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Does Anyone Make A Rangemaster Treble Booster Circuit with A Volume Knob

teleluvver

Member
Messages
1,596
I've tried some great sounding treble boosters. Most have a frequency and gain control, but no volume/level control. Once I get the amount of gain I want, the volume is up there. Sounds great, but not practical. I did try the Naga Viper, which has the separate controls, but it's not exactly the Rangemaster sound I'm looking for. Does anybody know of a Rangemaster circuit with a separate volume control? What would be even better is if somebody here has actually played one. Thanks.
 
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midwayfair

Member
Messages
2,046
You're mistaken. The Rangemaster circuit (which is 99% of all treble boosters) is ONLY a volume control, regardless of what the builder called that knob. The gain of the transistor is hardwired to max. The ones with a frequency control usually change the bass cutoff at the input of the circuit, which can affect the saturation as well as the tonality. If you're getting more gain when you turn up the boost, it's because it's overdriving your amp (or possibly another pedal between the booster and the amp). Treble boosters with gain controls, like the Catalinbread one, can only reduce gain, though I'm sure someone out there has made one with an adjustable bias so that it can be set hotter, which will change the asymmetry of the pedal and make it sound like something different.

Edit: Actually, let's just walk through the circuit in case anyone's doubting what I said, because it's so simple.



The funny thing on the left is your input jack. One end is connected to ground (the positive terminal of a battery - ground in this circuit) and the other is connected to a little pair of lines labeled "0.005uF". That is your input capacitor, which cuts a whole bunch of bass by interacting with the components that follow; and like all capacitors, it blocks all DC (direct current) in the pedal away from your guitar's pickups, which produce an AC (alternating current) signal and really, really don't want any DC on them, because it would make them stop working right.

The other side of that capacitor is connected to two rectangles with lines, labeled 68K (68 kiloohms -- connected to the positive terminal of the battery - ground); the other is 470K and is connected to the negative terminal of the battery. These are there because a transistor needs some positive bias on its base to turn on.

The other connection right there is to something called "Q1" -- this is the transistor. It has three pins, a collector (at the top), an emitter (at the bottom) and the base (where our guitar signal is connected). A transistor replicates your guitar signal and amplifies it.

The emitter has two components connected to it. One is labeled 3.9K, and the other is labeled 47uF. The 3.9K is there to help set the DC (direct current) bias point of the transistor, which needs to be stable for the pedal to work and sound right. This resistor impedes (prevents) the transistor from just conducting all current to ground. We need to stop SOME signal flow. Make the resistor bigger, gain goes down because less current flows, and the bias point rises. Make the resistor smaller and the current goes up, which results in more and louder signal, but the transistor's bias might be completely wrong or even functional. So we need the resistor there. But we also need some way to increase the gain.

The 47uF bypasses that resistor but ONLY for AC signal. There's only one other thing in the pedal that's AC, which we mentioned in the first paragraph: the guitar signal. This capacitor is why the gain is hardwired to max: AC signals at frequencies that can pass through the capacitor (which is all of them on a guitar) see it as a short, but DC can't pass through a capacitor. The result is that the DC bias of the transistor stays correct, but the audio signal gets to use 100% of the transistor's gain.

I mentioned that making the 3.9K resistor 0 might make the pedal's bias wrong. This is because the other resistor needed to make the transistor work is created by the boost pot, which is 10K. This is a potentiometer, wired as a voltage divider. One end is connected to the negative terminal of the battery (which is the supply voltage the transistor is running off of), and if you had a way to listen there, it would be completely silent. The other end of the potentiometer is connected to the collector of the transistor. The collector of the transistor is where our guitar signal is reproduced as a LOUD LOUD LOUD AC signal. In between those two connections is the "wiper" of the potentiometer, and it's from there that the output signal of the pedal is connected.

When you turn the potentiometer down, it moves the wiper -- our output -- toward the connection to the negative terminal of the battery, which you will remember I said is completely silent. There's no signal there. If you connect the output of the pedal to that, no sound comes out. When you turn the pot clockwise, it pans close and closer to the VERY VERY loud signal at the collector of the transistor, and away from the silence. So, when it's all the way at the collector, we get loud sounds. When it's halfway between them, we get less loud sounds.

This is a standard volume control like in almost everything: It just looks a little funny because we're using the supply voltage as the silent spot instead of ground.

(A is the normal way.)

At no time, however, does the signal at the collector stop being loud. It's just that our boost control when turned down isn't taking as much signal from there.

The last thing in the pedal is a 0.01uF capacitor, which blocks DC from whatever is next in line, usually an amp, which, like your guitar's pickups, really does not want any DC on the grid of its tubes.
 
