EP Booster -- purpose?

Digitalshrub

Member
Messages
482
I bought an Xotic EP Booster a couple years ago because at the time it was getting rave reviews, and because I thought it might help me normalize my volume levels at live shows where I play two different guitars (one with humbuckers, one with single coils) as well as running an electric mandolin through the same rig. And, well, it sorta worked. I'd engage the EP Booster (with the volume control almost all the way down) when I wasn't using humbuckers, and it goosed my signal just enough to avoid having to make amp adjustments between songs.

But it wasn't a mind-blowingly helpful use of the pedal.

I took it off my main gigging board a while back and was running it at home. Which seemed even less useful. I can barely nudge the volume control past minimum without rattling the walls of my apartment. (FWIW, I usually play out of a Fender Vibro Champ or Princeton Reverb RI). I don't mind the tone coloration (a lot of TGP folks find it too bassy). In fact, I like it, especially to warm up my Tele tone. I just can't figure out how to use this thing without it resulting in earth-shatteringly loud tones. And I play pretty loud at home (thankfully I lucked out in the neighbor department).

Maybe I'm not the target demographic for this pedal? Is it more useful going into dirty amps?

Do the EP Booster acolytes among you prefer it at the front of your chain, end of your chain, or after your dirt pedals? I've tried all of the above at some point; currently I've got it after my dirt pedals, before modulation. I'd love to give this pedal another shot before I consider selling it.
 

lefort_1

Nuzzled Firmly Betwixt
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
16,084
I don't use it myself, but it is 'more' of a pre-amp analog-sim of the Echoplex pre-amp, iirc.
As such, it's going to do some significant roll-off in various frequencies.

I always thought is was more for tonal color, and not so much as a boost (clean), per-se.
 

fuzz guy

Member
Messages
1,979
I built a copy of one after hearing all the rave reviews and was underwhelmed. I did find it had too much low end for most of my uses. It does pair exceptionally well with a Rangemaster copy I made though. The original circuit won't allow you to get unity gain, it has something like +6dB at it's lowest setting, but I heard they changed that at some point and the new ones will do unity at the lowest setting.
 

8len8

Member
Messages
15,224
I bought one years ago, but never bonded with it. I didn’t like how it colored the guitar tone.
 

Digitalshrub

Member
Messages
482
I don't use it myself, but it is 'more' of a pre-amp analog-sim of the Echoplex pre-amp, iirc.
As such, it's going to do some significant roll-off in various frequencies.

I always thought is was more for tonal color, and not so much as a boost (clean), per-se.

Yeah, that makes sense. Like I said I don’t hate the tone coloration, I just don’t like that I can’t get said color without (to my ears) a significant volume boost even at the lowest setting. I changed the internal dip switch to the lower dB setting, but it’s not enough of a difference.
 
Messages
949
I use it always on at unity gain as a buffer. The “color” of it just adds a nice subtle thickness. It’s not crucial to my tone but it IS something where comparing it on or off I find myself just liking it on.
That said; I personally don’t think it sounds good with the boost knob past 9:00 at... at least for me with my rig. Also... running at 18v changes it, for the better IMHO.
 

Jr Deluxe

Member
Messages
3,694
I got one. I'm not using it alot right now. People that love it usually use it as an always on pedal. As a quick solo boost I use the mini spark.
 

Digitalshrub

Member
Messages
482
I use it always on at unity gain as a buffer. The “color” of it just adds a nice subtle thickness. It’s not crucial to my tone but it IS something where comparing it on or off I find myself just liking it on.
That said; I personally don’t think it sounds good with the boost knob past 9:00 at... at least for me with my rig. Also... running at 18v changes it, for the better IMHO.
That use makes sense to me. I assume for an always-on pedal of this type, it works best towards the end of your chain? The 18v thing is interesting, but I'd be worried it might make the situation even louder.
 

Kelly

Member
Messages
3,865
You may need something like a rc booster. It can boost volume, or thicken up tone without boosting. Also has bass and treble.
 

Kennyscrown

Member
Messages
2,869
I was addicted to it when I was only using a Fender amp - it just made my Jag rounder, gave it more presence, and took the ice pick edge off. I put it at the very front of the chain after lots of experimentation.

When I added an AC15 in stereo I found I was using it a lot less and I eventually moved it on.

I think it depends on your guitar and amp setup if you are using it as a tone enhancer, but as a boost it always works well.
 

hippieboy

Member
Messages
11,830
Good for muddying up your sound lol.

Seriously though, it's rig dependent, I've seen better results in very bright rigs or people looking to darken the sound. If you already are in a darkish spot, not worth it imo.
 

jlectka

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,879
I love it with a strat and drri. It works best for me at about 11:00 for some fatness. It boosts a lot of drives nicely too. I have noticed that it does sound better to me with some good volume.
 

Madsen

Member
Messages
8,981
Mine is on the bass pedal board for a boost & color at the end of the chain. I like what it does in that role.
 

alivegy

Member
Messages
1,176
I also found it to be too bassy and if I remember correctly I traded it in when I bought my Timmy many years ago. I really like using the jfet boost side of my king of the britains as unity gain always on pedal. It makes everything before it sound better, fuzz, tubescreamer, rat, everything. I need to find an old das boost, or better yet see if Brian will make me a mini version.
 

Digitalshrub

Member
Messages
482
You may need something like a rc booster. It can boost volume, or thicken up tone without boosting. Also has bass and treble.
I (for once) feel like I actually don’t need anything. I just wanted to make sure I’m not missing some ingenious implementation of this pedal. It does indeed sound like it’s very rig dependent, and I don’t think it does much for my particular setup.
 

JNBIII

Member
Messages
58
There are dip switches inside that alter the tone as well as adjust it to unity gain with the knob turned all the way to the left. At least on the new models. Have you tried moving them?
 

Gillespie1983

Member
Messages
2,669
I built a copy of one after hearing all the rave reviews and was underwhelmed. I did find it had too much low end for most of my uses. It does pair exceptionally well with a Rangemaster copy I made though. The original circuit won't allow you to get unity gain, it has something like +6dB at it's lowest setting, but I heard they changed that at some point and the new ones will do unity at the lowest setting.
Can you recommend a kit, schematic, and/or parts list?
 

Digitalshrub

Member
Messages
482
There are dip switches inside that alter the tone as well as adjust it to unity gain with the knob turned all the way to the left. At least on the new models. Have you tried moving them?
Yeah, I mentioned in one of my replies that I tried that and it still felt too loud at unity settings.
 

MikeMcCourt

Member
Messages
615
I like its interactions with my Fender amps - the color of the pedal seems to compliment them and make them compress in a pleasing way. It doesn't fit in with my Vox amps or the H&K.
 




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