Aclam Guitars The Windmiller Preamp review

Pete Townshend’s secret '60s sound-shaper revisited in pedal form

Aclam Guitars The Windmiller Preamp
(Image: © Future / Olly Curtis)

Guitar World Verdict

While The Windmiller would be particularly of interest to Who obsessives looking to emulate the raucous '60s sound Pete Townshend was known to describe as “a kind of clear fuzz dirge”, it could also command a place in many disparate rigs as a characterful boost and tone conditioner to enhance the signal chain.


  • +

    Rare vintage sound revived.

  • +

    Practical tone controls.

  • +

    Quality footswitching.


  • -

    It’s a little larger than we’d have liked.

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Way back in the 1960s and early '70s, long before pedals became the rig essential they are these days, guitarists had to look at other ways to inject a little more life into their guitar amps and squeeze more excitement, drive and distortion out of them.

Now, while purpose-built units of the Rangemaster ilk were designed to do just that – and definitely did the business for Rory Gallagher, Tony Iommi and others – certain players relied on more conventional equipment, using it in a role perhaps beyond that for which it was intended. 

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Trevor Curwen

Trevor Curwen has played guitar for several decades – he's also mimed it on the UK's Top of the Pops. Much of his working life, though, has been spent behind the mixing desk, during which time he has built up a solid collection of the guitars, amps and pedals needed to cover just about any studio session. He writes pedal reviews for Guitarist and has contributed to Total Guitar, MusicRadar and Future Music among others.