Gear Review: Two Notes Le Clean

(Image credit: Billy Voight)

How about a scary story since we’re so close to Halloween?

There once was a guitar player named Jerry. Creativity struck, but as Jerry reached for his amp’s power switch, he saw a clock on the wall that read 12:00am. He put his guitar away, and when he woke up in the morning his idea was gone forever.

Since I don’t always have the luxury of loud, I wanted to try the Le Clean by the French company Two Notes with my home recording setup. While the pedal works for a slew of applications (D.I. box, pre-amp, headphone amp, overdrive/boost pedal, effects loop), my main interest was to see if it could give my direct recordings a little tube magic when I can’t crank an amp.

Le Clean is one of four different tube preamps from the Le Preamp series. Each preamp has two channels plus Hot and Cold Fusion mode which blends the two channels together for two additional tones.

Channel A is as simple as it gets. The controls are Gain, Volume, Bass and Treble. It reminds me of a no nonsense blackface Fender Bassman.

Channel B gets a bit more complex. The common controls are Gain, Sweep (works with Mid), Volume, Bass, Mid and Treble. Also included in Channel B is the Hot/Cold switch and Fusion knob. These come into play only when you use Fusion mode.

Fusion mode is when both channels are combined. There are two ways to do this. Cold Fusion mode puts both channels in parallel, which adds in the high end clarity that often gets lost in a distorted sound. Hot Fusion mode cascades the two channels making it great to boost your volume for solos.

Clip 1: Here’s a Strat with no amp, just the D.I. out with the Speaker Simulation engaged. I start off clean in Channel A then switch over to Channel B for a little overdrive. The Speaker Simulation gave the audio just enough depth that I didn’t miss a lack of reverb or room sound.

Clip 2: To show off Hot and Cold Fusion modes, I played a Fender American Professional series Telecaster through a Fender Blues Junior amp and ran the Le Clean as you would any overdrive pedal. The rhythm guitar part I have the Le Clean set to Cold Fusion and for the lead part I switch over to Hot Fusion.

Clip 3: As a final test, I had to know if the Le Clean could help tame the infamous brittle tone of a direct acoustic guitar. While it took some fine tuning (the EQ is very sensitive) here’s how my Tacoma acoustic sounds straight into the Le Clean.

Learn more about the Le Clean ($299.99) at

You can't believe everything you read on the Internet, but Billy Voight is a gear reviewer, bassist and guitarist from Pennsylvania. He has Hartke bass amps and Walden acoustic guitars to thank for supplying some of the finest gear on his musical journey. Need Billy's help in creating noise for your next project? Drop him a line at

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