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 Post subject: KSR Ceres Preamp Pedal
PostPosted: Thu, Apr 11, 2019 12:02am 
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I had just posted this over at the sevenstring.org site but I thought it would be more appropriate to post it here:

I have known Kyle for around 5 or 6 years now and I have owned most of his amps at one time or I was able to play through them long enough at home to have a good feel for them and all of their cool tweaking options.

This year I had heard the Ceres at NAMM but I really couldn't hear it very well since that place just gets too loud and drowns most things out (I try to get there early on Thursdays and Sundays to hear things properly).

I did get to try it and I thought it sounded good, but again, with the NAMM noise I really couldn't say if I would want one since I am not a pedal person and I currently had his Artemis II amp.

This situation just changed for me.

Last week, I sold my KSR Artemis II in order to get a custom "stereo" version made of the Artemis with "extras" on it.

However, right after I sold it then Kyle said a custom amp probably wouldn't happen for a long time since he is focusing on the pedals right now and his current amp line up.

This changed things for me.

I decided to give the Ceres a try based upon Fluff's videos and a need to lay some guitar tracks in the studio with something different than my JMP-1 and Mesa amp.

I took a BIG chance on the Ceres because I am NOT a pedal person and I love tube amps and preamps.

I received the Ceres pedal on Saturday (shipping was quick from Kyle's to California, like 2 days), opened it on Sunday night, and tried it out.

Holy Smokes Batman!!!

It sounded great going guitar > Mesa 2:90 power amp > two Mesa V30 1x12 cabs

It sounded amazing going guitar > Marshall EL34 50/50 power amp > two Mesa V30 1x12 cabs

It sounded even better going guitar > Axe FX XL + (for effects) with the Ceres in the XL + effects loop > Marshall EL34 50/50 > two Mesa V30 1x12 cabs

And my favorite way is guitar > XL+ with Ceres in effects loop with the cab simulator "on" AND an OwnHammer Mesa IR 4x12 cab using my headphones :)

It sounded BRUTAL when the gain was turned up and it didn't sound harsh at all to my ears like when you turn the gain up on some/most high gain amps, and I didn't feel I needed a noise gate in any of the set ups mentioned above, and I definitely didn't feel I needed a boost.

I like to play clean to low gain through medium/heavy gain (depending upon the song/style) and the Ceres didn't disappoint at any gain level or not work for any of the many styles that my band plays these days.

You can hear all of your guitar notes very clearly :)

I was able to really dial in the clean to my specific tastes with a graphic equalizer on the XL+ (I feel it helps just like it did with any of my tube amps or preamps).

Honestly, I fell in love with the Ceres, definitely no regrets, and I decided NOT to get the custom "stereo" version of the Artemis since I can use the Ceres and another preamp like my JMP-1 and get a dry/wet/blending thing going with my Axe FX XL+ and my Marshall EL34 50/50 and any of my Mesa cabs (the 1x12's or the 4x12's).

I purchased this for my birthday present to myself and I feel it was the BEST birthday present I ever received and I look forward to coming home from work and playing on it :)

In any of my setups stated above, I found this to be something I will definitely keep as part of my live and recording setup, and as I said above, I am NOT a pedal person.

Also, this was me on Sunday night after I stopped playing on the Ceres:


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PostPosted: Thu, Apr 11, 2019 2:20am 
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That's cool man!
I've been eyeballing the Ceres since it was announced and I'm having a hard time to not just order one.
But I have some questions since you're familiar with the other KSR's.
How does the pedal compare sound and feel-wise to the amps?
How many channels are accessible in a live setting?
Are the modes very different, so you both hear and feel that difference?

Cheers!

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PostPosted: Thu, Apr 11, 2019 2:54am 
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I got one too,but have not tried it yet.

Juggernaut Mike has it plugged into the return of my ultralead,and says it kicks all sorts of ass. Can't wait to get over there and try it out. We are also gonna try banging it with the new Gary Holt paranormal eq pedal.

