‘Lurn’ me about Range Master treble boosters!!

4pickupguy

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Well, like the title says basically. Last week‘s That Pedal Show on RM style treble boosters and my past couple of years with a Fuzz Face has me possibly exploring these. Maybe reduce the number of ODs on my board and see what I can get out of a Germanium or Silicon treble boost. What do you use? How do you use it? What are some recommendation? Why are these things so expensive with like, what, 4 components?

 

drmordo

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First, it won't take the place of a overdrive. A treble booster is useful for pushing an amp or a overdrive harder and also boosting the high mids for a screamier sound.

Second, they are a great entry drug for pedal building. They are very simple so cheap and easy to build. They are what I started with many years ago.

I have built a couple but the one I ran the most is from a schematic called the "Brian May Treble Booster". If I was going to do it again, I'd build a Zvex SHO clone and then play with the capacitor values until it was tweaking the high mids the right way.
 

dlew919

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The range master won’t work as well with a fender amp or a Marshall as it will with a Vox. The range master was the secret sauce of both Rory Gallagher and later Brian May. Put through a fender it’s underwhelming. My guess is that the frequencies it boosts are weaker in a Vox and stronger in a fender so it boosts the former but has little effect on the latter. I don’t know for sure though.
 

wildschwein

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I built one of these and it's probably one of my favourite pedals with the right amp:


It seems to work well on bassy and midrangey or honky amps. Not very good pushing Fender cleans. Back in the '70s the Judas Priest guitarists used them in front of their Marshalls. Iommi used his in front of his Laneys. Brian May (BM) and Rory Gallagher are well known for putting them in front of their Voxes. They basically roll off some lows, cleaning up the bottom end of a wooly amp and excite some of the top end frequencies which can cause some nice overdrive and distortion.

BM goes through his set-up here.


He demonstrates the amp without the booster which is pretty dark (described as wooly). He then turns the booster on and describes how it cleans up the sound and gives it some 'ziz'. The early Voxes also didn't have top boost channels. The top boost circuit started life as an add-on kit. The Vox sound of today is sort of stereotyped as being jangley but they didn't start out that way: https://www.voxshowroom.com/uk/amp/ac30_tb_hood.html

If I had the money I would probaby fork out for one of these:
 
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4pickupguy

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First, it won't take the place of a overdrive. A treble booster is useful for pushing an amp or a overdrive harder and also boosting the high mids for a screamier sound.
Yeah, I should have been more detailed. I currently have a gaggle of Drive/gain stages pedals on my board. It’s embarrassing:
1. Lotus Octah octavia style fuzz
2. Fuzz Face BC108
3. J Rocket Blue Note for low gain
4. Ethos TWE1 for mid gain and for after the Fuzz Face
5. Jam Rattler for mid and high gain when boosted with…
6. EP Booster for boosting the previous three drives into higher gain usually the Rat. (Less lately)
7. Cali 76’ after the drives for clearer (fusion’y) leads. Usually Rat or Fuzz Face volume knob rolled way back

I do about 75% of everything now with the Fuzz Face and volume knob. I could get rid of the Blue Note and EP Boost because they never get used anymore. I have it in my mind that a RM treble booster might sound better than the EP into the rat and behave more like the FuzzFace on the volume knob.
 

CV Jee Beez

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They're great INTO a muff. Kick it on for your solo and instantly cut. I use the one on my BAE Hot Fuzz with my Swart and into a Browne Protein Drive an it works really well.

The stand alone pedal I have is a HBE Germania my buddy gave me. I feel like it would have worked well with my old Germino CL45 (JTM 45 clone).
 

scook

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As stated by CV Jee Beez it’s great into a muff for lead/solo work. A lot of times you can get a great rhythm tone from certain muffs but can’t get them to cut for certain sections in a song. Hit it with a TB of some kind!

I’m also a Naga Viper owner as well as a Greer Moonshot. I’d like to try the CB Skewer at some point.
 

