The Sans Amp PSA-1 is a FET hybrid tube amplifier emulation, originally designed and marketed as a guitar preamplifier.

Tech 21 introduced SansAmp “Classic” (the original pedal design) in 1989 - the proprietary F.E.T. hybrid-based circuitry pioneered Tube Amplifier Emulation for professional applications. The technology is designed in the true tradition of tube amplifiers in their totality—with a pre-amp stage and an output stage. It incorporates the harmonics and sweet overdrive characteristics unique to tube amplifiers— largely caused by what is referred to as “push-pull” symmetrical clipping. (A single tube is physically incapable of accomplishing the same results.) SansAmp captures these characteristics, and does so even at low volume levels.

The SansAmp PSA-1 can be used for a variety of applications. In the studio, you can record direct to tape, enhance existing tracks in mixdowns, as well as add interesting touches to any 2 instrument. For live performances, it can be used as a pre-amp direct into a power amp with guitar or bass speaker cabinets, as a “monster direct box” to a P.A. system, (or both simultaneously), and as an outboard processor.

The unit has been discontinued and replaced with the PSA-1.1. While the 100% analog signal path and functionality remain the same, during the design process Tech 21 was able to include a few new features: an on/off switch on the front panel, more program locations (there are now 128), a master volume control, an XLR ground lift switch, phantom power MIDI input, and a dedicated headphone output.

Model Number
Input Impedance-Input 1
Input Impedance-Input 2
Input Level-Input 1
Input Level-Input 2
Switchable to -10dB or 0dB range
Output Impedance-1/4”
1K Ohm min
Output Impedance-XLRs
600 Ohm min
Output Level-1/4”
Switchable to -10dB or 0dB range
Output Level-XLR
Switchable to -10dB or 0dB range
Maximum Output Level
+10dB or better
XLR Pin Configuration
Pin 1: Ground / Pin 2: In phase / Pin 3: Reverse phase
Effects Loop Send
1K Ohm min, -10dB, Mono
Effects Loop Return
100K Ohm min, -10dB, Stereo/Mono
Low Frequency Response
10Hz or better*
High Frequency Response
Harmonic content, 20kHz or better*
Maximum Power Consumption
5 Watts
AC Input Power (factory set)
100V, 117V, 230V, 240V
50/60 Hz

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