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Is the Big Hair amp based on the ADA MP1???

Matt Steele

I just loaded it up and played along with some White Lion and Skid Row and it sounds spot on.

I love this amp!!!

Do tell!

Matt Steele

No. It's just my idea of what 80's hair metal might sound like.
Well Cliff, the ADA MP1 is THE sound of a LOT of hair metal bands from the 80's and your Big Hair amp sounds just like the ADA to my ears. Amazing job! I'm beginning to enjoy the FAS amps more than the real amp models!!!

Thanks for answering my question by the way. Love this amp! :)


What? The new update has an MP-1 sound-a-like? Well, it's time to do some updatin' to put it to the test against the original... :p


Fractal Fanatic
mp-1 ada, yes on wish list, never had the original is it truly close, even by accident?


Never had one but the people I know who had one, swore by them. The two amps/preamps I hear the most sobbing over losing was the ADA mp-1 and the Lee Jackson (if you remember the one with the lock on it that looked like it used a soft drink machine key).


I have several in my studio (+ a 3TM) . Didnt even think to tonematch. The Big hair (With Cali cab) and HBE far exceed that. (imho)
I had one of those! I had two powered KMD cabinets and the ADA foot controller. I had completely forgotten I had that. I loved it too. I thought I was the stuff, because no one else in Muscle Shoals had one. That's back when we had lots of clubs in the area to play at. Ah, those were the days for guitar! Van Halen, Mötley Crüe, Ratt, Megadeth, Kiss! Metallica, Poison, Bullet Boys, Scorpions, Anthrax, and all the other cheesy music, but they were all guitar heavy.

Matt Steele

Introduced in 1987. Most 80's Hair bands didn't use it.
Maybe not EVERY hair metal band, but MANY did use the ADA MP1...


View attachment 12398

A timeless classic, the ADA MP-1, used to form the guitar tones of bands like Metallica, Testament, Extreme, Racer X, Kansas, White Lion, Skid Row and many more. "The ADA MP-1 was a preamp that was all the rage back in the ’80s – the early "had to have a rack" days. Anyone who got guitar magazines back then might recall the ADA ads – Paul Gilbert, other guys, lots of guys were using them for a while. Apparently the players liked the ability to control things: Distortion levels, distortion with articulation, channel switching, sustain, etc. Plus they also sounded good. Here’s one example: Paul Gilbert talking about the MP-1, starts at about 4:15, after all the funny stuff…." quote source: Remember the ADA? Nuno, Vito, Skid Row : WoodyTone!

Like with any other amp in the AFX2, this tone is possible to dial with other amps in the unit, getting you in the 90 percentile ballpark. With that said, I really think it'd be cool to have a dedicated amp model to this classic preamp, for us "hair" specialist out there... :D
I don't think it sounds great, at least in that vid. I tried an MP-1 in the mid 90s and thought it was very dirty sounding. Anyways, I read somewhere that the Soldano X-88r preamp was the hot 80s metal ticket. It was the only POD amp model that I used.


I'm still stuck with a Standard, but I personally think it'd be the bees' knees if the MP-1 was modeled in the Axe-Fx. I actually put my Axe in my recording rack and replaced it in my live rig with a stock MP-1 and a Digitech TSR-24S (an amazing, ahead-of-its-time unit in and of itself). I was pretty unhappy with the ADA until I retubed it with a 12WD7 and a 12AX7... thanks to the dual gain controls I can coax a wide variety of sounds out of the unit depending upon which tube I drive and which channel I make use of. It's definitely one of the best guitar purchases I've ever made, especially for the paltry $180 I paid for it.

If it were modelled in the Axe-Fx I would definitely suggest having the Master act as the second gain so you get the discrete gain stage control that the real unit has. Besides, let's face it... if you run an MP-1 you probably aren't using a tube power amp :-D (at least Nuno didn't, and from my own setup with an ART SLA-1 I don't miss it)

Justin B

The MP-1 was a great sounding preamp that was, as far as I remember, the only MIDI programmable tube preamp in the late 80's. It did sound like a hot rodded Marshall. Having the endorser roster they did was invaluable. I sold mine a few months back for $150- I was hoping the would be valuable haha!
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