-Hawk-

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They are either awesome or unbearable, depending on your setup. Even when they sound good, they can be a shock to the system.

Some of my all time favorite tones on my board came from an overdriving amp w/ a Fulltone Ranger. It’s magic in a mix, but very aggressive. Never loved it stacked with other pedals.
 

Si G X

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Why are these things so expensive with like, what, 4 components?

The cost of pedals doesn't usually come from the components inside, switches, pots, case, jacks and knobs all cost far more when I make something for myself, the actual circuit doesn't usually cost more than a couple of bucks. Add some time consuming transistor selection (and a lot of waste if you are sorting old germanium ones) and that's where the cost comes from.

If you can solder I'd highly recommend building one yourself. Nothing could be easier especially if you use a little bit of tagboard, it's no more difficult than wiring up a guitar. Build one yourself and you'll see.

I built mine as a project at the start of the first lockdown, it's an 'amp top rangemaster' and the case cost the most, followed by the jacks, knobs and pots. I have a whole bag of those Russian 'flying saucer' germanium transistors so I didn't have to buy that. The actual treble booster circuit I could have made with change found down the back of the sofa.

I don't agree with the 'not good into a marshall' comment, they are amazing into a non master volume and will get it absolutely rocking and sustaining.
 

Cosmicdancer

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The Rangemaster thing is such a cool sound. I always have some version of it on my board. That saturated drive sound is heavenly. I generally use mine running into another OD pedal since most of my gigging situations won’t allow me to crank my Vox or Marshall to the point of natural drive. I use it mainly as a lead boost because they cut through a mix like no other. Any treble booster I’ve owned has been germanium, so it also does the clean up with the guitar volume thing very well. Right now, I’m using one a friend built for me. It’s one half of an Analogman Sun Lion clone, so it’s basically a Beano Boost. I’ve also had great results with a 65 Amps Colour Boost, but I don’t think they make that one anymore and you don’t see a lot of them out there.
 

JesterR

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Catalinbread Naga Viper:
1)You can do classic Treble booster thing
2)If you doubt, that treble booster is kind of one trick pony, or can not be easily integrated in your setup, with three knobs you have a plenty of options for fine tune it.
3)You got modern designed pedal, which is not too picky about power supply, pedalboard friendly, but still has Treble booster sound.
 

middy

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The range master won’t work as well with a fender amp or a Marshall as it will with a Vox. The range master was the secret sauce of both Rory Gallagher and later Brian May. Put through a fender it’s underwhelming. My guess is that the frequencies it boosts are weaker in a Vox and stronger in a fender so it boosts the former but has little effect on the latter. I don’t know for sure though.
Huh? Treble booster into Marshall = Judas Priest. It’s a great sound.
 

loopfinding

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Bass cut at 1-3k, slammed output, push the amp. An EQ is a clean way, a treble booster is a dirty way. It comes down to how much hair you want added to the amp - opamp (none), germanium (a little), silicon (a lot).

The concept pretty much works with any amp at the edge of breakup. It’s not really actively boosting treble so much as it is passively cutting a ton of bass before being a boost.

The ones where you can blend the input cap (or just an EQ pedal) are the most flexible. A stock rangemaster cutting at around 3k might not work in all scenarios. I wouldn’t overthink the “sound,” the hair is just for adding spice. I think being able to control the bass cut is more important to getting the right sound out of it.

The one that has worked best for me (tweed deluxe, BF bassman) has been a homebrew one I did up with an NE5532 (for as quiet as possible operation). Basically I just built the first stage of a timmy without clipping diodes.
 
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goodguy

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CS-Ranger-large.jpeg
Best version I've found.
 

THX1123

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I only use mine (a Beano Boost) into a already mildly breaking up Top Hat Club Royale (Class A/EL84s like an AC 15). It also works will with my Laney VC30 (another EL84 Class A AC30 type amp). With these amps it lives up to the TB hype and sounds pretty awesome.

I have had poor results with my Deluxe and Vibrolux and even my Tech 21 Trademark 60.
 




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