Looking for an almost clean boost with no compression

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by don, Sep 8, 2019.

  1. don

    don Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    225
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2003
    Location:
    raleigh, nc
    Just got back in the tele world with a Fender 50’s road worn and use a Princeton reverb amp but need some boost with a light open airy non compressed overdrive. I’ll be playing Americana music mostly. I’m a melodic lead player so no chicken pickin or LED Zeppelin leads needed. I like a full rich sound with just an edge of twang. The stock pickups sound great just need a pedal for the single notes. Thanks for any suggestions. Caveats are it must run on battery and in the $150 and under price range.
     
  2. Asmith

    Asmith Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,123
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2014
    Location:
    East Yorkshire, England
    Electro harmonix lpb-1 would do the job.
     
    gwjensen and jimilee like this.
  3. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,199
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2014
    Location:
    UK
    MXR Microamp..

    Buying today, I’d look at TC Spark Boost for the extra grit it can add
     
    Fiesta Red and uriah1 like this.
  4. lefty73

    lefty73 Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    46
    Posts:
    1,120
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2011
    Location:
    03842
    As @Asmith said, the LBP-1 will do the job. I think the MXR Micro Amp might do the same as well, and it might be a touch cleaner. The LPB-1's I've played through seem to color the sound just a bit.

    It's possible the TC Electronic Spark might do the job, too, but I've never played through one of those.
     
  5. Ringo

    Ringo Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,897
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Location:
    Memphis TN
    Lots of great boost pedals out there, currently I’m using a Xotic Super Sweet which you can easily find used for $100 or less, it has external dip switches for lots of tonal options , I’ve been running it flat for just clean boost.
     
    frank a likes this.
  6. scelestus

    scelestus Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    220
    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2018
    Location:
    Michigan
    I got a Spark Mini for this. It needs a power supply but doesn't color the tone at all. Maybe a regular Spark will work for you so you can run it on batteries.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2019
    41144 likes this.
  7. Tele22

    Tele22 Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    117
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2014
    Location:
    Europe
    I’ve used the Boss LS-2.

    It works as a clean boost and does a bunch of other stuff as well.
     
    codamedia and Obsessed like this.
  8. ahiddentableau

    ahiddentableau Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    160
    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2018
    Location:
    Middle of Nowhere
    I'll risk coming across as unhelpful and say that I'm not sure what you want is possible, and it's probably best to recognize the limits of your rig before you go down this particular rabbit hole.

    A pedal like a microamp or an LPB-1 would be about as close as you can get to what you described. Those circuits don't do much of anything other than to provide extra volume. It's worth a shot, and if it works for you you're off and running. From a practical perspective, it's probably worth trying, and it might be good enough to satisfy you.

    But the real problem is what that volume inevitably does to your amp: i.e. overdriving V1. Unless your regular amp settings are whisper quiet (i.e. you have headroom to spare--not bloody likely on a PR!) boosting the volume on the front end is always going to create compression. There's no just avoiding it. When you boost the front end of a Princeton Reverb beyond its (fairly meagre) clean headroom, you get compression and harmonic distortion. Period.

    So you might do better to look at things from another perspective. Such as: "what guitar and amp combo would give me a less compressed tone compared to what I've got now?"

    Which is basically another way to say that what you really want is a bigger amp (more headroom).
     
  9. Telefan65

    Telefan65 TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    93
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2018
    Location:
    Telecasterville
    The one I like is the MXR MC401 line boost/driver.You can get ultra clean. Up around +20db for solos or use it to Drive your effects for more dynamics and/or sensitivity.
     
  10. DavidP

    DavidP Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,437
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
  11. scottser

    scottser Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,552
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2009
    Location:
    dublin
    Without sounding facetious, why don't you just set your amp volume a bit higher and use your guitar volume instead of a pedal?
     
  12. don

    don Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    225
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2003
    Location:
    raleigh, nc
    Lots of good suggestions - I guess I should add more info. I have headroom left on my amp and I do realize that a volume boost will create some distortion and compression which is why I seek a pedal that won’t add to that.
     
  13. don

    don Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    225
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2003
    Location:
    raleigh, nc
    I want a little character for the solos not just louder
     
  14. ahiddentableau

    ahiddentableau Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    160
    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2018
    Location:
    Middle of Nowhere
    If you have headroom left any relatively uncoloured booster should do the job. But it also makes scottster's comment more cutting. If you've got headroom, why not use the guitar volume? Or if you don't want to use the guitar's knobs, why not just use a straight volume pedal?
     
  15. don

    don Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    225
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2003
    Location:
    raleigh, nc
    Again I’m looking for some character not just louder
     
  16. sonicsmitty

    sonicsmitty Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    718
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    Location:
    Clarksville, TN
    The guitar volume knob suggestions sound good.

    I have not played one, so don't take this as an endorsement, but the Voodoo Labs Sparkle Drive concept sounds interesting. It allows you to blend the gain signal with your clean signal which should give you more control over how clean your sound is theoretically. I'm sure there are members who have had experience with one who could tell you more. I have been considering one too.
     
    Greggorios likes this.
  17. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,270
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2015
    Location:
    TooFarFromCanada
    Not AT ALL being a wiseguy here, as I respect your question and share your tastes. But for this, I keep finding that my guitar's volume knob is the best uncompressed, clean boost. Try playing with your amp louder than usual but leaving yourself a good 1/4 more oomph left on your guitar.

    I see now that others have suggested that, too. Again, not being snarky, but keeping your signal chain as unbusy as possible and having that knob right there makes sense. You can work on swells, you can ease off some notes then drive a run harder, etc., much easier with your fingers than by clicking a pedal on and off. There's a lot of musical fluidity inherent in even a Tele's bone-simple knobs.

    As also suggested, volume pedal would also give you a lot of musicality, since a click-on/click-off boost is indeed an either/or thing.

    Pedalwise, the boost functions on the ABY box that I use to play two amps--Radial's ToneBone--are my favorite. (Radial makes a wide variety of good boxes.) . The ToneBone gives you got several boost functions and layers, it's dead quiet, it doesn't compress, you can use it in front of just one amp, but using a second amp to really thicken and push your sound either steadily or at click-able points is a great approach. I have a couple of real rocky songs that I click on an Excelsior to push things atop the AC15, for example.

    So a +1 to a hiddentableau's suggestion above that you may want a mightier amp than your Princeton to ensure that you've got more headroom on tap when you pedal- or knob-boost your playing--with all due respect, of course, to how great a Princeton is.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2019
  18. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,786
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2003
    Location:
    northwest
    MXR Micro Amp is clean and cheap. Cleanest I'm aware of. The Barber Gain Changer set at near 0 gain is clean and adds some grit adjustment for more money.
    As others mentioned, reserving the 9-10 on your guitar volume knob gets you a clean boost. (more volume and more treble) But that's a fine line to walk for balance with the venue or rest of the band.
     
  19. rangercaster

    rangercaster Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,893
    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Location:
    portland, or
    Some would recommend an EQ pedal ...
    Worth a try IMO ...
     
    Telecastoff1, Obsessed and Asmith like this.
  20. don

    don Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    225
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2003
    Location:
    raleigh, nc
    In my past when I was playing guitar in a cover band the VL Sparkledrive and the Nobels OD-1 were my go to pedals. Then I started playing bass. Now a buddy wants to do old country and Americana and I’m the only electric guitar / no screaming solos but a lot of big open chords and arpeggios and some fills. I find the guitar sounds more open and full with the volume knob wide open or close to it so I really prefer a pedal as I like the tone and open ness of the guitar like it is
     
    Diagoras likes this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.