- Band Management
- Home Recording
- Live Sound
- Best Instruments
- New Music & Video
PROS: True bypass. Adds punch, compression and boost without noise.
TC Electronic is best known for making high-end signal processors, but one of their most popular items for guitarists was their Booster + Line Driver distortion. Their Spark Booster pedal revisits their past in a new way.
It’s the same overall design as their TonePrint pedals, about the size of an MXR Phase 90. One large screw at the bottom allows quick access to the 9v battery, and a standard 9v plug is located on the back. Controls are simple, GAIN, LEVEL, BASS & TREBLE. A 3-way mini toggle is located in the center and features three settings: FAT, CLEAN & MID. The BASS & TREBLE knobs are active, with a center detent. This gives the ability to boost or cut their respective frequencies with a simple turn.
Connecting it to a tube amp really brings out the feeling of “more.” It’s shallower than an overdrive, but really highlights the best in the guitar and the amp. With 26db of boost, it has plenty of sound, and the gain can add plenty of grit. It has ample crunch for rhythm playing, but for leads, some players may be looking for some extra saturation. It’s best used when placed before a distortion or overdrive pedal; in this configuration the noise level was non-existent!
There are a lot of boutique companies making boosters, but this is one that deserves to be checked out. TC says it best of their Spark Booster: “Add body, punch and warmth to pickups, drive amps to peak performance and enhance the sonic possibilities of existing sounds.”
-26 dB of boost
-Level knob to drive amps even harder
-Active EQ for extended low and high end
-True bypass for optimal signal integrity