My Treble Booster Journey (cont)

john l

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,689
Nice write up.

Always enjoy treble booster threads. Really eye opening to realize that rather than hate them I love them, lol.

Love my Naga Viper but jeez there are a lot of good ones. I like the tweakability on it, and enjoy having a bit of silicon on the board with my germanium. TheBeano is good if you like a warmer tone.
I find it both interesting and surprising how similar germanium and silicon can sound to each other. I would challenge anyone to do a blind test and tell me which one was which between the Naga and Beano at certain settings. At this point Im developing the opinion that silicon is where its at lol.

I would say some fuzzes respond to your guitars controls similarly to a treble boosters. I describe treble boosters as a fuzz and od combined. It responds like a fuzz but sounds like an od. The combination is magical though. I'm not a pedal flipper or experimenter but my Naga Viper is a really special pedal. It's not something I would typically use a lot but its one of the most fun pedals I have. I recommend treble boosters to everyone now.

To my understanding, the circuit is really simple. I wish there were more affordable options so more people can experience them. They're a pedal you have to play to really understand them. Demos and reviews don't really do them justice. I got it because I found a good deal (less than $120 mint) but not everyone is that lucky. They're one of the best pedals that most people don't even know about.
Yes lots of similarities between TBs and a good fuzz.
 

Junta

Member
Messages
1,589
If all Mesa Mark (x) owners do not know by now... Add a NagaViper to your Crunch channel (one of the flavors of the 'clean channel'), you have a pretty damn passable JCM 800...
 
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12,436
I find it both interesting and surprising how similar germanium and silicon can sound to each other. I would challenge anyone to do a blind test and tell me which one was which between the Naga and Beano at certain settings. At this point Im developing the opinion that silicon is where its at.
ignore silicon at your own peril, lol. It's no worse than germanium, IMO, just usefully different.
 

stahlhart

Member
Messages
2,445
I have the Naga and the Beano. I really like the Beano for loading the front of an amp. At least for me here, the lower cap values get it into Paranoid territory with a humbucker.
 

john l

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,689
You should try BSM pedals....
Ill bite. Why? How do they compare?
Im curious about their Metal Treble Booster. Supposed to be a Saboth style modded RM sorta thing. They look upside down and the MB has an amazingly cheesy sheet metal graphic on it but Im still curious. I may take the recouped $ from the Beano and Keeley and roll into one of those.
 

StratPaul

Member
Messages
256
I've always wanted to buy a treble booster style pedal, but have been apprehensive because I have read in the past that they only sound good through an amp that is already distorted, or at least on the edge of breakup. And since I have had at least one bad experience with a Way Huge Red Llama (It did not sound good at all through my Carr Rambler. Maybe it was meant to be played through a overdriven amp?), I'm not sure if it would work. I've been curious about the Beano Boost and the Naga Viper. What do you guys think? Any truth to this at all with treble boost style pedals and clean platform amps?
 

john l

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,689
I've always wanted to buy a treble booster style pedal, but have been apprehensive because I have read in the past that they only sound good through an amp that is already distorted, or at least on the edge of breakup. And since I have had at least one bad experience with a Way Huge Red Llama (It did not sound good at all through my Carr Rambler. Maybe it was meant to be played through a overdriven amp?), I'm not sure if it would work. I've been curious about the Beano Boost and the Naga Viper. What do you guys think? Any truth to this at all with treble boost style pedals and clean platform amps?
Im happy to say this is absolutely NOT true in all cases especially if you’re getting your dirt through pedals. Hitting a OD or fuzz with a traditional TB can be awesome. Pedals like the naga viper can be adjusted to provide great OD tone on their own too.
 

MadFrank

Silver Supporting Member
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,249
Yes, I definitely agree with the above concerning treble boosters and clean fender ish amps. I play a tone king imperial (the love of my life), and its scooped and high headroom and on its own it hates fuzzes and tb’s... but run them into a good od first.. and all of it fills out and becomes glorious and rich and fat and full colour. Best of all worlds. I wouldn’t have it any other way. As a personal tip though, I’d recommend getting one of the above mentioned tb’s that have a range of tonal options to play with, to better suit your rig and ears, as opposed to a straight range master clone that only has the boost knob. But hey, you might dig that the most! So ymmv.
 

