EMI Console Preamp, Transformer Preamp | Veri-Tone Arcturus | Handmade guitar pedals from Milan, Italy


By far the most complex pedal in the Veri-Tone line-up, Arcturus is a vintage-style Class A preamp inspired by the input section of the EMI TG12345 recording console, responsible for recording albums like “Abbey Road” and “Dark Side of the Moon”.

With two single-ended gain sections coupled by a Triad steel-core transformer, the Veri-Tone Arcturus is ready to deliver classic, vintage tone from mild crunch to searing fuzz. If you want to go deeper into the ideas that created this pedal, check out my journal post about it.

The Arcturus is currently being used by artists such as Sean Lennon, Nels Cline (Wilco), Rodrigo Amarante and Sarah Lipstate (Noveller, Iggy Pop).

Current lead time: 1-2 weeks.

“Classic” would be an understatement

The 24-channel TG12345 was EMI’s first solid-state console deemed worthy of following the tube-based REDD series. As it took pride of place at Abbey Road Studios, plenty of classic albums were recorded and mixed on it — including The Beatles’ “Abbey Road” and Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon”, among others.
Guitar players particularly liked to plug their instruments directly into the console’s input, bypassing their amps entirely and laying down tracks that became icons for a whole generation — just listen to John Lennon’s searing tone on the single version of “Revolution”.

The Veri-Tone Arcturus preamp was designed from the ground up to give players that same classic tone from an iconic recording console. It features a very high input impedance, so there’s no danger of losing the top-end from a long cable run or signal chain.

Demo: Sparkling with just a hint of breakup

Demo: 12 o’clock

Demo: Hot bias

Demo: The obligatory “Revolution” intro

With two Class A gain stages coupled by a Triad steel core transformer and a gain range of over 30dB, the Arcturus is capable of delivering anything from classic barely-dirty rhythm tones to the most searing, sustained fuzz. A toggle switch under the Presence knob controls the bias of the first stage, as the mic/line switch would on the actual desk.

“I never thought a preamp could be so inspiring, that I jammed for longer than usual.” — R.J. Ronquillo

Every single pedal is made to order, by hand and features key vintage parts such as audiophile-grade capacitors from the 1970s, Germanium transistors from the 1960s and carbon comp resistors. Every part has been tested and auditioned before being placed in the circuit, which also features some modern parts such as Neutrik jacks and TT potentiometers to ensure optimal performance and reliability.

Sean Lennon with Veri-Tone Arcturus pedal

Sean Ono Lennon holding the pedal that was inspired by his father.

Sean Lennon using the Arcturus at his Late Late Show performance.

Nels Cline (Wilco) with Veri-Tone Arcturus preamp

Nels Cline (Wilco) with his Veri-Tone Arcturus.


1. Gain
Controls the output of the first gain stage. May cause the second gain stage to overdrive at high settings, which actually sounds pretty cool.

2. Output
Controls the second gain stage and overall output of the pedal. May overdrive by itself at high settings, which also sounds pretty cool - like a fuzzier Rangemaster.

3. Presence
Controls the high midrange frequencies of the overall signal. Very interactive with the gain stages.

4. Channel
Toggles between two preset biases for the first gain stage. Low gain with the switch pointing to the left and high gain with the switch pointing to the right.

This pedal takes a standard Boss-style (negative centre) 9V DC power supply. It can be powered with up to 18V for extra headroom.