Are you looking for the best boost pedal for your guitar? Then you are in the right place.
As guitarists, one of the best pedals you can get for yourself is a clean boost pedal for producing that clean sound.
But picking a boost pedal can be a like confusing and challenging as there are some things you need to consider before you make a choice.
Basically you want something that boosts your amps and provides you with a strong and wide range of rich, loud sounds.
Well…not to worry cos in this article we will be looking at the top 5 boost pedals in the market today, what to consider before you make a choice, frequently asked questions about boost pedals and how to ensure you get the best from your recently acquired pedal.
What is a boost pedal and what is it used for?
Boost pedals as the name implies are pedals that help to “boost” or increase the gain of your sounds through your amp.
They do this by increasing the amplitude of the audio signal during solos as well as preventing signal loss in the chain
So think of them as a sort of volume control device for your guitar setup
One good thing about such devices is that they boost your sounds without muddying or affecting the original sound of your guitar.
While setting up your guitar rig and you find out that your signal is constantly being cut off or you just need something to produce that extra volume, then a boost pedal is your best bet.
Here are some advantages of having a boost pedal
It gives you a smooth, clean overdrive that you simply cannot get using a normal overdrive.
It gives you that clean sounding solo boost that is especially used in blues and jazz genre of music.
It helps give your ampls that extra push they need to produce a fine, smooth tone without any interference.
Things to consider before you make a purchase
1. What is your budget?
While most boost pedals are fairly cheap, you want to ensure that you go for a product that is within your price range and also has a lot of features.
Truth be told
The more expensive a boost pedal is, the more features that it is most likely to have
This is by no means an avenue for you to spend more than your budget on a pedal.
What you can do in this situation is to start with what you can afford and get to play around with it.
As you become more advanced, you can then get something higher priced that comes with more features.
2. What is the level of distortion?
Another thing you need to consider before you purchase a clean boost pedal is the level of distortion or overdrive that it adds to your mix.
Basically you want something that has little or no external interference to the way your songs sound.
In other words, you want a clean sounding mix
Your boost pedal is required to do one job only and that’s to give the amp that extra kick without messing up your sound quality.
3. Ease of use and portability
Finally you want something that is very easy to use and portable
Your guitar rig is something that will be carried with you from place to place depending on where you are performing.
As a result you want something that is very easy to setup and portable.
The portability also includes something that is durable and does not break easily
The Top 5 Best Boost Pedals
1. MXR M-133 Micro Amp Booster Pedal
This is probably the best clean boost pedal for guitars and one of the most popular in the market today.
It is a very simple and easy to use pedal
It is a micro amp pedal boost that adds a preset amount of gain to your sounds using a single control.
This is one pedal boost that lets you easily boost your signal for lead work
You can also easily adjust your different guitar outputs without any distortion
If you deal with constant signal drop off in your guitar chain, then this boost pedal will allow you to supply a permanent boost easily
It comes in a durable metal casing that prevents breakage and damage when used.
It has a single on and off switch with a true bypass that ensures your tone is not affected when the pedal is switched off.
It comes with a 1.4 inch output and input port and can be powered using a 9V DC supply.
It has a large rubber washer that goes over the side making it very easy to grip and operate with your feet.
This is one pedal that is very easy to use, it is not so expensive and gives a nice boost to your signal.
1. It is very easy to use and portable
2. It boosts your sounds without altering or changing it
3. It is ideal for use with leads and solos
1. It requires a little Eq tweaking to get the perfect sound
2. Xotic EP Boost Pedal
This is a popular boost pedal that has been used by some guitar legends such as Page, EVH and Johnson.
It is made from high quality parts and comes with a discrete design that ensures a low impedance output.
It provides up to +20dB of nice sounding boost with multi dimensional highs and lows without any stress on your ears
It has an internal DIP switch that lets you select how you boost the frequencies while adding some Eq settings
If you are looking for a boost pedal for bass and blues, then this is one pedal that you need to get.
It is a simple boost pedal with that magical Ep-3 boost and captures the celebrated tones of most famous guitar players.
1. It has a very friendly user interface
2. It is very durable and portable
3. It is affordable and comes with a wide range of features
1. It might be a little low for rock and metal guitarists
3. Electro-Harmonix LPB-1 Linear Power Booster Preamp Pedal
This is a very simple one switch, one gain boost pedal that gives your sounds that extra tone.
It comes in a solid and well built metal casing ensuring that it lasts for a very long time.
It has true bypass and can be powered using a 9V battery or AC adapter.
It comes in a small die cast case which reduces the amount of space that it takes
By placing this pedal in line before any effect, you can be sure of getting maximum boost and definition while improving the gain and saturation of your amp.
This is one very valuable pedal that is ideal for high gain amp and gives your sounds presence when used.
1. It has a great sound and tone
2. It can be used to fatten up a thin OD pedal or amp
3. It gives a nice boost with clarity and beef
1. It might be a little loud for most people
4. ZVEX Super Hard On Boost Guitar Pedal
This is one of the high end boost pedals in the market today.
This is a boutique pedal with top notch quality build and casing.
It has a unique hand painted design that adds some personality to the pedal.
It has a footswitch in the middle that controls the on and off button.
It has a single large knob which controls the amount of boost and crackle that can be used.
It gives a very transparent and clean sound when used and can really push your amp to the limit when cranked up
It has a single ¼ inch input and dual outputs which is useful for sending signals to two amps
If you are looking for a clean and transparent boost for bass and jazz sounds, then you should definitely get this pedal.
1. It is a great buffer and clean sound pedal
2. It has a unique visual design
3. It is ideal for getting that classic sound
1. It might be a little small for some people
5. Xotic RC Booster Guitar Pedal
This is an awesome boost pedal made by Xotic.
It has active treble, bass, gain and volume controls that gives you so much options when tweaking your sounds
This pedal can produce +20Db clean boost and has a 2 band active Eq that delivers clean pure tones when used.
When used as a clean boost, it can enhance enhance your other pedals such as the distortion or overdrive.
It has true bypass feature which helps eliminate any external signal interference when the pedal is switched off
It is ideal for use with electric, bass and acoustic guitars
1. It is well built, durable and very portable
2. It gives a clean boost tone that adds a unique classic feeling to your sound
3. It has a nice design with that extra feeling
1. It may be a little loud for some people
- Where do you place a boost pedal in your chain? Where you place your pedals in your chain will greatly affect the way they sound. While most people just sort of wing it with anything goes, there is a special place that your boost pedal should be placed to get the best sound. When using a distortion/ overdrive pedal with a boost pedal, the boost pedal should be place last, just before your amplifier.
- How does a boost pedal work? A boost pedal works simply by altering the volume of your guitar without any tone coloration or distortion from the pedal. This means that the gain control works directly with your amp to give you that extra boost that you need.
- Why should you use a clean boost pedal? There are a lot of advantages to using a clean boost pedal in your chain. The major advantage is that you get an extra gain without any interference. Also some boost pedals add a unique color and tone to your sounds
- What boost pedal does slash use? According to his website, Slash uses the following boost pedals; MXR MC401 Boost/Line Driver | 2. MXR Cry Baby KFK Q Zone | 3. MXR M135 Smart Gate
- What’s the best boost pedal for guitar? While the word best means different things to different people, picking the MXR M-133 Micro Amp Booster Pedal is your best bet.
How to Use a boost pedal
Here is a Youtube video showing you how to use a boost pedal