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teleluvver

Member
Messages
1,596
You're mistaken. The Rangemaster circuit (which is 99% of all treble boosters) is ONLY a volume control, regardless of what the builder called that knob. The gain of the transistor is hardwired to max.
Yes, you are correct. Now that that's established, I am still open for pedal suggestions.
 

analogmike

Member
Messages
7,008
You're mistaken. The Rangemaster circuit (which is 99% of all treble boosters) is ONLY a volume control, regardless of what the builder called that knob. The gain of the transistor is hardwired to max. The ones with a frequency control usually change the bass cutoff at the input of the circuit, which can affect the saturation as well as the tonality. If you're getting more gain when you turn up the boost, it's because it's overdriving your amp (or possibly another pedal between the booster and the amp). Treble boosters with gain controls, like the Catalinbread one, can only reduce gain, though I'm sure someone out there has made one with an adjustable bias so that it can be set hotter, which will change the asymmetry of the pedal and make it sound like something different...
You are the new RG Keen, you have such a nice way of explaining the circuit.

Thank you!!!
 
Messages
1,454
teleluvver,

You haven't mentioned what amp you're running the treble booster into. Since the pedal alone is not responsible for the combined sound it produces, it's important to know what kind of amp you are boosting with it, and how that amp is set. Treble boosters are not distortion pedals, as the latter are commonly known. They truly are boosters, and as they are designed to be used, the sound they produce is as much dependent on what kind of tube amp you're using and how hot it's set as the knobs on the pedal itself.
 

rumbletone

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,973
The whole point of a treble booster (IMHO) is to increase the level hitting the front of the amp. If you are looking for unit gain (i.e., output is not significantly louder than the input) I think you are looking for something else - like a distortion pedal. That said, if you like the tone of the treble booster what about running a treble booster into a different pedal that will overdrive like an amp but can then attenuate back down to unity gain for the rest of you signal chain? For example, a tube or jfet-based preamp pedal that will overdrive more like an amp could be run after the treble booster, then set the output level on the second pedal to have the level you want.

Has anyone tried running a treble booster into a Wampler PlexiDrive or Black 65? Or into a Kingsley tube preamp pedal?



I've tried some great sounding treble boosters. Most have a frequency and gain control, but no volume/level control. Once I get the amount of gain I want, the volume is up there. Sounds great, but not practical. I did try the Naga Viper, which has the separate controls, but it's not exactly the Rangemaster sound I'm looking for. Does anybody know of a Rangemaster circuit with a separate volume control? What would be even better is if somebody here has actually played one. Thanks.
 

teleluvver

Member
Messages
1,596
teleluvver,

You haven't mentioned what amp you're running the treble booster into. Since the pedal alone is not responsible for the combined sound it produces, it's important to know what kind of amp you are boosting with it, and how that amp is set. Treble boosters are not distortion pedals, ...
The whole point of a treble booster (IMHO) is to increase the level hitting the front of the amp. If you are looking for unit gain (i.e., output is not significantly louder than the input) I think you are looking for something else - like a distortion pedal. For example, a tube or jfet-based preamp pedal that will overdrive more like an amp could be run after the treble booster, ...
I understand that they are not distortion pedals. My amps are usually Fender or Vox tube amps running clean. I get my dirt from a pedal, then add the treble booster. Or, I overdrive the Vox (AC15) and kick in the tb. It's not that I don't understand how they work, I just need suggestions on finding the right one.
 

earthmud

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,154
I understand that they are not distortion pedals. My amps are usually Fender or Vox tube amps running clean. I get my dirt from a pedal, then add the treble booster. Or, I overdrive the Vox (AC15) and kick in the tb. It's not that I don't understand how they work, I just need suggestions on finding the right one.
I use a pedalworx/proanalog scot60 that way into the same amps. I use it as a solo boost but with the volume/gain knob down lower it still sounds good.
 

.

Senior Member
Messages
3,972
Not a Rangemaster, but the MP Ruby Red Booster should do what you are looking for.
 

JerEvil

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,599
Catalinbread Naga Viper is pretty fantastic.
A mate actually built me a clone of the NV and it is awesome. I don't know how well my clone compares to the actual Naga but if it is even remotely close than the OP definitely needs to give it another shot.
 

myaudiodna

Member
Messages
2,595
A mate actually built me a clone of the NV and it is awesome. I don't know how well my clone compares to the actual Naga but if it is even remotely close than the OP definitely needs to give it another shot.
I saw a clone in a 1590a recently... Needless to say, despite already owning an NV, I was tempted...
 

JerEvil

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,599
I saw a clone in a 1590a recently... Needless to say, despite already owning an NV, I was tempted...
Not to hijack this thread, I was on another forum I frequent and treble boosters are all the rage there right now. I mentioned I had not tried a TB before and my bud PM'd me letting me know he builds pedals and recently built himself the NV clone and offered to do one for me at a heck of a price! Figured it was a good way to "dip my toe". Made a vid this morning. Sounds great!
 

Blues Lyne

Member
Messages
3,466
I understand that they are not distortion pedals. My amps are usually Fender or Vox tube amps running clean. I get my dirt from a pedal, then add the treble booster. Or, I overdrive the Vox (AC15) and kick in the tb. It's not that I don't understand how they work, I just need suggestions on finding the right one.
I think part of the problem with helping you find the right one is that it sounds like you are saying that once you push your amp (or maybe you are boosting into a pedal) to the level of dirt you like, it's too loud and that will be true with any treble booster. The only way to boost the amp/pedal to the same amount of dirt, but not have it be as loud is to turn down somewhere after it hits the amp/pedal.
 




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