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Boost Pedal - What are the choices?

s360guitarist

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,142
Hey everyone, I just picked up a Vox AC15 and am zeroing in on the right OD sound. Currently I am playing a modded Tele running the Vox driven to the point just prior to break up, and then a Bad Monkey for dirt. The Vox has great OD tone by using the master volume and volume but I need to have a clean setting to start with. (I am using the BM cause it has the high and low control knobs, this assists in getting around the AC15CC1 penchant for getting a little treble'y. I have also done the bright cap mod to tame the treble and make the amp more pedal friendly.)

I am searching for a boost pedal to get the amp to break up. What I am trying to do is get three sounds/channels as in clean, breakup/crunch, and overdriven. Currently, believe it or not, I am using a cheap Dano EQ pedal (fish & chips) to adjust a little tone and use it as a boost. (Like many eq's it has a boost/level control. It sounds pretty good and at 30 bucks it may stay.)

Does anyone have any advice on a booster that will drive the amp into some crunch? I have looked at, but not heard other than samples, the Electro Harmonix LPB-1, the MXR Micro Amp, the BBE Boosta Granda, the Fulltone Fat Boost, the Seymour Duncan SFX-01, and so on, and so on...

Looking to stay pretty cheap if possible...most of these pedals are 100 or less. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

A.
 

playthecray

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,130
I think the Bad Bob Booster would be a perfect choice for the Vox AC15. The pedal could be purchased through analogman.com for $139.00. If money is an issue, the EH LPB-1 may be the best value for $40.00 unless you can find one of the aforementioned boost pedals used.
 

dosmun

Member
Messages
1,761
For a straight clean boost the RC is a great boost with Bass and Treble controls and can be found for around $125 used.

The Hotcake is a great choice as it works great as a boost but you can also add some dirt if needed. The Hotcake is also supposed to be a good match for the Vox. I believe you can get them for around $135 shipped direct from Paul Crowther. I own 3 as they go with me to every gig no matter what rig I use.

The TIM is another great choice that will do clean boost and has Treble and Bass controls. It also has a Boost function so you can kinda use it for 2 different sounds. I use one into my clean channel to add a little sparkle and grit and occasionally kick in the boost if I need a little more dirt.

I personally would lean toward the TIM and Hotcake with the TIM being a little more versatile.
 

ibzmav

Member
Messages
342
Try the maxon od9 it's one of my favorite gain boost, it sounds delicious. Jim Root of Slipknot has one too ;)
 

Lt_Core

Member
Messages
2,899
MI Audio Boost N' Buff for a clean boost and it can push an amp to breakup a little bit.
 

JUSTJOB

Member
Messages
2,404
The FullDrive 2 is an excellent boost on "comp cut" setting, plus it gives a few other options as well and is a very versatile OD/Boost pedal.
 

Bobster

Member
Messages
356
hmm, the Tim and Xotic Booster effects are great choices IMO, transparent and not tone-suckerish.
 

TimH

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,171
I've got the same amp and here are my thoughts:

Avoid TS style pedals. Voxes are somewhat mid heavy to begin with and TS style pedals tend to really congest the amp a lot. This includes the BM and FDII (I currently have one and am selling it) that were mentioned earlier. The BM *might* be ok as a clean boost (what it does best IMHO anyhow) but still I think there are better options.

The Crowther Hotcake is generally the top recommended pedal for Voxes. I haven't had one yet but I am thinking it will be a much better fit. The HC certainly has more usable gain than the BM and also could be your clean boost. Just depends on how you set it up.

For a cheap but useable clean boost you might consider the MXR micro amp. You can find them for a song and they work. There are litterally dozens of others but I assume you'd want to keep the cost down on this since you were looking at the BM.
 

Gretsch47

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,124
I'll second the Swart Atomic Booster, although I'm biased as I have a Swart STR-Tweed amp (amazing amp). Toggle switch on the pedal either boosts the low end and mids (clean boost) or acts as a treble booster, great for boosting fuzz pedals or overdrive pedals. In other words, it's a really good pedal for cutting through the mix.
 

Axekisser

Member
Messages
1,156
I'd agree with the Hotcake and Timmy recommendations. If you need a cheaper pedal, the Dano Transparent OD does a decent boost also and has bass and treble controls.
 

TheLemon

Senior Member
Messages
790
I've got the same amp and here are my thoughts:

Avoid TS style pedals. Voxes are somewhat mid heavy to begin with and TS style pedals tend to really congest the amp a lot. This includes the BM and FDII (I currently have one and am selling it) that were mentioned earlier. The BM *might* be ok as a clean boost (what it does best IMHO anyhow) but still I think there are better options.

The Crowther Hotcake is generally the top recommended pedal for Voxes. I haven't had one yet but I am thinking it will be a much better fit. The HC certainly has more usable gain than the BM and also could be your clean boost. Just depends on how you set it up.

For a cheap but useable clean boost you might consider the MXR micro amp. You can find them for a song and they work. There are litterally dozens of others but I assume you'd want to keep the cost down on this since you were looking at the BM.
I have the same amp too and I agree with this alot. I haven't tried a Hotcake but my low to medium gain overdrive search ended with the Tim.
It also paired really well with a Skreddy Screwdriver. So basically I've found the AC-15 doesn't exactly like tubescreamers, but loves the Tim (or other flat-mid low compression ods), fuzzes and treble-boosters.
 

schenkadere

Senior Member
Messages
1,200
The Boosta Grande is great...simple and well built...reasonably priced. That would be my choice. The MXR Micro Amp is good too. Why pay hundreds of dollars for a clean boost just because it's "boutique"?...it's ridiculous.
 

B_of_H

Member
Messages
4,575
fwiw - many of the boosters out there are such simple little circuits that the prices people charge for them are almost criminal.

if you know someone handy with electronics they could build you one for very cheap that will perform just as well or better plus you'll save a ton of money. The catlinbread one i believe is just a orman mosfet boost which is a free diy design.
 

alguit

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,838
Some very good choices so far-the Lizard Legs is fast becoming a modern classic-though I'm still a bit suprised that I almost never read anyone endorsing BSM's HUGE range of treble boosters. Great German engineering, clones of classic boosters as used by Clapton, Brian May, etc. They have a Rory Gallagher model that goes great with a Vox, and I have a Ritchie Blackmore one that has taken me as close to his 70's tone as I've ever gotten.
 




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