is seriously fat sounding, boasting complex harmonics and a thick transient response - perfect for soaring vocal leads.
These two new pedals from Mooer are great-sounding additions to an already very impressive range of preamps. Rockers are going to love the UK Gold PLX, while blues players (particularly those with more sophisticated leanings) will be right at home with the Blueno. They also represent probably the most compact gigging and recording solution on the market.
So, whether you need to travel light for a fly gig, need a backup in case your amp goes down, or you just want a few extra tones on your palette, you owe it to yourself to check out Mooer’s Pre-amp pedals.
Dimensions: 93.5mm x 42mm x 52mm