View Full Version : Effects Pedal help

05-04-2017, 01:05 AM
Hi i play in a small club with about 15 other players , i've been asked to do a few solo's on some rock songs we do , so i wanted to boost my volume just for the solo bits , i bought a Blackstar LT Dual secondhand but it distorts the sound too much even with the gain at it's lowest , i wonder if any pedal guru can throw some light on my options , i'd rather not buy another pedal but i will if i have to and sell the Blackstar on .
My Uke is a Godin Multiuke and my amp is a Fishman Loudbox Mini.

05-04-2017, 09:48 AM
A compressor or a clean boost seems to be what you are after, both of these are able to make your system jus louder.
If you get (or have) a multi effect both are probably available on it too. Other option might be to get an eq and set that a little above the zero range of the pedal. HTH.

05-04-2017, 11:56 AM
Yes. Boost, Limiters, and Compressors all affect only the volume. The better the pedal, the more it affects only the volume and not the tone. The better the pedal, the more "transparent" it is. A booster increases the volume. If you boost the volume too much, you will overdrive the front end of your amplifier which will cause "clipping" which will cause distortion. Of course some people WANT this, but generally you don't want it with an acoustic amp which is what you have.

A limiter limits the maximum volume of an instrument to prevent clipping and to "even out" the volume.

A compressor is like a boost and a limiter at the some time. You can raise the minimum volume to provide a boost, and lower the maximum volume AT THE SAME TIME. This squishes or "compresses" the range of volume. If you raise the minimum too much, you'll be amplifying the noise when the instrument is not playing. If you limit the maximum too much, then you won't be able to hear the instrument above the mix.

Usually what you want to "cut through" the mix during a solo is something like a linear power booster (or just a "boost") with maybe a high boost that adds a bit of high end - just enough to give you some "bite." You can do this with either a booster that has a "brightness" or high boost switch, or with an ACTIVE EQ that provides a boost. It must be active to be able to provide an INCREASE in the volume.

The Electro Harmonix Screaming Bird ($40) is a boost that is heavily biased toward the treble side.


The Electro Harmonix LPB-1 ($40) is a "flat" power booster, meaning that it attempts to increase the volume of all frequencies equally. It will give you a volume boost with nothing else. Stomp on it and you're louder! Be careful, too much boost can overdrive your amp.


The TC Electronic Spark Booster Pedal ($129) is a booster WITH tone controls. So, you can provide an overall boost AND an even higher high-end boost at the same time. It also has a low frequency control and a switch so that you can change the overall "shape" of your tone when you hit the boost. VERY NICE.


EarthQuaker Devices Bows Germanium Preamp ($145) is a booster with a "Treble/Full" switch to set whether it's a "full" booster which boost the low and the high with a mid "scoop", or a treble booster kid of like the Screaming Bird, but more "focused".


There are other MANY other ways to get what you want, but I think any of these are the simplest, least expensive, most direct way.

Of all of THESE, I would probably go with the EarthQuaker because I like the company and I like the sound of Germanium transistors. The people at Sweetwater say that it adds a bit of "grit" to your tone. That's not a bad thing. That means that it "colors" the tone to be a bit aggressive and will overdrive the front end of your amp easily. So, you just have to be gentle with that boos switch. The TC Spark provides the most tone shaping possibilities and would allow you to get a gentle high-end boost without affecting the rest of the frequencies, but it would require more messing with.

Whatever you decide to try, proper setup would be essential. I would start by setting the boosted solo settings. Let's say the pedal gives you a boost at 1:00 on the output dial. I would switch on the boost, set it to 1:00, and set everything on the amp. Then, I would turn off the boost and make sure that everything still sounds good. Go back and forth like that to determine how much boost you can add without over-driving your amp, unless of course that what you want.

05-04-2017, 11:19 PM
Wow what brilliant advise can't thank you enough , i'll put the Blackstar on Ebay or see if anybody on the forum who lives in the UK wants it . And look out for some of your suggestions on the online strores here in the UK , once again thanks .
Regards Dave