If mine were to die today, I would replace it the next day. Yes, it's THAT good.
Model Year: 1988
Where Obtained: Local Music Store
The ADA MP-1 is a Midi Programmable Tube pre-amp. It contains two 12AX7 pre-amp tubes, (I use GrooveTubes in mine) has midi capability and 128 presets.
There are three voicings available, tube distortion, tube clean, and solid state. The tube distortion has tons of gain, and the tube clean can be either crystal clear or pushed for a great blues tone. The solid-state circuit can be used for a clean sound only. The pre-amp also has a built in compressor and stereo chorus with depth and rate controls and controls for master gain, overdrive 1, overdrive 2, bass, mid, treble, presence and effects loop in/out.
The rear panel contains effects loop jacks (send/return - mono), an effects loop level knob, headphone jack controlled by a level adjustment knob, left and right outputs, midi in, out and thru and a line input jack (balanced) plus a phantom power connector for the ADA MC-1 foot controller board.
Words can't do this preamp justice. All I can say is this ... If you play guitar, and I don't care what style, blues, jazz, metal etc., you owe it to yourself to try one of these. This thing can produce a crystal clear tone ala Fender or Roland, a sweet Texas Blues sound, Marshall (stock and "hot-rodded") or an all out bone crushing distortion that rivals (and in my opinion surpasses) any overpriced Mesa Boogie on the planet.
You'll have it mastered in a matter of minutes. Very straight forward and easy to use.
I've never had a problem with mine. I retube it once a year. That's probably overkill, but I play alot and the price of the two tubes is worth piece of mind to me.
When I built my rack, I had no idea what I wanted, but the ADA was cheap and I remember liking the sound when a friend of mine had one when they first came out. Although it's highly unlikely, but if I were ever to build another rack, I'd probably pick up something that didn't require push button programming. For what it's worth, though, the MP-1 is a great little device.
Where Obtained: Music Go Round, Phoenix
Pretty much standard...as mentioned, MIDI switchable tube preamp. 2 gain stages. All digital programming so it's all pushy-pushy and no turny-turny.
Totally 80's tone! My rack consisted of the MP-1, a BBE sonic maximizer, a Korg tuner, an Alesis power amp and a Digitech effects processor. I began to dislike the push-button programming after a while...took a bit longer than I liked to dial in a tone. Also, it does become quite noisy when the gains are up. Otherwise, I loved the MP-1's sound qualities. ONE RECOMMENDATION: dump the factory presets and create your own patches...the originals sound very thin.
As mentioned above, if you're a techie, you won't think twice about having to push a plethora of buttons in order to get a sound you like. Once I got the hang of it, I didn't mind it too much.
AAA+++. These things are built tough. We're talking Timex
. Mine was gigged constantly for over 3 years without any problems, other than a couple tube changes. HOWEVER: ADA is no longer in business so if you have probs, you're pretty much on your own. There is a guy back east who apparently bought up a ton of stuff when ADA went under so that is one resource. Incidentally, I also posted a website here that is dedicated to the MP-1.
This is a great pre-amp. Along with my Marshall and my Mesa V-twin pre-amp I don't see a need to get another one...I have all the bases covered.
Where Obtained: Music Unlimited, Pleasanton CA
128 guitar pre-amp. This is midi switchable and contains an effects loop with adjustable level, headphone out, and chorus. Contains 2x12AX7's.
This is a bad motherf---ing pre-amp. My main tone is my Marshall JCM 800 2210 but when I need a pristine jazz clean or a super-death metal clean or just tons of different eq options I use this. This is also my main bass pre-amp, it's not that weird, Les Claypool also uses an ADA guitar pre-amp.
When I record direct I run this into an ADA microcab cabinet emulator and you'd never notice that I wasn't recording a dimed half-stack. This have just every tone I've ever spent 2-seconds looking for, from Wes Montgomery clean, to Morbid Angel death metal to SRV blues, Slayer grind, the best bass tone I've ever heard and all points in-between...it's no wonder that this is probably the most recorded pre-amp in history.
The nice thing is that it's very easy to use. Editing patches can be done in seconds. I have had problems with getting the phantom power to work but then again my footswitch is pretty beaten up.
Never had a problem with the pre-amp but my ADA microcab does have a channel that doesn't work and the footswith is pretty sensitive.