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Ananashead Effects Shrink their Great Sounding GT73 Matamp Style Preamp down to Compact Pedalboard-friendly Dimensions

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It’s been a while since I did my last Matamp style pedal roundup - or namely my June 2019 overview article. Within that I featured the former BB-size GT73, and mentioned at the time that compact editions of said effect were in very short supply - as pretty much all those varieties had been discontinued.


The GT73 was one of the best sounding ones in the roundup, and now that it’s been shrunk to my preferred form factor it’s highly likely as an imminent add to my collection. Inevitably in the process of miniaturisation there has been some need to switch out some of the original parts for smaller varieties - potentiometers etc. that fit within this format. But to my ears the tones and textures of the original have been well maintained.


The larger version had very slightly different controls - Presence, Bass, Drive, Volume, Treble, and Bass-Boost. While for the compact edition the Drive value / control is fixed on the ’Stage Bright’ setting, and we instead have a Master control as the 6th knob - Treble, Bass, Presence, Volume, Master, and Bass-Boost.


Some will be disappointed to see the full-size THT Jfets replaced by SMT varieties - but for those parts values the newer iterations are a really good fit as such, and the pedal sounds just as impressive as its forebear. This is obviously based on the 1973 Matamp GT120 preamp - which also had an Orange OR120 edition was generally known as the ’Green’ Matamp. In fact that brand was revived again not so many years ago now.


In terms of tones and textures - this is your classic 70’s style slightly rawer preamp - known for retaining quite a lot of low-end content in the frequency profile. In the referenced demo this is being paired with the EQD Sunn O))) Life Pedal V2 - and it sounds immense on its own, as well as in combination.


There are really very few Matamp style pedals at this form factor - which makes this one really appealing. It goes straight in on my wishlist - and is actually very fairly priced at €140 - available from the Ananashead Effects Webstore right now.


I would also say that my friend Giulio at Kuro Custom Audio makes the incredible T120 variety of Matamp style pedal in large enclosure - for which I’m hoping he does a shrunk down version too at some stage. If you can accommodate the signifiant footprint of that pedal - that is one of the very best sounding Matamp style varieties too.


Currently the only thing I’m my collection which is in this general sort of area is the Danelectro The Breakdown. Certainly looking to add this GT73 some time fairly soon.

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Stefan Karlsson
Stefan Karlsson
Guitar Pedal X
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