‘Lurn’ me about Range Master treble boosters!!

1hoofer

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May 8, 2013
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I have a Throbak Strangemaster. The attraction for me is it takes me back to the sort of tones I got when I first started gigging with an original model, through a HiWatt Custom 50 and 2 4x12s, which was a pretty clean set up.
The big difference now is the Throbak is consistent, whereas my original pedal, like all its rivals at the time (it seems) used to go “off” after 20 minutes or so….not a problem if you were a pro and had a spare or two, but if you were impecunious it was difficul.
For me, it was a great addition to my sound, and it really cut through a band mix, without sounding harsh. For a long time it was my only pedal.
 

donnyrocker

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Feb 13, 2014
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Denver, Indiana (the little one)
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.

Ah! A fellow TH CR + treble booster user ;)
 

11 Gauge

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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.
This is why I highly recommend the Catalinbread Naga Viper. IMO, even the treble boosters with toggles or rotaries with different fixed input caps just do not allow you to zero in with surgical precision like the Naga Viper does, via its range control. If you play different guitars with different pickups, the range control simply becomes very important, IMO.

I actually built a 2nd NV'ish thing some time last year, because I never adjust the heat control, so I just built a two knob job. For old school rock tones with my Marshall Origin 20H, it's simply become indispensable.

...But beyond that, I really love using my NV'ish in conjunction with OD pedals, too. Such a setup allows for IMO a more flexible and targeted multi channel amp setup, where I can get away with just having a single channel amp.
 

4pickupguy

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This is why I highly recommend the Catalinbread Naga Viper. IMO, even the treble boosters with toggles or rotaries with different fixed input caps just do not allow you to zero in with surgical precision like the Naga Viper does, via its range control. If you play different guitars with different pickups, the range control simply becomes very important, IMO.

I actually built a 2nd NV'ish thing some time last year, because I never adjust the heat control, so I just built a two knob job. For old school rock tones with my Marshall Origin 20H, it's simply become indispensable.

...But beyond that, I really love using my NV'ish in conjunction with OD pedals, too. Such a setup allows for IMO a more flexible and targeted multi channel amp setup, where I can get away with just having a single channel amp.
I like the adjustable input caps and a linear adjustment is even better. The Naga Viper is priced more my speed, especially if its something I am just experimenting with. Of adding switch/caps to a kit seems supper simple…
 

4pickupguy

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200+ for a rangemaster is highway robbery, but that switchable input cap is a good thing OP should look out for.
Yup. I saw the custom shop OC75 models going for as high as $849!!
Thats $650 more for a different transistor!!! The R2R at least is all salvaged parts, so cost for recovering them etc, but that drunk in the back of the bar can’t hear the difference.
 

Hamstein

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Nov 17, 2013
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Good for pushing your amps' mids, for a solo, much like you might use a tubescreamer, I made one a bit back and was so pleased with it I actually bothered to record some rubbishy messing about! -

 

Muadzin

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I like the Gregg Fryer treble boost, the one that I think Brian May currently uses. A nice simple to build silicon treble boost. Not a big fan of germanium as its too finicky, so no rangemasters for me. I like to include the Gregg Fryer as an internal circuit in my guitar builds.
 

loopfinding

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europe endless
This is why I highly recommend the Catalinbread Naga Viper. IMO, even the treble boosters with toggles or rotaries with different fixed input caps just do not allow you to zero in with surgical precision like the Naga Viper does, via its range control. If you play different guitars with different pickups, the range control simply becomes very important, IMO.

I actually built a 2nd NV'ish thing some time last year, because I never adjust the heat control, so I just built a two knob job. For old school rock tones with my Marshall Origin 20H, it's simply become indispensable.

...But beyond that, I really love using my NV'ish in conjunction with OD pedals, too. Such a setup allows for IMO a more flexible and targeted multi channel amp setup, where I can get away with just having a single channel amp.

Yeah naga viper is cool. 2n2222 is a fine selection for the rangemaster in silicon form. The “heat” and input cap blend are done tastefully/minimally. I implemented them on my first rangemaster, but did it with an ac128, so I did away with the heat pot but left the input cap blend config. I guess the heat pot is good to tame a higher gain silicon though.
 
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Cjteleforum

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Sep 8, 2021
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104
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USA
If you go to geofex.com and do a search for "rangemaster" you can get a detailed PDF by R.G. Keen on how they work and how to build one. I would post it here but it's copyrighted.

They are harder to build than wiring a guitar, because you have to bias them by testing and replacing resistors, figure out the layout, source the transistor, etc.

Small Bear has a tutorial on how to breadboard one, and they used to sell transistor kits, but I'm not sure what's up with them now.
 

radair0502

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Oct 4, 2021
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70
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Utah
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.
Peterson strobe tuner, MXR phase 90, Tumnus Deluxe… Acoustic Image head with delay and a Raezers Edge cab… all I need. Been playing since 1965. Owned a Two Rock Signature head (5k)…and will admit to a little bit of sellers remorse. The AI, however, is solid-state perfection. Also own an AER Compact 60… over 20 years with no maintenance except a couple of squirts of Detox-it. IMHO, it’s all in the fingers and ears friends…50 years of practice helps. The Wampler Tumnus is new (replaced Boss SD 1), and I absolutely love it. I play clean, but the Tumnus tightens up the wound strings and takes any mud out. Bless you guys and good luck… from a Tele/Jazzmaster guy. (And former [?] GAS sufferer.)
 

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wildschwein

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Feb 3, 2009
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Perth, Western Australia
They did for the early albums, also Sabbath, Deep Purple, Dokken used Rangemasters.
Yeah KK said in a video a few years back that he was using one right up to the Point of Entry tour around 1981. Pedalboard talk starts at about 12:20:


They used non-master volume Marshalls and went through the Normal channel. Some more info here:

This is a very comprehensive overview:
 
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zippofan

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Mar 16, 2014
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Pennsylvania
My favorite effect to build, they sound great with my Vox and other "British" kinds of amps. I think the original RM circuit is too harsh with later Fender style amps, but I haven't tried one with a Tweed, though that's eventually coming.

My favorite Rangemaster type of all is the DAM Red Rooster, I built a clone with an old Mullard black glass mil CV7112 (OC140) NPN, with the range on full it works with everything I've tried so far.
 

archtop_fjk

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Aug 4, 2009
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Lebanon, NH
I just finished my Rangemaster build, and my goodness this thing is incredible! Not only does it provide overdrive for a clean or edge of breakup amp but it has a focused up mid tone that lifts even darker humbuckers. The clean up when rolling back your volume control is awesome too because it preserves the treble while reducing the signal so it seems about the same as your tone with the pedal off. It’s going to be first in my pedal chain now (has to go before my buffered tuner) and I’m contemplating if I actually need a dedicated overdrive pedal like my Klon or not!

I constructed my build on some veroboard and used a LT1054 charge pump to provide the -9V. My germanium transistor is a vintage ACY19 and I think that’s part of the magic with this circuit ie finding a good transistor with the appropriate hfe and leakage. The single knob comes from an old electronic signal generator that was salvaged for parts. Fun project and awesome pedal!

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pi

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bay area, CA
I built a Naga Viper clone for myself. It's a great take on a treble booster, with a bit more versatility as others have mentioned.
 




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