Junta

Member
Messages
1,589
I've always wanted to buy a treble booster style pedal, but have been apprehensive because I have read in the past that they only sound good through an amp that is already distorted, or at least on the edge of breakup. And since I have had at least one bad experience with a Way Huge Red Llama (It did not sound good at all through my Carr Rambler. Maybe it was meant to be played through a overdriven amp?), I'm not sure if it would work. I've been curious about the Beano Boost and the Naga Viper. What do you guys think? Any truth to this at all with treble boost style pedals and clean platform amps?
Relatively recent (~6 months) Carr Rambler owner here. I get to crank my Rambler thanks to a high end attenuator, and if you boost your mids in the amp, you would be surprised what the NagaViper starts doing to the Rambler. This might only be achievable on a big stage or in a warehouse without an attenuator... it gets loud.

Better yet, in conjunction with a GreerAmps Lightspeed (which should be sold built into the Rambler from the Carr factory if you ask me, a match made in heaven). Nagaviper into Lightspeed into the Rambler: get ready to be surprised!
 
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dpgreek

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,807
Thank you for the in-depth write up - that’s awesome. The Naga has been on my radar for a very long time ever since I decided to use a Marshall type amp to do all the dirt work. I couldn’t help but pull the trigger on the Metropoulos supa boost yesterday because his stuff is just so amazing and it sounds so great into that type of amp. But if it doesnt work out, Naga is next for boost. I had the Beano. It wasgreat but everything sounded like a cocked wah through my rig in standard mode. Enjoy
 
Messages
12,436
I've always wanted to buy a treble booster style pedal, but have been apprehensive because I have read in the past that they only sound good through an amp that is already distorted, or at least on the edge of breakup. And since I have had at least one bad experience with a Way Huge Red Llama (It did not sound good at all through my Carr Rambler. Maybe it was meant to be played through a overdriven amp?), I'm not sure if it would work. I've been curious about the Beano Boost and the Naga Viper. What do you guys think? Any truth to this at all with treble boost style pedals and clean platform amps?
stock answer is that in lieu of a tube amp pushed to breakup one can well use a pedal like a AIAB, Muff, or whatever you use to make your clean amp sound
hairy. Sometimes the TB sounds better before, sometimes after the OD/fuzz, and you must try both orders unless you know beforehand somehow.
 

john l

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,689
Thank you for the in-depth write up - that’s awesome. The Naga has been on my radar for a very long time ever since I decided to use a Marshall type amp to do all the dirt work. I couldn’t help but pull the trigger on the Metropoulos supa boost yesterday because his stuff is just so amazing and it sounds so great into that type of amp. But if it doesnt work out, Naga is next for boost. I had the Beano. It wasgreat but everything sounded like a cocked wah through my rig in standard mode. Enjoy
I know exactly what you're referring to and its probably the single biggest pet peeve I have with this style of boost. As I understand it Mike has utilized a few different transistors in these over the years so its possible that yours had a different one that imparted more of that the one I had here. That said, my Beano has enough treble lift but is just on the cusp of not enough in standard mode and not at all enough if the mids and bass positions which is why I may play with the selectable input cap values before I sell it.

So far from what Ive read .005uf is the standard issue input for a RM and the Beano uses a value close to this but a little higher so I may try out a few different types of caps in .005uf and the same thing with .0047uf to see if that spices things up. Thanks to modern day attenuators I want the same thing that guys back in the day wanted not so much a polite version of it that plays well with cleaner amps and pedals.
 
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12,436
I’ve gone through about 12 different Treble Boosters and my favorite is the Naga Viper For many reasons
yeah I have many reasons too, though you can't quarrel with say analogman's care to select good germanium transistors with great tone.

The Naga's range control lets you match the low end to your amp and guitar's needs, really to hit that sweet spot, or even to use it as a flat boost with mild fuzz, or to switch to high voltage clean boost like Klons. This avoids the honkiness problem, for example, as you freely choose how much tone shaping to do, while keeping the spirit of the original.

