Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Xotic EP Booster vs Xotic RC Booster vs Emerson EM Drive

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by Chrismo, Jul 14, 2013.

  1. Chrismo

    Chrismo Friend of Leo's

    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?

  2. MASONish

    MASONish Tele-Holic

    Jan 24, 2012
    WNC Mountains
    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.

  3. MilwMark

    MilwMark Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Apr 29, 2013
    near Arnold's
    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.

  4. Lunchie

    Lunchie Poster Extraordinaire

    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.

  5. 1300 E Valencia

    1300 E Valencia Tele-Afflicted

    Dec 13, 2010
    Fullerton CA
    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.

  6. RockerDuck

    RockerDuck Friend of Leo's

    Jan 29, 2010
    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.

  7. JHVH!

    JHVH! Banned

    Apr 30, 2013
    My experience confirms this as well.

  8. dalandan

    dalandan Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 15, 2008
    EP boosts bass and mids. RC Boosts bass and treble.

    EP - fat
    RC - hi fi

  9. jswiss

    jswiss Tele-Meister

    May 25, 2012
    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.

  10. JHVH!

    JHVH! Banned

    Apr 30, 2013
    Can believe I've forgotten to mention this. My recent thread
    about my acquisition of a General Guitar Gadgets Stratoblaster

    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.

  11. Chrismo

    Chrismo Friend of Leo's

    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?

  12. kupasa

    kupasa Tele-Meister

    Jun 10, 2011
    Murky northern forest
    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.

  13. Chrismo

    Chrismo Friend of Leo's

    Saw this one too. Does the TC Electronic cover the EP territory and then some?

  14. artdecade

    artdecade Poster Extraordinaire

    Dec 6, 2010
    The EP is overrated. I'd sooner look at DOD and MXR boosts and compressors for a bit of thickness.

  15. kupasa

    kupasa Tele-Meister

    Jun 10, 2011
    Murky northern forest
    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.

  16. Lunchie

    Lunchie Poster Extraordinaire

    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.

  17. GaryOsborne

    GaryOsborne RIP

    Jun 7, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    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.

  18. RoyalBaby

    RoyalBaby Tele-Meister

    Jul 23, 2013
    Birmingham, UK
    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).

  19. LakeCountyRon

    LakeCountyRon Tele-Meister

    Apr 9, 2010
    Clearlake, CA
    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.

  20. LakeCountyRon

    LakeCountyRon Tele-Meister

    Apr 9, 2010
    Clearlake, CA
    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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