So, I'm a gear head with frequent GAS attacks!
(GAS = Guitar Acquisition Syndrome, or Gear Acquisition Syndrome. A condition in which one frequently buys, sells, and trades guitar gear.)
When I gave up other styles of playing to focus on Gypsy Jazz, I figured my GAS would be cured.
All I need is a Maccaferri style archtop and a good set of strings. But I never figured on that quest to get that sound accurately amplified. So in the course of that task, I’ve picked up a few acoustic amps and pre-amps over the years.
Having recently picked up a Bigtone equipped US Dell Arte Hommage, I decided to check out the Red Eye pre-amp. The Red Eye is not a particularly well known product; I learned of it because it is made in my town (Austin, TX). I am thrilled with this unit! The Red Eye, with the Bigtone Dell Arte plugging into my Fishman Loudbox, is providing a sound in the ballpark of a microphone set-up. By comparison, my Headway or Para DI pre-amps with the Bigtone/DA and the Loudbox do not compare.
So, I’d definitely encourage you to check out the Red Eye if you are in the market for a pre-amp, particularly if you use a Fishman amp. After testing this setup with my Loudbox, I then tested it through my Schertler David (did I mention my GAS attacks? <g>). After all, if the Red Eye and my Dell Arte/Bigtone sounded so good with the Loudbox, it should sound even better with the Schertler, right? But I could not dial in that microphone quality sound with the Red Eye/Schertler as I could with the Red Eye/Fishman.
Will Ray, a known country/rock guitarist and gear collector, was quoted as saying that he finds his ideal sound as the right matching of guitar and amplifier – it is not the case that your best sounding guitar plus your best sounding amp equals your best sounding set-up. While he was referring to electric guitar I suppose it is applicable as well to matching a pre-amp and amplifier for acoustic amplification.
PS: You may notice I changed my user-id, I am no longer using my old “jovation” handle, though I still have my Ovation acoustic. GAS is a terrible thing! ;0)