Rangemaster, What does it do?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by moodog, Feb 1, 2006.


  1. moodog

    moodog Member

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    I've been listening to T-Rex and some early Brit blues stuff lately and I hear these guys used Dallas Rangemasters back in the day. I've never tried one but I think I would like it.
    I know that is has a smooth distortion is on the bright side, but I've also heard that it boosts your signal when you go into leads. Can someone discribe this? The samples I've heard don't really focus on this.
     
  2. rwe333

    rwe333 Supporting Member

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    Analog Man's description may help (BTW, I think it's now disputed that EC actually used a Rangemaster on the Mayall recording):
    http://www.analogman.com/beano.htm

    Brian May, Rory Gallagher, early Ritchie Blackmore, etc. used treble boosters (not always Dallas)...

    I found lots of use for this version:
    http://www.lockhartfx.com/
     
  3. gitpicker

    gitpicker Member

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    I have had a few "Rangemaster" type pedals in my day. The term "treble booster" is a little misleading. They do change the EQ of your tone quite a bit, but really seem to add alot more mids and cut some bass, as opposed to just adding treble. You end up with a really FAT tone that works great for leads and single-note riffs. Of the germanium based ones I have tried the Analogman Beano Boost was by far the best. That being said, there are many more out there that I have not tried (Throbak, Retroman, etc,) as well as a bunch of silicon based treble boosters (Plosive, Brian May, etc.). I would recommend trying one out that has some sort of EQ switch/knob so you can fine tune it to your rig.

    They all will give you a sizable boost, which is really part of thier magic. They add this radical EQ to your tone, and then drive the crap out of the front end of your amp - the combination is really cool, and the tone is a mile wide.
     
  4. rhmcfarland

    rhmcfarland Member

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    BSM makes some great retro stuff.
    I like my ORange Treble & Bass Booster a lot.
    Most treble boosters are really intense, and they get along best with a warm tube amp.
     
  5. Highway Jones

    Highway Jones Supporting Member

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    IMO, Led Zeppelin's "The Lemon Song" is a good example of the grittyness a TB adds to an overdriven tone.
     
  6. Pentode

    Pentode Supporting Member

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    I'm pretty sure that is not a treble booster, but a Tone Bender Mk II fuzz.
     
  7. moodog

    moodog Member

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    It could be anything on there. But my guess it's just a small Supro amp, like he says it is. I've read articles where he is quoted having used a small Supro amp on the tracks for the first two albums. He used it here and there on other albums until it got lost/stolen.
    I've owned several small Valco amps of this type and they have a very unique distortion all there own. One that rivals the most ornery fuzz's.
     
  8. dickHz

    dickHz Member

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    Yeah, the tonebender days were over by then. Page used a univox unidrive for a lot of tracks.

    The lemon songs opening bit sounds a lot like a 6v6 amp
     
  9. playon

    playon Supporting Member

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    I have a Dyna-Ranger pedal which is a slightly mellower version of the treble booster. I love it, it sounds awesome into a slightly driven tube amp or iin front of an overdrive pedal. It's not going to sound good through a real clean amp. They also seem to like humbuckers best.
     
  10. 2x6L6

    2x6L6 Supporting Member

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    I wish I could remember the track, but there's a great example of live Rory (it's either the Irish Tour or BBC Sessions album) use of a Rangemeaster. Until I played one, I never knew what he was stepping on, but now it is just obvious!! :) It just adds a snarly-gnarl to his tone. I think they are a bit trickier with single coils (KILLER with 'buckers) but well nonetheless worth the time and effort for Strats. Mine is pretty noisy - if your rig is already noisy, well it boosts the hell outa that, too! It's almost comical on the Rory track I am thinking of - instant bzzzzzzzz, but then as soon as he plays it is fat and choice!

    The Mullard OC44 transistor is available, and if you're a DIY guy this is a great first project for effects-building. I built the General Guitar Gadgets version and really dig it - were I to do it again, however, I would do the build as described in the article below, which I believe is similar to the analogman build.

