• Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q: "With all the amp simulators out there, what makes Warm Glow™ so unique?"

    A: The Warm Glow™ is the the first completely analog bipolar transistor based tube amp simulator that precisely simulates tubes while maintaining transparency in a way that is indistinguishable from actual tube amps.

    There is a long list of pedals out there that claim to do the same thing and they mostly turn out to be ordinary fuzz box clippers with some filtering that chews up the signal and spits it out with the transparency and dynamics destroyed. It is not to say that this isn't a useful effect in some situations, it just isn't tube amp simulation.

    The Warm Glow™ is a serious analog signal processor that keeps things really simple from the player's perspective.

    We will be publishing much more on this subject soon.

    Q: "I've got a couple great tube amps. Is there an application for the Warm Glow™ in that situation?"

    A: There certainly is! The Warm Glow™ is technically an Amp Simulation pedal however, it does an incredible job of getting tube tone from PAs, Digital workstations, solid state amps, acoustic amps, stereos, computer speakers, headphone amps, and indeed even puffing up the tube tone of tube amps!

    Tube amps inherently enjoy additional stages and putting the Warm Glow™ in front of the existing tube stages of a guitar amp works the same as using an actual tube preamp, but better in some regards.

    That isn't all however. The Warm Glow™ produces the equivalent of a classic tube phase inverting driver and push-pull output stage and when over driven, breaks up in the same way. This means that you can get the sound of a tube output stage being driven hard at low or high volume. It's up to you.

    Q: Why doesn't the Warm Glow™ pedal have an XLR connector?

    A: The "Warm Glow"™ output is in fact balanced and uses what is known in the pro audio world as a 1/4" TRS(tip-ring-sleeve) connector which is standard for balanced line level signals on mixing boards and used on many modern pedal outputs.

    Plugging in a 1/4" TS(tip-sleeve or often called an "instrument cable") will automatically configure the output of the Warm Glow™ to an unbalanced instrument level output for guitar amps etc. and drop the signal voltage by 6db.

    XLR connectors are exclusively balanced connectors and in this case would only be a space and cost consuming redundancy that really insn't appropriate or necessary anyway. This is why most modern pedals are doing the TRS thing. It makes sense.

    QES products are built to be very professional and we do our best to use professional standards.

    Q: Why does the Warm Glow™ power supply use 12 volts tip positive?

    A: The primary reason is that 9 volts is really not quite enough for professional quality audio devices in general. Considering that seriously professional audio gear uses 34 volts, 9 is crazy low and 12 is even a serious compromise regarding noise, headroom, etc. when avoiding internal voltage converters that are noisy, space consuming, and costly. It has been assumed over the years that guitar pedals don't need such high quality but times are changing.

    And polarity? Well, there really is no standard for this. Tip positive and 12 volts is far more common these days outside of the pedal world.

    The tip negative thing is a holdover from decades in the past when lots of cheap consumer electronics used them for reasons that really are not clear and a rather famous pedal maker used it and everyone else followed.

    Perhaps another thing to consider is that switching power supplies were not at all common at that time and are radically different electronically from what was available at the time. It's complicated :)

    Q: Will reversed polarity damage the Warm Glow™ pedal?

    A: No. All QES products are reverse polarity protected and will simply not power up if the wires or plug are somehow reversed.

    Q: Are your products considered "Boutique"?

    A: Yes and No :) We are in fact a USA based manufacturing company with every intention of mass producing our products to the extent that makes economic sense. We do however break some of the mainstream manufacturing rules and do not use cheap components or choose simplicity and low cost over quality. QES is unapologetically "high end". Our products are also not limited production novelties. They are all highly engineered and often pioneering in many regards.

    We appreciate nostalgia and this has lead to our amps being carefully designed to have the look they do and engineered to have the sound that they do. However, we also feel that it is time to lose the 1930s era vacuum tube circuits as well as recognize the limitations of digital techniques. We will be addressing these topics and more in our technical articles coming soon to this site.

    In general we do strive to bring some of the very redeemable qualities of the "boutique" world to mainstream manufacturing.

    Q: Is there an explanation of the Retrofier classic controls on your site?

    A: See the article: RetrofierControls and Relative Signal Flow

    Q: Does the Retrofier work well with Pedal Steel or other instruments?

    A: We have tested the Retrofier with the help of some great musicians on Pedal Steel, Lap Steel, Tele, Strat, Les Paul, Ukulele, Violin, Electric Bass, Theremin, and all with great success. Although the Retrofier in its current form was designed primarily for electric guitar, we are very pleased to hear it do incredible things for a wide variety of instruments. We can take it to another level however, so don't hesitate to call 360-774-5115 or email tech support at techsupport@quimperelectronic.com for more information about custom amplifiers if you have some specific instruments and/or preferences regarding tone, dynamics, etc..

    Q:Does the Retrofier work well with pedals?

    A:Yes! Very well. It is also a first class non pedal amp. ALL of the guitarists that have plugged in directly have been very impressed with the overdrive and spring reverb.

    Q: Can I hear a demo and play through a Retrofier in person?

    A: You can contact us at info@quimperelectronic.com to get the latest info on where and when we will be giving live demos or to help us organize one. We will also be posting audio and video demos on this site soon.

    Q: Do you build/repair tube amps?

    A: Well, we certainly do not build them as we have devoted years of work to produce the ANSWER to the tube amp. Not a "modeling" of it, not a rival of it, but rather its successor. Repairs are another matter. We do repair guitar amps of all types when it makes sense. Give us a call or email and we can discuss your repair needs.