February 2017
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Freekish Blues Freek Out!, Coily Fuzz and Betty Boost Pedal Reviews

Betty Boost

Download Example 1
Recorded through a 2008 Fender American Strat.  Amp – Wallace Abaddon.  Speaker – Krank 1x12 with 70’s Celestion 25 watt tan back.  Recorded into Pro Tools with Chandler LTD-1 mic pre with SM57 off-axis.  Small amount of Altiverb room ambience.
The Betty Boost is described as a clean boost/ overdrive. I don’t normally get too excited about that category of pedal but this one stood out right away with its obvious allusions. The controls couldn’t be much simpler, with a single Voluptuousness knob for volume/gain and a mini-toggle labeled Cup Size to engage the overdrive—double D! It shares the same craftsmanship as the Coily Fuzz, as well as the same case size and nifty 9-volt battery compartment.

I went back to my clean amp setup, which in this case was a Krank Rev Jr. Pro on the Krank channel, but set to a warm, tube-clean sound with just a hair of breakup—not Fender-style clean, but more like a non-master Marshall set to 2 or 3. I plugged in my Les Paul with Sheptone AB Customs and strummed a big, clean G chord to get my bearings. Switching on the Betty Boost does just what it should do, it adds clean boost as you travel up the dial. As I increased the control, it stayed very clean all the way up to almost full. Throughout that range the pedal stayed true to the sound of the amp, just giving more of everything it had. The last little travel on the Betty is where things are really interesting. The pedal adds a pretty significant crunch that has some major heft to it. There is a fatness to the boost I haven’t experienced before, and in the range from almost full to full up there was a spectrum of tones to be found. To me, this is where it shines; it’s like steroids for your amp. The Cup Size switch looks so innocent when in the B position, but switching to DD changes everything. DD is the overdrive mode, and they aren’t joking around. With the pedal still set to full, I was treated to a sustain that was unreal. Flipping to the neck pickup and rolling off the tone produced a killer “woman tone” (I hate that term, but I love the sound) that had endless sustain and a beautiful, thick sound that also cut through without being harsh. When I switched back to the bridge pickup, it dawned on me that the rolled-off neck sound actually had a slightly brighter voice, which at first didn’t make sense. Going back to the neck pickup and rolling the tone up and down showed that the Betty Boost is highly sensitive to tone controls and interacts with the voicing in a unique way. This opens up many new sounds that usually get skipped over if you’re used to just fiddling with your guitar’s volume knob. Imagine that—the tone knobs are actually useful on the guitar! Backing off the boost a bit conjured up tones reminiscent of a Rangemaster and various other overdrives, proving that one knob and a switch can be very deceiving.

The Betty Boost was my favorite of the three pedals simply because I haven’t had that experience with any other clean boost. It was a shock in a good way, and one I definitely want to experience again.
Buy if...
you want clean boost with options that take you beyond.
Skip if...
you already like your tone as it is and don’t need more.

Street $190 - Freekish Blues - freekishblues.com geargasstore.com
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