Booster that won't change character of your drive pedal?

gtrmaestro

Member
Messages
270
I got a silver J Rockett Archer in last night, been playing with it a bit and it's very cool. Behaves different than other pedals I'm used to using, really feels like it becomes part of the amp.



I think I'm just gonna have to accept the fact that stacking drives sounds like crap to my ear.
Archer sounds fantastic with just it and the amp, same for my Zendrive but putting them with each other completely robs each of these pedals of the character I like in each respective pedal.

Thinking maybe I need to look into a transparent boost instead of stacking drives.

For y'all in the know, is there anything I should look at that I can run that WON'T change the character of your drive pedals and give just a boost in volume?

Last clean boost I used was a Creation Audio MK 4:23 but I'm hearing great things about the RC Booster so considering looking at one of those or maybe an EP booster.

Am I expecting something that's impossible? Logic tells me that any pedal run into another pedal is gonna goose the input and change tone, I just don't want to accept that as true LOL.

Thoughts?
 

jjjacksonjjj

Member
Messages
158
CAE line driver/boost is just the job. Totally transparent in my experience, just gives you more.

EP booster is great, but not as transparent to me. But what it does add sounds good and plays nice with all my drive pedals (boiling point, gold & silver archer, hot cake, shred master, soul food, moog drive, v-twin...)
 

DaveKS

Member
Messages
16,705
I got a silver J Rockett Archer in last night, been playing with it a bit and it's very cool. Behaves different than other pedals I'm used to using, really feels like it becomes part of the amp.



I think I'm just gonna have to accept the fact that stacking drives sounds like crap to my ear.
Archer sounds fantastic with just it and the amp, same for my Zendrive but putting them with each other completely robs each of these pedals of the character I like in each respective pedal.

Thinking maybe I need to look into a transparent boost instead of stacking drives.

For y'all in the know, is there anything I should look at that I can run that WON'T change the character of your drive pedals and give just a boost in volume?

Last clean boost I used was a Creation Audio MK 4:23 but I'm hearing great things about the RC Booster so considering looking at one of those or maybe an EP booster.

Am I expecting something that's impossible? Logic tells me that any pedal run into another pedal is gonna goose the input and change tone, I just don't want to accept that as true LOL.

Thoughts?

That's why for a pure vol boost you put boost after the overdrive pedal. But yes the simple truth is you can't boost here and not expect some change further down the wire, wether that be the next pedals input clipping or your amps tube preamp starting to clip or going into full on compression.

As you boost the following amps eq response also changes in response to that boost. That why I'd rather get something like a EQD Tone Job, run it at 18v for high headroom and then use it's eq shaping as much as it's boosting ability.
 
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mdmack

Member
Messages
572
RC Booster is awesome, In my experiane the EP adds a little color to your tone. I didnt bond with it for this exact reason, but the RC has been on my board for about 8 years and it is great.
 
Messages
905
The Keeley Katana is the most transparent boost I've ever tried. The tone is about 90% retained (I hear a slight loss of highs and perhaps upper mids?) and it's the most "stubborn" volume boost I've tried which can literally just bring up your volume without driving you much further into saturation. All things considered, that makes the most truly transparent boost I've tried to my ears. But the lack of EQ is also its downfall. I personally don't really like a truly transparent boost. I like the option of messing around with the EQ to repair or improve upon my clean tone. I personally prefer the Xotic BB Preamp MB specifically because that three band EQ is really useful for just that.

Unfortunately, the BB Preamp MB doesn't stack well with every drive but I think that's just the nature of stacking pedals. There's always going to be some combinations that don't work, regardless of the design. If you really just want a volume boost with no extra drive or saturation, I'd go with the Katana with the caveat that there aren't any EQ options. Otherwise you might also consider Xotic's RC Booster BUT I would personally prefer the BB Preamp MB because having that extra mid control makes a huge difference in sculpting your tone relative to the rest of your rig.
 

Ryan Swanson

Member
Messages
238
Vertex Boost (0_o), which is billed like (and sounds like) it retains most, if not all, of your original tone. It is on the more expensive side of things, and also could be a rebranded TC spark booster (the world may never know). But if you're willing to look past it's brand, it's still a good choice for what you're looking for from what I've heard.
 
Messages
786
Just FYI, anyone who doesn't already know, the EP Booster is totally NOT meant to be transparent. A lot of people rag on it for that, and I find it silly.

Also FYI, if you didn't like the EP booster, I didn't either... until I ran it at 18v. Giving the little guy 18v reaaaaaally changes the character of the pedal, for the better IMO.
 

saltbird

Member
Messages
2,540
+1
I find the EP Booster to play well with overdrive pedals when placed before or after them when I run it at 18 volts. It has less restraint on your picking dynamics, so it's truer and more transparent to your unaffected guitar sound, which is what good clean boosts are supposed to do as far as I'm concerned. The EP undoubtedly imparts its own darker character on your sound, but it still gives you plenty of clean headroom.

Just FYI, anyone who doesn't already know, the EP Booster is totally NOT meant to be transparent. A lot of people rag on it for that, and I find it silly.

Also FYI, if you didn't like the EP booster, I didn't either... until I ran it at 18v. Giving the little guy 18v reaaaaaally changes the character of the pedal, for the better IMO.
 

chankgeez

Senior Member
Messages
10,767
My experience is the Archer always has its sound going.

