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Thread: ISP Theta Preamp vs. Palladium vs. AMT

  1. #1
    Toneologist
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    Default ISP Theta Preamp vs. Palladium vs. AMT

    I'm looking for a preamp to be used with the powerstage. Previously had a POD HD but am looking for something simpler and preferably non-digital.

    I found an ISP Theta (not the DSP version) that looks like can do the hot rodded JCM 800 sound, which is more or less what I'm going for. I also like that this has the clean channel.

    Wondering how this compares to the Palladium or AMT Legend Series II pedals to be used in conjunction with the powerstage for a british type gain.

    I get that the palladium is basically single channel, but I would be fine with using a volume pedal to get it cleaned up.

    Any help would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Mojo's Minions devastone's Avatar
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    Default Re: ISP Theta Preamp vs. Palladium vs. AMT

    The Theta is great, love the high gain sounds and the built in Decimator. The clean channel was good, I never used it stacked on the gain channel(s), it kinda takes totally different EQ settings for a good clean channel or a gain boost, and with the amount of gain available and 2 gain settings, not sure why you would need to stack them.

    At the price point of the Theta, I actually prefer the AMT SS-11b though, all tube, 3 channels (the crunch and lead share EQ but have separate gain and volume), and more organic sounding IMHO.

    I've also used the AMT S2, P2, D2, and C2. I like the P2 and S2 best, if they had EQ for the clean channels they would be much cooler, but the preset EQ for the clean channel works well.

    I've never used the Palladium, can't help you there.

    Now I use a Boss GT-1000 for everything, so it's been a while little while since I've used the Theta, but it was a cool preamp, it's just at a price point that has quite a bit of tubey competition.

  3. #3
    Super Toneologist IMENATOR's Avatar
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    Default Re: ISP Theta Preamp vs. Palladium vs. AMT

    I have not used the Palladium. If you want serous high gain and crystal clear cleans the Theta preamp is a great option, I have not been able to A/B it against AMT L2 series. However if you want some blues, classic rock and that British high gain I think a tube based preamp from AMT will be great, there are the well known SS-20 (I love it), SS-11a and SS-11b are 3 channel preamps. There is also a new line of single channel tube preamps that look very promising, there is one explicitly made to emulate JCM800.
    Last edited by IMENATOR; 06-19-2019 at 02:33 PM.
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  4. #4
    Toneologist
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    Default Re: ISP Theta Preamp vs. Palladium vs. AMT

    Quote Originally Posted by IMENATOR View Post
    I have not used the Palladium. If you want serous high gain and crystal clear cleans the Theta preamp is a great option, I have not been able to A/B it against AMT L2 series. However if you want some blues, classic rock and that British high gain I think a tube based preamp from AMT will be great, there are the well known SS-20 (I love it), SS-11a and SS-11b are 3 channel preamps. There is also a new line of single channel tube preamps that look very promising, there is one explicitly made to emulate JCM800.
    Can the Theta do lower gain crunch and british sounds? My only concern is that it is purely a high gain preamp.

  5. #5
    Ultimate Tone Slacker NecroPolo's Avatar
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    Default Re: ISP Theta Preamp vs. Palladium vs. AMT

    I have no experience with the other two at all but I've been using AMT P1, M1 and M2 to substitute my tube amps live for almost a decade and all I know that they work and are reliable as hell. For years I used them with a power amp (EXH 44Magnum) and a light cab the way you intend. Now'days I'm using their CAB SIM out through a digi mixer and a dedicated monitor wedge because that fits our newer, simplified "everything goes DI into our digital mixer" concept better and they work the same way fine.

    Recently I made a video to test these vs the real thing, I think it is a better measure than my words:

    Last edited by NecroPolo; 06-20-2019 at 04:43 AM. Reason: typos

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