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May 2014
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Xotic Effects EP Booster Pedal Review

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Xotic Effects EP Booster Pedal Review
Xotic Effects, makers of such pedals as the popular RC and AC Boosters, Robotalk and BB Plus, have graced the effects world once again with a small box that packs quite a punch, the EP Booster. Providing 20db of volume boost, the EP Booster is a FET-based volume booster that is designed to sit comfortably on the player’s pedal board without taking up too much room. However, after delving into the EP Booster, I discovered quite a bit more in the ways of tonal functionality.

The circuit itself is based on the preamp circuit of the famed Maestro EP-3 Echoplex, which was used in line by famous players such as Jimmy Page and Eddie Van Halen. At first glance, one of the strongest traits of the EP Booster is very apparent: it is really small. The device fits easily on even highly populated pedal boards, taking up only 1.5 inches of real estate. The no-frills approach really lends itself to quick and simple volume boosting. Only one footswitch, a super-bright blue LED and a single control knob grace the front panel of the pedal, but more tonal options lie inside the guts.

After removing the back plate, two tiny DIP switches are located in the upper right corner of the unit, controlling top and bottom end response. One switch flips between either a high-end frequency boost or flattened EQ, and the other provides a increase in the low end spectrum. Using a 2009 Paul Reed Smith McCarty into a 1973 Marshall Super Bass head with a Bogner 4x12 cabinet, I was pleasantly surprised at just how effective the EP Booster was at shaping the overall tone. Not only was the volume boosted, but also the sound was thicker and more defined than before, with no overbearing frequencies. To me, it seemed like having the volume boost option on top of the tonal shaping was like icing on the cake. With the instrument coil-tapped, the boosted tone reared a grittier head, but kept the smooth definition that I had heard only moments ago from the full humbucking mode.

The Xotic EP Booster is more than a simple volume boost; it’s a tonal shaping tool that pushes out all of the right frequencies that are pleasing to the ear. Its diminutive size and easy use makes it a clear winner, but I would like to see the bass and high-end internal switches moved to the front of the unit. Having them in push-button form would be ideal. For its size and set-and-forget attitude, however, the EP Booster is perfect addition to just about any player’s arsenal.
Buy if...
You’re looking for a fantastic sounding booster with warm tonal qualities.
Skip if...
You need more features, such as built-in overdrive or an additional separate boost.
Rating...


Street $116 - Xotic - xotic.us

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