A boost pedal is not only used to kick up your volume when it’s time for your solo! A good booster can also solve a lot of problems in the modern guitarist’s rig, because today’s pedalboards average 8 or more pedals, with each of those pedals requiring: a guitar cable—>jack—>more wire—>footswitch—>circuit—>footswitch again—>jack—>more wire–> and on to next pedal. It’s a wonder there’s any signal left after all the stuff we put our signal through. Ever played through a 10’ guitar cable straight into a great tube amplifier? The feel, the dynamics, the fat tone…makes you want to play! Then you connect to your overpopulated pedalboard and suddenly the sound is tiny, thin, with diminished lows, cardboard mids, and scratchy thin highs. This is where a good booster comes in handy, because all that wire and all those connections reduce your signal by a measurable amount with each passing effect in your signal chain. Add a good booster and you can recoup a lot of that lost gain, tone, and reactive interplay between you and your lovely tube amp. Suddenly the “touch” is back.
What happens when the 2B is turned OFF?
That’s the problem with other boosters…once they’re OFF, they cease to offer a high quality unity-gain buffer to drive the long cables, so you end up having to buy TWO boosters, one set to “unity gain” and the other set to do your Volume changes! A better solution is the 2B, its unity-gain JFET amp buffers your signal when the pedal is turned OFF…and when the 2B is turned ON; the only difference is now the GAIN knob comes into play allowing you to set the desired boost up to 20dB! This is what differentiates the 2B from the FD3’s Boost Channel…the FD3 is true-bypass whereas the 2B has the added benefit of being buffered-bypass.
Why is the 2B a great booster?
Because I go the extra mile and buy the best JFET opamp, in my opinion….certainly the one that sounds the best to my ear. The problem with other boosters is that the more you turn them up, the more highs they add. Not the case with the 2B, there is a subtle roll-off of the harsh ultra-high frequencies as you roll the LEVEL knob clockwise past 12 o’clock. It’s subtle, you may not hear it, but you WON’T hear that shrill top end that other boosters can impart!
What’s the DYNAMICS knob?
The 2B offers something completely unique in the world of Boost pedals; a DYNAMICS knob. A subtle Germanium diode Limiter circuit that (as you turn the min-knob clockwise) starts to slightly alter the feel of the notes being played as well as subdue the harsh transient spikes which can overload your amp’s input. Those spikes can be fatiguing to your ears, to the amp, and to its speakers! Similar to using a limiter on the mix down of a song in the studio, the 2B’s DYNAMICS feature helps you keep your place in the live mix…..like a very smart compressor. This feature can make even an “ok” amp feel responsive and juicy, and will keep you from distorting the amp’s input, a problem plaguing most booster pedals.