How to Make Finding the Best Clean Boost Guitar Pedal Fun

When I learned that boost pedals would increase my volume without creating artifact, I knew I had to buy one.

I searched for the best clean boost guitar pedal, only to find that there were tons of great products. To make your search a bit easier, I’ve included some of my favourites in this article.

**You'll find detailed comparison below, but you can also check the prices or read Amazon Customer Reviews by click the links above.

Finding the Best Pedal

How to Choose

The best thing about boost pedals is their ability to increase your volume after you’ve used a compressor pedal. I personally think compressor pedals are a great investment, but some musicians find that they make the output signal too quiet.

Investing in a clean boost guitar pedal is a great way to combat this issue. They’ll increase your sound b, and if they’re good quality, you won’t have to deal with any artifact.

This kind of pedal is great for almost any genre of music, but works especially well in music from the rock n’ roll, punk, metal, or electronic genres.

Since boost pedals have a simple function, you won’t have a lot of variability between models. However, there will still be some things you’ll need to consider before making your purchase. Before you purchase a boost pedal, ask yourself:

  • What your budget is
  • The features you’re looking for

Remember that typically, the lower the price of the product, the lower the quality will be. It’s important to stay true to your budget, but keep in mind that a little bit of leeway in your price range can create a really big difference.

I’m going to provide a list of pedals with a variety of different price points, so you’ll be able to find a great pedal no matter what your needs are.

Additionally, although boost pedals are simplistic in their design, it’s still important to keep in mind what features you need in your new pedal.

These pedals will vary in how much they are able to boost your sound, so make sure you identify the volume range you want. If you want to read about different kinds of pedals, follow this link.

best-clean-boost-guitar-pedal-1

Fulltone Fat Boost FB-3 booster pedal - Source: guitarmania.co.uk

Advantages of a Boost Pedal

A boost pedal is a great investment because of its ability to enhance any style of music. Rather than distorting the natural tones of your instrument, a boost pedal will simply increase or boost the output sound.

With a boost pedal, you won’t have to rely on your amp for volume increases, which can sometimes produce a lot of buzzing and interference.

A booster is also great for making your solos stand out. You’ll be able to increase your sound during your solo so it isn’t overpowered by other band members’ instruments.

Things to Look For

There are a number of important things to look for when you’re preparing to buy a boost pedal, but I always suggest starting with reliable brand names.

If you buy from a company with a poor reputation, you’re more likely to be disappointed. On the other hand, a reputable company will produce products that:

  • Do what the company says they will do
  • Last for years

A great way to gauge whether a company is reliable or not is checking for a warranty on your pedal. Remember: If a company produces products that break easily, they probably won’t want to deal with the replacement costs. This means you’re less likely to have a warranty.

The Best Way to Use a Boost Pedal

In my opinion, the most effective way to use a boost pedal is in a pedal chain after a compressor pedal.

If you place your boost pedal after a compressor pedal, you’ll increase the volume of a clean sound, which will help you avoid any unwanted buzzing from being exaggerated. For more on how to use compressor pedals, follow this link.

Whether distortion pedals come before or after the boost is really up to you. I enjoy placing the distortion pedals last because I like started with a balanced (or compressed) audio that’s already been enhanced (or boosted) before I play with distorted effects.

Take a look at this article to learn more about pedal chains.

Review

This is a great pedal for musicians who are on a tighter budget. TC Electronic pedals are great quality, so you can be sure that even though you’re spending less, you’ll still get a product that will live up to your expectations. This pedal has a really simple design. There is an On/Off switch as well as a level knob. If you’ve experimented with distortion pedals, you’ll probably be surprised at how simple these controls are, but this is quite common for boost pedals. With this model, you’ll be able to hear up to 20 dB of volume.

The PrimeTime feature that is included with this pedal will be useful for you if you’re a performer who doesn’t want your booster on for an entire set. If you tap your pedal once, it will stay on until you turn it off, but if you hold down the button, it will only boost your signal for as long as your foot is making contact with it. If you want to hear how this pedal sounds, check out this demo video. Remember that the effect will be subtle, but it makes a huge difference, especially if you’ve compressed your sound.

Source: Amazon.com

​Editor Rating:

Pros

  • Small size will fit any pedalboard
  • 20 dB of volume
  • PrimeTime feature

Cons

  • Simple (may be a pro or a con)
  • Lower quality than some other pedals
  • Small knob

MXR pedals are known for their great sound quality. This is a really reputable brand, and many of their pedals dominate the markets for their innovative features and high quality materials. Since this is a boost pedal, you might not see a lot of innovation because most have a simplistic design. Like a lot of boosters, this pedal has a single Gain knob, making it easy to use for beginners.

