The Night Owl Parabellum V2 Drive is a tube EF86 preamp with with two parallel germanium distortion circuits designed by Dunwich Amps.
One of these amplifies the high mids and highs with hard clipping characteristics, the other is focused on low mids and lows with soft clipping. The combined output is then sent to a three band EQ.
Thanks to this peculiar configuration, it delivers huge low end, musical mids, and cutting yet smooth treble, which makes it great also for bass and baritone guitars, with the added bonus of a flexible, transistor-based EQ section – while in V1 had op-amp based bands.
Have a listen to the tones it produces on guitar and bass in the videos below.
Here’s how it sounds on bass:
Night Owl Parabellum V2 Drive, Builder’s Notes
The Parabellum Drive combines the Edison Preamp with parallel germanium distortion circuits designed by dirt guru Nicholas Williams of Dunwich Amps.
The signal chain begins with the same all-tube EF86 boost as the original. The boosted EF86 signal is then buffered and split into two parallel Germanium distortion stages, refined from the three in the original version. One is designed to amplify high mids and highs with hard clipping characteristics, and the other is focused on low mids and lows with soft clipping characteristics. Each stages’ output is mixed back together equally, combining the distortion, frequency content, and sonic textures for a unique distortion.
The combined output is then sent to a three band EQ, which has been re-designed with transistor based EQ bands instead of the op-amp based bands used in the first version, but still using the same frequency centers as V1 and #QtheEQ for a huge low end, musical mids, and cutting treble. The original toggle switch boosts have been removed to simplify user experience and avoid analysis paralysis.
The package features an enclosure that is CNC engraved, powder coated matte black, color filled, then adorned with custom knobs made by Haramis Musical Hardware for a cutting edge look. Each unit is assembled, finished, and wired by hand and made in small batches in Greenwood Lake, NY.