The KSR Vesta Preamp is nothing short of a tweakers’ dream pedal for tone seekers, in particular ones with high gain leanings.
Entirely manufactured in Cincinnati, OH, the Vesta is a two channel, multi-mode preamp with 12 knobs and 7 toggle switches.
The two channels, named Rhythm and Lead, can be alternated via the right footswitch and feature an identical set of knob controls for Gain, Bass, Mids, Treble and Level, and toggles for Brightness, Feel, Mode, while there are master controls for Level and Tone.
This is what the toggles do:
Bright: Up = On, Down = Off. The switch works just like a typical Gain pot bright capacitor in that the lower the Gain setting, the more the effect.
Feel: Up = Fat, Center = Tight, Down = Thick
Mode: Up = Crunch, Center = Full Saturation, Down = Vintage High-Gain
The top left toggle allosw for three types of bypass for seamless integration with any rig: True Bypass, Buffered Bypass, and Clean Bypass. The Clean Bypass mode enables the top row of Tone and Volume knobs accessing the Clean channel.
The amp-like tones provided by this beast are getting favorable reviews from several youtubers, and the variety of sonic options provided by this device make it extremely desirable.
Check out the videos below.
KSR Vesta Preamp, Builder’s Notes
The Vesta™ contains a brand new set of voices along with a familiar feature set. Based on a couple of your favorite amps of the 80s and 90s, you’ll feel right at home. Picture a classic Crunch tone suitable for rock and blues, along with a familiar 90s high-gain sound. If modern extended range high-gain is your thing, the Ceres™ delivered. If you’re more at home on a 6 string, the Vesta™ may be your preference.
It’s smooth, chunky, thick, and more low-mid focused. It takes boosts just like your favorite vintage high-gain amps. It responds incredibly well to the guitar’s volume control. Note: The Clean channel is identical to the Ceres’.
Top mounted jacks allow for easy integration into your existing pedal board. Unique to our pedal operation, we include 3 bypass modes — True Bypass, Buffered Bypass, and Clean Bypass. In True and Buffered bypass the pedal operates as expected, no tonal coloration. The Clean Bypass mode enables the top row of Tone and Volume knobs accessing the Clean channel. These various Bypass Modes allow for integration into any style of rig — from driving a power amp directly (Clean mode), hitting a clean amp down the chain on your pedal board (True Bypass mode), or at the start of your pedal board, driving your other pedals into a clean amp (Buffered mode).
The preferred operating method is to run the Vesta™ into the input of the effects loop return of any amplifier head or directly into a power amp, but it will also work just as well when run into a clean channel with some EQ tweaking. For example, a typical Fender style clean circuit sounds best with Mids cranked, Bass around noon, Treble around 9-10:00, and Bright OFF. Tweak to taste…
Time based effects (delay, chorus, flange, etc) should be placed after the Vesta™, before the power amp. A simple loop switcher can even be used to create effects loop(s) between the Vesta™ and power amp.
The Vesta™ includes two integrated footswitch buttons to activate the 3 channels. The left button toggles between Bypass and Rhythm/Lead. The right button toggles between Rhythm and Lead. With the Bypass Mode switch set to Clean, bypassing the pedal actually activates the Clean channel.
The gain controls in all channels feature the same range from clean to saturated signals and operate as close as possible to the full size KSR amps. They function without any unwanted top-end artifacts typically associated with solid-state circuits. The Vesta™ EQ options then make for a highly versatile Pre-Amp pedal giving you as much control.
Here is a quick overview of the switch functionality of the pedal, mirroring our signature amplifiers:
Up = On, Down = Off. The switch works just like a typical Gain pot bright capacitor in that the lower the Gain setting, the more the effect.
Up = Fat, Center = Tight, Down = Thick
Up = Crunch, Center = Full Saturation, Down = Vintage High-Gain
Looking at the front of the pedal, top-right is the external control input, then Guitar Input, 9V DC input, and finally Output to amp.
The 9V DC input requires at most 200 mA to function. This is accessible via the high-current output of a Voodoo Labs Pedal Power, or similar. Please do not exceed 9V as the pedal will shutdown to protect the internal electronics. We generate optimal voltages internally, so providing more than 9V is simply not necessary, or possible.
The Control port is a 3.5mm (1/8? headphone) TRS jack that allows control of the pedal channels and future expansion. Simply use an 1/8? to 1/4? TRS cable / adapter to connect this to momentary contact closure relays, and you can completely control the pedal, just as you can with the two foot switches.
We are proudly manufacturing this pedal completely in our Cincinnati facility. CNC machining, powder coating, laser etching, circuit board assembly are all performed under our roof — no outsourcing.