This MXR has more gain than other pedals, with a 26 dB increase, making it great for those who need an extra punch.

This specific model is known for its clean boost (meaning the pedal won’t interfere with your instrument’s tones). If you’re able to test out this pedal at a music store, I’d recommend experimenting with playing while the pedal is off and then on, so you can hear the presence it gives you. In my opinion, this is the best boost pedal for solo guitarists. I’ve used this pedal in some of my own performances, and I felt like it gave me an extra kick that made my playing more memorable. If you want to hear this pedal, follow this link.

Source: Amazon.com

​Editor Rating:

Pros

  • 26 dB
  • Clean boost
  • Reliable brand

Cons

  • More expensive than TC Electronic
  • Fewer features than other pedals
  • Simple design (pro or con)

This is another great company that you can trust will deliver high quality pedals. This pedal is actually modeled after a delay pedal: the Echoplex Tape Delay pedal. The Echoplex has commonly been used to boost signal, meaning it really functions as a both a delay and boost pedal. Xotic Effects has

This pedal also has 20 dB of gain, which is more than enough to play a great solo. This pedal also has internal switches for bass boost and brightness. This feature will give you some extra control over the effect you produce, and you’ll be able to thicken your bass tones to create a rich sound. Your default settings will involve the brightness mode on, and the bass boost off. Like the TC Electronic, you’ll have one knob on this pedal that controls your level.

If you turn the knob up to it’s highest setting, you’ll hear a vintage overdrive effect, making this pedal a great choice for you if you want a traditional rock sound. This pedal is known for sounding great when put in a chain with other pedals, so it’s a good pedal to research if you’re planning on incorporating distortion, delay, and reverb effects into your music.

Source: Amazon.com

​Editor Rating:

If you want to hear how this pedal sounds, check out this demo video.

Pros

  • Adds thickness to tone
  • Internal switches
  • Sounds good in a chain

Cons

  • More expensive than other models
  • Small knob
  • More complex than TC Electronic Spark Mini

JHS is another great brand that I always recommend. This device also has a single knob and is therefore very simple to use. This pedal has a very clean sound to it, making it great for musicians who are looking to play a clear solo with lots of intricate passages.

Clarity is really important for all musicians, but especially for musicians who are playing a lot of notes very quickly. This pedal is also very small and will fit well on your pedal board. Be prepared to invest more in this pedal than the TC Electronic, which is the most budget-friendly option.

This pedal also has less gain than some other popular boost devices. With the Mini Bomb, you’ll hear up to 16 dB of gain, versus 20 in the other products on this list. This may or may not be an issue for you depending on the type of music you play and the performance settings you play in. For example, if you need to fill large auditoriums often, or know you’ll be playing in rooms with poor acoustics, a stronger boost pedal may be better for you.

If you want to hear this pedal, follow this link for a great demo video.

Source: Amazon.com

​Editor Rating:

Pros

  • Clean boost
  • Small size
  • Great brand

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Less gain
  • Fewer features

If you like the Xotic Effects EP Booster but want something more complex, then this is the right pedal for you. This pedal steps things up in terms of complexity. With four knobs, you’ll have much more control over your sound. This pedal is great for musicians who have experience with boost pedals and want to fine tune their sound. Not only does this pedal have a Gain knob, but you’ll also get a Treble, Bass, and Volume knob. Using your Treble and Bass knob, you’ll be able to increase the presence of one while decreasing the other.

This pedal is known for its clean, transparent tone. Like all Xotic products, you won’t be disappointed with the tone that comes out of this pedal. This pedal is also a buffer pedal, meaning it will fight against compromised signals resulting from long cable runs or interfering electromagnetic signals. If you’re a bassist, I’d recommend this pedal more than any other pedal on this list. The Bass and Treble knobs will allow you to tune into the low registers and create a warm, polished sound.

Source: Amazon.com

​Editor Rating:

If you want to hear this pedal, follow this link for a demo video.

Pros

  • Treble knob
  • Bass knob
  • 20 dB +

Cons

  • Not great for beginners
  • Larger than other pedals
  • More expensive than Xotic EP

In Sum

Hopefully, this review on the best boost pedals was helpful for your decision-making process. Booster pedals are an excellent way to increase your presence without the artifact that often comes from amplifiers. These pedals work especially well in pedal chains, and will restore your sound to a regular volume after it is processed through a compressor pedal.

In my opinion, the winner of this clean boost pedal shootout is the Xotic Effects pedal. This pedal has internal switches that will give you more control over your sound. However, you really can’t go wrong with any of these pedals, so enjoy that boost!

Featured image source: peerlessmusic.com.au

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Tony Robbin
 

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