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PostPosted: Thu, Apr 11, 2019 5:18am 
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Slightly off topic, but I played an ares yesterday say. Dayumnnn it is wicked. I only spent about 10 minutes on it and got lost in the switches, but wow, that is an amp. First KSR I have ever tried.

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PostPosted: Thu, Apr 11, 2019 3:40pm 
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Sounds interesting, might be time to start looking into clips and demos...

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PostPosted: Thu, Apr 11, 2019 4:12pm 
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I ordered a KSR 2x12 a couple weeks ago and mentioned on the facebook ksr group about thinking about a Ceres. A few guys chimed in and said I need to pull the trigger before the waitlist gets crazy long. So needless to say I put down a deposit. I have faith in their products so Im sure I will enjoy it. Kyle is one of the most accomodating guys I've ever ordered from. Hands down the best customer service I've dealt with in any industry.

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PostPosted: Fri, Apr 12, 2019 12:02am 
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Whatamada wrote:
That's cool man!
I've been eyeballing the Ceres since it was announced and I'm having a hard time to not just order one.
But I have some questions since you're familiar with the other KSR's.
How does the pedal compare sound and feel-wise to the amps?
How many channels are accessible in a live setting?
Are the modes very different, so you both hear and feel that difference?

Cheers!


It really does get that KSR amp sound/tone/response and I think I might actually like it a little more than my Artemis II that I just sold but it might be in part to playing it through my Marshall EL34 50/50 that I had modded to take different power tubes (I have EL34's on the left side and 6L6's on the right side).

This gives me the best of both power tube worlds :-)

There are two switches on the pedal, one for bypass, and the other for switching between the two gain channels (I don't like to call them rhythm and lead since either one can be dialed in to accommodate rhythm or lead).

The bypass can be set to switch you between the clean or one of the other two gain channels (you use the other one to switch between the two gain channels (you can switch between them before switching out of the clean channel)).

There is another switching option on the pedal that allows you to connect it up to a device that will switch everything for you (I don't know much about that option yet but it is on my To-Do list once I have decided where I will place the pedal on my rack setup).

I really do look forward to coming home and playing on the Ceres :-)


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PostPosted: Fri, Apr 12, 2019 12:07am 
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rottingcorpse wrote:
I got one too,but have not tried it yet.

Juggernaut Mike has it plugged into the return of my ultralead,and says it kicks all sorts of ass. Can't wait to get over there and try it out. We are also gonna try banging it with the new Gary Holt paranormal eq pedal.


I didn't feel it needed an eq for the gain channels but it definitely helped me to tailor the clean channel to my own personal tastes :-)

I think it could help though to tailor the gain channels to your specific guitar and amp, it's not needed, but it does help to add another dynamic/dimension to this amazing pedal and tone :-)


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PostPosted: Fri, Apr 12, 2019 12:10am 
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swamptrashstompboxes wrote:
Slightly off topic, but I played an ares yesterday say. Dayumnnn it is wicked. I only spent about 10 minutes on it and got lost in the switches, but wow, that is an amp. First KSR I have ever tried.


I had considered getting an Ares because it has a different crunch channel from my Artemis II (not better but different), so I was pretty stoked to find that the Ceres can get that Ares crunch and I am really digging it :-)


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PostPosted: Fri, Apr 12, 2019 12:21am 
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ClintN667 wrote:
I ordered a KSR 2x12 a couple weeks ago and mentioned on the facebook ksr group about thinking about a Ceres. A few guys chimed in and said I need to pull the trigger before the waitlist gets crazy long. So needless to say I put down a deposit. I have faith in their products so Im sure I will enjoy it. Kyle is one of the most accomodating guys I've ever ordered from. Hands down the best customer service I've dealt with in any industry.


You are quite right, he really does provide the best customer service AND he will provide you with a LOT of details/advice/help/suggestions about his products, but I think he needs to provide less of it since the man barely sleeps and when he does sleep then he sleeps at random intervals, lol.

