by Jef | Approximate reading time: 2 Minutes
SunnAudio Nucleus NU-1 preamp:distortion pedal

SunnAudio Nucleus NU-1 preamp:distortion pedal  ·  Source: SunnAudio


The new NU-1 Nucleus preamp/distortion pedal from SunnAudio in Belmont, CA, is a dual analogue preamp that does both boost and distortion. Each pedal is built to order, and should have you going from clean to high-gain with ease.


SunnAudio NU-1 Nucleus

The new SunnAudio NU-1 Nucleus is a dual preamp pedal with a very dynamic analogue circuit that should work well with electric, acoustic, or even bass guitars. What’s more, it can handle both passive as well as active acoustic guitar pickups. And according to the manufacturer, this two channel preamp goes from ‘pure clean’ to full-on, high-gain overdrive.

Hi & Lo Gain

The pedal has a HI gain boost control which can add up to 60db of gain. Both HI & LO channel volume outputs can be set independently and are switchable via the the HI/LO footswitch. The HI channel is geared towards rich clean tones that can be pushed into full saturated grind if needed. Whereas the LO channel goes from crystal clear clean tones through to a more subtle overdriven amp-like breakup. Both the HI and LO channels share the GAIN control and EQ. Each channel gets its own LED indicating which channel is selected, with Red being HI and Green being LO. At the bottom, you’ll find two foot switches labelled HI/LO GAIN and BYPASS.

SunnAudio Nucleus NU-1 preamp:distortion pedal

SunnAudio Nucleus NU-1 preamp/distortion pedal


The Focus control can be used to adjust the sub-harmonic frequencies to your bass signal, or to contour the mids for your overdriven sound.  The Tone control adjusts the overall boosting or cutting off mids, acting a bit like a mid sweep/scoop, which you can hear in the video demo below.

SunnAudio Nucleus NU-1 with balanced outputs

SunnAudio Nucleus NU-1 with balanced outputs

Balanced Outs

The NU-1 Nucleus has TRS balanced outputs and can be run from either a 7.5v-12v volt DC power supply or a 9v battery. If you pay extra, you can get footswitch covers/toppers like the red ones in the photos, or go without and save a few bucks.

Most musicians will appreciate the balanced outputs. It’s a small thing, but super useful in lots of scenarios. It’s an interesting twin voiced preamp, and since each one is built to order, it falls firmly in the boutique bracket. The demo video below gives you a hint of what it is capable of.

RRP – from USD 265

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Image Sources:
  • SunnAudio Nucleus NU-1 preamp:distortion pedal: SunnAudio
  • SunnAudio Nucleus NU-1 with balanced outputs : SunnAudio
SunnAudio Nucleus NU-1 preamp:distortion pedal

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