- Band Management
- Home Recording
- Live Sound
- Best Instruments
- New Music & Video
PROS: Plenty of boost options and combinations.
CONS: Footswitches are a bit close to each other.
In the days before the days of channel switching amps, boosters were the best way to get a guitar to sing over the mix, boosting the signal, and driving the amp harder. Now they’ve become standard items in multi-channel rigs, to provide not only a signal boost, but to change the overall tone.
The new booster from Maxon fits neatly, even on cramped pedal boards, as it’s roughly the size of an MXR Phase 90. Simple controls, a level for the Vintage boost, and one for the Clean boost, with 1/4” jacks for each. Two true-bypass switches are the only other variables. It’s quite simple in function; plug a guitar into one of the channels, and its output to an amp, or the next pedal in line. There is a neat way to link both channels together; run a cable from the output from the clean channel into the input of the vintage channel, and then out to the rest of the signal chain. For even more tonal choices, place another overdrive in that loop. Each channel offers up +20 dB of boost, which is a lot, and the ability to create unique overdriven combinations is very nice.
The sound of the clean channel is just that, a pure boosted signal of the guitar. Depending on the guitar, amp and other overdrives in the signal chain, it may feel a bit brighter than the vintage channel, which is a touch warmer. The signal is just as strong, but it rounds out the sound a bit, while still cutting through the mix nicely. Both channels are great sounding and do exactly what they’re supposed to, and when combing them either in series and/or with another overdrive pedal, you’re really given a lot of tonal choices to play with.
True Bypass: Switching for each channel
Clean Channel: +20 dB of flat boost
Vintage Channel: +20 dB of mid boost
Close-Proximity Switches: To operate both channels simultaneously
Power: 9-volt battery or 9-18 volt DC adaptor