Ah, gotcha.

Haven't played an Archer, but on all the other Klon/klone pedals I've tried the coloring of the sound can be minimized to a good extent. Thought it might be similar with the Archer. I pretty much use Klons/klones as a clean boost at the end of the signal chain.
 

Guinness Lad

Member
Messages
15,853
My experience is the Archer always has its sound going.

Any Klon or clone adds some compression, there is a definite change when stacking. The RC makes stuff sound mor hifi. The Timmy is possibly the best I have seen because it has the ability to alter frequencies which when turned up may not have been as great as you thought at lower volumes. The clean boost on the Menatone two button pedals is also very good, but you can't cut bass or treble, but it is neutral.
 

71strat

Member
Messages
10,327
Heres a solution to stacking drives.

Roger Mayer has a line of pedals called the Synergy Series.

They have Dual Band Processing

DUAL BAND INTRODUCTION BY ROGER MAYER

SYNERGY SERIES OVERVIEW
db3.gif




The ability to mix two different distortion sounds in parallel and also control them individually is available in the Synergy Series. The advantage of parallel mixing produces greater flexibility and increases the number sounds available.

Using a chain of effects has many limitations due to the fact one pedal greatly influences the next and so on.





Parallel mixing is the basis for all recording systems used by recording studios, and of course this is how we produced many of Jimi's sounds.
The 5 pedals in the Synergy Series contain a selection from our range of distortion circuits that have already a proven track record with our artists and users. Select each one individually or use a blend to form new sounds.
There is also the added advantage of having access to two pedals plus mixing for a little more than the price of a single effect.
MAIN FEATURES
2 EFFECTS IN ONE BOX with a saving in cost and space.
MULTI-MODE OUTPUTS: True Bypass and Buffered Outputs.
LOW NOISE TRIPLE SHIELDED: 6 layer PC Card with internal shielding.
BYPASS SWITCH IS USA CARLING for ultimate reliability.
RAPID BATTERY CHANGE: Front Panel Slides open, No screws and very fast and easy.
CONTROLS
HIGH BAND DRIVE - This sets the amount of distortion from almost nil up to virtually unlimited sustain.
HIGH BAND EQ - A combination circuit tailored for the High Band tonal characteristics.
LOW BAND DRIVE - This sets the Low Band distortion to the desired level.
LOW BAND EQ- Optimised Low Band EQ
MIX - Blend the Low Band and High Band sounds together and use to hear each section individually. Fully clockwise will select the Low Band and fully anti-clockwise the High Band.
OUTPUT - Set the Output Level from unity gain up to level boost required.


Mike Landau uses this pedal.....Voodoo XX

For a clean clear boost I like the Mayer 4644. Is a Medium Gain Drive. I got it in July, and in 5 minutes I knew this was my new favorite Drive.
Guitar Effects Pedals & Recording by Roger Mayer - 4644 Drive
www.roger-mayer.co.uk/4644.htm
 
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Messages
639
The boost section in the fulldrive III is pretty good for this. I think its much more transparent than the EP boost, for example. You can buy just the FD boost as a separate pedal; nice and compact too.
 

rck

Strat Lover 4 Life
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,419
Keeley Katana Mini was more transparent than the CAL mk 4.23 Boost when I A/B'd them with my rig.

Small footprint too if that matters and price is not bad at $75 used.
 

jrjones

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
8,841
RC booster is awesome. Most transparent I've ever used and when you use it for dirt it's even too. With that said, I really like the boost built in my music man Luke 3 too.
 

earthmud

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,758
I got a silver J Rockett Archer in last night, been playing with it a bit and it's very cool. Behaves different than other pedals I'm used to using, really feels like it becomes part of the amp.



I think I'm just gonna have to accept the fact that stacking drives sounds like crap to my ear.
Archer sounds fantastic with just it and the amp, same for my Zendrive but putting them with each other completely robs each of these pedals of the character I like in each respective pedal.

Thinking maybe I need to look into a transparent boost instead of stacking drives.

For y'all in the know, is there anything I should look at that I can run that WON'T change the character of your drive pedals and give just a boost in volume?

Last clean boost I used was a Creation Audio MK 4:23 but I'm hearing great things about the RC Booster so considering looking at one of those or maybe an EP booster.

Am I expecting something that's impossible? Logic tells me that any pedal run into another pedal is gonna goose the input and change tone, I just don't want to accept that as true LOL.

Thoughts?
How are you stacking those two pedals (meaning order and gain levels.)and what's the rest of your rig? At one time I owned both pedals and found they stack very well. I would have the Zendrive first with the gain set low and the klone after set for clean boost meaning gain at zero. This combo was using telecasters and vox amps. Theoretically it should sound like a muddy mess, but with the Zen set for low gain and the klone set clean it worked out great and cut very well live. I used to run my klone first in the chain but for the last few years I now prefer it at the end.
 

ogguitar

Member
Messages
1,476
If you just want a simple clean boost, there are tons of pedals on the market that are good. I like my Cusack More Louder because it provides plenty of volume, comes in a mini footprint, and has a switchable buffer, soft switch, and fantastic build quality - all for $105. I've seen clean boosts for $150... smh
 




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