Explain to me the benefit of a treble booster

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by ftgjr, Sep 6, 2013.

  1. ftgjr

    ftgjr Tele-Meister

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    I know that they boost treble but what else can a TB do for me. Where would they be better than using a clean boost or drive pedal?

    There's a Catalinbread Naga Viper on CL that I might check out tomorrow.
     
  2. Shango66

    Shango66 Friend of Leo's

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    I have a Rangemaster TB style pedal and it boosts and adds gain/ dirt.
    A clean boost just ups the clean signal without dirt.
    The tubes in your amp may add a bit of dirt using either pedals cos you are pumping extra signal into it.
    I use both often.
     
  3. luckett

    luckett Banned

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    A rangemaster will change it's frequency response when you change the guitar volume. It goes from gritty mid boost with volume at max to a chimey clean treble boost when you roll off the volume. It needs to be the first pedal in the chain to work this way. Most boosts and drives don't change their character like this when you roll the volume.
     
  4. Shango66

    Shango66 Friend of Leo's

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    A good description. Almost like a good fuzz pedal.
    The level of grit is controlled on the guitar volume.

    I put my clean boost at the end of the chain.
     
  5. WaylonFan76

    WaylonFan76 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Gonna get a Catalinbread Galileo pretty soon and it has a Naga Viper in it. Looking forward to it!
     
  6. tekbow

    tekbow Tele-Afflicted

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    and it doesn't really boost treble, more the upper midrange, makes things richer etc
     
  7. jefrs

    jefrs Doctor of Teleocity

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    The Rangemaster doesn't do what it was intended to do. It is supposed to compensate for signal level and treble loss in long stage leads. You are supposed to roll the gain down until the sound corresponds to that of a shorter stage lead. We don't do that.

    What we do is wind it up until the pickup sounds like it has been working out and eating steroids by the bucket. It is much louder, brighter and grittier. It is not an overdrive in the normal sense, although it can drive the front-end of a typical valve amp into overdrive clipping (do-able but not so nice with solid state).

    The Dallas Rangemaster (Dallas-Arbiter, London) is/was a very simple one-transistor circuit suitable and cheap for DIY building from scratch (kits are a bit pricey). Another thread here has details of the circuit. Ime it needs a little tweaking by hand-selecting the transistor, the original and best(?) is a germanium OC71, they're somewhat variable, no two alike. Being opposite polarity (PNP) it can have ground problems with your other pedals (plastic box/battery only).

    OTOH once you know what a Rangemaster sounds like, you can set up any Graphic EQ pedal to do the same thing. The humble Graphic EQ is a very versatile pedal and a must-have secret weapon.

    My current fav is one I build straight into a guitar. The circuit is so small I did a p-to-p on the back of its pot. Add one lithium 9V which will last it forever and it's good to go.

    It is not a novelty effect but a very usable sound but like I said you can substitute a Graphic EQ which can be used for other stuff too such as altering the sound of an adjacent OD box. Tweak the overall gain +3dB and slope the treble end up about +3dB on top, adjust to taste.
     
  8. chrisgblues

    chrisgblues Tele-Afflicted

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    This.
     
  9. limbe

    limbe Tele-Afflicted

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    I use a treble booster+a compressor when playing my electric 12-string Rickenbacker copy.
    The booster really gives the guitar the jingle-jangle sound and the compressor gives it sustain.A treble booster can really change the sound of a Tele or Strat.
    Built mine long ago from Andertons book.One IC and a few parts gives you a noise-free sound.
     
  10. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Intriguing. Do you have a link to a schematic?
     
  11. rogthefrog

    rogthefrog Tele-Meister

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    It turns a Tele and Vox rig into a weapon.
     
  12. soulgeezer

    soulgeezer Poster Extraordinaire

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    Treble boosters are most often used - in my experience - with Vox-type EL84 amps. They really bring these amps alive. My Traynor YCV20WR, which is based around a Vox-style circuit, sounds so-so by itself, but it sounds amazing with my Lumpy's Tone Shop Royal Highness treble booster in front of it. The Royal Highness is essentially a clone of a Rangemaster and it brings the Brian May right out of the Traynor amp.

