Just wanted to share my thoughts on the Two Notes "Le lead" Pre-amp that i just bought.
You probably have heard of it, as Two Notes have sent one to every famous rock/metal YouTuber ...
But hey, it's a French product, i HAD to test it .
So, a quick review.
What is it ?
It's a dual channel guitar tube pre-amp in a stompbox.
Basically, it's the first stage of a tube amp.
It is designed to be used with a power amp + cab or with a cab simulator in your DAW.
It has an embed analog cab simulator that you can switch on/off, but also comes with 16 cabinet impulses for Wall Of Sound III, the Two Notes's CAB simulator software.
The Le Lead have a lot of inputs & outputs, an fx loop and a Midi system to connect multiple Le PreAmp together, or to control it with you DAW.
You can also use it as a distrotion pedal in front of your amp.
The pre-amp have two channels (clean / hi gain) that you can use separately or combined with the mode "Fusion".
You can use both clean and hi-gain sound in parrallel or combine them two with the "Cold / Hot" fusion switch.
Look & feel
I find it pretty good looking, but it's personnal.
The stombox, it's inputs and it's switches feel rock solid, precise and are easy to use.
The machine gets pretty warm with the channel B, but nothing to worry about i guess.
Two Notes added a system of colored led behind the valve so you can clearly see in which mode you are.
It's designed for hi-gain : if you are looking for high versatility, i think it's not the best option.
For hi-gain sound though, i really dig it : great warmth and precision.
The mid-sweep switch is pretty good so you can really customize your sound.
The clean channel is very simple : it has a "precise" character which is nice for Fade-to-black like arpergios .
You can add a little crunch via the gain switch on this channel, but don't expect to get a warm bluesy crunch with it.
The "Fusion" mode (channel A + B parallel or A + B added) is interesting, at least the "Cold" mode : it can bring precision to your sound, which is usefull for dropped 7/8 strings for example (i didn't said Djent ... oh wait, i did). But for this result, i would definitely record the "hot" & "clean" signal independently and then blend it in my DAW.
A "Fusion" switch allows you to fine tune the amount of blending between the two channels.
First you have a switchable analog CAB simulation : it's just good enough to practice, alone or with your band directly on the P.A.
Then you have Wall Of Sound III and it's 16 CAB impulses : the software has everything (up to 100 cab at a time, mic selection & positioning, front & rear impulses etc ...) and you can really customize your sound.
But i personally prefer the impulses i used the last few weeks (a Mesa 4x12 impulse with LePou LeCab), as i found the Wall Of Sound III impulses a bit too agressive.
But i need to take more time tweaking it to be sure about that.
For less than 300€, it is a really nice tube pre-amp with a great "natural" distortion.
It's not versatile, it's made for hi-gain and it does it very well.
The Wall of Sound III licence is here so you can buy more impulses on their store, but i personally prefer my other impulses & cab simulation software.
It's not comparable to a real tube amp of course (Just buy a 5150, you know ) but as i play & record in an appartement, it's very useful & sounds nice.
It's an hybrid approach to the simulated amp sound (real amp + simulated cab).
I would definitely recommend it.
The next video (coming Friday, hopefully...) on my YouTube Channel will be recorded with the Le Lead, i will post it here so you can hear the sound i get from it.
That said, i'm not and audio professionnal and everything i said here is only my opinion.
Hope this post will be usefull to someone :-) thanks for reading.