The Top 8 Boost Pedals To Consider – Reviews Of The Essential Boost Effects

the-best-boost-pedals

Treble boost pedals or clean boost pedals? Which one to get? Even more importantly, what are some of the models that can deliver the performance you need? If these questions are something you are wondering about at the moment, you are in the right place.

Boost pedals are not the most popular guitar effect out there, and you will rarely see them being used in general. That’s why finding solid info on them is not as easy as one might think. With that said, boost pedals definitely belong to the list of best guitar pedals available at the moment.

Top 8 Best Boost Pedals

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Reverb Pedal
Summary
Rating
MXR M133 Micro Amp
MXR M133 Micro Amp
Micro Amp is among the oldest and most organic sounding boosters available.
4.8 Stars
Total of 4.8/5
Xotic RC Booster
Xotic RC Booster
Lots of transparency, range and gain that is available on tap instantly
4.9 Stars
Total of 4.9/5
Electro-Harmonix LPB-1
Electro-Harmonix LPB-1
A legend that was there since the beginning, and still kicks strong.
4.9 Stars
Total of 4.9/5
Xotic EP Booster
Xotic EP Booster
Model that brings lots of features and performance despite its apparent simple design.
4.9 Stars
Total of 4.9/5
J Rockett Audio Designs Archer
J Rockett Audio Designs Archer
Dual purpose boutique booster pedal that delivers somewhat new and refreshing experience.
4.9 Stars
Total of 4.9/5
TC Electronic Spark Mini Booster
TC Electronic Spark Mini Booster
This little analog beast is capable of giving you lot's of gain.
5 Stars
Total of 5/5
Donner Boost Killer
Donner Boost Killer
Loose cannon among booster pedals that only a few handle with ease.
4.8 Stars
Total of 4.8/5
Zvex Vexter Super Hard-On Preamp Booster
Zvex Vexter Super Hard-On Preamp Booster
Pure boost that is among the most transparent ones available right now.
4.9 Stars
Total of 4.9/5


In order to make your life a bit easier, we have compiled a list of 8 boost pedals that are currently the best on the market. These models will offer a performance that is generally within the same category, but each one adds its own twist. Check out our shortlist and maybe you will find something that will in that hole in your pedalboard.

MXR M133 Micro Amp


mxr-m133-micro-amp

Features:4.7 Stars
Controls:5 Stars
Performance:4.9 Stars
Value:4.7 Stars
Average:4.8 Stars

If there is one boost pedal that perfectly describes the core simplicity of this effect, it’s the MXR M133 Micro Amp. This is a pure no-nonsense device that comes in a clean package which does an excellent job at pointing you towards the one and only control knob it has, and that is Gain.

There are many types of boosts to consider and this one is your meat and potatoes type. There are no bells and whistles, which is partially why this is one of the best boost pedals on the market. Hook it up to your chain, set the amount of gain you want to infuse into said chain and rock on ’till you can’t do it anymore. One great thing about the MXR M133 Micro Amp is the fact that it fits in no matter what application you have in mind. It even gives distortion pedals that additional girth.

For a simple pedal that it is, Micro Amp is more than versatile. Best of all? It’s among the most affordable boost pedals whose performance can is worthy of that title. There is a reason why a lot of guitar players chose this exact model as their main choice for signal boosting.


Xotic RC Booster


xotic-rc-booster

Features:4.8 Stars
Controls:5 Stars
Performance:5 Stars
Value:4.7 Stars
Average:4.9 Stars

If you thought our previous pick defined the full spectrum of boost pedals, you have another thing coming. Xotic RC Booster is a boost stompbox of a very unique variety. You could go as far as to say that it’s a multi tool of sorts. Instead of just giving you the ability to pump your signal chain with more boost, Xotic RC Booster takes the route of additional resistance. This awesome pedal allows you to select which part of the frequency range is going to be boosted.

That is made possible thanks to a formidable three band EQ that is capable of applying your adjustments without affecting the timbre of the tone. That is the very definition of transparency in guitar effects. This complex nature means we are dealing with more than just a boost pedal. With a bit of creativity and some time on your hands, you can use this booster for a variety of purposes. All things considered, you could say that Xotic RC Booster represents the other end of the boost pedal spectrum where some pretty powerful beasts reside.


Electro-Harmonix LPB-1


electro-harmonix-lpb-1

Features:4.8 Stars
Controls:5 Stars
Performance:4.9 Stars
Value:5 Stars
Average:4.9 Stars

When it comes to guitar effects pedals, Electro-Harmonix is one of the names you can trust to have your back, no matter what kind of sinful tone you are after. With that said, it’s no surprise that good old E-H produces one of the oldest and best boost pedals on the market. In terms of layout and design, it’s fairly similar to the MXR we covered above, only this one has a bad temper. There is only one knob to work with, and it is the Boost.
Unlike other pedals of this specific type, Electro-Harmonix LPB-1 doesn’t only add volume and girth to your tone, it also pushes the amp into overdrive. As a matter of fact, the circuitry found in this model was the basis for some of the earliest overdrive pedals ever made. That is a lot of heritage packed in one stompobox that costs less than two large pizzas.

Honestly, you would have to dig very deep to find one legitimate excuse why you don’t already have an LPB-1 on your pedalboard.


