Today's review is on a pedal that I've now owned for about a year, the Xotic EP Booster. Extremely simple to use, this pedal only has one dial. So what does this pedal do exactly? Well its a pre-amp, but not just any pre-amp. This particular pre-amp is modeled after the one that would be found in an old Echoplex. Truth be told, many great guitarist like Jimi Hendrix and Eddie Van Halen would use an Echoplex, minus the echo. Why? Well it coloured the tone a bit, gave it a boost, and all around just produced an extra shimmer or sparkle if you will. Just take a close look at the features of this pedal, great !
There are many ways to use the Xotic EP Booster. One way is kick it on for solos to give your lead a little extra boost and thickness to stand out in the mix. Another way is to leave it on all the time, making your tone fatter. Other people like to stack the EP Booster with overdrive and fuzz pedals to make the sound a bit more powerful. Personally, I like to use it as a clean boost. Really there are a variety of ways to use the EP Boost, you just gotta experiment.
If you are a strat player who plays through Fender amps, you know that sometimes you would love a Marshall because of the great midrange it provides. But you are not willing to give up those glorious Fender cleans. Thats where the EP Booster comes in. Give its that Marshall style fattening, while maintaining the great cleans of the amp. If you open up the EP Booster, you'll notice that there are two internal dip switches to customize the tone a bit. The first switch (1) is a bass boost, and the second (2) is a bright switch. I found having the bright switch on really made a Les Paul come to life. Many like the bass boost for a Strat. Also I forgot to mention, that the main dial on the EP Booster controls the intensity of the effect. Cranking that dial means more output.
Overall, I must say that I really like this pedal. I especially like its small size, making it really easy to travel with. Sometimes when I'm going to small jams, I pack this pedal right in my guitar case, so my tone stands out a bit at the jam, without the need to carry a huge pedal board
This little box can really add and extra dimension to your sound. It's based on the preamp from an old Echoplex unit which guitarists like Jimmy Page and Eddie Van Halen used as a component of their sound in the 1970s.
For just a one-knob pedal, you can use it in quite a few ways. In the first way, by setting the boost very low into a clean amp it just adds a little extra something to the sound. I can't even describe it other than it's like your sound "sparkles". It's like your clean sound but somehow enhanced with extra character.
Another way of using it into a clean amp is as a clean boost into the front of a valvle amp. By boosting the input you can overdrive the preamp and add a little smooth preamp-valve distortion to your sound. This is great for adding a little extra power you your sound for either a solo boost or for adding a few enhanced singgle string licks behind a vocal.
Another way of using it is into an already overdriven amp. You can push it over the edge by boosting the input signal and really making the amp sing to get that extra sustain.
The final way of using it is to put it into the effects loop of an amp and then boosting the overall volume of whatever sound is coming out. Wherever you put it, there is a use for it.
The thing is built like a tank and is one of those pedals that you didn't know you needed until you use it.
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