Stupidly simple booster is a magical tone masseuse.

With all that EarthQuaker has done to expand and mutate the guitar soundscape, it’s almost weird to behold this beautifully uncomplicated little unit. But this all-discrete booster is balm for any soul seeking simplicity in a pedal rig or quick fixes for a clean boost jones.

The Arrows works seamlessly with amps of every kind. And while it doesn’t explicitly claim to be a “clean” boost, it’s one of the cleanest I’ve heard, magically exciting the mid- and high-mid range from single-coils and humbuckers without adding any real dirt until you reach the highest 25-30% of its range. And I love what the Arrows does after a fuzz. If you want to add fire to a chorus or outro, but don’t want to mangle the harmonic nuances of your fuzz, the Arrows adds presence and a major kick in the pants. This pedal showed up at a time when I’m enjoying economy in my set up. Nice timing, because boost solutions don’t get much more elegant, easy, or effective.

Test Gear: Fender Jaguar and Telecaster, ’70s Ibanez Les Paul copy, ’64 Fender Tremolux, ’60s Gibson Mariner, ’70s Music Man Sixty Five, Tonebender Mk. 1 and Mk. II copies, Sovtek Big Muff.


Adds warm presence and big, clean volume boost. Natural and mild overdrive tones at high settings.





Ease of Use:



An overachieving overdrive that gets way bigger than its name suggests.

Sweet balanced crunch tones. Dynamic. Sparkling, full, and clean at attenuated guitar volume. High-quality build.

Pretty expensive.


Great Eastern FX Small Speaker Overdrive


Overdrive pedals don’t often set my world alight—even great ones. But I’ve spent a month with the England-built Great Eastern FX Small Speaker Overdrive, and it remains attached to the other end of my coil-y cable. Ostensibly, the Small Speaker is meant to be a variation on the tweed-Fender-Champ-in-a-box theme. However, both the pedal’s name and the Champ associations fail to do justice to how large and alive it sounds and feels tethered to a bigger amp.

Read More Show less

Megadeth founder teams up with Gibson for his first acoustic guitar in the Dave Mustaine Collection.

Read More Show less

The bass wiz and author shares deep wisdom about bass, music, and more.

Read More Show less