The Sinvertek N5 MGAT-1 Preamp is the latest release by a Chinese boutique company that might be the best-kept secret in the pedal realm – in particular for those guitarists who enjoy gain pedals that allow for a variety of tonal options.
A Plexi variation to their popular N5+ drive, the MGAT-1 is, just like its sibling, in all likelihood the most tweakable compact gain pedal on the market.
Through a dazzling number of (believe it or not) hand-wired controls, this preamp pedal claims to put at your toe tips the tone of 5 of the most popular Marshall amps: The JTM45 (click for settings), the JMC800, the 1959 SLP, the 1987 X, and the JVM.
The graphic below helps understand the sonic flavors at your disposal, including 4 switches affecting the tone on the left section of the pedal, and four affecting gain (you can find a description of each Tone control in this file and each Gain control in this one):
And if you are wondering how it sounds, we’ve pasted a few videos of it, below. We added the Sinvertek MGAT-1 to our article about the best Plexi-style distortion and overdrive pedals.
Sinvertek N5 MGAT-1 Preamp, Builder’s Notes
About 5 years ago, Wu came up with an idea that can completely get 100% amp tone. It is different from the first generation of N5
family, It is a totally new design thinking, and Wu established a new circuit platform for it. After years of experimentation and verification,
in the summer of 2022, this ultimate mission-100% amp tone has been finally achieved.
Yes, you read that correctly, 100% amp tone! The MGAT-1 is just placed in a housing of pedal, in fact, its circuit is the same with amp’spreamp circuit. It is exactly the same as the real tube amp in terms of frequency response, dynamics and touch sensitivity, even the
EQ shimmer is also the same. Meanwhile, the EQ circuit is more complicated than amps to suit for a variety of applications.
In order to get 100% amp tone, Wu creacted a new design thought, it is based on the same power amp and cab platform. Firstly,
designing a preamp and let it go into the amp’s FX loop return or IN port of power amp, then repeated comparison and modification
with the tone of amp’s preamp, to make the preamp has the exact same tone as the preamp of amp.
Once this goal is achieved, the
first step is achieved – 100% amp tone. Next, designing a complex clean channel filter, and make it can select the brightness of clean
channel, at this point the second step is achieved- applying 100% amp tone to various clean channels.
Wu defines the preamp that can be connected to both power amp and clean channel as hyper preamp. The hyper preamp is different from the traditional ones, due to equipped with the unique clean channel filter, the hyper preamp can be connected not only to the power amp but also to the clean channel like a normal pedal, and when connecting it to clean channel, can get the same 100% amp tone as connecting it to the power amp.
The new generation of N5 family is based on Multistage Gain Generator & Advanced Tone-shaping system platform 1, MGAT-1.
MGAT-1 has the most powerful gain generator circuit. Firstly, three completely different channels are formed by increasing or decreasing
the number of gain stages, CLEAN & CRUNCH channel, OD1 channel and OD2 channel. These three channels have different numbers of gain
stages, and getting different amounts of gain.
The CLEAN & CRUNCH channel is designed according to JTM45, it can get classic early
British clean and crunch tone; The OD1 channel is the OD tone of hard rock from the late 60s to the 80s, covering JCM800 and PLEXI;
The OD2 is the high-gain tone of modern Marshall, from high-gain to ultra-gain. Meanwhile, the OD1 and OD2 channels have a shared 3-levels, selectable gain structure and an independent 3-levels selectable gain saturation.
About Gain Structure, it means to adjust the structure of the gain stage to get different gain feel. About Gain Saturation, it means to adjust the amplification amount of the gain stage to get the
different feel of gain tone. So, in gain generator part, MGAT-1 can provide 19 different gain tone, covering from clean to ultra- gain, also
gain tones of various amplification styles.
MGAT-1 has the most advanced tone shaping system circuit. The tone shaping system can accurately capture the frequency response of
the tube amp, so that the response of the tone as the volume changes is completely consistent with the tube amp, when playing in different
positions of volume knob on the guitar, you can’t tell which is the tube amp and which is the MGAT-1. Even the shimmer generated by tube
amp’s tone stack, MGAT-1 also can accurately generate.
Mgat-1 has a clean channel filter, this is the biggest difference between MGAT-1 and other preamps. Once the signal passes through this
clean channel filter, it can be used in any clean channel of various brightness. If turning off clean channel filter, MGAT-1 will be connected to
power amp or other devices like other normal preamps.
The EQ part of MGAT-1 is very powerful. It is not only reflected in frequency response, the adjustment of frequency points is also perfect.
Moreover, the EQ adjustment range is much wider than that of tube amp, the advantage of this is that the MGAT-1 is able to have more
adjustment margin to get better tone when using in the clean channel, or if it is used as a preamp, there are richer tone adjustments than