Pettyjohn PreDrive Studio

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Studio-grade, dual foot-switchable guitar preamp designed to be the first pedal in your chain
Pettyjohn PreDrive Studio
Pettyjohn PreDrive Studio Pettyjohn PreDrive Studio Pettyjohn PreDrive Studio Pettyjohn PreDrive Studio
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The Pettyjohn PreDrive Studio blurs the lines between high-end recording studio gear and guitar pedals, expanding on the popular “studio” features of the original PreDrive, improving it’s usability and flexibility that will make the PreDrive Studio an in-valuable tool for tone in every studio session!

Powered by two Studio Grade Discrete Opamps, the PreDrive Studio builds on the original PreDrive and LIFT pedal offerings, now featuring even more gain on tap, extended filter range, high headroom, dual power rail design with 9 V - 18 V standard pedal power operation and a whole slew of circuit optimizations along with improved, robust construction. Most notably, The PreDrive Studio now offers fully balanced In and Out connections via TRS, along with standard un-balanced connections for instruments, making the PreDrive Studio the ultimate studio Swiss army knife. The PreDrive Studio Input can be selected as standard unbalanced for instruments or switched to a line level balanced input that readily excepts any balanced signal from your interface, patch bay, recording console, or even microphone! The balanced output continuously mirrors the unbalanced output without any tonal change, very handy in a number of creative studio applications.

With the PreDrive Studio, you can easily and seamlessly interface between the unbalanced world of instruments and pedals and the balanced world of recording equipment. The PreDrive can be used as a powerful and flexible re-amping tool, however, the options only start there with many more to choose from! You can easily interface a variety of guitar pedals into your mixing path, process line or microphone signals with pedals without quality degradation, re-amp or simply use it as a audiophile grade direct box.

Shape your signal to perfection, in real time with the PreDrive Studio’s two highly musical, fully analog, wide-range, sweepable HP and LP filters. Much care has gone into the design and implementation of the filters and you would be hard-pressed to find more musical or transparent filters on any recording console or rack unit around!

What are all the features without an uncompromising commitment to sound quality? Pettyjohn designed the PreDrive Studio to be a serious studio-grade, Tool for Tone with top-shelf 990 style Discrete Opamps, based on the famed John Hardy 990 chip. These discrete opamps are widely regarded as some of the best sounding, most detailed and transparent, yet still musical chips in the world.

Drawing on knowledge pioneered by the world's first discrete Opamp based guitar pedal, the Original PreDrive, Pettyjohn have totally re-designed and optimized the buffer and gain circuits in the PreDrive Studio with dual voltage rails for up to 2x the headroom for massive headroom and huge tone. Furthermore, they have utilized only top shelf audiophile parts to help deliver every once of sonic bliss these chips can produce! From the tone capacitors to the resistors, every part has gone under the microscope and has been optimized for maximum fidelity so you can be confident there isn’t a more detailed or musical buffer/boost preamp or EQ on the market today!

The PreDrive Studio can run on 9 V - 18 V DC, drawing around 50 mA, while effectively providing 18 V to 36 V of internal voltage swing, rivaling headroom found in most studio rack gear, translating to extra headroom for a truly studio-grade experience.

The PreDrive Studio is the absolute pinnacle of studio grade guitar pedals, virtually erasing the line between the pro audio gear and guitar pedals.

Two Discrete Opamp Gain stages

  • Input Gain: Controls input buffer operation level from a Unity buffer to 6 dB of gain
  • Boost Gain: Foot-switchable boost stage, transparently and musically increases the discrete Opamp based preamp gain up to 30 dB with virtually no distortion or artifacts

Console Style Filter Section:

  • Lows Control: Wide-range sweep-able low cut filter allows for custom tailoring of the low end going into the drive engines. Go from full bass response to tight with a sweep range from 20 Hz to beyond 1 kHz with a 6dB per octave slope for musical sweetening
  • Highs Control: An audiophile approach to a High Cut Filter using the famed Auricap - clear, defined and sweet through out it’s wide frequency sweep, from 22 kHz down to 1 kHz, with a gentle 6 dB per octave slope
  • Left Mini-Toggle bypassed EQ section when its not needed

High Performance Power:

  • Dual-rail power section with 9 V to 18 V operation range, providing 18 V - 36 V of voltage swing for huge internal headroom while drawing around 50 mA

Balanced Input:

  • Accepts any balanced signal, microphone or line level via a top shelf Burr-Brown line level converter chip for superior audiophile performance via bottom Right TRS input jack
  • Right mini toggle adjusts between line and mic input levels
  • Right foot switch toggles between the Line input and unbalanced input

Balanced Output:

  • The lower left TRS jack continuously mirrors the unbalanced output including EQ and Gain settings via a USA made steel core Transformer

Useful Level controls for flexible gain staging and level matching:

  • Output TRIM control: The top middle knob adjust the level of the output buffer amp, thus trimming the operating level of both outputs a once
  • Output level control: The top left knob controls the level of the unbalanced output, independent of the balanced out level

    Audiophile, Studio-Grade Performance in a Pedal:

  • Audiophile grade, through-hole 1% Metal Film resistors

  • Top Shelf WIMA and silver Mica caps used in tone sensitive operations
  • Auricap audiophile high cut tone cap
  • USA made PCB constructed with audiophile lead-free silver solder
  • Extremely high headroom and low noise
  • Box and circuit handmade in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, USA
  • Dimensions: 3 5/8”W x 5 5/8”L x 3” H

Additional Information

Condition New
Width 3.6 in
Height 3 in
Depth 5.6 in
Input Connectors 1/4 in. TS, 1/4 in. TRS

The guys at Pettyjohn know what they are doing. Best preamp for guitars I have ever used. Amazing product!

By Joey B on January 7, 2019

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