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The Thespian Valve preamp is a recreation of the Fender Dual Showman/Alembic F-2B preamp made famous by David Gilmour of Pink Floyd and The Greatful Dead


Updated for 2023!  The Thespian Valve Preamp... reworked!  We had major supply issues with parts for the original version so we took the opportunity to re-vamp it.   Smaller enclosure, optimized the power supply, moved the furniture around, added some windows and new paint, and voila!

The Thespian is based on the preamp found in the Fender Dual Showman and Alembic F-2B valve preamps. A classic preamp for guitar and bass!

It uses a 12AU7 preamp tube with a 200v plate voltage to give your tone that extra warmth and dimension.

It add punch, clarity, and dynamics to your tone. Use it as an always on pedal to shape your fundamental tone, or kick it in to give your valve amp an extra gain stage for when you need a bit more oomph but still want to keep an all-tube signal path, or inject some real tube warmth into your solid state or modelling rig!

Controls include: Volume, Treble, Middle, and Bass with a Bright switch and a Mid Boost switch.  The bright switch engages a treble peaker capacitor to give a brighter sound at lower volume levels. The mid boost switch bumps shifts the inherent mid scoop of the fender tone stack from 360Hz to 170Hz while giving about an 8 dB boost to the frequencies around 360Hz-1kHz.

During the re-design of the Thespian, we also took advantage to convert the PCB from the previous 2-layer design to a new 4-layer design. These extra 2 layers allow us to have dedicated power layers and ground layers. What does this mean for you? It means that all of the power signals are on their own dedicated layers and not running along side audio signal layers which significantly reduces noise! also having a dedicated, unbroken ground plane provides even more shielding against noise. This is the quietest high voltage tube preamp pedal that you will ever play.

While a lot of tube-based pedals use 9 or 12 volts to power the tube, the Thespian uses an SMPS to boost a 9-12VDC/500mA signal to 200V. A standard 2.1mm (Boss style) power adapter is required (NOT included). A standard pedal power supply may be used as long as it can provide 500mA.  The pedal also has overvoltage and reverse polarity protection circuitry as well as ESD protection and an internal re-setable fuse.

Switching is provided by a soft-touch switch which drives a relay to give the ultimate in reliability. No more faulty mechanical 3PDT switches that pop (mechanically and electrically). Totally silent true bypass switching with a solid copper signal path.

The valve is safely enclosed in a 1590BB2 enclosure to protect it from the perils of the road (and gig bag).


Vents on the side of the enclosure ensure that things remain cool and the voltage regulators are attached to the enclosure which acts like a heat sink.

Each pedal uses a professionally assembled PCB and is proudly assembled by hand in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Other features include:

  -  True bypass

  -  Internally mounted 12AU7 tube

  -  Professional high quality 4-layer FR4 PCB

  -  Powdercoated enclosure

  -  UV Printed artwork

The end result is high quality pedals that sound amazing, are consistent from pedal-to-pedal.

Each pedal comes with a 1 year warranty on parts and labour. Note that the warranty does not cover damage due to using an improper power supply or other misuse. 

The price is $469US + shipping.

Shipping within Canada and the US is $20US.  Shipping to the UK, Western Europe, Australia, and Japan is $60US.  For other regions, please inquire for shipping rates.

For US customers, note that you do not have to pay any import duties or tariffs.

For customers outside of North America, please note that you will be responsible for any customs/import/VAT charges that your country levies on the pedal.

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