MGP-1A Modeling Guitar Preamp

  • Black Widow MGP-1A Front Panel

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Modeling in the Analog Domain

The MGP-1A is an all-tube, all-analog modeling preamplifier featuring 18 pristine models of the best guitar amplifiers in history. At the MGP-1A's core lies our patented VEnuM™ modeling engine. VEnuM™ uses only vacuum tubes and analog components to accurately capture the breakup, harmonics, gain and filtering that make the originals sound the way they do. The feel and response change with the settings you apply and the way you play, just like you were playing through the real thing.

Each of the 18 models has a host of tone shaping features like Bright and Deep controls to alter the treble and bass voicings, two unique tone stacks per model, and an EQ shift to re-voice the active tone stack. These extra controls both model tone shaping features found on the originals or help mimic the tone of amplifiers closely related to the selected model.

The MGP-1A is designed to be extremely easy to use with dedicated controls for every function. It has also been designed to be versatile. Being a preamp, it can slide into any setup and work with the gear you already own.

The MGP-1A features extremely low-noise power supplies and tube circuitry for studios and recording. For the stage, the MGP-1A is MIDI equipped with the ability to store and recall up to 128 presets via your existing MIDI controller. For those without a MIDI enabled rig, the included FS-3 footswitch takes care of your channel switching needs.

The Models

Inside the MGP-1A are 18 stunningly accurate all-tube, all-analog preamp models of the most desired guitar amps in history. The onboard models and voicing options have been deliberately chosen to maximize the unit's tonal spread, allowing you to dial in the sound of amplifiers beyond the core 18 models. When used along with an IR-based speaker simulator, the tonal options are nearly endless.

Explore the Models

Click the MGP-1A's controls below for an in-depth look at the VEnuM™ modeling engine.




1. Choose a Channel













2. Choose a model



3. Change EQ

US Vintage
US Vintage Mod
UK Vintage
UK Vintage Mod
Class A
Class A Mod
UK800 Mod
Citrus Mod
Recto Mod
Hot Rod
Hot Rod Mod
Euro Mod

US Vintage | Mod

US Vintage is based on the Fender® Bassman®. Warm, with fat lows and silky smooth highs, this model pairs well with single coils.

US Vintage Mod is based on the Fender® Deluxe. This model has the same warmth and smooth tone as the base model, but has more presence and a slightly more compressed attack.

Tone Stack:

Classic Fender® with Treble Shift

Vintage Fender® with Treble Shift

UK Vintage | Mod

UK Vintage is based on the early Marshall® JTM-45. Bright and crunchy, these tones are great for blues and rock.

UK Vintage Mod evokes the sound of the classic 1987 "Plexi" Super Lead which has more gain, edge and grind than the JTM-45.

Tone Stack:

Classic Marshall® with Treble Shift

Classic Fender® with Treble Shift

Class A | Mod

The Class A Model is based on the Vox® AC-30, which has been behind some of the most important music in history from the Beatles to Queen to U2. These tones are bright, chimey and sweet when pushed.

Class A Mod is based on the Vox® AC-30 Top Boost. It has a harder, glassier tone than the base model with more gain and compression.

Tone Stack:

Classic Vox® with Treble Shift

Classic Fender® with Treble Shift

Cali | Mod

The Cali Model is based on the Mesa/Boogie® Mark IV Rhythm 1 channel. While a descendant of later Fender models, this model has a more focused midrange and harder attack than its ancestors.

Cali Mod is based on the Mesa/Boogie® Mark IV Rhythm 2 channel. With a warm, liquid tone, this model is great for leads and heavier rhythm tones.

Tone Stack:

Classic Fender® with Treble Shift

FMV Hybrid with Treble Shift

UK800 | Mod

The UK800 is derived from the Marshall® JCM-800 2203/2204. Bright, articulate and in your face, with somewhat 'grainy' quality in the breakup. Open up the gain, hit a chord, and you'll instantly recognize the tone.

UK800 Mod is based on the Marshall® JCM-900 2500. Gain wise, this model picks up where the JCM-800 leaves off but with a smoother, 'grindy' tone that is fantastic for heavier styles.

Tone Stack:

Classic Marshall® with Treble Shift

Marshall® 2205 EQwith Treble Shift

Citrus | Mod

Citrus is based on the early Orange® amplifiers. These amps sound like no other. They have a thick, squishy and raunchy tone that is great for rock and alternative.

Citrus Mod is based on the Diezel® VH4 channel 3. Chunky, fat, ballsy and clear are all affectionate terms to describe the tone of this versatile model.

Tone Stack:

James EQ with Treble Shift

Classic Marshall® with Treble Shift

Recto | Mod

The Recto Model is based on the Red channel of the early Mesa/Boogie® Dual Rectifiers®. This amps set the bar for high gain tone with tons of low end and silky highs, but also have gorgeous mids if you open them up.

Recto Mod is based on the Splawn® Nitro. This model is much brighter, with a really tight and quick attack that stays articulate no matter how high the gain is set.

Tone Stack:

Rectifier® OrangeRed Channel

Classic Fender® with Treble Shift

Hot Rod | Mod

This model is derived from the later Marshall® JCM-900 2100 SL-X. The tone of this model is like a JCM-800 on steroids, bright, punchy and quick, great for fast and heavy styles of playing.

Hot Rod Mod conjures up the Bogner® Ecstasy's® Red channel. This has a very complex tone which is rich in harmonics, full and gorgeous mids, and tons of body.

