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Apex Preamp

Apex Preamp

Apex Preamp


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  • Cabinet

    Turn the cab sim knob OFF when using a real cabinet. Turn the cab sim ON when going direct or into an interface.
  • Gain

    Massive amounts of gain. Start at 0 and turn up until you reach desired saturation.
  • Tight Switch

    Engage for more aggressive rhythm tones without adding more gain. Disengage for buttery leads.
  • Gate

    All the way left completely removes the gate circuit. All the way right gives you a mega-tight & modern gate.



  • Designed to pair well with digital & tube rigs.
  • Built by MXR, guaranteed to last.
  • Perfect for the on-the-go recording guitarist.


Misha Mansoor demos the brand new Apex Preamp! Monster chords, djenty breakdowns, and tight rhythms cut through and stand out in the mix with the Apex Preamp.




When will my Apex Preamp ship?

Conservatively, Apex pre-orders are set to ship January 2019.

Will you ship internationally?

We ship almost everywhere worldwide, except to Zimbabwe.

How much is shipping to my country?

Shipping is automatically calculated at checkout thanks to the magical internet elves powering our website.

What is a Preamp Pedal?

A preamp pedal is an amps clean or dirty channel in one convenient package. The Apex Preamp is a direct replacement to your favorite distortion pedal, an entirely new channel added to your clean amp, or a dirty channel replacement on your high gain amp. Check out our use case guides to see all the different ways you can add the Apex Preamp to your rig!

Can it do cleans?

With the right guitar and settings it can get pretty clean, it will behave dynamically with your guitar like an amp.

How do you justify the price?

To get all the features of the Apex in any other form you would have to buy: $250 boutique, all new high gain distortion pedal $150 custom, ultra powerful noise gate $180 Cabinet simulator $100 one off pedal similar with a tight switch Instead of spending $680 on 4 pedals you can spend less than half and get an Apex Preamp in one convenient pedal!

I already have a high gain amp, can I use this?

Yes! Blend the Apex Preamp with your existing dirty channel to get an all new distortion flavor! Just make sure to turn off the cab sim by sweeping the knob all the way to the left.

How does it pair with a power amp?

Perfectly! You can use your power amp to run the Apex direct into your physical cabinet. Just make sure to turn off the cab sim by sweeping the knob all the way to the left.

Can this replace my distortion pedal?

Yes! Use the Apex for a whole new distorted tone.

Will this work with my Axe FX II/Kemper/Line 6 device?

Yep! We made sure the pedal was voiced to cut through both high gain heads and integrate perfectly with digital modeling rigs.

Can I load my own cabinet IR?

The Apex’s cabinet simulator is analog and built-in, meaning you can’t change the impulse response. However, you can easily disable the cab sim by turning the knob to the left and use the Apex with your favorite 3rd party IR’s.

What is the Cab sim modelled after?

The Apex’s analog cabinet simulator is modelled after a modern 4x12 loaded with V30 speakers.

Does it Djent?

You already know the answer.

What are the power requirements of the Apex?

9V operation requires 29 mA and 18V requires 50 mA. We recommend running the unit at 9V. It will function at 18V but sounds best at 9V.

Can I use a battery?

Yes! A standard 9v works, in addition to a proper power supply (9v negative tip only).

Customer Reviews

Based on 91 reviews
Nice quality of sound - but overpriced and not enough low end.

I'll start off by saying that it does sound absolutely amazing with a good tube amp. I have an all tube combo that uses 6L6GC's and a Jensen Blackbird speaker- With the Apex preamp it's just a really fat, saturated, evil sound. Also very complex/deep and musical and you don't get tired of it after listening to it for a while (weeks ... months). But like i said it takes other things outside of the pedal to make it sound good- all the low end comes from my amp, and I also often find myself using the MXR SuperComp in front of the pedal for a bit more bite and tightness (The "Tight" on the Apex does absolutely nothing for me). Also it's not a very versatile pedal ... it has one sound and that's it. I also have a headphone amp equipped with two ECC83 tubes- it has a really nice, tubey sound on it's own, but when I use it with the Apex, and I hear the Apex a bit more "Raw" it really lacks the low end I want. I almost prefer the MXR Fulbore metal with my headphoneamp, because it at least has the low end I want. And all in all I think it's overpriced ... not overrated, but overpriced, and takes other gadgets outside of the pedal to sound good.

Great pedals

Im from México city and i wated for 50 days (more or lees) the only problem is this, but the pedals are very good.

Holy Crap Guys

I received my Apex Preamp a few days ago and am completely floored! Mostly, I am using it as a DI into my recording interface using the cab sim. I thought about saving up for an AXE-FX or something like that, but decided that is probably overkill for me at this point. This pedal does everything that I need in order to record ultra high-fidelity, saturated tone. Anyone who is claiming to experience muddyness is probably using strings which are too thick, too short of a scale, low quality pickups or some other kind of bad setup.

The EQ: It has just enough range to allow very precise tweaking. The result is that it's difficult to tweak in such a way that the guitar sits in a poor place in the mix.
The Noise Gate: Capable of being very, very fast. I hardly notice any buzzing when performing a musical 'rest' or silence between notes - even with my pickups on a single-coil setting and very high gain. Since I produce using a lot of virtual instruments in my mix, this is perfect. You'll find a sweet spot for this based off of your playing style.
Tight Mode: I think this is some kind of compressor toggle switch. Very useful for cleaning up fast tremolo or staccato rhythm sections. Disable for longer, more legato chords which you want to ring out, or for sections which have more articulate dynamics.
Cab Sim: Provides a huge range of tonal possibilities. I personally prefer having more 'air' so I tend to have this turned up between 80-100%. But for more br00tal riffage, sweeping to the left provides a more classic, brick-walled sound. I think if you're really down-tuned (Like drop A or G#) then more mic distance sounds better.

Oh, and it also sounds incredible through my half stack and my practice amp. The clean setting on my half stack has two modes, "British Class-A" and "US Dynamic". I notice that switching between these modes gives the overdrive tone of the pedal a significantly different character, so consider experimenting with different clean settings if you have them available. The ability to get extremely gnarly sounding distortion without cranking my amp loud enough to rattle the windows is a plus.

GET ONE OF THESE! You will be very pleased.


It's fantastic

Apex preamp

As far as the tones and sound that it puts out, as a stand alone device plugged into an interface, it creates a good ripping sound for heavy metal applications. You get some tonal differences from the bass, mid, and treble but not a lot. In fact I think my treble knob seems broken, comparing its lacking ability to turn easy and as far as the rest. The mic sweep seems to be the best dial to play with to get different sounds. I was really expecting to hear what I heard on some of the YouTube reviews. But those were pros, obviously using other things besides the preamp. Their demos of going clean to mean were nothing like I've experienced. Overall I like it, but to do it all over again I think knowing what I'm really getting, I would not pay that price for what little I get out of it.