We're still computing the value proposition of TC Electronic's first three Ampworx amp modelling preamp pedals based on the Marshall JTM45, Fender Deluxe Reverb and Vox AC30, but the company already has three more ready.
We'll have a review soon but our first impressions of those initial three are that they offer an impressive tonal return for the $149 asking price and could serve as a genuine gigging, practice and recording solution for some players. Now TC introduces a Hi-Gain Series territory with a trio based on proven icons in the world of tube amps.
The Dual Wreck, V550 and JIMS 800 names make their inspirations clear, based on the Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier, Peavey 5150 and Marshall JCM800. All three preamp modelling pedals offer switchable boost alongside two channels, with a DI offering the option of a curated onboard Celestion IR, alongside a dedicated headphone out.
The company has also added controls the amps don't have; a Tight parameter for reigning in the low end on the Dual Wreck, alongside a pre and post-boost switch. There is also a universal presence control on the rear of all three pedals to voice brightness and warmth to your tastes.
The JIMS 800 is a true '80s icon and this could be the one with the biggest appeal of the trio. TC Electronic have acknowledged the treble bleed mod some JCM800 users added, with theirs reduced to warm the overall sound. The second channel also adds a "tad of gain" – enough to give a push without alienating fans of the original.
The V550 has a boost circuit added with pre and post modes like the other two pedals. Like the original amp there's Green and Red clean and drive channels. Users can choose between just activating the popular Red channel on and off, or moving between the two channels.