Black Widow Audio Designs unveils the world's first all-tube modelling preamp

Digital is no longer a dirty word in guitar circles, but many players still long for the sag and saturation of valves; Black Widow Audio Designs has fused the two with the "revolutionary" MGP-1A, which pairs digital modelling with an all-tube, all-analogue signal path.

The result of eight years of R&D, the MGP-1A offers 18 preamp models derived from iconic guitar amps, each of which features its own unique gain and volume controls, three-band tone stack and voicing switches.

Modelling comes into play via the company's VEnuM all-tube modelling tech, which reconfigures the internal tubes for tones that BWAD cite as being more realistic than purely digital modelling.

Housed in a 2U rackmount chassis, the MGP-1A packs three footswitchable channels with six models per channel, dual-input clean channel, MOSh regulated heater supply to prolong tube life, plus the ability to recall up to 128 presets via MIDI.

The MGP-1A is available from 12 December for $2,699, but it's up for preorder now at Black Widow Audio Designs for $2,099 for a limited time.

Impressive stuff indeed. We're intrigued to see how it stacks up to the best digital all-in-one guitar rig solutions

MGP-1A features

  • 3 channels, 6 models per channel
  • VEnuM All-tube Modeling Technology creates the most authentic models on the market
  • "Dual Input" Clean Channel with Bright, Normal and Bridged (jumpered inputs) Modes
  • Warm LED indicates when vacuum tubes are ready for use
  • New: MOSh MOSFET Regulated Heater Supply ensures extremely low noise and protects/promotes long tube life
  • New: MIDI added with 128 internal presets
  • Front and rear inputs, ¼" unbalanced outputs and ground lift switch
Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism, and has spent the past decade writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as a decade-and-a-half performing in bands of variable genre (and quality). In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.