Tiny-but-mighty tweaking options make this way more than just a boost.
I’m a boost addict. A gig rarely goes by without some sort of clean-signal enhancer near my toes. The Lighthouse is designed around an op-amp circuit, which gives its non-clean boost settings a bit of Tube Screamer flair. Along with the central volume knob, there are two 3-way toggle switches: one selects the type of boost and the other changes which frequencies are boosted. In total, there are nine different flavors to play with. And it was challenging to find a dud in the bunch.
The type toggle moves between a clean boost, dirty boost, and nasty boost. (The latter is the clean boost fed into the dirty boost.) In clean mode, it was exactly as advertised—no real surprise there. In the dirty and nasty modes, it held up to any other low-to-mid-gain overdrive in my collection, with an impressive amount of sensitivity and attack. Bonus: 50 percent of your original sound is blended with the affected tone in the dirty and nasty settings.
On each position of the tone toggle, you can get a full boost (no frequencies are cut), mid boost, or treble boost. The mid boost setting paired best with my Lollar single-coils, but if you have an especially dark or bright setup, the full and treble settings would likely balance things out. The Filter’Tron pickups in a Gretsch White Falcon were especially lively in a dirty/treble setup. Every note had presence, attack, and plenty of hair. Designing a travel rig or need to save space on your board for an oversized stomp? The Lighthouse will likely prove in short order that it’s more than a one-knob wonder.
Test gear: Schroeder Chopper TL, Gretsch White Falcon, Fender Deluxe Reverb