- by Kevin Deal
Finding the best boost pedal doesn’t have to be a pain. The best boost pedals can influence the overall sound and presence a musician's music can offer.
Having control over your volume can be difficult. Most musicians make a mistake in not investing in a pedal that suits their needs. Often leading them to have weaker sound quality.
Understanding how your sound is portrayed is half the battle in the music industry. Knowing the proper tools and equipment will help you connect with your audience. This guide will aid you in the top boost pedals within the field.
Reviews Of Our Best Boost Pedal
1. TC Electronic Spark Mini Booster
Mini boost pedals are growing in their popularity. And with the TC Electronic Spark Mini Booster, there is no reasonable doubt as to why. It is a single channel amp that gives +20 Db boost every time. While it is the cheapest on our list, the mini booster packs power for those who might need it.
Control, sound adjustability and are its main features. When using the TC Mini Booster, you’ll notice that clean boost right away.
- Small Footprint – Because it is a mini pedal the TC mini booster can be used with others. It does not take up too much real estate and is an excellent choice for those who have large setups in need for a shorter one
- Transparent Setup – Transparent set up allows for musicians to work easily. It allows them to install and remove the device after a show quickly. Because of this, the TC Mini Booster is a great addition for those who want a simple set up
- Gain Control – It allows for +20 Db of gain control. Making it easier for musicians who want to have quick control of their sound quality
- Clean Boost – The TC Mini gives off a clean sound every time it is in use. This is perfect for those who might need that enhancement in their sounds
- Alignment Issues – The only con with the TC Mini is its input jacks. Drummers find it a challenge to align the input jacks and the DC input. Since the jacks are too close the DC input, alignment issues can occur
2. Xotic EP Booster Mini EQ Effect Pedal
The Xotic EP Effects uses a legendary echo machine the EP-3 preamp which was used by legendary players such as Eddie Van Halen and Jimmy Page. With an excellent design and low output, the Xotic Effects creates offer over +20dB of sound control. Due to its compact size, it is mobile. Making it easier for musicians to transport the boost pedal with little hassle.
Taking only 1.5 inches of real estate, the Xotic Effects is used in conglomeration with other pedal boards. Its simple design allows for a quick boost to one’s sound. While some have complained about its lack of features, the Xotic Effects is still a functional sound booster.
- Sound Quality – The Xotic EP Effects has +20Db of gain control. Making it easy for you to compose the sound to how you like it
- Compact Design – It is the pedal of choice by professional musicians. It’s slim, yet powerful design might be a good choice for guitarists engaged in live performances
- Clean Boost – Distortion can ruin a musician’s sound. The Xotic EP Booster plays with virtually no distortion. If looking for a boost pedal that enhances your sound without the noise, this might be a right pedal for you
- Lack of Sturdiness – Since it is so small, the Xotic EP Booster is not that durable compared to other brands. Use carefully, as one hard press can overdrive the pedal
3. MXR M133 Micro Amp
For its small size and reasonable price, the MXR M133 might be a good choice for those on a budget. Most artists seek boost pedals that do more than just correct the sound. The MXR, comes with a compressor, making it easier to have that “clean boost” feel while performing.
Its main feature is its professional performance. The MXR does best at switching guitars without a reduction of the output. Thus, this might be ideal for large groups (with multiple instruments) to invest in this small, but deadly boost pedal.
- No Tone Coloration – Tone Coloration is an annoyance for most musicians. It can lead to the sound not produced at the level you want it. Thus, the MXR might be an excellent choice for those not wanting to add color to their tones
- Distortionless Sound – With distortion comes with problems. The MXR provides a permanent boost with its Gain Control system. This leads to having a great amount of sound without any distortion
- Simple – The MXR is made with one adjustable Gain button and an input and output where you can plug in your instruments. This simple micro amp might be a good choice for those in need of an easy boost
- Tone Reduction – The MXR is great in creating tone boosts, but not in reduction. Its aggressive tone-boosting can be a turn off for those wanting a wide range of sound control
4. EarthQuaker Devices Arrows Preamp Booster
The EarthQuaker Arrows is a great choice for bands. It boosts the midrange while cleaning up both the low-end and high-end sounds. With a simple interface, it is designed to boost or control your signal. Gain control offers a clean neck pickup and a definite resonance to your harmonics.
We recommend making sure you are obtaining power correctly. The Arrows booster is less efficient when there is unclean power or a ripple. It is an excellent choice for bands looking to perform their first live set.
