Chase Bliss Audio has been on the cutting edge of effects pedals since they began back in 2013. The Preamp Mk. II, also known as the Automatone, is no different. In collaboration with Benson Amplification, this pedal offers the player total control over their overdrive tone.
The Preamp Mk. II is first and foremost, and overdrive pedal. However, it is clear by the pedal’s appearance that there is much more to it. At first glance, the most noticeable feature are the 6 motorized faders on the face. That’s right, I said motorized. The pedal features 10 programable presets that the faders will correspond to. Upon hitting the preset button on the left, the faders will automatically adjust to the settings of the selected preset. The faders control 3 EQ bands: treble, mids and bass, as well as the volume and gain outputs. the fourth fader from the left is marked “freq” and allows the user to adjust the mid frequency that is being boosted.
The buttons on the face of the pedal give the user even more control over the tone being produced. Offering options in regards to the processing of mid frequencies and the diode powering the overdrive. This is also where another great feature of this pedal can be found: Fuzz. The fuzz on this pedal sounds authentic and gritty and totally changes the characteristics and sound of the pedal.
The pedal also features a standard quarter-inch input and output as well as a midi input and output and a port to add an expression pedal.
Physically, Chase Bliss Audio knocked it out of the park on this one. The housing feels incredibly solid and is made entirely out of aluminum and wood giving it a very premium appearance and feel. However, it is rather large and takes up a lot of space on a pedal board.
The sounds that this pedal produces are nothing short of incredible. Being able to perfectly replicate classic overdrive and fuzz tones makes this pedal a brilliant tone work station fit for home practices and gigs alike.
My only real gripe with this pedal is the price tag. They don’t make many of these things, I was lucky to get my hands one at all, and the price reflects that. Chase Bliss Audio sells the pedal at $749.99 on their website. But a customer would have to wait 6-8 weeks for the product to ship making this pedal a prime candidate for scalping. it is not uncommon to see these things go for over $1,000 on retail sites like reverb.com and Ebay.
Here is a link to put your order in through Chase Bliss Audio
Here is how I bought mine…