Sometimes the most effective, useful, and just plain fun pedals are those that stick to the mantra of just keeping things simple. The Tone Ranger Bustier is a dirty, grimy wolf in sheep’s clothing that can take you from a Vox-like crunch to a sweet, singing lead tone with a twist of a knob. I really dig the clean sound of my MIM Strat into my Deluxe Reverb, so I turned the gain to about 9 o’clock for a quick-and-easy bump. The result was a wonderfully blooming tone that not only sparkled, but gave each note an increased richness—it definitely made its case for being an “always on” pedal.
With 30 dB of gain available, the Bustier can also function as a low-to-mid gain dirt pedal. At the higher gain settings it won’t turn your Strat into a Les Paul—which is a good thing—but it will add some clarity and fullness to an already distorted signal. Plus, it stacks very well with like-minded dirt pedals—even with the gain cranked.
Test Gear: MIM Fender Stratocaster, MIM Fender Telecaster with Rio Grande pickups, and Fender Deluxe Reverb amp