I am building a rack guitar system based on analog, valve preamp and poweramp. I've read a lot about the power of pre-EQ, that is, having an equalizer before the preamp distortion. Since I have everything in a rack, there's an abundance of quite cheap rack EQ units that would suit my needs.
However, as I understand it, those devices require line level input and won't properly work with a passive guitar plugged directly into them. Some research in guitar pedals made me realize that every EQ pedal is essentially a preamp, which allows it to work properly. Incidentally, that's also how overdrive stompboxes work.
So what are my options here? If I understand that correctly, I can:
- Get a pedal-format EQ and put it in a rack shelf
- Get a rackmount guitar-specific EQ with a preamp built in
- Get another, ideally completely transparent guitar preamp before the EQ to drive it properly
Are there any other ways? Is there anything I should be aware of in this case? One thing that comes to mind is the fact my tone-shaping preamp will receive a different signal (not just equalized, but also buffered/on line level), which I'm not sure if is gonna have any impact on its operation (since it's accepting high-Z input by default).