Two Notes came to prominence in 2009 with the release of the Torpedo VB-101, a cabinet simulator in a stompbox format. In the same spirit of innovation, they’re set to drop their latest product line. It took the company’s president, Guillaume Pille, and his trusted team of engineers 4 years to produce this kind of high-end technology, but they’re now about to bring out a brand new range of pre-amp pedals. Pille – a guitarist, composer and signal-processing expert – started the company with the idea that all guitarists and bassists should have access to products that previously could only be accessed by studio and live sound professionals. This means that we have our hands on some game-changing equipment, the Le Preamp series.
The series includes the Le Bass, Le Clean, Le Crunch and Le Lead pedals; a premier group of tube pre-amplifiers developed to replace conventional tube amp setups. All of the pedals have two channels: A and B. The first channel generally deals with cleaner tones, with each specific pedal having different forms of tone, while the second channel provides overdrive with varying levels of grit and purpose. On top of these channels, the pedals have cold and hot fusion capabilities. Cold fusion is used specifically to bring together both channels. Hot fusion is essentially a distortion channel, a step up from Channel B’s overdrive. The pedals are all incredibly innovative pieces of equipment, reacting to guitars in the same way an actual amp would.
The first pedal, Le Bass offers two channels with the ability to fuse them together in order to create the desired sound. Channel A provides the clean setting, ideal for the modern bass player with a vast array of tone, and has one of the quickest response times going around. Channel B is tailor-made for rock and roll – full of punch with crisp break ups. Things get interesting though with the cold and hot fusion functions, the cold fusion brings together both channel A and B giving the instrument a very diverse sound. Hot fusion is designed to distort and get some really mean sounds, perfect for metal and hardcore bands.
This pedal was developed with the sweet tones of Southern California in mind. So what exactly does that mean? Inspired by Americana music – ranging from blues to folk and gritty rock and roll – this is the pedal to use that’ll get the glory of vintage tube amplifiers. In much the same vein as the Le Bass pedal, channel A is the cleaner tone, for the more subtle blues or folk styling, while channel B has an overdrive tone made for ‘60s garage rock revivalists. These channels are again complimented by the cold and hot fusion functions, giving a great range of tweed-driven blues-rock.
Le Crunch recalls the sound of British invasion bands, but also has the ability to achieve ferocious noises that are associated with guitarists who are keen to detune and wreak havoc. Channel A is throaty but still clean; the awareness of tone discreetly reveals hints to the realms of distortion that are capable on channel B. This pre-amp is loud and boisterous, holding little back and perfect for those inspired by ‘70s rock bands. The hot fusion is for the unhinged, detuned guitar players that want to burst the ear drums. Le Crunch is a really great pedal for guitarists playing any form of rock music purely because of its diversity; there is plenty of variation in tone that gives guitarists a lot of freedom to work with.
While the Le Crunch pedal is capable of the kind of sounds desired by thrash guitarists and hardcore bands, the Le Lead is better suited to indie rock, combining warm fuzz tones and high gain resulting in some great tonal textures. Channel A is where to find melodic tones, clean but not too dry with similarities to the Le Crunch pedal’s A channel. Channel B has the overdrive that enhances the textures of channel A, but keeps things tight and responsive, never allowing the sound to get too muddied. And the hot fusion provides the big sonic bang with plenty of gain and sustain. The combination of the EQ’s allows the sound to drift between fuzz, rock and even metal genres seamlessly.