A/DA relaunched a few years ago (in fact, that was one of the first ever news items on I Heart Guitar) with a brilliant reissue of their classic flanger. The company was already highly respected for their flangers and phasers when they released the classic MP-1 tube preamp, and I’ve been waiting to see the latest on their next big preamp statement Well, here it is! The APP-1 Pedal Preamp is now ready to go. This sounds like an incredible piece of kit. It’s designed to be extremely reactive to the input signal, which sounds like a very good thing to me – I’m kinda tired of everyone using the same ultra-compressed, ultra-distorted tone at the expense of good old fashioned playing dynamics, and the APP-1 goes out of its way to take your tone to expressive new dimensions.

What’s it sound like? Well check out this batch of demos, particularly the second one, where you’ll hear how the APP-1 goes from sparkly clean to roaring overdrive simply with harder pick attack. Y’know, just how it’s meant to be.


Here’s the press release:


A/DA Launches New APP-1 PEDAL PREAMP With Groundbreaking D-TORSION CORETM Technology


WALNUT CREEK, CA – MARCH 20, 2012 — A/DA announces the release of the new APP-1 Pedal Preamp, a guitar preamplifier built around A/DA’s new patent-pending player-responsive D-TORTION CORE technology, which reacts to the signal level of the strings to deliver more volume, dynamics, timbre, faster transients and richer harmonics than any amplifier available today.  The APP-1 is A/DA’s first product based on the newly invented D TORSION CORE technology, which features user-adjustable dynamic range and threshold levels for signal limiting, compression, distortion and harmonic expansion.  The APP-1 allows the guitarist to express, through his or her fingers, dynamics and tone like never before, going from ultraclean to overdrive to heavy distortion without turning a single knob on any amp, signal processor, recording console, stomp box or guitar.


D-TORSION CORE is a pure analog technology with no digital processing, latency or side-chaining.  Other inherent benefits are low noise, low cost, small size, light weight and high reliability with no maintenance.  D-TORSION DIGITAL is an embedded code implementation and UI of this new technology.


Over the last 30 years, guitarists have been demanding more and more gain out of their amplifiers to overdrive and distort their guitar signal. In the evolution towards greater gain, designers have compromised amplitude dynamics to the point where high-gain signal paths produce guitar signals that are “switched off and on,” much like early electronic organ keyboards, where each note sounds the same regardless of how light or heavy the key is played or the guitarist picks. A/DA’s D-TORSION CORE changes this, and similar to what velocity sensing and touch sensitive keyboards did to the keyboard market, this technology will bring new expression to and demand for D-TORSION based guitar amps and preamps.


As with modern combos and heads, the APP-1 preamp has an Effects Loop and a “solo-type” Boost control. With independent Voicing and the Tone Stacks, each Channel has the full EQ range and gain structure to get everything from clean to distortion, so neither channel is limited in any way.


The A/DA APP-1 was designed to change the relationship between guitarists and their amplification, and will pave new paths to greater expression, new techniques and excitement in live and recorded performances.


Suggested Retail Price is $399; MAP is $349.


For more information go to


Check out the VIDEO demonstration