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  1. #1

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    Want a boost pedal ‘cuz all the cool kidz use ‘em. Bought one of those green tube screamers a couple of years ago, took it back within an hour of getting it home. That’s not me. But I want... something. The new TMTwin doesn’t need much, really. The HOF is not as good as the built-in, for spring emulation anyway. The MXR 10 band gathers dust.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    The EP booster might be more versatile because it has internal dip switches to tweak the EQ. I have an EP Booster and basically leave it on the whole time.

  4. #3

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    What kinda guitars are you going to play into that thing, and what kind sounds are you after?

    I'm a long time ep booster fan. 18v for me. But most people that like it tend to play thinner, brighter sounding guitars, like strats. It adds some low mid warmth that may or may not work for archtops or humbuckers.

  5. #4
    175 and a Strat. Mostly the Gibson but I do enjoy the Strat.

  6. #5

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    You trying to push your amp, you want a clean boost, a dirty boost, or just some warmth and coloration?

  7. #6

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    Got the Xotic EP because many forumites like it.

    Hate it.

    With EQ on it adds midrange to cut through. I prefer a scooped sound most times.. flat sometimes.. but never a midrange boost with an archtop. With EQ off, it's just a clean boost. Something you don't need to spend over $100 for.

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by feet
    You trying to push your amp, you want a clean boost, a dirty boost, or just some warmth and coloration?
    Clean for the archtop a little warmth and color for the Strat.

  9. #8

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    I sometimes use a Boss GE7 as a boost pedal for solos, usually just flat with the volume slider just a little above the notch. Easier than turning the volume control up and down, and you know what volume you'll get. The JR Barnyard does much the same, but does color the tone a little, depending on the settings. Almost any preamp will work as a boost, although I would want one that can be engaged/disengaged with a button push. I use the GE7 because I have it.

  10. #9

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    Mooer Pure Boost (or cheaper but the same thing: Donner Boost Killer) they say they are Xotic RC Boost clones, don't know.

    I had the Xotic EP first. Charms when you get it but soon gets ... cheesy ... in lack of a better word. Like fake vanilla sauce... like we all thought in the 80s there must be an Aural Exciter in our studio rack, you get so sick of it.
    And the thing with the dip switches is a joke.

    Bought a couple of the Donner things and one is always with me. Bass, treble, drive and volume control, true bypass. From super clean boost to Scofield like crunch and a lot in between. And a real sound control +/- some 12 db or so.

    Buy it cheap @ Donnerdeals from China. (no affiliation)

  11. #10
    The Donner looks interesting. Thanks!

  12. #11

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    It sounds like you want both. The ep booster for the strat and the rc booster for the archtop. The ep for color, warmth and maybe a little grit and the rc for the eq and clean boost. They don't really over lap, sadly.

    The pure boost wasn't bad. You can get a clean boost, or cut a little to compensate for the amp warming up or keep things tight or too bright. Or punch up a dull amp, maybe add a little gain. The rc booster is a very modified tube screamer, I believe. No mid bump, much cleaner, etc.

    The ep booster is an always on, secret sauce kinda of thing. But that is sometimes redundant with an archtop. But there are alternatives. Chase tone secret preamp is a more boutique version, a guy in Australia makes one too. The em drive is similar with the low mid bump in a slightly higher place.

    Or maybe one of xotic's newer offerings are for you? The really clean and really sweet; dip switches are on the outside now.

  13. #12

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    I love the EP Boost for a Tele and a Strat. As is said by others above, even when turned all the way down, it adds a nice thickness to your tone (just like a Echoplex would). I also agree that with my 175 or 335 it can be too much and even muddy up my tone. The EP boost is not transparent, but is very natural and musical.

  14. #13

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    Either an Xotic Sweet Boost or a T.C. Jauernig Luxury Drive pedal is what you want. The Sweet Boost has chip in it that makes a difference!
    Another option is the Lighthouse Boost by Seafoam pedals. 3 way tone switch and 3 way clean, light od, mid od settings.