I know he has responded to things I have sent him at hours that he should be sleeping :-)

And he spends a good amount of time working on his stuff every day, so I am sure he will be completing a good number of those Ceres pedals this weekend.


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PostPosted: Fri, Apr 12, 2019 9:28am 
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grrr_me_scary wrote:
ClintN667 wrote:
I ordered a KSR 2x12 a couple weeks ago and mentioned on the facebook ksr group about thinking about a Ceres. A few guys chimed in and said I need to pull the trigger before the waitlist gets crazy long. So needless to say I put down a deposit. I have faith in their products so Im sure I will enjoy it. Kyle is one of the most accomodating guys I've ever ordered from. Hands down the best customer service I've dealt with in any industry.


You are quite right, he really does provide the best customer service AND he will provide you with a LOT of details/advice/help/suggestions about his products, but I think he needs to provide less of it since the man barely sleeps and when he does sleep then he sleeps at random intervals, lol.

I know he has responded to things I have sent him at hours that he should be sleeping :-)

And he spends a good amount of time working on his stuff every day, so I am sure he will be completing a good number of those Ceres pedals this weekend.



Haha I completely agree. He has answered my email at 2a.m. then I would reply when I woke up around 7-8 then get a response from him shortly there after. I was wondering when he sleeps myself. I emailed him about once a week waiting on my Orthos. I'm not going to do that while waiting on my cab and pedal. He is busy enough without my impatience being added.

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PostPosted: Fri, Apr 12, 2019 1:34pm 
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Ceres is a great pedal.

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PostPosted: Fri, Apr 12, 2019 3:33pm 
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From the clips it seems like the best preamp pedal on the market. Probably the most expensive as well. I would really love to try one but can't justify. i am using the Amptweaker TM Pro and that in itself is amazing and enough for what I do.

One thing I am curious about with the Ceres, how is the depth? That is the one thing the TM Pro is lacking and the reason they made the depthfinder.

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PostPosted: Fri, Apr 12, 2019 3:37pm 
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If you watch the vids from NAMM on the Ceres watch the guitarist's facial expression when they hear it. A lot of gear savvy guys looked really shocked in a good way when they tried it.

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PostPosted: Fri, Apr 12, 2019 9:27pm 
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put a deposit for the next batch. ive had an idea for a small stereo rig for awhile and this should do the trick.

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PostPosted: Sat, Apr 13, 2019 12:51am 
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mchn13 wrote:
put a deposit for the next batch. ive had an idea for a small stereo rig for awhile and this should do the trick.


I am putting a stereo rig together as well and I feel this will work perfectly with one of my other preamps :-)


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PostPosted: Sat, Apr 13, 2019 9:07am 
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grrr_me_scary wrote:
mchn13 wrote:
put a deposit for the next batch. ive had an idea for a small stereo rig for awhile and this should do the trick.


I am putting a stereo rig together as well and I feel this will work perfectly with one of my other preamps :-)


what other preamp?
i'm gonna run it into a mimic or a stereo chorus, into a stereo poweramp I have in a small rack case. my regular rig is a pair of rm100 heads, split with a stereo chorus. its huge sounding, but moving it around a couple times has caused me to start putting together a more compact rig lol.
i didnt even think of two pre's. if this works well, i could always off the randalls and get another preamp.

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PostPosted: Mon, Apr 15, 2019 11:03pm 
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mchn13 wrote:
grrr_me_scary wrote:
mchn13 wrote:
put a deposit for the next batch. ive had an idea for a small stereo rig for awhile and this should do the trick.


I am putting a stereo rig together as well and I feel this will work perfectly with one of my other preamps :-)


what other preamp?
i'm gonna run it into a mimic or a stereo chorus, into a stereo poweramp I have in a small rack case. my regular rig is a pair of rm100 heads, split with a stereo chorus. its huge sounding, but moving it around a couple times has caused me to start putting together a more compact rig lol.
i didnt even think of two pre's. if this works well, i could always off the randalls and get another preamp.


