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Looking for boost recommendations.

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  • #16
    Re: Looking for boost recommendations.

    I use a TC Sparkbooster. Has a switch for fat/clean/ mid-boost. Doesn't cost much and sounds great. The fat boost works very well with strats. The mid-boost with LP's and HB's. The clean boost is...well...clean. Great for goosing dirtboxes and amp front-ends.


    • #17
      Re: Looking for boost recommendations.

      I picked up an earthquaker devices arrows recently that works very well. Unity volume is in the middle. If you turn the control below that it acts like a make shift attenuator. From what ED told me when its turned all the way up it acts similar to a treble booster. It does however cut some of the low end. Depending on your setup that can be a good thing. With my setup it takes some of the flub out of everything.


      • #18
        Re: Looking for boost recommendations.

        I play in a blues band and mostly use a twin reverb. With that, i use a fulldrive which is pretty much a tube screamer with an extra boost stage for leads. So your TS9 is a great and indispensible thing in your rig, but i understand you are looking for a "clean" boost for taking your lead sounds up a level.
        In my experience with treble boosters, they sound really cool through dirty/crunchy british type amps. They don't sound great at all thru most fender amps - especially big wattage amps like pros, supers and twins, so i recommend staying away from one of those.
        The recommendation for the fat boost, or something along those lines (xotic rc boost also) is excellent.
        Also....check out a nice compressor for the same job. They can be a seriously wicked sounding secret weapon for lead boosts with fender amps. Turn the compression down until you think its doing more or less nothing, then crank up the level and use that as your lead boost. Its one of those things that just make playing easier and sound more colorful, but without the obvious "squish" that you might associate with how compressors are used in funk or country. Really great through a clean amp. The keeley compressor is excellent, but im sure many of the other boutique ross clones out there can also to the job well.
        Last edited by Chickenwings; 01-14-2015, 06:27 PM.
        "Technique is really the elimination of the unneccessary ... it is a constant effort to avoid any personal impediment or obstacle to acheive the smooth flow of energy and intent"
        Yehudi Menuhin


        • #19
          Re: Looking for boost recommendations.

          A compressor would do the job as mentioned above. I have used them on several occasions for that purpose. Look at the xotic sp compressor with the surface controls and internal dip switches. It will do just about anything you need.


          • #20
            Re: Looking for boost recommendations.

            Originally posted by PFDarkside View Post
            Keeley Katana Boost is both a clean boost and a slightly dirty one, both modes sound great with my tube amps.
            Amen to that. I think the pedal runs at 18v's. Clean with the volume knob pushed in. Clean with the headroom to be quite LOUD. Or, pull the volume out and get top boost instead, but still possible to be quite LOUD.


            • #21
              Re: Looking for boost recommendations.

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              Here's a little booster that I honestly enjoy.
              ISO - Fender Highway One Stratocaster - black
              2004 Chevy Silveraro - 6.6 Liter Duramax Turbo Diesel
              Pickup Booster - Lava Box - Tweak Fuzz - Vapor Trail


              • #22
                Re: Looking for boost recommendations.

                thats my clean boost too kac.

                the op isnt looking necessarily for a clean boost or volume boost, just info on boosters and how to use em


                • #23
                  Re: Looking for boost recommendations.

                  I am all about the boost pedal!!

                  The most versatile boosts will be those that have either treble and bass controls, or a sweepable hi/low pass.

                  The Thundertomate Phil Hilborne boost, which I heard is no longer in production (very sad), is a great boost in that it has dip switches you can switch to get something like 12 different EQ curves out of -- everything from a straight clean boost, to a midrange, boost, treble booster, etc.

                  I also like the Xotic BB Preamp as a clean boost and the EQ is very musical. The overall tonality of the BB might be a bit too midrange-focused for some players, however.

                  Thirdly is the Bogner Harlow, which I only got today. The tone control acts as a high pass filter which gives the boost a lot of tonal variety.

                  From my other boosts:

                  The Catalinbread Naga Viper is similar to a Rangemaster treble booster but with a variable gain control. It uses a different transistor than the Rangemaster, so it's not a dead-nuts replica, but more of an homage with a couple more bells and whistles. It sounds monstrous with a Fuzzface style fuzz, in my opinion. Used on its own, it can make the proceedings a bit too bright to my ears. Great for lead guitar, however, if you want cut, cut, cut!!