  15. #14

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    I have a Spark booster. It's one of the most versatile boosters in the market. It's almost like an EQ pedal. A switch to add mid boost or bass boost if needed. Separate treble and bass controls. And optional light overdrive. Without mid or bass boost, it's very transparent.

  16. #15

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    I've owned both, and imo the EP is a nice little boost, but the Spark outclasses it in every way. It's simply more controllable, and therefore more versatile. I you love the the EQ the EP has built into it, then great. But the Spark allows you much more adjustment to get the "just right" tone you want. And from Xotic, the RC Booster would be the compare (altho I also like the Spark better than the RC).

    And if you get the Spark, don't bother with the mini- get the full-size version, because it's the only one with that kind of versatility.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by DonEsteban
    And the thing with the dip switches is a joke.
    How so? Please elaborate. I'm in the market for a clean boost and wouldn't mind finding out more.

    Thanks.

  18. #17

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    Well, inside the housing there are two dip switches doing some fixed parameter EQ-ing.
    One is a +3 dB boost and one is a bright switch.

    You have to unscrew the bottom of the device (4 Phillips screws) to access them, that's why I called it a joke.

    Here is the manual: https://xotic.us/wp-content/uploads/...ter_manual.pdf

  19. #18

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    Time to start experimenting and going down the Money Rathole,lol!

  20. #19

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    If you care for technical info look here:

    freestompboxes.org • View topic - Xotic EP-Booster

  21. #20

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    Here's a good intro video to boost pedals by Josh Scott of JHS pedals:


    I'm a jazz player and also do a fair amount of pit orchestra work. I find the EP to be super useful. (And I've never messed with the dip switches since I purchased it.)

  22. #21

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    I am going to second viewing the JHS youtube videos if you haven't already. That guy is all about pedals.

  23. #22

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    I'm not sure what you want from boost pedal. To colour guitar sound or? Or regular solo boost or?

    Edit:

    There are like literally 10 types of boost pedals. You can use them for different things. I'm not sure for which use do you want boost pedal. XD

    You have like gain boost - MXR Micro Amp. You can get only volume boost pedal like Catalinbread Super Chili Picoso.
    You can have volume and gain boost like TubeScreamer or MAB overdrive.
    You can have boost to colour sound, like 10 EQ pedals.
    You can have midrange and gain boost like Suhr Koko stuff.

    Tons of pedals for tons of options.
    Be precise.

    Edit:

    What do you miss in solo? Gain? Volume? Midrange? Two of it? 3 of it?
    What do you want for boost pedal to do?
    Last edited by Mecena; 01-25-2020 at 02:14 PM.

  24. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by jads57
    Time to start experimenting and going down the Money Rathole,lol!
    ordered the big body Spark. They are available for a little less than a hundred at Amazon and others.

  25. #24

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    Luckily, I don't need boost pedal.
    But the best one I've heard was combo of two.
    One guy which did I know in past, did use MXR Micro amp with that Super Chili pedal.
    Two of them in same time.
    He had solo MIDI stuff, so in solo this two were on. That was like the best solo boost pedal combo which I've heard.
    This two together. Just simple gain and volume boost. Nothing more then that.
    I've seen people use like Tubescreamer only , some did use stuff like Boss EQ pedal.
    But MXR Micro and Super Chili together in MIDI stuff. That was the best which I've ever heard.
    If I wanted like pure boost pedal, I would to that, this 2 together.
    Shame there is no pedal which would combine this 2 together in one .....

  26. #25
    For me, TC Spark is more transparent than Xotic EP Booster. I have the Spark Booster and it is very versatile.

  27. #26
    The Spark 4 knob version came yesterday. Hooked it up to the ToneMaster Twin. Grabbed the 2016 Memphis 175. First impression- nice boost on the clean setting of the Fat-Clean-Mid switch. Turn down the gain and level - better but I prefer the sound of the 175 straight into the twin. I guess this is what y’all mean by articulation as the Spark kinda smears? the sound. Very slight as if the attack slope of the note is slowed a little. Not a deal breaker and assume I’ll be able to dial it in after I learn the pedal and the amps interaction.