    Also important to note: Treble boosters based on the germanium Rangemaster are P-N-P devices that should only be run on batteries (regular, not alkaline, lithium, or any of the rest) or very, very well regulated tip-positive adapters (I use a Fulltone). As these pedals boost treble, they also amplify any noise coming from the power supply. And, if you try to daisy chain them with regular tip-negative pedals, none of the pedals will work, due to the opposite polarity.
     
  13. Revv23

    Revv23 Friend of Leo's

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    This is true of all germanium fuzz pedals which essentially is what a range master is. It a hi gain low fuzz fuzz pedal.

    I wouldn't play with a treble boost on a really bright amp but IMO a good germanium tb will open up tweed and Marshall stuff really well.

    The dynamics and interaction germanium fuzzes have is amazing like playing thru and old dimed vintage amp. I will say there is some skill required to get the best out of gear like this. It's not like a tube screamer which is basically a tone improvement for everyone - whereas something like a treble boost you have to learn the pedal.

    Ymmv
     
  14. limbe

    limbe Tele-Afflicted

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    The Rangemaster schematic and instructions on how to build one can be found on the General Guitar Gadgets site.
    To compensate for signal and treble loss in long cables you use a buffer.
    A treble booster does exactly that,boosts the treble which obviously change how the guitar will sound.
     
  15. valvestate

    valvestate Tele-Afflicted

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    Who would want to add more treble in their sound ?.. Yaiks. Sorry, just not for me i guess.. Clean boost/ EQ please.
     
  16. chunkyluke

    chunkyluke Tele-Meister

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    I was in this boat once upon a time, but I think it is vaguely comparable to running a TS with the gain super low as a boost. Not exactly the same but similar concept, and a tone I much prefer. If you have the chance try one, i think many are put off by the name.
     
  17. Revv23

    Revv23 Friend of Leo's

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    Yes.

    I love These things. I mean - love. Especially good into dark fuzz (or after) ( has to be germanium)
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2013
  18. jefrs

    jefrs Doctor of Teleocity

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    It's 'out there' on the web, "Dallas Rangemaster" it was also posted up on a thread here a few weeks ago (search posts by me with "rangemaster"). It's one discrete transistor and a few capacitors and resistors. Switch, box, jacks and battery.
     
  19. jefrs

    jefrs Doctor of Teleocity

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    You've got to try it to become a believer.

    But no, a Graphic EQ can do the same thing.

    It is not a fuzz or an OD, nor does it just boost the treble. It raises the overall gain and slopes up the mid-treble but not excessively.

    Set an EQ like that but do not boost the very high frequencies, a guitar tops out around 1200Hz so leave that end flat. Maybe 3-6dB boost on the master.

    You are supposed to roll the gain back to desired level, not crank it to 11. With it like that I get more boost than the Arion MEQ-7 Graphic EQ's (15+15) +30dB.
    That kind of level drives the next unit potty. The TB is supposed to go into a valve, you may need a volume pedal in between.
    Ime roll the TB gain back a bit so it is nicely gritty but doesn't burst an eardrum. That way it is a clean boost but it has steel capped boots on.
     
  20. jefrs

    jefrs Doctor of Teleocity

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    I went through half a dozen OC71 and several other old transistors before I found one I liked. A couple were dead as nobs. My OC71 are painted glass capsules, most have paint missing which makes them light sensitive ;(
    Each transistor gave a different sound. A reason to DIY it.

    Once upon a time OC71 that fell on the floor were swept up and thrown away, which is how I got them. Now they can go for £10 each. Ouch!

    You can also alter the frequency response by experimenting with the resistors and capacitors. Another reason to DIY it.

    It doesn't have to be an OC71, it doesn't have to be germanium and it doesn't have to be PNP. Experiment. Another reason to DIY it.
     
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