The Neunaber Neuron is a pre-amp and compressor pedal that achieves a seamless array of incredible amp tones in a compact pedal. From sparkling clean to heavy distortion and everything in between.
A multistage, dynamic gain architecture yields unparalleled control over the desired amount of distortion, effortlessly producing harmonic structures that range from subtle to dense and complex. One of its most salient features is its feel, which is almost hyper-realistic when compared to an amplifier.
Neuron is a versatile guitar preamp with speaker simulator, presets and MIDI in a small pedal format. Organic tone meets cutting edge innovation.
Designing the Neuron
Let’s face it: the bulk of a tube amp or complexity of an amp modeler can feel overwhelming when all you want is great guitar tone and feel that is easy to control.
You want your guitar’s sound to be awesome and versatile and different. Your playong is unique and you want your tone to reflect that. You don’t want your tone to be a derivative or imitation of something else.
And, of course, you want a solution that is convenient, easily portable, and doesn’t need to be turned up to 11 to sound great, whether you run direct or amplified.
Neuron is the culmination of years of research and development. We studied the gain circuits of pedals and amps — both tube and solid state — to learn not only how they sound good, but why. We developed new and unique algorithms to test our findings, then refined these algorithms based on what we learned.
Our goal was never to emulate or mimic other gear. This would imply that there is no room for improvement — or at least, no room for unique greatness. Each technological medium has strengths and weaknesses, and to use one medium to emulate another denies its inherent power and versatility.
Sound is subjective — particularly when created as artistic expression. To gauge what sounds “good,” we can trust only our own judgments. If our own sense of what sounds good is confined to what we have heard, then we can only emulate. However, to chase the sound in our own heads, we cannot be limited by what currently exists.
In other words, we learn by studying the masters; but we create through invention.
The Gain control provides over 60 dB of gain, ranging from clean to heavy distortion. This control is level-compensated: increasing the gain increases distortion but only slightly affects the level.
The single-knob compressor ranges from none to heavy compression. Increasing this control simultaneously decreases the threshold and increases the ratio and level parameters of the compressor. As such, the compressor adds additional clean gain to your signal. A moderate amount of compression can control the dynamics of your clean tones, while a more modest setting goes a long way in controlling overdrive and sustain.
The Level control adjusts the output level of the signal.
EQ — Low, Mid, High
The three-band EQ allows you to adjust the low frequencies (bass), middle frequencies, and high frequencies (treble) of your signal. Unlike the tone stacks in many amps and pedals, this EQ has been designed so that the controls do not interact.
These controls are accessed by holding down the Engage footswitch while turning the knob.
The Gate control adjusts the noise reduction threshold. Fully counter-clockwise is off. Set the Noise Gate as follows:
- Press and hold the Engage switch.
- Start with the Gate (Gain) knob fully counter-clockwise.
- Slowly turn the knob clockwise until the noise attenuates. Stop and release the switch.
The Tightness control adjusts a pre-gain high-pass filter. Increasing this control will tighten the low end with high-gain settings. Increase the Low control to compensate for any reduction of low frequencies.
The Presence control adjusts a post-gain low-pass filter.
The Preset switch selects a stored preset. The LED illuminates when a preset is selected. For more information, refer to the Using Presets section.
The Engage switch selects between engaged and bypassed. The LED illuminates when the pedal is engaged.
Neunaber Neuron Features
Dynamic multistage gain architecture
Yields unparalleled control over the desired amount of distortion — producing harmonic structures that range from subtle to dense and complex. Its hyper-realistic feel allows you to experience the joy of playing bull-bore through an amp without the size, weight, cost and potential hearing damage!
Based on years of research into amps and pedal circuits, is not a model, emulation or simulation of any particular amp. What this gives you is a unique, versatile sound — your secret weapon.
Easily controls the drive level for smooth, consistent tone. You can quickly dial in just the right amount of sustain.
Studio-quality Noise Gate
With adjustable threshold keeps your signal dead quiet, which means you won’t have to worry about pickup hum.
Global Tilt EQ
Adapts your tone to various setups, saving you time when you change amps or between an amp and direct — simply turn one knob and you’re ready to go!
Switchable Speaker Simulator
Running direct or to a powered monitor/full-range powered cab, saving you the trouble of an outboard speaker sim.
Three-band EQ plus Tightness and Presence
Gives you total control over your tone. Non-interacting controls allow you to make impactful and precise adjustments quickly. No more going back and forth between EQ controls that never seem to dial in.
Up to 24 presets
Can be recalled via MIDI controller, and up to 6 presets (user-configurable) stored/recalled from the footswitch. It’s like having a multi-channel amp in a pedal. You can replace several pedals with Neuron, saving you money and making your rig a lot easier to carry around.
Compliant with MIDI.org’s new 2.5mm TRS jack standard. Two adapter cables are included to connect to 5-pin DIN MIDI cables. All functions are directly controllable with any standard MIDI controller. This means you can access Neuron’s full capabilities with ease without any special or proprietary equipment.
Neuron Commander Software
Free software for macOS and Windowsmakes setup even easier. Use an inexpensive USB-MIDI adapter (not included) to connect Neuron Commander Software. Of course, you can also perform all setup directly on the pedal itself.
True bypass switching
Ensures that Neuron is completely disconnected from your signal chain when not in use, which means that it won’t change your tone unless you want it to.
Small, pedalboard-friendly footprint.
Neuron might be the most powerful guitar preamp for its size.
Powered from a standard 9V pedal power supply.
The Neunaber Neuron draws less than 100 mA. Just plug it in to your existing pedalboard’s power supply. No need to run a separate power adapter or free up a power port for a hungry, high-current device. Just plug and go, it’s that easy.