Acorn Amplifiers unveils slimmed-down Solid State preamp pedal, the company's latest take on Josh Homme's "secret weapon" Peavey Decade amp

Acorn's Solid State preamp pedal
(Image credit: Acorn Amplifiers)

Back in 2021, Queens of the Stone Age frontman and electric guitar player Josh Homme shook the gear world when he revealed that, of all things, the Peavey Decade practice amp was responsible for the menacing hard-rock tones of many of his band's best-known songs.

The revelation sent prices of the humble beginner's favorite skyrocketing, and even inspired St. Vincent to ask one of her techs to build a pedal based around the Decade circuit.

It also inspired Georgia-based Acorn Amplifiers to construct its own amp/preamp pedal version of the Decade, which the firm released last March.

Now, Acorn has unveiled a slimmer version of that pedal, the Solid State. Though the new stompbox lacks its big brother's power amp circuitry, it does come in a smaller, more pedalboard-friendly enclosure, and at a much lower cost than the original Solid State.

You can see the new pedal get put through its paces below.

The Solid State features the Decade's Normal and Saturated channels as foot-switchable tone modes. The Normal channel, Acorn says, provides the "wiry" cleans the amp is known for, with the Saturated channel providing aggressive, tightly-coiled gain.

A Thick switch – situated between the stompbox's Post and Pre knobs – also comes aboard, should users want a signal boost, plus more gain and low-end, while a three-band (High, Mid, Low) EQ up top rounds out the pedal's spec sheet. 

Acorn's Solid State preamp pedal

(Image credit: Acorn Amplifiers)

The Acorn Solid State preamp pedal runs on 9-18VDC power, is true bypass, and is available now for $179, an even $120 cheaper than its larger predecessor. 

Bolstering of the Decade's reputation aside, it is worth noting that earlier this year, Fran Blanche – the pedal maker behind Frantone Electronics – released a popular video disputing the notion that the little amp was Homme's special sonic ingredient

According to Blanche – who did extensive research on the topic – the hard-rock guitar titan's tonal secret might actually be a vintage mag recorder amp, with the Decade serving as a clever, highly publicized ruse.

For more info on the Solid Sound pedal either way, visit Acorn Amplifiers

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Jackson Maxwell

Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.