Treble Boosters

zippofan

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My favorite is a DAM Red Rooster style germanium boost, it does the treble booster thing but a tone pot allows full range dirty boost too. I built one for a lot less than the retail price, it's pretty expensive for such a simple circuit. It works well in front of everything I've tried, Vox, Orange and even a Champ style combo.
 

BlueGillGreg

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I agree with Drmordo: A good EQ pedal will boost treble and do many other things as well. My first pedal was a six band graphic EQ pedal and 42 years later it's still getting heavy use. I've used it to boost the treble on a full hollowbody f hole electric with humbuckers, used it as an overdrive with great tone control, I've used it as a pre-amp for piezos stuck to acoustic instruments with putty, used it for bla bla bla...
 

Jakeboy

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Germanium TBs are made for already sweating tube amps…they are perfect for tweed and brown Fenders.I have used them in those for decades and still do. They add dirt, upper Mids, and sizzle while tightening up the bass. Simply put, they excite all the right freqs in a pushed tube amp. They suck in a clean amp of a BF Fender IME.
And they clean up as good as a fuzz face with the guitar knob if they are of Rangemaster lineage.

I had a Naga for a while. Silicon. And cbread somehow made it sound like germanium. It didn’t cleanup as well for me. Great pedal but you should also try germanium.
 

D_Malone

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Germanium TBs are made for already sweating tube amps…they are perfect for tweed and brown Fenders.I have used them in those for decades and still do. They add dirt, upper Mids, and sizzle while tightening up the bass. Simply put, they excite all the right freqs in a pushed tube amp. They suck in a clean amp of a BF Fender IME.
And they clean up as good as a fuzz face with the guitar knob if they are of Rangemaster lineage.

I had a Naga for a while. Silicon. And cbread somehow made it sound like germanium. It didn’t cleanup as well for me. Great pedal but you should also try germanium.
I’ve had quite a few Germanium treble boosters. The NV is indeed different. A bit more bite. Harder attack. I find the clean-up to be just as good, but maybe a little brighter than the typical Ge treble booster.

What makes the NV special is the range control, which is basically a bass control. Some treble boosters have switches that select different levels of bass, which is nice. But the NV’s range control is a pot with a smooth sweep. It makes dialing it in super easy. It’s also quieter than any other treble booster I’ve tried.
 

Wound_Up

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So, how does a Rangmaster compare to a simple booster like the LPB1? I've got one of those I built with some sort of silicon transistor I can't recall right now and it seems to work pretty well.

Or how would a Rangmaster compare to an EP Booster or even the Fortin 33? I have one of each of these so that's why I asked about these specifically. I guess I could pull the circuit diagrams and compare circuits.

But how do they differ in what they provide for boost? Like an LPB1 is a linear power booster, which I assume means it boosts all the frequencies vs something like a treble booster which boosts treble freqs more than anything else?
 

Cyberi4n

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Slight curveball, but I have the MXR Mini Booster pedal on my board, the one with the tone control. It's epic, especially with the internal trim pot to add some gain, and it may also be a viable alternative to a treble boost peda. +20 dbs of boost alledgedly, and that internal gain trim pot, as well as the tone control, and it brings a sweet treble boost to a marshall with a les paul. Might be worth a try?

 

ping-ping-clicka

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I was reading about Treble boosters and watched a couple of YouTube videos.

It sounds like they primarily help tone with Marshalls and Vox but I was wondering if it would help take some of the muddy or wooly tone out of my Les Paul through a Fender.

Anyone use a treble booster?
I watch an interesting and informative program on the JHS blog about treble boosters
()
I use the T.C. Electronic Spark Booster ( the one with four knobs).
It does its job, and does it well. I'm glad that I bought it.
 

11 Gauge

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What makes the NV special is the range control, which is basically a bass control. Some treble boosters have switches that select different levels of bass, which is nice. But the NV’s range control is a pot with a smooth sweep. It makes dialing it in super easy. It’s also quieter than any other treble booster I’ve tried.
That range control is worth its weight in gold. Not only can you dial in with precision for any given guitar (and amp), but you can even exploit things to your advantage - if you want just a bit of upper-mid-peaky honk for solos or raucous power chords, the range control really allows for this.

IMO, other TBs with toggles or rotaries with a few fixed input cap choices simply don't have either the precision or flexibility of the NV. I think the range control is an absolutely essential addition to the TB.

I also love that the NV is indeed less noisy than other TBs, and even seems to be less noisy than some other transistor-based boosters.
 

mk_716

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I went on a bit of a tear building Treble Boosts/clean boosts. The D*A*M Red Rooster, Naga Viper, Keely Katana and this:

Radian from Aion.

I use these with a PR and a Blackface Deluxe - I find them all are very usable and different enough to have a couple versions. The Radian from Aion is super flexible, the Red Rooster is subtle, but not quite like anything else.

Not sure they're for everyone, but before/after an OD/another boost you can get some crunchy goodness.

m.
 

11 Gauge

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So, how does a Rangmaster compare to a simple booster like the LPB1? I've got one of those I built with some sort of silicon transistor I can't recall right now and it seems to work pretty well.

Or how would a Rangmaster compare to an EP Booster or even the Fortin 33? I have one of each of these so that's why I asked about these specifically. I guess I could pull the circuit diagrams and compare circuits.

