When Joel Korte of Chase Bliss Audio touched down in Portland, Oregon and began peppering his Instagram feed with pictures of him noshing with Chris Benson of Benson amps, there was much speculation to be had.
That speculation manifested at 2019’s NAMM show with the Preamp MKII, a slider-equipped brushed aluminum number that ended up winning Best in Show at that event. The face of the Preamp MKII Automatone is adorned with several aluminum sliders, which change depending on the selected preset. Unlike other pedals, the Chase Bliss Automatone Preamp MKII doesn’t just change the settings while the knobs stay static; each one moves to the selected location in accordance with the activated preset. While the unit has yet to materialize in the wild, you can bet it will start popping up sooner than later.
This fully-automated gain device is capable of dishing up some seriously diverse dirt with a twist.
The demo for the Preamp MKII Automatone sees the sliders automatically moving around to accommodate a preset, and instantaneously switching the profile of the box. Several more pushbuttons on the front activate a number of features and extras.
It features a variable diode clipping control (transistor only, silicon, and asymmetrical germanium), fuzz you can swap from open to gated, three mids resonance settings with variable routing you can place before or after the preamp, and three banks of ten presets each that give you thirty presets to set at your leisure.
Here are the videos of the Chase Bliss Automatone Preamp MKII.
Chase Bliss Audio has just posted on their YouTube page a series of video demos focused on this uber-anticipated pedal’s controls, we are linking to them below.
Joel came to our booth in person to show us what it does, check it out.
What happens when you combine the DNA of Benson Amps’ Chimera in a box Preamp with a little fuzz, some of Condor’s resonant parametric mids, and full blown preset control from your friends at Chase Bliss Audio? The Preamp MKII. Built in collaboration with Chris Benson from Benson Amps, and known around here as the first Automatone.
This baby has variable diode clipping control (transistor only, silicon, and asymmetrical germanium), fuzz you can swap from open to gated, three mids resonance settings with variable routing you can place before or after the preamp, and three banks of ten presets each that give you thirty presets to set at your leisure.
But what’s an Automatone, you ask? It’s a pedal built with motorized faders that adjust automatically – and a little magically – as you cycle through presets. Check out the video below to learn more and see it in action.