- Clean Boost – The Arrows increase pedal creates a clean boost by first improve the lows. Highs and mid tones are also tuned through this preamp. Making it useful for those needing a clean and clear song
- Versatile – It is simple to control, but offers EQ support amongst multiple channels. The Arrows booster pedal converts to a two-channel overdrive when instruments are connected. Due to its versatility, bands with multiple instruments might see this as a gold mine
- Feels Natural – With a good volume cutting system, the Arrows boost pedal improves the sound in a natural way. The Arrows creates great distortion control to help those in need of rational maximization
- Tone Control – For players looking to fix unsatisfactory tones, this might prove to be an issue. The lack of tone control is evident once using the amp a few times. This often leads to a weaker sound quality for live performers
5. Electro-Harmonix LPB-1 Linear Booster Preamp
The Electro Harmonix boost pedal is a recreation of the LPB-1 circuit. Improved with a cleaner and heavier input drive, the Harmonix might be an excellent choice for those wanting control over the gain and saturation.
Electro Harmonix’s best feature is its distortion removal. While it can reduce the signal reduction in long chains, it is a boost pedal that has tons of replay value. It increases your base signal and volume without destroying the quality of your guitar solos.
- Compact – It’s a small boost pedal with a lot of power behind it. This might be useful for those who need a mobile amp
- Responsive – Even though it is small, it responds with ease. The Electro Harmonix synchronizes user input to give a boost to volume. It is an excellent choice for those wanting a pedal that instantly responds to their commands
- Weak LED Lighting – With only a few times of usage, the LED lighting goes out. Make sure to keep an eye on the lighting of this boost pedal
- Distortion – The quality of distortion removal is weaker than other products. For acoustic guitar users, this boost pedal amplifies the signal, but at the cost of increased distortion
Getting the Most out of Your Money
A good musician knows how to use their sound to the best of their ability. From rock stars to the jazz enthusiast, boost pedals control their sound to the lowest decibel. Even in the audition process, you’ll see boost pedals begin to make their mark. As said on the Gibson website, a good boost pedal will amplify and generate a cleaner sound.
When searching for a boost pedal, look for one that gives a clean boost. A clean boost is when a pedal can boost the volume of your guitar without any distortion. The only form of distortion that would be felt is due to an overdrive of the pedal. So, if you’re a country singer, clean boosts are essential to getting a sustainable lead tone and volume control.
The Main Takeaway: Boost pedals are important pieces of equipment for all music genres. Whether you are an EDM artist or someone practicing in a band, boost pedals enhance the experience. Simple pedals focus on controlling the volume, while expensive pedals create decades worth of enhanced musical sound.
There are a diverse set of reasons to use a boost pedal. Sometimes guitarists use it to increase the quality of their riffs. Some use it to increase the gain of their sound while others use it to provide a composed song without any sound discrepancies. Without a boost pedal, the sound can appear off. Thus, lowering the value of your musical performance.
How to Pick A Best Boost Pedal
Finding reviews on your favorite boost pedal is a challenge. Music comes in different shades of genres and finding one can take a great deal of time. Due to the ever-changing environment of music, reviewers provide answers that might not relate to your musical skill or needs.
For starters, it's nice to purchase a simple boost pedal. It allows having primary control over the range and quality of your music. While cheap ones can break easily, they are still a great investment. Artists trying to take their music to the next level will find the value of a good boost pedal.
Here are some things to check and consider, as well:
- Cost. Should be considered when trying to find a boost pedal best for one’s budget.
- Compatibility. Check to see if it is compatible with your instrument.
- Use. Decide on the short and long term goals of your boost pedal.
- Function. Before getting into features, find a boost pedal that functions correctly.
Equipment breaks over time. While instruments are delicate, they can be replaced. But, finding a rare quality equipment is worth its weight in gold.
For example, the EP booster is used by a wide range of artists. The prices can be high due to the branding, but it is not without value. Innovative features, design and functionality, it is built for the professional musician.
We’ve chosen the Xotic Effects EP Booster.
All of the boost pedals in this list are simple in their usage, but they do not equate to the Xotic Effects. When looking for a clean boost, you have to take into consideration the amount of distortion your amp brings. Most amps state that they remove distortion, but only discolor the sound. However, the Xotic Effects does not have this issue. Its seamless and compact design allows for users to experience the beauty of true sound fully.
The Xotic Effects has the best form of clean boost. In comparison to other products such as the Arrows Booster, the Xotic Effects offers a range of +20 Db of Gain control. It does not only enhance your sound but also the audience’s engagement with your music.
Ultimately, if you are a musician with a wide set of needs, the Xotic Effects booster might be a great choice for you.