Seymour Duncan PowerStage 170
Alive and amplified
This seems like a simple option...
Indeed. The logic behind the PowerStage is very much ‘do one thing, and do it well’. Essentially a power amp in a pedal with a simple preamp and a three-band EQ, it’s built like a tank and looks really cool nestled on your board amongst your pedals.
Does it take pedals well?
Designed as a pedalboard amp solution, or a driver to place after a modelling preamp like the Line 6 Helix, the PowerStage handles various distortion pedals thrown at it well. In fact, it even managed some saturation of its own with a boost in front of it and the volume up. The only complaint would be that when pushed, the amp felt tonally dark, meaning the treble control had to be rolled up.
Can you record with it?
If you want to record with it, you’re going to have to use a loadbox with cab simulation like the Two Notes Torpedo Live and the sound is not going to stack up to a full-fat tube head. Or, you could stick a mic up in front of your cab, just as you would with a normal tube amp. This is clearly more aimed at gigging than studio use and it should be judged accordingly. For the guitarist looking to strip back their live rig to a board and a cab, this could be the silver bullet.