You can also just use it as a clean high pass filter, by taking the fuzz out of the circuit.

The silicon gets a clarity which fits the idea of a boost, and the pedal is dialed in to be able to get a greater range of gain, and to control that range, instead of one size fits all. Anyone who has played with fuzzes also knows that dialing back a fuzz control can get unique tones, and dialing back the Naga's gain to about half way does yield useful tones IMO. Or you can crank the silicon gain and get a slightly more aggressive tone than most TB's. So you can get more gain, less gain, or no gain, etc.

The Naga does the dead nuts vintage treble booster thing perfectly, but does much more too, without losing anything compared to vintage units.

The silicon is more reliable with temperature changes, but has its own charm as well.

I found myself wanting to tweak the range control often, which proved its usefulness to me. It's a "tight control".

So it's a treble booster with modern features that make it more than a treble booster, but still a great treble booster. It's bang for your board space.
 

tubekingsley

Member
Messages
2,968
yeah I have many reasons too, though you can't quarrel with say analogman's care to select good germanium transistors with great tone.

The Naga's range control lets you match the low end to your amp and guitar's needs, really to hit that sweet spot, or even to use it as a flat boost with mild fuzz, or to switch to high voltage clean boost like Klons. This avoids the honkiness problem, for example, as you freely choose how much tone shaping to do, while keeping the spirit of the original.

You can also just use it as a clean high pass filter, by taking the fuzz out of the circuit.

The silicon gets a clarity which fits the idea of a boost, and the pedal is dialed in to be able to get a greater range of gain, and to control that range, instead of one size fits all. Anyone who has played with fuzzes also knows that dialing back a fuzz control can get unique tones, and dialing back the Naga's gain to about half way does yield useful tones IMO. Or you can crank the silicon gain and get a slightly more aggressive tone than most TB's. So you can get more gain, less gain, or no gain, etc.

The Naga does the dead nuts vintage treble booster thing perfectly, but does much more too, without losing anything compared to vintage units.

The silicon is more reliable with temperature changes, but has its own charm as well.

I found myself wanting to tweak the range control often, which proved its usefulness to me. It's a "tight control".

So it's a treble booster with modern features that make it more than a treble booster, but still a great treble booster. It's bang for your board space.
Surprisingly, none of the germanium treble boosters I've owned, have had issues in warm weather, the way that a fuzz pedal would. Have you guys had any temperature problems, with your Ge TB's?
 

teague888

Member
Messages
58
I am just beginning my journey.

I very recently picked up an HBE Germania which seems to be a good value and really I am blown away. I have always been moderately to entirely dissatisfied with MIAB and screamer based pedals in trying to get the tones I want. Now all those pedals are for sale on reverb, just keeping a couple (Snouse Black Box and Jext Telez Uni-vibe) around just in case.
But, the Germania absolutely nails the crunchy tones I was after. Now have a Beano boost on order (I'll sell whichever I like less). Plan to try the Java boost as well. May try one from a small builder, but a bit worried about resale cost if it can't unseat the Germania or Beano.

Also thinking of dipping my toes into germanium fuzz pedals as muffs haven't really done it for me either...a little worried about impedance / pedals playing together but I guess I'll just have to try some stuff to find out.
 

john l

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,689
I am just beginning my journey.

I very recently picked up an HBE Germania which seems to be a good value and really I am blown away. I have always been moderately to entirely dissatisfied with MIAB and screamer based pedals in trying to get the tones I want. Now all those pedals are for sale on reverb, just keeping a couple (Snouse Black Box and Jext Telez Uni-vibe) around just in case.
But, the Germania absolutely nails the crunchy tones I was after. Now have a Beano boost on order (I'll sell whichever I like less). Plan to try the Java boost as well. May try one from a small builder, but a bit worried about resale cost if it can't unseat the Germania or Beano.

Also thinking of dipping my toes into germanium fuzz pedals as muffs haven't really done it for me either...a little worried about impedance / pedals playing together but I guess I'll just have to try some stuff to find out.
TBs are to me what fuzzes are to everyone else these days. T
 




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