Ratings

Pros:
Immaculate build quality. Very versatile tone settings. Excellent mid boost.

Cons:
DIP switches are difficult to change on the fly.

Street:
$120

Xotic Super Sweet Booster
xotic.us



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If there was ever a pound-for-pound ranking of the most useful pedal designs, Xotic’s Super Sweet Booster would likely be near the top. It looks like a simple one-knob booster, but the magic really resides on the side, where four DIP switches allow you to shape the EQ and boost certain frequencies. The switches control high cut, low-mid boost, high-mid boost, and bass boost. Depending on your amp and guitar, each one of these could be a lifesaver—especially if you’re rolling into a gig with an unknown backline.

The default setting is with all switches in the down (off) position. With 20 dB of gain ready to go, I kept the gain knob around noon, and with a clean Fender amp it breathed some life into my sound. As I pushed the gain to around 3 o’clock, a hint of dirt would come in when I dug in, but the sensitivity allowed me to easily control it without affecting the volume. Inside the SSB resides a class-A preamp with a JRC4558 chip, which gives the pedal a Tube Screamer vibe with the gain cranked and the hi-mid boost engaged. I A/B’d it with a TS808 at a lower gain setting and the SSB didn’t flinch. Some of the EQ controls were a bit more subtle than I would have expected, but I’d chalk that up to the individual idiosyncrasies of a particular amp/guitar setup. Very few boost pedals can change their spots as easily and authentically as Xotic’s Super Sweet Booster.

Test gear: Schroeder Chopper TL, Gibson Les Paul Custom, Fender Hot Rod Deluxe IV