Is the $749 Chase Bliss Audio Automatone Preamp MKII the new gold standard in drive pedals?

Back at NAMM 2019 we got very excited after seeing and hearing the prototype of the Chase Bliss Automatone Preamp MKII – a collaboration with Christopher Benson of Benson Amps. Then we waited, and waited… now it's finally out and YouTuber Paul Davids is putting one through its paces.

He's a wonderfully tasteful player (1.81 million subscribers agree) so it's in good hands here and he also asks its designers some pressing questions about how hard-wearing it is, and the good reason of why it's taken so long in development.

(Image credit: Chase Bliss Audio)

As Davids admits, he's not getting paid for this demo and is just "super excited" about it. So are we because with the automation on the EQ sliders, tone shaping and preset options available, it's shaping up to be something special. 

And yes, it's expensive. It's $749 and it's backordered too but listen to it! 

For more info head over to and subscribe to Paul Davids excellent YouTube channel here

In the meantime, here's some more video of it in action…

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.