    Then I plugged in the Strat. Oh goodness! It’s like a new guitar. This Strat has the relatively low output, 6.7k, Fender 57/62 reissue non reverse wound or reverse polarity pickups that I position almost decked to the scratch plate. The Spark mid boost is creamy dreamy! It adds a whole new sonic frontier.

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by TedBPhx
    The Spark 4 knob version came yesterday. Hooked it up to the ToneMaster Twin. Grabbed the 2016 Memphis 175. First impression- nice boost on the clean setting of the Fat-Clean-Mid switch. Turn down the gain and level - better but I prefer the sound of the 175 straight into the twin. I guess this is what y’all mean by articulation as the Spark kinda smears? the sound. Very slight as if the attack slope of the note is slowed a little. Not a deal breaker and assume I’ll be able to dial it in after I learn the pedal and the amps interaction.

    Then I plugged in the Strat. Oh goodness! It’s like a new guitar. This Strat has the relatively low output, 6.7k, Fender 57/62 reissue non reverse wound or reverse polarity pickups that I position almost decked to the scratch plate. The Spark mid boost is creamy dreamy! It adds a whole new sonic frontier.
    Good review. I might have to try one up against the Xotic EP.

  29. #28

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    I will use my EQ as a Boost Fish&Chips. If I want a dirty boost I use a OD or Fuzz type pedal If I want more sparkle or clarity I will use a compressor each of these has a volume control to help with Boost.

  30. #29

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    The TC Spark when I've used is more literally a boost like its advertised the Xotic EP Boost is so wicked that I've entertained getting two of them! It has such a nice mild drive to it that I've found myself just leaving it on all the time as a upper low mid boost of warmth to the tone. I also find it pushes my Princeton amp just enough that I can get that mojo tone at way lower volumes which is great for jamming on the home front.

    I also got the Xotic compressor post this which does a good job of many of the things you want with out entirely squashing the signal (unless you want it to)

    Big fan of the Xotic stuff, I'd like to try some of their pickups in the near future...

    RF

  31. #30

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    I play a tele with 2 seymour duncan SH1N humbuckers on a deluxe reverb.
    Still I feel the top (1st and 2nd string) might need some fattening (warmth).
    One of these 2 pedals might be helpfull.
    Which one is the best for my needs. Just clean, don't need grit or distortion.

    thanks,

    Stefaan

  32. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by gitaarklas
    I play a tele with 2 seymour duncan SH1N humbuckers on a deluxe reverb.
    Still I feel the top (1st and 2nd string) might need some fattening (warmth).
    One of these 2 pedals might be helpfull.
    Which one is the best for my needs. Just clean, don't need grit or distortion.

    thanks,

    Stefaan
    First, I own and use both pedals.

    Second, it's very difficult to fatten ONLY the top 2 strings.

    BUT- IMO, if that's the specific job I was trying to accomplish, I would get the EP Booster, and set the internal dip switches to "vintage" (this is how I leave mine anyway). And, if you want to do it on the cheap, you could go to Amazon and get a Mosky XP Boost- it's a clone of the EP. And I can verify this, because I own one of those as well (I have 4 pedalboards, for different applications./amps).

    The XP does "something"... unexplainable... I love the Spark Boost, and it's a better "EQ" pedal, but the EP does something intangible to the tone. I really can't explain it. But, for jazz tones, and for "fattening the plain strings", I recommend the EP Booster. 1 knob, done. The only caveat is: it IS a boost pedal, and doesn't have a level control (the TC has a gain and a level control), so it WILL make the sound louder, by design. Which would mean to keep the same volume, you will have to turn your amp down a little. How much depends on how high you run the knob on the EP booster.

