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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
For me: the Korg SDD-3000 and the Fulltone SSTE have great preamps.

Also have an EP booster but it has too much bass for my liking but it does come in handy after a thin overdrive.

How about you?
 

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I don't have a lot of experience with preamp pedals, but my OCD sounds like my JCM800.
 

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It will depend on the purpose of the preamp pedal. If the goal is simply to provide buffering and just enough gain to get maximum frequency response and optimize S/N ratio (and many amps can handle a bit more signal than a guitar puts out), then you don't want diodes or headroom limitations anywhere in the path. If the goal is to use the preamp as a booster stage to get more grind out of subsequent stages, that's an entirely different mission.
 

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The Visual Sound Truetone preamp uses a charge pump to raise the supply voltage from 9V to around 25-26V. When my buddy RG Keen (who designed it) wrote to me to describe it shortly before it was released, he said that "amps tremble in fear" when it comes near. :D Even though it wasn't designed to produce any clipping on its own, that relatively unrestrained headroom provided peaks that few amps could content with without producing distortion themselves.

Incidentally, as many designers have found over the years, it is good to have some form of treble-cut in a preamp. If amp distortion adds harmonics of what it receives, then you don't want it to be adding harmonics of harmonics (which few of us like). So having a treble-cut on the boosted signal removes that high end you don't want the amp to know about, and makes for a more desirable amp overdrive tone. In speaking with Bill Finnegan at length about the Klon, he told me he intended the Treble control on it to be used for rolling off highs, in order to produce a more desirable amp overdrive.

 
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