"Possibly the most faithful [early and late 1970s] Echoplex preamp circuit reproduction in a pedal– sweetens your tone, adding complex harmonics and touch sensitivity. Chase Tone™ nailed this effect." – Collectible Guitar Magazine May/June 2016
"The Vintage Secret Preamp™ is a remarkably well built EP-3 preamp that goes beyond other, similar pedals in several ways. Firstly, it runs at 22 volts internally, which is the same voltage as the actual EP-3. Secondly, it offers two switchable modes for both the brighter, early EP-3 sounds, and the darker, later-era tones. Thirdly, it is built with the same NOS capacitors and resistors found in EP-2 and EP-3 Echoplexes. [August 2016 and later feature NEW components.] These features add up for a truly realistic EP-3 preamp feel and sound that is unlikely to be matched by similar designs. Like many Chase Tone creations, the Vintage Secret Preamp™ is a limited production item, so get one while you can." – Tone Report Magazine November 2015
“… ideal at unity gain or slight boost with increased harmonic complexity and touch sensitivity.”
“When it comes to hardcore authenticity in vintage gear replicas, no one tops Chase Tone™ – Kyle Chase is possibly the world’s most OCD builder of new-old-stock amps and effects.” – Premier Guitar Magazine
A little history… In the 1960s and 1970s, Echoplex tape echo delay units evolved from tube based designs into solid state designs. Notably, the EP3 model was a solid state model and had a few variations and revisions to the circuit. A select number of EP-3 models are highly sought after by musicians for their unique musical tone.
Famous musicians of the era and later realized having the EP-3 in their signal altered their tone, even when the echo was bypassed. An internal secret preamp was at work here, boosting and fattening the signal, along with a slight phase shift that alters mid and high frequency harmonic content providing a transparent warm boost – a truly secret preamp boost in the arsenal of the great guitarists of yesteryear!
But not all vintage EP-3s boosted, some dropped in signal due to the wrong TIS58 JFETs, and some were mediocre in tone being a different circuit revision. The Chase Tone Golden Secret Preamp™ Effects Pedal uses fine-tuned circuit components to ensure proper results. It is currently the only authentic replica of the most sought-after, musically transparent signal-boosting Echoplex units.
A mini-toggle external switch offers amazing versatility; ‘Later Dark EP3 Mode’ is transparent with even order harmonics smoothing the top end of bright amplifiers while ‘Early Bright EP3 Mode’ adds a musically rich harmonic complexity to otherwise dull and dark sounding tube amplifiers – allowing harmonics to leap out into the air!
Toggle Backwards = Later Dark EP3 Toggle Forwards = Early Bright EP3
The Secret Preamp can be used as a tone enhancement, a slight boost to a tube amplifier, or placed before an analog delay pedal to bring vintage Echoplex tone to the signal-no need to lug that big and often unreliable/noisy Echoplex around just to have it alter the tone! Engaging the Secret Preamp after a vintage Fuzz Face will replicate the “cranked tube amp combined with Fuzz” tones – without cranking the tube amplifier!
* Automatic 22Volts of Vintage Echoplex Power from a 9 Volt Battery or 9 Volt Power Supply. Polarity protection and dual noise filtering for noise free performance. Internally regulated with accurate vintage voltages for consistent performance.
* Unity Gain / Slight Boost Control – Unit Gain @ 11 o’clock with maximum boost @ 2 o’clock. Higher settings emulate an Echoplex that’s “not quite up to snuff.” The control stays true to the original unit design, but offers a little more versatility in pedal format.
* Limited Edition GOLDEN VEIN durable powder coat finish (zero ozone emissions) (Small enclosure footprint: 4.625″ x 2.5″ x 1.5″)
* Old School Exact Vintage Replica Echoplex Chickhead Black Pointer Knob. Made for Chase Tone™ in U.S.A.
* Impact Resistant CHERRY RED LED Bezel Offers Wide Viewing Angle.
* True-Bypass via 3PDT with Epoxy reinforced lugs and upgraded internal contacts.
* High Quality & Reliable Switchcraft Open Jacks with Anti-Slip Star Washers
* Fine-Tuned Aged-Value Carbon Film Resistors.
* Orange Drop 225P Film & Foil Polyester capacitors for the original, distinctive-yet-transparent tone.
* Thick Circuit Board with plated through holes and silkscreen protected traces. Pure Ground Plane = Increased Noise Rejection.
* Built with passion and individually fine-tuned and tested one at a time in the USA.
"Hello Kyle, I got the Secret Preamp™ today and used it at rehearsal. In an A/B it’s very close! You’re the only one and I’ll let people know you got this so close without ever hearing my Echoplex. So far this is the closest. Good ears!!"
-Jim Weider. Update: "I’ve been using it on all shows, just leave it on all the time!"