One bonus of using an original Maestro Echoplex EP-3 tape delay is the added color and bite of its preamp. MXR’s new Echoplex Preamp delivers this sound in a sturdy, elegant, and stupidly simple stompbox that even a pedal hater can love. Like the preamp it replicates, the pedal delivers relatively subtle overdrive. I used it on a session with an old Fender Vibro Champ for Crazy Horse-style grind on a rhythm guitar track. (It sounded fantastic cranked all the way, or almost there.) The Echoplex Preamp’s range and potency were more apparent with a bigger amp. Through a 30-watt, 2x10 blackface Tremolux, it enhanced picking dynamics and added organic-sounding dirt.
Test Gear: Squier J Mascis Jazzmaster, ’80s ’52 Reissue Fender Telecaster, ’64 Fender Tremolux, ’70s Fender Vibro Champ