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AMT Electronics B1 Legend Series

 
Single channel pre-amp in pedal format. Designed to emulate the sound of the "Sharp" channel on a Bogner Triple Giant. Can be used as a convetional stomp box, or as part of a multi channel set up with the AMT F1 legend Series Pre-amp


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Sharpen up your sound with an AMT B1legend pre amp pedal featured

Ease Of Use The Legend B1 is pretty well laid out and is easy to understand. All the controls on the top are clearly labelled, although it would be nice to have the inputs and outputs more clearly labelled on the side, as it is easy to plug into the Cab Simulation output by mistake, other than that it is very straight forward.

The manual is concise but tells you everything you need to know. I found it to be extremely helpful.

As a stand alone unit the B1 is a pretty simple pre-amp in a stomp box. When connected to the Legend F1 it forms part of a 2 channel pre-amp set up. If you can use an effectl loop you can handle one of these. If you can't, this is a great place to start.

It is a sharp sounding pedal so you do have to do a bit of tweaking with your amp and the F1 (if used) to get the best out of this unit, but you can get a good sound pretty quickly.


Sound As this is supposed to emulate the "sharp" channel on a Bognor, don't expect a lot of warm bluesy sounds. It does add quite a bit of sustain and the sound is saturated, but it is also tight and quite edgy.

Rotating the gain to about half way gives a nice buzzy distortion that would work equally well for Heavy Metal (think Judas Priest) or Punk. With the gain up full the drive becomes thicker and more compressed sounding with a lot of clarity and sustain without getting too fizzy. The 3 band EQ helps a lot here, remembering that this is supposed to have quite a harsh sound, rolling back the mids at high gain allows a thick and tight bottom end with out becoming brittle at the higher regsiters. It works really well for down or drop tuning as you avoid that very flabby sound on the lower registers. I did notice a fair amount of noise coming through when the guitar is idle, but this is nothing you wouldn't expect on high gain settings.

What really comes through is the dynamics. Even using this unit through a practice amp at low volume it transmits every nuance of pick attack and playing style (as my playing on the sound clips will testify :( , see below). I would also say that it responds very predictably to different tonewoods. I definately found it easier to get a great sound with a thru-neck or a heavier tone wood, and I had to reduce the treble knob when using alder or basswood to avoid the tone going over the top. Again, the 3 band EQ is your friend.

All in all I would say that this is top notch unit, and when combined with the F1 it gives you a versatile yet no nonsense system at a very affordable price. I think if you are looking for serious tone without breaking the bank, then this is definately worth considering. It is the best sounding transistor distortion/drive channel I have heard, and I am considering purhcasing a couple more of these to try out some different sounds.

Sound Clips:

All clips are recorded using the internal mic on a Boss Micro BR using a 10w Kustom practice amp on the cleam channel with no effects. This is not the ideal set up and were done with one take, so you will have to excuse that! Better sound clips and video to follow.

AMT_B1_HALF_GAIN_PAF_PRO.MP3 is using an Alder strat with PAF Pro in the bridge position

AMT_B1_FULL GAIN_STEEL_PANTHER.MP3 is Full gain using a Thru-neck Charvel with a Bare Knuckle Miracle Man in the bridge and drop D tuning

AMT_B1_FULL_GAIN_SD_DIMEBUCKER.MP3 again is full gain using a paduak custom RG with a SD Dimebucker in the bridge position

AMT_B1_FULL_GAIN_SD_DIMEBUCKER.MP3

AMT_B1_FULL GAIN_STEEL_PANTHER.MP3

AMT_B1_HALF_GAIN_PAF_PRO.MP3



Reliability In terms of the external construction the B1 is very solid, with particularly sturdy switches. I don't envisage any problems with gigging with any of the AMT units I have seen so far.

Internally I think the design could have been more carefully thought out. If you go down the 9v battery route then you will notice that the battery (I was using a Duracell Plus 9v, which must be a pretty standard choice!) does not really fit into the case particularly well. In fact it can only be inserted on edge (with the terminals in line and perpendicular to the base) leaving approximately 5mm sticking out the bottom. With a narrower battery this will be better, but you are still going to have something like 3mm sitcking out. You then have to screw the base plate on and tighten it onto the battery, pushing it on the the foam pad.The base plate has some depth to it to take up some of the slack. The upshot of this is that you are pretty much forced to sqaush the connector clip into the chassis which ever way you orientate it. This is not a disaster, but clearly the manufacturer intends you to use the DC power coming from the F1 unit.

The battery connector itself is pretty cheap, and as with all cheap connectors it was difficult to remove to change batteries. So much so in my case that I actually managed to pull the wires out! Not a problem as I have a power cable, and prefer to link to the F1, but annoying when you consider the there are £20 distortion pedals that do this a lot better.

None of those points are a deal breaker, but you need to have a back up power solution just in case, particularly if you are playing live.


Customer Support Never dealt with them, and as my unit was a review product I haven't contacted them for a replacement. It was extremely carefully packaged when it arrived though, so I suspect that they really care about their product.


Liked about it Built like a tank (well mostly)
Probably the best tone I have heard from any overdrive/distortion pedal
The whole idea of the Legend amp system is pretty unique and is executed very well. I think that this has effectively created it's own market by solving a lot of problems in one.


Didn't like Battery connector really cheap and not very sturdy
Quite noisy at idle.
Could have slightly better labelling on the side.
None of this would really put me off buying another, or recommending to others.


Overall satisfaction:
 
4.0

By nickcoumbe
Feb 08, 2010
 
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