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Blackstar LT Dual and LT Boost Review

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LT Boost
The LT Boost rounds out the LT line and at $80 is one of the most affordable pedals in the series. Unlike some boost boxes that contain only a single knob, the LT Boost offers three controls—bass, treble, and gain. What’s noteworthy is that the bass and treble controls can work as a frequency boost or cut. At noon, both controls are flat and there is no EQ effect on your guitar signal. Turning either of the controls clockwise increases the selected EQ range, while counterclockwise settings reduce it.

But while the amp output got increasingly more raucous, there was no loss in note clarity. Nor did I lose any picking dynamics, even as the amp went into subtle compression.

With both tone knobs flat at noon, the LT Boost delivers unity gain around 11 o’clock. From that point and above, the gain knob revealed surprising sonic versatility. Up to about 1 o’clock, I got relatively clean increases in volume. From that point to maximum gain, the LT started to really kick the amp in the butt. But while the amp output got increasingly more raucous, there was no loss in note clarity. Nor did I lose any picking dynamics, even as the amp went into subtle compression.

Ratings

Pros:
EQ section greatly increases tone-shaping options.

Cons:
Some may prefer a simpler one-knob configuration.

Tones:

Playability/Ease of Use:

Build/Design:

Value:

Street:
$79

Blackstar Amplification LT Boost
blackstaramps.com

The EQ section’s range is wide enough that you can even use the LT Boost as a simple EQ pedal. I was able to fatten and warm up my almost-too-bright Ampeg SJ-12R’s clean sound by cranking the bass and lowering the gain.

Boost pedals are commonly employed with other dirt pedals and depending on where you place the boost and dirt pedals in your chain, you’ll get a different result. Placing a boost before a dirt pedal will increase the saturation but not the volume; placing it after will increase the volume (albeit with some additional compression).

I placed the LT Boost before the LT Dual and with a little push of the LT Boost’s gain knob, my tone got noticeably thicker. There wasn’t an overt tonal change but an additional and very welcome thickness that I missed when the LT Boost was off. Configured after the LT Dual, the Boost provided unity gain around 1 o’clock, and adding more treble lent a bold but slightly contoured edge to my tone. This came in handy when I wanted to be heard a little more but didn’t want to overpower everything in a cluttered mix.

The Verdict
While fairly basic in design, the LT Boost is deceptively powerful. Whether you already love your sound but just want a little more oomph, or want to turn your existing rig into a rowdy tone monster, the LT Boost is up to the task.

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