    Geofex has a good article explaining some about 'em here:
    http://www.geofex.com/Article_Folders/Rangemaster/drm.htm - click on the "and how to build one" link for a very worthy explanation of the magic of the Rangemaster. In addition to the usual treble-boosting explanation, geofex gives this tidbit: "However, the Dallas Rangemaster has some other tricks. As a result of the use of germanium devices and careful biasing, there is a subtle distortion added, as well as a changeover to harder distortion on loud notes, and the built-in ability to overdrive a tube amp input for some more serious distortion. These effects get more prominent as frequency goes up, so there is a very characteristic note added by the Dallas Rangemaster."

    All this does make the Rangemaster a killer boost for lead work. Truly an unsung hero. Oh, and they sound great WITH a small Supro amp, in my experience.​

     
  11. trisonic

    trisonic Member

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    Do you know I was involved professionally in the music business in England from the time I was 16 (1967) at Decca and attended more sessions than I care to remember of the so-called Brit Blues scene.
    I never saw a Dallas Rangemaster at any studio or on stage! That includes Eric Clapton, Mick Taylor, Fleetwood Mac etc., etc.

    The first time I saw one was a photo on this Forum.

    Best, Pete.
     
  12. Phil M

    Phil M Supporting Member

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    I know some of the folks here were disputing what was "actually" used on the recording. I honestly don't know or care, BUT I think Highway Jones' point is a good one in regards to what sort of tone a treble booster can do.

    They are super cool with overdriven amps or amps on the edge of breakup.
     
  13. Teahead

    Teahead Member

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    Here's a clip of the Beano Boost between a Les Paul & cranked AC30... http://www.soundclick.com/bands/songInfo.cfm?bandID=361669&songID=2550439

    Here's the same set up with a Keeley Java Boost... http://www.soundclick.com/bands/songInfo.cfm?bandID=361669&songID=2550439

    You can only get the best from Treble Boosters if you have plenty of power tube overdrive happening already. Your amp sound should be reasonably warm and "Brit" voiced to best match the voice of the pedal. They love cranked non-master Marshalls, AC30's Normal Channel etc.
     
  14. THROBAK

    THROBAK Gold Supporting Member

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  15. tfire

    tfire Member

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    In 74/75 I know for sure that Rory Gallagher was using a Dallas Rangemaster, sitting on top of a Fender tweed amp with a piece of aluminium cooking foil between it and the amp for shielding. Very high-tech!
     
  16. playon

    playon Supporting Member

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    One of the things I really like about the /13 Dyna-Ranger is that I find I don't have to have the amp that loud for it to sound cool, even more so if I run in into and overdrive pedal first. It's a really great sound to have on tap.
     
  17. drmathprog

    drmathprog Member

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    There is a booster pedal with 3 separate circuits (a MOSFET clean boost, a silicon EH LPB and a germanium Dallas Rangemaster) that you can buy as a kit or completely assembled from here:

    http://www.buildyourownclone.com/tri.html


    The Dallas Rangemaster setting gives a very good version of this sound: a bit of bass cut, a bit of mid boost and a bit of grit with anything from 0 db gain to probably 20 db gain, with very little noise. I like mine a lot.
     
  18. QuickDraw

    QuickDraw Member

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    as mentioned above they can introduce a bit of noise into your signal chain, but, man it is a great sounding booster! here's a pic of my homemade oc44 based rangemaster[​IMG]
     
  19. 2x6L6

    2x6L6 Supporting Member

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    That's a wicked-cool lookin' pedal! I am guessing the switch switches different input caps in and out for boosting different frequncies?
     
  20. pyt

    pyt Member

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    I built the geofx rangemaster with parts from small bear. Sounds great and not that noisy. As mentioned before, it's mainly for single note leads or two note power chords. It cuts bass, boosts mids and does something nice with the hi end. Mine has tons of output and it works best with the amp cooking a bit. It seems to like pickups in the bridge position, and humbuckers better than single coils. Although it loves my tele bridge pickup. It's a really great boost if you want your leads to stand out in the mix in a distinct way.
     

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