Magellan PRE Preamp/DI Pedal
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This new pedal preamp from Genzler is essentially the front-end from one of their outstanding Magellan amplifier heads, in a pedal format without the amp. Providing excellent tone-shaping and sonic control, it is capable of many useful sounds for both upright and electric basses. It can give a "wooly" low end tone, even to basses that don't necessarily have that character (it really gave very nice depth to an Eminence EUB here at the shop) and its contour and EQ controls are intuitive and easy to dial in.
It also has a professional-grade DI for sending the output to "the house" while sending a separate 1/4" feed to your onstage amp, as well as a headphone jack for quiet/silent practice. And durable, reliable construction for long life, even in rough gigging situations.
Here's what Genzler has to say about the pedal:
The new MAGELLAN® PRE brings the performance and preamp feature set of the popular Magellan series bass amps into a powerful, feature-laden, compact bass preamp/DI pedal. This is exactly what players have come to expect from the GENZLER® design team -- performance, versatility, and reliability. From natural, pristine, transparent reproduction of the bass instrument to classic, vintage harmonic textures with a “weighted feel to the notes”, the MG-PRE-PEDAL provides the tonal palette needed to cover all the bassist’s tone requirements. All of which is housed in an aircraft-grade aluminum chassis with classic Genzler styling.
The MAGELLAN® PRE all analog design offers a wide-range input gain control, 3 band equalization with sweepable mids, our unique foot switchable dual curve adjustable contour circuits, foot switchable mute circuit, aux input, headphone output, balanced/unbalanced main output and balanced XLR direct output. The MG-PRE is also a great companion to our 4 ON THE FLOOR Classic Overdrive Pedal, CRASH BOX-4 Classic Distortion Pedal and RE/Q 5 band EQ + Filter Pedal. This new model continues the collaboration of the GENZLER AMPLIFICATION design team and Andy Field, former Genz Benz engineer. Together we possess decades of innovative audio product design and manufacturing expertise.
PREAMP FEATURE SET:
Just like all our products in the pedal line, the MAGELLAN PRE/DI offers an aluminum chassis, highest quality PCB’S, pots and switches and uses auto-detecting circuitry for operation with power supplies operating at 9 – 18 VDC, either polarity. (PS not included).
I played my first gig with the new Magellan Preamp/DI pedal, and was quite impressed. This was a private party with about 150 people in attendance, held in a community center hall. The band was on the raised proscenium stage, and played a wide mix of dance music ranging from the ‘60s to current, with an emphasis on the 1970s -2000s, given the age group of the crowd (who danced all night long!). I initially had the Mag-Pre running into my trusty Genz Benz Shuttle 6.0 effects receive to use it as a power amp, then took the DI from the Shuttle (line level, pre-EQ) into the board. Our very experienced sound engineer told me that he was only getting a very, very weak signal at the board, although I was getting full sound through my stage speakers, Bergantino HT112/EX112. I didn’t have time to troubleshoot, so I took the Mag-Pre out of the loop for the dinner set (jazz standards) and the first dance set. The Shuttle sounded great as usual both on stage and in the PA (the Shuttle DI worked fine). During the break, I consulted with our sound engineer and we decided to try the Mag-Pre again through the Shuttle effects receive, but this time taking the DI directly from the Pre into the board. Wow! As much as I like the sound of my Shuttle/Berg setup, I loved what the Mag-Pre added - fullness, punch and authority across all registers, while critically maintaining clean, clear articulation, with a distinct “open” and “airy” quality to the sound. Our drummer commented that the power of the bass almost gave him a heart attack during Uptown Funk. My settings on the Mag-Pre were in o’clock format: Gain 12:00, Volume 1:00 (I tried to match unity gain and volume to what I was getting with my bass plugged into the front panel input of the Shuttle), HPF 9:00, Counter A 8:00, Counter B 10:00, Bass 1:00, Mid 2:00, Mid Frequency 2:00, High 12:00. I mostly used Contour A, and occasionally Contour B on some Motown. I am anxious to get more experience with the Mag-Pre, but my initial outing left me highly impressed! I do need to explore why I initially wasn’t able to get the Shuttle DI to work with Mag-Pre into the effects receive. The most likely explanation is user error. If I were to offer suggestion for a version 2 of the Mag-Pre they would be to have at least center detents for the knobs, even better would be full detents to minimize inadvertent knocking them out of position; and it would be nice to have a three-position switch for the Contour selection with a Contour off position (Countour is off when the knobs are in the fully counter-clockwise position). These are minor points, and don’t detract from my initial assessment of the Mag-Pre. The Mag-Pre is decidedly different from my early versions of the Sansamp BDDI and VT-Bass. Both of the latter can certainly add fullness and punch, but I don’t use them much because there is a compressed, closed quality to the sound that I have never been able to dial out. The Mag-Pre in comparison delivered the openness and airiness without any perceived compression. I also have an early version of the Fishman Pro EQ Platinum that I use for my ‘39 Kay upright with a copper Realist pu. The Mag-Pre has many of the features of the Fishman - > 1 MOhm input impedance, variable HPF, versatile EQ - but without the phase selector or compression. I haven’t tried the Mag-Pre with my upright yet, but given its features it may replace the Fishman. Finally, I have to give a big shout out to Mark and Sam at Gollihur Music. They are my go to source for most of my upright needs. They are incredibly helpful and ready to answer questions. I highly recommend them without hesitation!