Serrano Picoso Boost Owners...

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Ized, Oct 13, 2008.

  1. Ized

    Ized Member

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    I quite like the catalinbread serrano picoso boost, its been on my board for 6 months, replacing my old beat up mxr 6 band eq as my main volume boost for solos after my drives. I love the small footprint, cool graphics and bright green led. However as of late I find that it dosent really cut through the mix well when i used it at several jamming sessions, I find that it seems to cut bass and add brightness to my tone, especially when the knob is turned to higher levels.

    Maybe im just nitpicking, but do any of you guys share similar thoughts about the serrano picoso? I may just decide to get another booster with eq shaping abilities and use the serrano picoso as my "always-on" pedal instead.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2008
  2. frankiestarr

    frankiestarr Supporting Member

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    Check out the Sniper modded (GE-7) EQ from Tone Jam Efx.....It's a great "stay on" pedal, and gives you the option of using the EQ.....I found even when it;s set flat, it gives you a pleasing sound quality....kind of hard to descibe. I bought 3 of them....They are wonderful!
     
  3. fr8_trane

    fr8_trane Member

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    My serrano cuts like a knife and I rarely have it up to noon for a boost - 10:00 is usually enough. While it does add an edge to the tone I find it to be musical. The lowend absolutely stays intact with mine and if anything there is a perceived very slight boost in the lows. However, the bass and treble bumps are most likely due to the fletcher-munson effect - which is to say, when you make a sound louder the human ear hears more bass and treble.

    BTW, I put my serrano at the end of my chain. Maybe the bass loss is due to your placement.
     
  4. Ized

    Ized Member

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    thanks for the feedback.... I am using the serrano picoso at the end of my chain. However it seems rather ice picky to me....seems to shave off some bass and add highs. And i need to turn it above 2 o'clock to cut thru the mix of my band. The knob level isnt very consistent i find....from zero to noon there's only a slight boosting effect, and from noon to 3 o'clock there seems to be a huge jump in volume with added treble.

    The sniper mod sounds good.... I'll go check it out.
     
  5. TJSmitty

    TJSmitty Member

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    This has been my experience as well... perhaps the added highs give you the perceived illusion of a looser low end, but when recording all of the juicy frequencies are still present.

    I would tweak your set up some more, as this is a universally praised boost for good reason.
     
  6. Andre357

    Andre357 Member

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    I use mine in the effects loop of my budda SD 18. I get no ice picky effect whatsover. I keep the dial anywhere fro 10 o clock to 2 o clock depending on mood.

    It seems to add MUSCULARITY to my tone and does not cut bass at all.
    Perhaps yours is not working right ??

    What amp are you using it with ?? Also, in the loop or in front of the amp ??

    If in front, and you amp is already cranked, you wont get much of a boost, because your out of headroom.
     
  7. Ized

    Ized Member

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    I'm using it into the clean channel of my Blackheart Little Giant Head. I use it at the end of my effects chain. I rely on pedals solely for my distortion and overdrive needs, so using it after my drives should give me a volume boost right? However i find that its not working like what I've expected and it gets rather ice-picky, as described in my previous post.
     
  8. catalinbread

    catalinbread Member

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    One of our test amps in The Bunker is a Blackheart. What speaker(s) are you using with it?
     
  9. forum_crawler

    forum_crawler Member

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    How would this baby work on a Peavey ValveKing 212? I never go beyond 11 o'clock on my clean channel, and even at that level it is very loud.

    Another question: why would I use one of these instead of an EQ for solo boosts? Something along the lines of an MXR 10 band eq?
     
  10. sandman

    sandman Member

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    IMHO, completely different experience...you really need to try a clean boost to get it...EQs are great for tone shaping but somewhat fake and not really comparable to a good booster...'full sized' Picoso in my case...never turn the damn thing off...all the 'tone' goes down the drain without it...
     
  11. catalinbread

    catalinbread Member

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    :dunno Maybe Erksin will chime in here as I have no real Peavey experience.

    As far as the graphic EQ. I wouldn't use 'em. Something about graphic EQ's feels fake & sterile to me. But it is highly possible I am not smart enough to operate a graphic EQ.
    :roll
     
  12. catalinbread

    catalinbread Member

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    You've assimilated nicely.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. erksin

    erksin Member

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    And I do..? :dunno

    What tubes are in a Valve King, f_c..?
     