Tone Stack:

Classic Marshall® with Mid Scoop

Isolated Treble with Mid Scoop

Euro | Mod

Based on the 3rd channel of the Diezel® Herbert®. This model has a powerful low-end with tons of gain on tap, perfect for modern heavy styles of playing.

Euro.Mod is based on the ENGL® Powerball. This model does metal without trying. Tight, bright and focused, it's a great all-around model for high-gain lead and rhythm work.

Tone Stack:

ENGL® EQ with Contour

Modded FMV with Contour

* All product names used hereon are trademarks of their respective owners, which are in no way associated or affiliated with Black Widow Audio Designs. These trademarks of other manufacturers are used solely to identify the products of those manufacturers as a means to compare the sonic performance characteristics and tones of the Black Widow Audio Designs Models, Mods, and EQ features. These Models, Mods and EQ Features have been created by incredibly detailed analysis of the actual amplifiers from which they are inspired.

In Depth

From the start, the MGP-1A was designed not only to be a modeler, but to outperform even the best tube amplifiers. Ultra-low noise, active power supplies for great note articulation and dynamics, advanced tube protection circuitry ensures a long tube lifespan, and high quality parts and construction throughout make the MGP-1A a device you can count on for years to come.


Our patented VEnuM™ modeling technology is the first to offer all-tube, all-analog guitar amp modeling. There's no DSP in sight.

VEnuM™ is the result of YEARS of study, math and research focused on the question: "What makes a guitar amplifier sound the way it does?" This research allowed us to accurately capture and reproduce the sound and feel of the best guitar amplifiers and create the most exciting modeling device for guitar players to date.

MOSh MOSFET Regulated Heaters

The MGP-1A uses our MOSh™ MOSFET Regulated Heater circuitry to provide the tube heaters with pure, elevated DC power, which drastically reduces noise levels.

In typical amplifiers, the tube's heaters see stresses from inrush current at power on, cathode poisoning in standby, and voltage strains in cathode follower circuitry. A part of the MGP-1A's integrated low-noise power supplies, MOSh™ protects your tubes against these stresses, increasing tube life and reliability.

Down to Hook Up

tube rig


When the MGP-1A is added to a tube rig, you drastically increase the number tones at your disposal, all while keeping that gooey tube warmth intact. It plays well with pedals too.

Shown above with a rackmount tube power amp, you could easily plug the MGP-1A into your existing tube head's line input or effect return.

modeling rig


Adding the MGP-1A to your modeling rig will be an instant upgrade in sound quality, feel and realism over the amp models you currently use. The digital modeler can take over for effects, amplifier and speaker simulation.

The four cable method (4CM) allows you to use the digital modeler to add stomp-box models before routing the signal to the MGP-1A. The output of the MGP-1A is then sent back to the digital modeler for any post-preamp processing you desire.



In the studio, the MGP-1A eliminates the need to haul, setup and maintain those old vintage classics, and it's low noise design means less time cleaning up hiss, hum and buzz.

Connect the rear input jack to a patchbay for reamping. This input will be disconnected automatically when a guitarist plugs his guitar or pedalboard into the front input. The MGP-1A's low-impedance tube-driven output is more than capable of driving speaker simulators, FX units, audio interfaces, or the console's line inputs.

MGP-1A Modeling Guitar Preamp

Click to get acquainted

MGP-1A front panel

Front Input

For studio or live use where easy access is required. Plugging in here override's the MGP-1A's rear input automatically.

Channel Selector Switches

The large, illuminated channel selector switches allow you to easily see which channel is active in low-light environments.

Model Switches

Where the magic happens. Unleash the power of the MGP-1A by choosing the active model for each channel.

Mod Switch

The Mod switches act like a second bank, conjuring up an alternative model to one selected.

Clean Channel Input Section

Like many vintage amps, the MGP-1A's clean channel is a dual-input design with Bright and Normal channels. The Input switch virtually 'plugs in' to either channel, indicated by the LED next to the Bright and Normal knobs. When both LED's are lit, the channels are 'jumpered' together for a touch more gain and overdrive.

Bright and Deep Voicing Switches

Adjust the high and low frequency voicing to taste. These controls behave differently depending on the active model and mod combination to recreate features on the originals or to nail the tone of similar amplifiers.

EQ Voicing Switches

Each model has 4 unique EQ voicings. Eq Shift shifts a targeted frequency. Alt EQ swaps in a completely different tone stack model.


Store and recall up to 128 presets with a MIDI foot controller or DAW.

Warm LED

Let's you know the MGP-1A's tubes are warm and ready to sound their best.

Standby Switch

Not your typical standby. A high-voltage electronic switch deactivates the tube B+ along with all non-essential auxiliary power, and the tube heaters are run at a reduced voltage to keep them ready to go during set breaks.

Hear It


Model Overview

  • Series: Eclipse Series
  • Model: MGP-1A Modeling Guitar Preamp
  • Tube Compliment: 4 - Tung-Sol 12AX7
  • Warranty: 1 Year, limited


  • Presets: 128 user presets via MIDI
  • Running Presets: 9, auto-saved by model


  • Input Impedance: 1 Meg Ω
  • Output Impedance: ≈ 710 Ω
  • Input Voltages: 120V / 240V


  • Enclosure: Thick steel, white powder coat
  • Height: 3.438 in. (8.73 cm)
  • Width: 19 in. (48.26 cm)
  • Depth: 14 in. (35.56 cm)
  • Weight: 20.5 lbs (9.3kg)