Steve Vai teams with Synergy for hugely versatile signature preamp module

(Image credit: Synergy Amps)

Steve Vai recently unveiled his new Ibanez PIA electric guitar, but he clearly was going to need an amp to plug that baby into. Enter the Synergy Steve Vai preamp, the company’s first signature module. 

The little green man is loaded with a pair of 12AX7 preamp tubes and sports Blue (clean) and Red (overdrive) channels, each with Volume, three-band EQ and Fat and Bright switches.

A Dual/Single switch allows the module to be used with older Egnater and Randall hardware, while a three-position cathode select (British, USA and Soldano) makes it possible to configure the input tube bias setting for optimum input gain and bass response.

As Vai puts it: “Why play one great amp, when with Synergy, I can play them all.” Well, quite.

In a 2019 interview with Sweetwater (opens in new tab), Vai explained what he loves about the Synergy system:

"What Synergy is doing is pretty remarkable,” he said. “Because they are taking the specs, in some cases the exact specs from these wonderful boutique amplifiers, taking the pre-amp section, which is really, the preamp section is where the sound is in your amplifier - all of the sound, the EQ, the resistors, the levels, the amount of distortion, the gain, this is all in the pre-amp section."

He continued, "What Synergy has done is they’ve created these modules, some of them are licensed technology from the companies that actually create or have these boutique amps, so these are tube amplifier preamp sections.

"It’s not modeling, it’s actually the authenticity of tubes."

The Steve Vai Signature Module is available for $399. For more information, head to Synergy Amps (opens in new tab).

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Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.