Heavy-duty and cleverly flexible preamp delivers subtle but super-effective signal enhancement.
The robust, utilitarian Pedal Pusher from Red Iron Amps doesn’t provide an espresso rush of instant aural gratification. But subtlety and transparency are the beauty of the Pedal Pusher.
The Pedal Pusher looks built to survive an Antarctic expedition inside and out. The hand-wired circuitry, which is driven by a subminiature tube and transformer (it requires its own dedicated AC power cable) looks more akin to the non-nonsense guts of a simple vintage amplifier.
I used the Pedal Pusher in front of new and vintage Fender amps, analog delays, and a Tonebender clone. By itself, the Pedal Pusher lent depth to thin single coil bridge tones—especially in the compressed and gain-boost modes. And though the volume-boost range of the pedal itself is narrow, it generates warm, organic amp growl when maxed. Where I really loved the Pedal Pusher was out in front of the Tonebender clone and analog delays. The fuzz often felt more flexible (I could hear enhancements to already nice germanium dynamics) and the delay repeats sounded more colorful for the additional drive. There are simpler, cheaper preamp solutions, but this pusher sounds great and delivers as advertised.
Test Gear: Fender Jaguar, Squier J Mascis Jazzmaster, silverface Fender Bassman, blackface Fender Tremolux, Fender Champion 600, Jesse Trbovich TrboBender, Boss DM-2W, MXR Carbon Copy.