But how do they differ in what they provide for boost? Like an LPB1 is a linear power booster, which I assume means it boosts all the frequencies vs something like a treble booster which boosts treble freqs more than anything else?
Yes, a treble booster differs in that it's not full range.

Also, a treble booster will typically add some clipping of its own, while some other types of boosts are designed to be mostly or entirely clean.

But dirty or clean, most other types of boosts simply don't dink around with the EQ to reduce as much bass as a treble booster does.
 

northernguitar

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Yes, a treble booster differs in that it's not full range.

Also, a treble booster will typically add some clipping of its own, while some other types of boosts are designed to be mostly or entirely clean.

But dirty or clean, most other types of boosts simply don't dink around with the EQ to reduce as much bass as a treble booster does.
It’s that clipping that distinguishes the basic TB from a clean boost or eq pedal.
 

11 Gauge

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It’s that clipping that distinguishes the basic TB from a clean boost or eq pedal.
Oh yeah, absolutely. But something like a LPB-1 can clip a bit, too, just not with the restricted frequency response of a TB.

So the TB is kind of unique in that it both restricts the low end and creates harmonic distortion.

Since something like a graphic EQ is a bunch of bandpass filters, getting any clipping from one will typically sound terrible, for what should be obvious reasons.
 

wabashslim

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By coincidence this week I was going through my box of discarded old circuit boards from years ago and came upon my Craig Anderton Treble Booster which was published in Guitar Player and his first book in the 70s. I dug out the book and wired it up to jacks, pot & switch and - ye-e-e-e-o-o-O-O-O-O-OWW did that thing ever define "pain"! No wonder it ended up in my junkbox back then, almost immediately as I recall. Seems like everything under 2kHz is totally gone and everything above is amped to inhuman levels - my first notes might have killed the neighbor's dog. I don't think there is any upper-end rolloff, it just gets ice-pickier & ice-pickier even turned way down. I'm glad that Mr. Anderton has built a very successful career out of musical electronics but jeez...I think I need to talk to Phoenix's Husband and Wife Law Team if I can even hear them over the tinnitus.
 

wildschwein

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By coincidence this week I was going through my box of discarded old circuit boards from years ago and came upon my Craig Anderton Treble Booster which was published in Guitar Player and his first book in the 70s. I dug out the book and wired it up to jacks, pot & switch and - ye-e-e-e-o-o-O-O-O-O-OWW did that thing ever define "pain"! No wonder it ended up in my junkbox back then, almost immediately as I recall. Seems like everything under 2kHz is totally gone and everything above is amped to inhuman levels - my first notes might have killed the neighbor's dog. I don't think there is any upper-end rolloff, it just gets ice-pickier & ice-pickier even turned way down. I'm glad that Mr. Anderton has built a very successful career out of musical electronics but jeez...I think I need to talk to Phoenix's Husband and Wife Law Team if I can even hear them over the tinnitus.
I have that book. It does say C3 is attenuating the lows so you could experiment with different values there.

As an aside to this, he came out in recent times with some advice about modern day op amps you could use, as the one he used a lot at the time of publication is now hard to get.
 

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wabashslim

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I have that book. It does say C3 is attenuating the lows so you could experiment with different values there.

As an aside to this, he came out in recent times with some advice about modern day op amps you could use, as the one he used a lot at the time of publication is now hard to get.
I have the first version of the book and my booster is notably different, for instance C3 is part of the supply voltage splitter. A lot of the circuits in that book are a bit amateurish. I built some, like the state-variable filter which I put in a gutted wah-wah pedal but it was pretty extreme for guitar use. I have some other abandoned circuit boards in that junkbox that might be from the book like his "tube-sound fuzz" which was no Tube Screamer as I recall!
Also note a couple discrepencies between the schematic & parts list...

1661187498044.png
 
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wildschwein

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I have the first version of the book and my booster is notably different, for instance C3 is part of the supply voltage splitter. A lot of the circuits in that book are a bit amateurish. I built some, like the state-variable filter which I put in a gutted wah-wah pedal but it was pretty extreme for guitar use. I have some other abandoned circuit boards in that junkbox that might be from the book like his "tube-sound fuzz" which was no Tube Screamer as I recall!
Also note a couple discrepencies between the schematic & parts list...

View attachment 1019845
Oh right — that is different. I wasn’t aware there was such a big difference between editions. I assume C1 is the input cap there. It seems that all of the designs revolve around an op amp.
 

Maguchi

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I have built a few boosters, both treble and otherwise.

It's less fun but more flexible to buy a stompbox eq. It will give you a treble booster (a la Brian May), a mid-boost (a la Van Halen and Tom Scholz) and a flat boost (a la... not really sure).

Lately I've been messing with a Boss GE-7 constantly and I don't miss my treble boosters at all.

Would it be any different than using an equalizer pedal?
I'm glad @drmordo brought up using an EQ pedal as a boost. A lot of guitar players haven't tried one as a boost yet and they work great for that. One of my bandmates gave me a tip about using a Boss GEB-7 pedal, the bass version of Boss's EQ pedal instead of the Boss GE-7 which is the regular guitar EQ pedal. I've tried both pedals for boost as well as EQ, and I like the GE-7 a lot but actually the bass GEB-7 sounds a little better to my ears. YMMV

BossGEB7.jpg
 




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