                  The AnalogMan Beano Boost is also based on the Rangemaster and it's by far the most musical treble booster I have come across. It has a mini toggle for mid and bass boost, but I don't care for the frequencies of the boost in these modes and prefer it in its standard, TB style mode. The Beano is not transparent at all -- it's very euphonic sounding and is also brilliant when paired with a gain pedal. (Can get noisy, however)

                  The Greer Sweetback is a mildly colored/mostly transparent boost, but definitely has some 2nd order harmonic thing going on which makes it very musical. When used, it adds a noticeable amount of 'muscle' to your tone; if you are playing something like a JMP style amplifier, the Sweetback should be at the top of your list. I don't know if Greer still makes it, you would have to find a used one probably.

                  The z.vex SHO. Very colored, very euphonic; just a thick, raging slab of boost that adds balls and thickness to your tone. Could definitely be used for blues, but you would probably end up rolling the bass WAY down on your amp to compensate. The SHO is a bit like liquid crack; it's very hard to turn it off once you have had it on.

                  The JCollocia Horus. This bad boy is the first pedal in my signal chain at all times. It borderlines overdrive, but is really a character/boost pedal, in my opinion. Can't really say enough good things about it; it's priced right and is VERY versatile. This pedal would be my first port of call for blues, actually, since it can boost, EQ, and dial in just the right amount of grit. The ranges on all the controls is quite subtle; it's not going to drastically alter your tone, just give you more 'you'.

                  Here is just one example of how I like to use boosts. The guitars in the first section are all single takes. The boost is used to push the amp and give me some grit on the verses using a VOX LNT with the C19 brightness mod. In the intro and between verses, the boost is off.

                  Last edited by TwilightOdyssey; 01-17-2015, 07:39 PM.
                  Why don't you take your little Cobra Kais and get outta here?!
                  My collaborative PROGRESSIVE ROCK PROJECT, As Follows.


                  • #24
                    Re: Looking for boost recommendations.

                    I'm always a huge fan of the TC Electronic Spark boost. I've tried it next to some of the other boutique boosts like the Xotic RC Boost, and it just sounds more musical. It adds a touch of compression, a touch of roundness, and a touch of fatness to your notes. It has EQ controls so you can adjust certain frequencies of the sound, a gain control which gives you finer control over the 'grit' than most clean boosts do. It also has separate modes, a Fat mode for fattening up your single coil sounds, and a Mid boost which is like what is found in a tubescreamer (or a decent substitute to the Eric Clapton mid boost circuit if that's more your thing).

                    Boosts are really useful in just about every genre of music. You can place them before your main gain pedal to boost the output and add gain, or you can place them after your gain pedal to just add volume or shape your sound. The latter is really useful, because you can have essentially four sounds: Clean, Clean+ (more volume, a touch more hair/grit), Gain, Gain+ (More volume and cut).

                    I generally use my boost pedals as a preamp of sorts, last in the chain of drive pedals, and I use the EQ and volume/gain to set up a second guitar sound, one with a touch less treble and a tiny bit of gain to give me a smoother sound for jazz style clean runs or my (awful) Eric Johnson impression that pops up once a night.

                    Heres a bit of some examples of how a good boost pedal can shape your tone: (I know both are of the Spark booster, but again, that's my recommendation. It looks like Twilight Odyssey is a great well of knowledge on this subject as well so his recommendations should be taken seriously. You should start by looking up demoes of all the pedals he recommended as well to get a better idea of how a boost can be used in all sorts of settings.)

                    Last edited by TimmyPage; 01-18-2015, 09:56 AM.
                    Originally posted by BigAlTheBird
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                    • #25
                      Re: Looking for boost recommendations.

                      Frank Lee uses a Pro Reverb. He suggests a Bad Bob Booster…great pedal that makes your amp sound like your amp but just more of it. Like a Wonder Bra for your amp without the disappointment.

                      Analogman has a combo Bad Bob/TS9 that is excellent. Frank Lee has the separate pedals and they sound fantastic--the Bad Bob adds some highs and lows to the TS9.

                      Thank you.