Samick Motherlode

December 2014
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Amptweaker Tight Boost Pedal Review

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Amptweaker Tight Boost Pedal Review

The Mid control works interactively with the High control. The more you crank the Mid the more it becomes like the sound of a parked wah, which was very inspiring for solo settings and will clear a lot of room in a crowded band mix. I kicked the amp up into more of an overdrive/lead tone so I could experiment with the Mid more and found that by pulling the High down it made the wah effect even more pronounced.

The Wah switch is a very cool and unique feature. You could easily get those classic Schenker sounds from UFO with the switch set to the left—or open wah—position. In the right—or depressed wah—position it pushes the high mids up for killer, searing lead tones. And I liked that by rolling off the volume on my guitar you could tame things pretty readily—one of the real bonuses of a lower-gain boost.

With a Strat the tones were even more varied than with my Epiphone. Going to the neck pickup seemed to be a natural choice with all the extra high end that was available. Backing off the High and pushing up the Mids in this configuration made the single coil sound more like humbuckers—perfect for a killer, early Billy Gibbons Texas tone that had just the right amount of skwonk. Even though the single-coils didn’t have the gain of the humbuckers it seemed that the balance was near perfect in terms of voicing choices and the ability to thicken up the sound as well as make it sharp, clear and articulated for chicken pickin’ licks.

The more you crank the Mid the more it becomes like the sound of a parked Wah, which was very inspiring for solo settings and will clear a lot of room in a crowded band mix.

The loop is a novel addition and one I don’t see very often on pedals but it makes sense. I ended up throwing a Hartman Electronics Germanium Boost in the loop while set to Pre mode with devastating results. Knowing that distortion works best in the Pre mode, I took the liberty of trying out various fuzzes and octavers (Mutron Octave Divider and Hartman Octavia clone). With a flick of the switch I was able to get distortion ranging from huge to unruly depending on how much was going out of each pedal.

The Verdict
There is much to love about the Tight Boost—bulletproof construction, tonal flexibility, well thought out design touches and killer tone. Mr. Brown has made some truly inspired improvements to the boost pedal template—no mean feat. And I wouldn’t be surprised to see other makers copying these moves.

The convenience of parts like the magnetic battery compartment and battery switch reflect an awareness of what it’s like to use a pedal like this as a performing musician. And the loop with selectable pre and post points and ability to power the pedal from 6 to 18 volts really extend the usefulness of this box. Of course it all comes down to the sound. And in that respect, the Tight Boost definitely delivers in a big way.
Buy if...
you need a lower gain boost pedal with parked-wah tones and more tone tweaking power.
Skip if...
you need scads of gain from your boost.
Rating...


Street $180 - Amtweaker - amptweaker.com
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