Despite its compact size, this dual-footswitch box offers superb flexibility and surprisingly tube-like tones.

We’re awash in amps and preamps small enough to squeeze onto a pedalboard. But preamps from Ethos are truly stompbox-sized. They’re built into standard BB enclosures. We checked out the Clean-Fusion Preamp, which offers fine faux-tube tones and vast sonic flexibility.

The preamp has a gain control plus wide-ranging 3-band Pre-EQ. Three additional toggles offer a choice of six dramatically varied tone stack voicings. A soft drive switch provides natural tube-like compression and four additional tone-shaping controls. You can connect to a guitar amp or use a second 1/4" output to play through a PA or record direct. The speaker emulation is excellent.

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