I will either use my JMP-1 or my Triaxis preamp for one side of the stereo setup.


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PostPosted: Mon, Apr 15, 2019 11:53pm 
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Good read all the way, not surprised it’s a great pedal. I have an Artemis II and it has been my desert island amp, it’s my benchmark tone and has made many a good amps go. I feel like it has all the KSR tones that there could possibly be in it and makes it really hard to try a pedal that I feel I already have covered in the flagship amp. Am I off base?

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PostPosted: Tue, Apr 16, 2019 8:30am 
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stratjacket wrote:
Good read all the way, not surprised it’s a great pedal. I have an Artemis II and it has been my desert island amp, it’s my benchmark tone and has made many a good amps go. I feel like it has all the KSR tones that there could possibly be in it and makes it really hard to try a pedal that I feel I already have covered in the flagship amp. Am I off base?


I wondered the same thing but people have enlightened me on it and I ended up putting a deposit on it. I have an Orthos mk2 but with I can use the preamp for a fly rig or I can go into the effects return of another amp to get my tone instead of hauling my Orthos around.

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PostPosted: Tue, Apr 16, 2019 11:50pm 
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stratjacket wrote:
Good read all the way, not surprised it’s a great pedal. I have an Artemis II and it has been my desert island amp, it’s my benchmark tone and has made many a good amps go. I feel like it has all the KSR tones that there could possibly be in it and makes it really hard to try a pedal that I feel I already have covered in the flagship amp. Am I off base?


I just sold my Artemis II with plans to have Kyle make a custom "stereo" version of it but then he said his focus was going to be on the Ceres pedals for the near future which made me think that it would be a LONG time before I could talk him into making me one.

I started to really regret selling the Artemis (the reason I decided to give the Ceres a chance was to make up these lost amp tones).

Actually, the Ceres covered those lost amp tones, saved me a LOT of money, and it takes up less space, plus it has the ARES crunch so NO REGRETS :-)

Of course, you need to find the amp or power amp that works best for "you" and your guitar as well as the right cabs since these all play a part of the sound you will get with the Ceres.

I would suggest the amp or power amp have tubes and I believe it would be best to get a "stereo" power amp since you can use two different types of speakers (I combine V30's with EVM12L's in Mesa cabs).

My Marshall EL34 50/50 power amp has been modded to take different power tubes on each side so this allows me to really customize my amp tone, however, I did run the Ceres through many different setups and the Ceres sounded GREAT in all of them :-)

Also, I tried the Ceres through the Mooer Radar and the Two Notes Studio and it sounded great through this setup, so people could do a FRFR thing.

I had thought about getting a 2nd Ceres so I could leave one at my drummer's place but I am still working on finalizing the actual setup of my live and recording sound right now and I believe the Ceres will be something that will be added to it for the long term :-)


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PostPosted: Wed, Apr 17, 2019 11:10am 
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grrr_me_scary wrote:
stratjacket wrote:
Good read all the way, not surprised it’s a great pedal. I have an Artemis II and it has been my desert island amp, it’s my benchmark tone and has made many a good amps go. I feel like it has all the KSR tones that there could possibly be in it and makes it really hard to try a pedal that I feel I already have covered in the flagship amp. Am I off base?


I just sold my Artemis II with plans to have Kyle make a custom "stereo" version of it but then he said his focus was going to be on the Ceres pedals for the near future which made me think that it would be a LONG time before I could talk him into making me one.

I started to really regret selling the Artemis (the reason I decided to give the Ceres a chance was to make up these lost amp tones).

Actually, the Ceres covered those lost amp tones, saved me a LOT of money, and it takes up less space, plus it has the ARES crunch so NO REGRETS :-)

Of course, you need to find the amp or power amp that works best for "you" and your guitar as well as the right cabs since these all play a part of the sound you will get with the Ceres.

