Xotic EP Booster vs Xotic RC Booster vs Emerson EM Drive - Telecaster Guitar Forum
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Old July 14th, 2013, 05:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Xotic EP Booster vs Xotic RC Booster vs Emerson EM Drive

Hi y'all -

I'm looking at one of the three options to become a new "preamp" of sorts in my chain. I like what I've heard of all three pedals - the EP and RC seem sort of similar to my ears, with the RC offering more controls. The EM Drive seems pretty simple, but adds a lot of punch and sparkle.

Whatever I choose, it'll be set as a clean "thickener" to fill out some space and harmonic sparkle.

What are your thoughts on the three in regards to what I'm using it for?

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Old July 14th, 2013, 08:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The EP does a good job a giving you a fatter sound. The RC does this good to but with option of Bass, Treble, & Gain control. The EP is a simple solution. The RC is more versatile & a great choice all around.
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Old July 14th, 2013, 10:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by MASONish View Post
The EP does a good job a giving you a fatter sound. The RC does this good to but with option of Bass, Treble, & Gain control. The EP is a simple solution. The RC is more versatile & a great choice all around.
I found the RC very hifi. And sterile in a weird way. Initially I loved it but I was after rougher tones I guess. Very cool pedal though and might be just the ticket for some - clips a fair bit even when set "cleanish" (9 o'clock on the drive). Not obvious grit - more harmonic content, almost like a compressor set light, but again, more hifi. Hard to describe.

Also tried the EP. Really wanted to like it. I think it clips even more than the RC, but again, not in a dirty way (lower on the dial) but more harmonic content. I didn't get the hifi feeling or sound from this one that I did from the RC. And in my rig the standard setting was dull and the treble setting was spiky. I didn't think it sounded or felt like my Echoplex preamp to be honest. On the other hand it was a lot smaller, a lot quieter and easier to take in and out of the signal path. Another cool one but just didn't work for me.

For context I gravitated to using a comp + actual drive box (like a BD-2 or TS) to set my base tone and grit and then ride volume pot on guitar, so maybe I'm not the market they are after.
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Old July 15th, 2013, 12:00 AM   #4 (permalink)
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The EM drive is my arch nemesis. I have tried building 3 of them now and each one has not worked properly. The final one I built worked for a couple weeks and then the PIO caps are failing in it and now sounds more like a heavy gated fuzz then it does a EM-Drive. I believe Emerson uses PIO's in theirs as well. If they are NOS they could last 30 years or last 30 minutes.
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Old July 15th, 2013, 06:00 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Don't overlook the MOOER Pure Boost. It has slightly more gain than the squeaky clean RC, but less than the AC, and no mi-hump like the RC. Works for me.
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Old July 15th, 2013, 07:21 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I've had the EP , RC, and alot of others. The Boss GE-7 out performs them for boost. Also the lower cost EH LPB-1 adds a thicker tone than the EP and RC.
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Old July 15th, 2013, 12:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Also the lower cost EH LPB-1 adds a thicker tone than the EP and RC.
My experience confirms this as well.
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Old July 15th, 2013, 12:49 PM   #8 (permalink)
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EP boosts bass and mids. RC Boosts bass and treble.

EP - fat
RC - hi fi
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Old July 15th, 2013, 03:01 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I dont have a whole lot of experience with these pedals, but i thought i would add my 2 cents.
I have owned an EP booster and sold it a couple months later. Xotic is a great company and the RC booster is fantastic however the EP booster seemed to "fatten" my tone too much; IE it seemed to take away high end and clarity and i lost all the subtle natural articulation of my guitar and amp. I was running an AC15 with a telecaster at the time.
My vote would go to RC.
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Old July 15th, 2013, 04:47 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Can believe I've forgotten to mention this. My recent thread
about my acquisition of a General Guitar Gadgets Stratoblaster
booster.

I've used this stupid LPB-1 clone, that has a tone control on the output.
It fattens and gently compresses. Well, after years of that as a mainstay,
I've no ditched it in favor of the GGG SBB. It fattens, without being bassy, or 'woofy'.

If you can find someone who would assemble it, or if you can do it yourself,
I *highly* recommend it for the application you describe. But, alas, it doesn't
have the sex appeal, the Xotic products do, and doesn't provide a sense of belonging
to the hip, in-the-know bunch that name brands do.

It simply sounds good, and does a great job.
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Old July 15th, 2013, 06:12 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Hi guys - thanks for the suggestions! Keep 'em comin'.

So far, it seems as if the RC/Mooer is more of what I'm after, and the EM Drive could be problematic down the road (did read this elsewhere due to the construction).

Has anyone tried this Class A Boost from Pigtronix? What about the Retro Sonic Preamp Boost?
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Old July 15th, 2013, 06:26 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I had the EP and thought it was the best thing that ever happened to my pedalboard. It's now replaced by a tc electronic spark boost. It can do fat and middly and hifi. Amazing pedal.
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Old July 15th, 2013, 06:28 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I had the EP and thought it was the best thing that ever happened to my pedalboard. It's now replaced by a tc electronic spark boost. It can do fat and middly and hifi. Amazing pedal.
Saw this one too. Does the TC Electronic cover the EP territory and then some?
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Old July 15th, 2013, 06:36 PM   #14 (permalink)
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The EP is overrated. I'd sooner look at DOD and MXR boosts and compressors for a bit of thickness.
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Old July 15th, 2013, 06:41 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Saw this one too. Does the TC Electronic cover the EP territory and then some?
To my ears yes, but I'm sure many will disagree. The lack of an easily accessible tone control on the EP was frustrating. Spark boost can act as a mild od too.
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Old July 23rd, 2013, 08:33 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Saw this one too. Does the TC Electronic cover the EP territory and then some?
Never played a EP but i am a big fan of the Spark Boost, especially with my Fender and Vox amps. Really fattens up single coils and helps tame them a bit.

I agree it makes a good od, very touch sensitive.
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Old July 24th, 2013, 07:55 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I like any boost pedal that has EQ so I can crank the treble and ease off the low end. I'm waiting to spot a RC on my local craigslist.
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Old July 24th, 2013, 10:30 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I have a bit of a love/hate thing with my EP Booster. Having to open it up to adjust the settings is a pain. On the other hand the one knob simplicity once you have it as you want is nice. Just a kind of MORE knob.

I have a Seymour Duncan pickup booster somewhere that does a similar job. From memory bit less compressed and more controllable than the EP. I did have problems with the switch though (and the overall pressed steel build is cheap).
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Old July 24th, 2013, 10:54 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I like any boost pedal that has EQ so I can crank the treble and ease off the low end. I'm waiting to spot a RC on my local craigslist.
Very good idea. The RC is ideal for that. I picked one up used at Guitar Center a year ago. Great pedal. I just posted a rant about it on another thread in here about the Durham Sex Drive.
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Old July 24th, 2013, 11:03 AM   #20 (permalink)
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To my ears yes, but I'm sure many will disagree. The lack of an easily accessible tone control on the EP was frustrating. Spark boost can act as a mild od too.
I finally got to try an EP. It is OK. The reason for craving a tone control is because the low end gets boosted too much in some cases I think. But the Clinchfx EP-PRE, which I have owned for a couple of weeks, is substantially better. It doesn't need a tone control. I put it at 11 o'clock and leave it on. It sits after all overdrives and improves the character of any pedal before or after it, and fattens the overall tone. I have tried it through very different sounding tube amps, with various guitars (single and double coil), clean, dirty, fuzzy, compressed, delayed, flanged, wah, etc., and in all cases the tone is substantially improved. How many pedals do that, and without tweeking knobs?
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