BEST GUITAR BOOST PEDAL FOR SOLOS
Since I became a lead guitarist in my band a few years ago, the need for a boost pedal for my solos became more and more of a necessity as the gigs went by. After adding a boost pedal to my pedal board, it has quickly become the most used pedal in my collection. Sometimes you just need to be louder for certain parts without affecting the tone or the gain of your guitar sound. I'll go through some of the uses of the boost pedal as well as discuss and review the best guitar boost pedal for solos as well as a few more notable mentions that I've tried in my guitar career.
|TC Electronic||MXR Micro Amp Boost||Donner Booster Pedal||Xotic EP Booster Mini||RC Booster by Xotic|
|Top Choice||Most Popular||Budget Boost||Boutique Boost||Most Versatile|
What Is A Boost Pedal?
The boost pedal is simply an effects box that allows your guitar to be heard, to stand out and cut through the mix by turning it on. Boost pedals can also help enhance certain frequencies or to bump up particular eq settings. In my opinion, boost pedals are generally not meant to color or change your overall guitar tone like overdrive or distortion pedals do. Instead, they're used so that you can stand out for certain parts when you need to.
What Is Being Boosted?
Depending on what your needs are and which boost pedal you decided to choose, it will ultimately help determine what you will be using the pedal for. Boost pedals can boost different things and some do one thing, some do a combination and others do all of them. What are these "things" that I'm talking about? Well, boost pedals can be used to make your solos louder by boosting one or more of the following:
- Volume (db)
As I mentioned, not all of the pedals available can boost all of those above, so you'll need to decide which of those is most important for your boosting needs. The volume function of a boost pedal will simply increase (or decrease) the decibel level of your overall sound. The gain boost adds more gain to your signal, which does not make your sound louder but rather adds more distortion.
A bass boost will fatten up your tone by boosting the bass frequencies. My personal favorite is the mid boost which is perfect for solos. Boosting the mids gives a false sense of loudness yet allows your tone to cut through the mix. I must include by saying that by adding more middle, you are in essence affecting your overall tone but it's not always a bad thing for solos. Lastly, the treble boost will, of course, boost your treble frequencies which were a popular thing to do for guitarists in the 60's and 70's.
Top 5 Best Guitar Boost Pedals For Solos
1) TC Electronics Mini Spark
For me, this is the best boost pedal for guitar solos. The reason I say this is because it is exceptionally simple to use and allows you to increase the overall volume (up to 20 decibels) of your guitar sound without affecting the tone in any way so that you can stand out for solos.
The TC spark booster also happens to be very small in size so whilst it provides an important function to my pedalboard, it takes up barely any space. If your amplifier has an effects loop, I recommend trying this pedal through the effects loop of your amp to boost solos. However, having said that it does a killer job pushing the front of an amplifier too.
2) MXR Micro Amp Boost
This MXR micro amp boost pedal is one of the oldest and widely used on this list. It has been made popular by many guitar players, most notably John Frusciante of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Like the TC electronic above, the MXR Micro Amp only has one control knob. But instead of boosting the volume, this pedal boosts the gain as the writing on the pedal would suggest. In my opinion, this pedal boosts the signal more so than it adds any extra gain.
However, if you crank it you can get a decent amount of gain, especially into a broken up amplifier. This is one of those reliable and classic boost pedals that will definitely help boost your guitar solos. Pedal companies such as Joyo as well as Mooer make fantastic clones of this pedal.
3) Donner Boost Pedal
This is one of the cheapest boost pedals on the market, but do not let that put you off! For its price, this boost pedal offers versatility which some expensive pedals cannot compete with.
This donner boost is definitely best used to boost distortion and change the characteristics of your tone. It offers three separate EQ's being volume, gain, and tone (the tone knob is essential a treble eq).
It also has a switch between "mid boost" and "normal". The normal mode acts as a regular signal boost. whilst the mid setting changes the pedal to work as a mid boost which I like a lot. It is yet another tiny guitar pedal which won't take up much space on your board.
4) Xotic EP Booster
Although this is a boutique guitar pedal, it has quickly gained popularity and a reputation as being one of the most transparent boosts for solos. It has a simply singular knob which either adds or takes away 20 decibels of gain.
However, don't let the look of simplicity fool you as it also has a noticeable FET preamp inside. Furthermore, there are switches inside the pedal which can add a bass boost or a bright boost depending on what you set it. It is a really versatile booster pedal for its size.
5) RC Booster
If versatility and transparency of tone is something you're looking for in a boost pedal then the RC booster is definitely for you. It offers 4 independent eq controls which include gain, treble, volume, and bass. All of which can be boosted should you wish.
The only downside to this boost pedal is that it is on the expensive side of things. However, that should not put you off as this is one mean boost pedal for solos.
I'd go as far as to say that this might be the last boost pedal I'll buy because it provides me with everything I need. It is a quality booster pedal through and through.