I would suggest the amp or power amp have tubes and I believe it would be best to get a "stereo" power amp since you can use two different types of speakers (I combine V30's with EVM12L's in Mesa cabs).

My Marshall EL34 50/50 power amp has been modded to take different power tubes on each side so this allows me to really customize my amp tone, however, I did run the Ceres through many different setups and the Ceres sounded GREAT in all of them :-)

Also, I tried the Ceres through the Mooer Radar and the Two Notes Studio and it sounded great through this setup, so people could do a FRFR thing.

I had thought about getting a 2nd Ceres so I could leave one at my drummer's place but I am still working on finalizing the actual setup of my live and recording sound right now and I believe the Ceres will be something that will be added to it for the long term :-)


Thanks for the info. I am sure I'll need to give this a go eventually, bet it would work with with my Axe-Fx III.

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PostPosted: Mon, Apr 29, 2019 9:02am 
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I received SN #58 over the weekend. The pedal looks great. The laser etching is fantastic. At first I was only able to try it late at night using the cab filter out of my BigSky and headphones. That said, it sounded awesome. The clean channel could use more volume but it’s a really nice rounded clean sound. It will definitely suit my needs. The drive channels have so many different gain sounds in them just about the only thing you can’t get is fuzz.

I spent a good amount of time yesterday with the Ceres into the Powerstage 170 into a Genz Benz G-Flex 2x12. I know it's still very early in the honeymoon phase but the Ceres is amazing.

The clean sounds nice and full so there's no ice pick tones or anything like that. It does get a little woolly and dark on the neck pickup if you have the tone down low but it's still a cool sound. I kept the volume cranked and the tone at about 1 o'clock. It seemed to sound best there for my setup and balanced best with the gain channels this way.

I really love both gain channels. These are the sounds I've been searching for. Each channel can take on many shades of OD/Distortion and not once did it sound or feel like I was not playing a tube amp (even though there are no tubes in my chain). It's just so dynamic and organic sounding. I don't know what kind of FET magic Kyle has going on inside of the Ceres but it's unreal. My favorite setting for the Rhythm channel is gain 1/2 way, bright off, bass at 1 o'clock, mid at 11 o'clock, treble at 1 o'clock, Feel up, Mode in Colossus Lead. It's a really nice full crunchy sound. Turn the gain up and it destroys! My favorite setting for the Lead channel is gain at 2 o'clock, bright on, bass at 1 o'clock, mid at 1 o'clock, treble at 11 o'clock, Feel mid, Mode in Artemis Red. It's a thick heavy distortion but with enough mid character to punch through and also have some pretty liquid leads.

An additional note on the gain channels and pedal in general. It is extremely quiet (at least in my setup). Even with the gains cranked and me standing in front of and facing the speaker cabinet there's no hiss or squeals. It's all controllable feedback when you want it.

The clean channel of the Ceres takes fuzz pedals really well and much to my surprise the gain channels stack amazingly well with fuzz even with gains cranked up.

One negative...Even though my board is powered with a Strymon Zuma on certain Timeline engines (Digital, Ice, Trem, etc...) I get a high pitched whine unless I turn the Timeline's Grit knob all of the way up or all of the way down. I know this problem tends to occur with non-isolated power supplies and Klons in front of the Timeline but it is present with the Ceres there too. I'm not sure if there is a charge pump in the Ceres or not but it's present no matter how I wire up the power cables on the Zuma. Note that the issue does goes away went the Ceres is set to True Bypass. Maybe the Zuma isn't as isolated as it should be? I don't know but it's easily fixed by changing the grit knob position and is no way a show stopper. The Ceres is far too good for this to stand in the way.

All-in-all the Ceres is an amazing pedal and it really feels like it's the preamp I've been searching for. It's by far, the best preamp pedal I've played (which includes the Diezel VH4-2 and Herbert, Origin Effects Revivaldrive and Kartakou Beastbox).


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