Xotic EP Booster


xotic-ep-booster

Features:4.9 Stars
Controls:5 Stars
Performance:5 Stars
Value:4.8 Stars
Average:4.9 Stars

Oh look, another Xotic model on our list. There’s not much we can say in our defense aside from that Xotic builds some of the best boosters out there. So what’s the difference between the EP and RC? Their principle of operation, for the most part. Xotic EP booster comes in the already familiar one-knob-wonder design.

This slim black box of gain packs a mean punch when used straight out of the box. However, a closer inspection will reveal that there is a lot more going on below the surface than the eye can see, literally. This pedal comes with internal controls that allow you to adjust the amount of bass boost and the brightness of the effect.

Sure, these controls aren’t really accessible on the fly, but just having that type of flexibility is rather refreshing when that gain knob becomes dull. What is this pedal good for? Just about anything boost-related. It’s fairly transparent and has a linear gain progression. This makes it great for a number of different applications. It all comes down to what you need to get done.


J Rockett Audio Designs Archer


j-rockett-audio-designs-archer

Features:5 Stars
Controls:4.9 Stars
Performance:5 Stars
Value:4.8 Stars
Average:4.9 Stars

The standard definition of this pedal includes both overdrive and boost as description tags, so adding it to our list feels a bit like cheating. However, the boost part of the equation is what we are interested in, and its goodness is exactly why Archer is here among the greats.

The pedal itself is a pretty wicked combination of two somewhat close effects that work great when combined together. Using the J Rockett Audio Designs Archer is a blast, both in a metaphorical sense, and purely sonic sense. There is enough additional clean gain to pump up your cleans quite nicely while the overdrive portion takes you into the world of gritty sweetness.

With that said, Archer is a perfect choice for those looking to get into boosters, but are a bit reluctant to commit to this type of pedal. This way you can have a good overdrive that stacks rather well against some of the best pedals of this type, and also allows you to fall back on it if boost effect is not something that really floats your boat. However, it’s not the cheapest pedal out there. That is a common theme with boutique designs, though.


TC Electronic Spark Mini Booster


tc-electronic-spark-mini

Features:5 Stars
Controls:4.8 Stars
Performance:5 Stars
Value:5 Stars
Average:5 Stars

Another day, another awesome boost pedal with that single knob design. TC Electronic Spark Mini Booster took the already proven layout and spiced it up a little. In terms of raw performance, this little thing gets you a pretty good dB per dollar ratio. There is decent transparency with this effect, and it comes with true bypass. However, that’s not all it has to offer. TC Electronic decided to add another layer of functionality by introducing their PrimeTime feature.

Despite its fancy name, and how much TC Electronics is trying to make a huge deal out of this, PrimeTime is actually a pretty simple thing. There’s a small switch below the gain knob which allows you to choose how the stomp switch is going to behave. In position one it acts just like any other stomp switch you’ve ever used. When you flip it to its second position, you drop the stompswitch from on/off mode to press-to-play mode. This comes in handy when you just want to boost short portions of the song. All in all, it’s not something every guitar player is going see as useful, but some will.


Donner Boost Killer


donner-boost-killer

Features:4.7 Stars
Controls:4.8 Stars
Performance:4.8 Stars
Value:5 Stars
Average:4.8 Stars

Donner Boost Killer is one of those models that is mostly lurking in the shadows. Not a lot of people have tried it even though it’s on of the best aggressive boosters on the market. After all, that name is there for a reason. It comes with a bit more control, aside from your usual Gain knob. You have Bass and Treble EQ to work with, each capable of adding or detracting some 15 dB from the signal.

The first thing that comes to mind is compensating for limited amp EQ, but Donner Boost Killer also acts as a great natural overdrive. That type of performance is more in line with the modern application of boost pedals. The best thing about this booster is the price. It is dirt cheap, so much so that you have to wonder how Donner is even making a profit from selling these. However, we are definitely not complaining. If you want to experiment with decent boosters without dropping a lot of money on one, Donner Boost Killer is your best bet by far.


Zvex Vexter Super Hard-On Preamp Booster


zvex-vexter-super-hard-on

Features:4.9 Stars
Controls:4.9 Stars
Performance:5 Stars
Value:4.7 Stars
Average:4.9 Stars

Zvex is currently among the most popular boutique brands on the market. If you’re wondering why, one part of the answer lies within their brutal fuzz box which pretty much kick started the whole company. Ever since then, Zvex has been on a mission to bring us some of the most outrageous effects pedals no one else was willing to make.

The defining feature of the Super Hard-On is the level of transparency this pedal brings to the table. We are talking marginal timber impact that is hardly going to be noticed even by the most experienced guitar players out there. This is predominantly a clean boost unit, but we all know what that really means. There’s an abundance of gain to be had, even though there are no special snowflake features to play with. Zvex was never a brand that was concerned too much with forcing various impractical bells and whistles on their custumers. They were asked to build a good booster, so they did just that. All while sticking to the original idea behind this type of effect.


Conclusion

If you are shopping for a boost pedal, you probably already know just how useful these things can be when set up properly. For some genres of music, nothing works better than that ever so slightly distorted clean channel. Hopefully you’ve found a model that fits your requirements on our list. If not, you at least now know what some of the most popular boost pedals are.

Whatever the case may be, once you enter the world of boost pedals and hear that sweet tone for the first time, you will find it hard to exclude them from your effects pedal setup.

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