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EP-booster vs. MXR micro amp (allways on) into Vox style amp?

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by Jussi, Apr 13, 2020.

  1. jackal

    jackal Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    I really like the SD Pickup Booster.
     
  2. codamedia

    codamedia Poster Extraordinaire

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    Just to be clear, a micro amp or an EP boost is just a "clean boost pedal" with a little color of their own... they are a form of pre-amp, and pre-amps have been used since the very beginning to push an amps input a little harder. They come in many forms.... from the Echoplex (tube and SS variants), clean boost pedals, treble boosters, compressors, EQ's, overdrives (eg: TS with output cranked and gain turned down), etc.... etc...

    IMO, it's more common place than it is unorthodox. The list of "who's who" that used (or still use) "always on" pre-amps to push a tube amp is really long, and goes back a long way ;)
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2020
  3. codamedia

    codamedia Poster Extraordinaire

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    They do sound different, if possible... get your hands on both and see which one you like more. I certainly cannot say I prefer one over the other.

    The EP has a couple dip switches internally to shape the type of boost you want, but once those are set it becomes no more flexible than the Micro Amp with a single gain knob to adjust. The Micro Amp sounds great out of the box... with a little top end boost. Out of the box the EP is darker, but can accomplish a similar tone to the MXR with the treble boost dip switch engaged.

    Just my 2 cents ;)
     
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  4. Norris Vulcan

    Norris Vulcan Tele-Afflicted

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    And the list of those that don't, similarly long, tried and tested.

    The two pedals the OP mentioned - EP Boost and MXR MicroAmp - are simple circuits built around an I.C. and he is playing through an AC30 of unknown spec and vintage.
    I am just interested in why the amp isn't doing what he wants here. To have a basic SS processor as the first stage that the guitar hits, before a tube input stage, and to have this processor on all the time - it interests me as to what sound the OP is after.

    The list of devices in your post are just effects with a gain stage. "TS with output cranked and gain turned down" is using the 4558 I.C. as a SS amplifier - obviously including the tonal effects of the circuit itself - and it would be the same if you used a Compressor for 'boost', or an EQ.

    This isn't a Tube/SS comparison or anything like that, it's just "Why ?". I can appreciate that this may be how folks get "their sound" and that's fine, no quibbles.
    But a £1000 tube amp surely delivers the tone ?
     
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  5. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Doctor of Teleocity

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    A good boost vastly adds to the versatility of any tube amp, particularly simple ones. My lovely old JMP has great bright crunch with gain at 50% and a boost makes it come alive for lead breaks. I can go from backing off the volume for clean on the guitar to a normal crunch and great singing leads with just the MXR. It makes it a three channel amp!

    I don't quite get the ‘always on’ idea though as I set the amps gain and treble higher first to get the base tone right and then tone it down with the guitar controls for super clean.

    My boost is not ‘always on’ but used to add gain and punch to an on the edge tube amp or add sparkle and cut to a single coil guitar if I swap.

    I add it in as needed.

    As well as my Microamp, i really like the independent boost on my Fulldrive 3 which has a ‘dynamics’ control.. a little germanium compressor style controls that tames the clanks a strong clean boost can add to a clean amp. That is a nice little tone conditioner. I can see the benefits of extra tone shaping options on things like an EP or TC Spark.
     
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  6. Norris Vulcan

    Norris Vulcan Tele-Afflicted

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    I totally get the "3-channel" idea using a boost, like this:

    It's the 'always on' thing I don't really get - much more versatile to turn it on and off !
     
  7. omahaaudio

    omahaaudio Friend of Leo's

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    Totally unlike the EP Booster.

    :lol:
     
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  8. Axegrinder77

    Axegrinder77 Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    Micro amp is fantastic.

    I had an "aha!" moment with it recently. I realized why it's cream color - it adds a little cream into your tone. It doesn't change much, very very subtle, but find it adds a little clarity also. Very hard to explain. Just sounds damn good. I use it as an "usually on" set very low, unless I need boost, then I use it for that.

    Haven't played an ep, but based on what I've heard, it adds more tone or color. That might be better for you, or worse.

    You will not be disappointed with the micro amp if you're looking for a boost.

    Be aware that it's hardwire bypass. This means it can slightly suck tone when not engaged. If you have it at the end of your chain, you'll have no problem. If it's near the beginning, you might find it's better to run a buffer before it, or keep it on (then it IS the buffer). That said, its impedance is such that you might not even notice this anyways.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2020
  9. Jussi

    Jussi Tele-Meister

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    Last edited: Apr 15, 2020
  10. vinyldiscman

    vinyldiscman TDPRI Member

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    Been Using the EP booster pedal for years as one of my only effects other than a Delay through a Orange Rocker 32. I only use the EP on low but leave it on all the time. Great little pedal. I believe.
     
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  11. Jussi

    Jussi Tele-Meister

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    After all, I ended up putting a micro amp pedal on the board. Now I no longer think about the location of whether "the best" place is first or last in my chain.

    I tested micro amp before and after the my other drive pedals. Both methods works. After the drive pedals tone maybe breathe a "little" fresher... maybe.

    EP booster goes for my second board with fender silverface.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2020
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  12. Axegrinder77

    Axegrinder77 Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    How did it work out?

    I ended up selling my micro amp, because my box of rock had a boost.. sold that too lol. So I just ordered an EP booster. I like the idea of a touch more grit and color than the mxr. It's also true bypass, which is better for my rig. (I have a tube screamer early in the chain.)

    Wish I still had the micro amp, but I can always get another one if the ep isn't my thing. I'd probably try the plus version.. true bypass and tone controls. Although, that might screw up the magic.
     
  13. Daytona.57

    Daytona.57 Tele-Meister

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    If you are looking at the EP Booster, you should consider the Mosky XP Booster, a clone of the EP, it is only $28.00.

    I compared the XP Booster with my Fairfield Barbershop V2, and the BSV2, was clearly superior. It was a more powerful boost and infinitely, more adjustable, with a sag, volume and gain knobs and a toggle switch for treble.

    The BSV2 was better at boosting overdrives and better for slide.

    YMMV
     
  14. zombiwoof

    zombiwoof Tele-Afflicted

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    If you're using the Micro Amp as an "always on" boost, it doesn't matter that it isn't true bypass, because when it's on it is a buffered signal. The true bypass only comes into play when the pedal is off.
    Al
     
  15. twangking

    twangking Tele-Afflicted

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    I didn't care for the EP boost. Added in bass and a lot of noise with my ac30.
     
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  16. Axegrinder77

    Axegrinder77 Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    i quickly sold the ep booster. Just added too much - low end and high end. was too busy for me, with not enough of what i actually wanted. Closest thing in my rig to that is my greer lightspeed - which does a way better job for me - boost with some "grit." More in the mids - where push should generally be i think. I just added a keeley compressor now as well, which can do "boost" very well it seems. Love both those pedals.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2020
  17. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Doctor of Teleocity

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    Allen Hinds uses quite a few SS preamps ahead of his amp. He still uses the EP-Boost even though this was ten years ago when they were ‘new’.



     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2020
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