  33. #32

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    I agree 100% with "ruger9". I have a similar set-up to yours, except I have a G&L Tele with SH1s into a Deluxe. The EP is a nice "thickener." I actually keep the knob turned all the way down, so I don't get much level change when it's engaged. However, it's an "always on" pedal with my Tele, so I can easily compensate for the slight level change with my guitar volume. Good luck!

  34. #33

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    My experience: I have the spark mini and I love it. My number one use for it though isn’t really a jazz thing. I use spark and a delay pedal (Boss dd-500) through my Vox AC10 for a really good U2 tone. It gives what is usually a very dirty amp a ton of clean headroom. Small side effect: gets loud! And certainly also good for the regular clean boost so others can hear your solos...

  35. #34

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    Xotic Sweet Boost pedal !

  36. #35
    A year in and my initial impression hasn’t changed, love the Spark on the Strat - don’t use it for the 175 both into the ToneMaster Twin.

  37. #36

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    I like Spark mid boost going into my Princeton with my ES 175. It flattens the curve of the scoop.
    I also have TubeScreamers for that purpose. Spark in the mid boost setting has a less exaggerated and less compressed mid boost than TS pedals. Both can be good. Scoop can be good too. Good to have options.

  38. #37

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    I am also an ES175 into a Princeton guy and I also use a Spark. It does the job.

  39. #38

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    Big fan of the EP Booster. With the internal bright switch 'on', it's fairly flat. That said and as said in posts above, the EP is not meant to be completely transparent.

    I'm sure the full size Spark will be good. I had a mini Spark and it was a good transparent boost. I just like what the EP does even when just using it as a solo booster.

  40. #39

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    Xotic Sweet Boost pedal has 5 dip switches and a chip used in a Tube Screamer circuit that just warms everything up nicely !

  41. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by jads57
    Xotic Sweet Boost pedal has 5 dip switches and a chip used in a Tube Screamer circuit that just warms everything up nicely !
    Yes I just discovered these two yesterday- the Super Sweet Boost and the Super Clean Boost. I actually got so excited by the SS that I ordered one. I love my EP Booster, but it would be nice to have a little more control (more dipswitches) when using the pedal on different amps, or with different guitars. And I hate EQ pedals- I have tried them many times, and have never gotten along with them. The Xotic stuff I have tried over the years has been great- ALL of it.

  42. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by rfmando
    The TC Spark when I've used is more literally a boost like its advertised the Xotic EP Boost is so wicked that I've entertained getting two of them! It has such a nice mild drive to it that I've found myself just leaving it on all the time as a upper low mid boost of warmth to the tone. I also find it pushes my Princeton amp just enough that I can get that mojo tone at way lower volumes which is great for jamming on the home front.

    I also got the Xotic compressor post this which does a good job of many of the things you want with out entirely squashing the signal (unless you want it to)

    Big fan of the Xotic stuff, I'd like to try some of their pickups in the near future...

    RF
    I have been looking for a post-overdrive solo booster and been wondering what would the Xotic SP compressor be like.

    Can You make it to boost without compressing too much?

  43. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by Herbie
    I have been looking for a post-overdrive solo booster and been wondering what would the Xotic SP compressor be like.

    Can You make it to boost without compressing too much?
    For an after-dirt solo booster, the Full-sized Spark is the best I have found. But there's a caveat:

    It depends on how you are running your amp. If you are running your amp clean, and it still has lots of headroom, putting the Spark after your dirt box will achieve what you desire. But if you are running the amp breaking up some already, THEN you step on a dirt box... you might run out of headroom running into the front of the amp: you'll get more gain, but not more volume. To remedy this, and this is what I do, I run the Spark in the effects loop of the amp. You'll get all the volume boost you need that way.

    Also, running it in the effects loop gives you zero to very little compression.

    FYI, I've owned alot of compressors over the years. I know the SP is popular, but I wasn't a fan. My favorite compressors were the Barber Tone Press and the Keeley 4-knob. Any compressor I use MUST have a clean blend... that's the key in achieve SUBTLE compression.