  14. sandman

    sandman Member

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    I'll take that as a compliment :D
     
  15. forum_crawler

    forum_crawler Member

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    ValveKing has:

    3 - 12AX7 preamp tubes (EHX)
    4 - 6L6GC power tubes (Sovtek)

    I like how powerful the VK212 is, even if it doesn't get much love, but I am trying to get a booster that will go in front of the amp, provably after my MXR Smart Gate.
     
  16. erksin

    erksin Member

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    What are you trying to accomplish by adding a boost? If your amp has a ton of headroom, you won't get any overdrive with it - just additional volume which it sounds like you're not needing?
     
  17. forum_crawler

    forum_crawler Member

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    That is all I need, just more volume. I get all my distortions from pedals so I don't need a booster to kick the amp into overdrive. I just want more of what I have so that my leads scream out of the mix.
     
  18. erksin

    erksin Member

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    Well then it should work great for your needs. :dude
     
  19. fr8_trane

    fr8_trane Member

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    All eq's and ESPECIALLY cheapo pedal EQ (modded or modded) create phasing issues that smear the frequency response and basically degrade the sound. Its a known issue and quality analog EQ's are made to minimize or even capitalize on this effect. The Boss EQ is not a quality analog EQ and the result of its phase distortion is its plastic, unnatural tone.

    Here's a description I came across that sums it up nicely i think:

    phase shift tends to come into the picture with analog eq because of the nature of the process. you take a dry signal, split it in two, run one side thru filters and blend it back with the other, that filtered side is a little delayed. some circuits have a more pronounced smear around the filtered freqs than others do, and often this is what we hear as the 'sound' of the eq.

    i'll go further and say that this is why eq cuts sound better (than boosts) when accumulated in a mix: the affected freqs are lower in level than the rest of the spectrum (they've been cut), so what you tend to hear in the mix is mostly the unsmeared stuff. with 24 channels of boosted eq, you're hearing phase artifacts all over the place.


    Boosts are very simple circuits that don't F with your signal anywhere near as much as an EQ. The goal of these circuits is to be as transparent as possible: the classic "straight wire with added gain".

    Now it may be that someone in your band is too loud or occupying the same sonic space you are (2nd guitar?). In that case adding volume isn't going to help you cut - you need to either get the other party to turn down or spend some time making sure there is some sonic separation before your boost will cut through.

    Also if your sound is really scooped in the mids it will give the impression of harsh treble but you still won't cut through. "CUT" is found in the midrange. This is the reason tubescreamers have been so popular because they basically act as a mid boost.

    The other possible issue is that you have a cheap or funky (on its way out) input preamp tube. When you hit this tube with added juice it responds in a harsh and unmusical manner and may also cut bass because it just can't handle the extra power.
     
  20. forum_crawler

    forum_crawler Member

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    :agree

    That is a very good explanation, and I appreciate it. We don't scoop the mids when we play since we don't play metal, but I do like to keep them in check because I like my sound to be a bit darker.

    What I used to do before with my multi-effects unit (GT-6) was to have a 'lead' patch that would be basically the same sound as the regular patch, but with a 8dB boost in volume and a bit of extra mids, that was all it took and boom there I was, clearly audible above the mix for soloing.

    Now that I am using pedals, I am finding it difficult to get that extra oomph for leads. I run two EQ pedals in my chain, the first one a GE-7 is only used for a slight mid boost, and it is always on. No volume boost. The second one, after my distortions is an MXR 10 band EQ, and again no volume boost, it is just to remove some of the harshness of the distortions and to smooth out the overall sound of the distortions. No happy face, or sad face to be found on either one of my EQs though.

    But it is beginning to sound like what I do need is a booster of some sort, and not an EQ, however tempting that may be. I do want more, but not to mess with my signal.

    So, this little guy, the serrano picoso might be what I need after all. I have also seen the MK 4.23 and the T-Rex dual booster, but I don't need anything fancy, just something that will give my sound that kick in the pants it needs for soloing...
     

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