The AMT SS-20 is a surprisingly compact preamp being only 12cm long. On delivery I did notice that the single 12AX7 tube was not seated correctly and had to take the tube grill off and reseat it. I did that before powering the unit on and subsequently experienced no problems.
I have been using the SS-20 in combination with a Two Notes Torpedo C.A.B. for speaker simulation. The two devices seem to work very well together and overall I?ve been pleased with the results. Usage has been limited to a home studio environment.
Of the 3 channels I have found the clean and crunch channels to be the most usable. The clean channel seems to take distortion-type effect pedals well enough and I?ve been using it with a variety of fuzz type pedals to good effect. The crunch channel offers plenty of gain and works for most metal and rock applications. I haven?t needed to use the gain beyond the 2 or 3 o?clock positions (about 60% of maximum).
For my uses the lead channel is over the top and there are very distinct harmonics being introduced into the signal at higher gain settings. The overtones really sound quite artificial to my ears.
If you are intending to use this pedal as a genuine stomp box you may have issues. Often pedals with a number of knobs and switches will include a metal rail to stop your foot from accidentally touching them as you activate the foot switches. The SS-20 doesn?t have such a device and I think it would be easy to damage or inadvertently move the knobs in a live scenario.
Overall I?ve been pleased with the SS-20 which offers me a compact and convenient way of accessing clean and distorted tones in my home studio. Price may be a factor in your choice. In my opinion it's slightly over priced.
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