Saturday, September 12, 2015

Staying True to your Tone

I'm stoked to be back and super stoked to do so with this awesome and very popular pedal from our friends at Xotic Effects. I'm sure many of you have had experience with the "Tremendous Trio" that is the BB Preamp, AC Booster, and this here champ of a stompbox the RC Booster. The Reason behind these pedals success is simple - great tone! I have been fortunate to have had the chance to try just about every Xotic Effects pedal out there, and to this day I can honestly say I have not been disappointed. What makes these pedals such winners isn't a ton of bells and whistles, it's their simplicity and straight to the point control layout. Combine any of these pedals with a proper amp, your favorite guitar, and they will make your already cherished tone that much better. The RC Booster does exactly this and does it with it's own heavenly tonal touch. Let's take a closer look shall we? 


RC Booster

  • Active Treble, Bass, Gain, and Volume controls allow for limitless tone shaping.
  • 20dB+ of transparent clean boost, with +- 15db 2 band active EQ.
  • Solution to sound degradation caused instrument cables and/or long effect chains.
  • True bypass for eliminating any signal interference when switched off.
  • Can be used with AC adaptor (optional) or 9V Battery.


So what does the "RC" stand for you ask? It stands for "Real Clean", meaning this pedal will keep your sound pure and sweet. This isn't to say the RC Booster isn't capable of some gritty goodness cause it is. Whether it's boosting your already spanking clean tone to a higher level or taking that clean tone to the next plateau - the RC Booster will do it and do beautifully. On board this pedal you will find controls for Gain, Volume, Bass, and Treble. The gain on this pedal being splendid! The RC Booster makes it easy to boost your clean signals, boost those slightly gritty tube amp tones, or use it to straight out slam the front-end of any amp or already overdriven tone to get some even hairier tones, all with no problem. The volume control will keep your tone in it's original state from the lowest of settings to it's highest levels. You can dish out anywhere up to 20dB's of juice, and with it's bass and treble controls the RC Booster gives you the choice to either boost or tame your high and low frequencies, helping adapt this pedal to any room or venue. 

I went ahead and tested this pedal through everything from very clean tones, crunchy'n'grimy rhythms, and through allout overdriven tube amps. Each time was a gift. I began with a clean AC 15 based amp and a Stratocaster. I first set my amp to a punchy thick clean sound then carefully matched the pedal's character to the tone. I set the pedal with it's gain as low as possible, it's volume slightly hotter to the amp's output, and the treble and bass controls just a hint more pronounced than the amp's root tone. I played through some licks with the pedal off - then with it engaged. Engaged my tone stayed perfectly intact and came through with more power and attitude. The feeling of my tone while playing through the RC Booster is what stood out the most. I could feel my little amp thumping at my back, feet, and at the walls. Some boosters and overdrive pedals can deaden your sound, or even worse take it in a completely different direction. This pedal does not do this. What it does instead is enhances all the natural amp and guitar's character already existing in your sound. If your thing is big'n'boomy - it gets bigger and boomier. If you like that silky smooth spank - you get mucho more. And if you like slamming your favorite amp into ear drum slpitting goodness - this is the perfect pedal. The super spanky and bouncy Strat characteristics flowing from my guitar only became that much sweeter when stacked up with the RC Booster. I went from pickup setting to pickup setting and got great results each time. All across the guitar's settings the pedal was able to pull from them their very best. Rolling up the gain control the pedal began to heat up the amp's signal creating more grit and more grime. By tapering back the treble control and adding in some of the bass - the pedal was able to give my Stratocaster a warmer thicker tone. This worked nicely when playing through overdriven and high gain tones, making lead tones much more powerful. I also cranked my little 15 watt amp to a beautiful creamy crunch. I began using the RC Booster as a typical booster, but as I rolled up the pedal's volume and gain I started noticing I was able to get some very new and interesting sounds from my amp. The fully overdriven on it's own really only gets me so far, which is a perfect classic low/med driven sound. With the pedal boosting the signal I could get some really over the top grit. But one of my favorite tricks this pedal does well is it's ability to act as a buffer. For those of you who run long cables and lots of pedals you simply leave this pedal at the front of your chain with it's bass and treble controls at noon and wahlah! Overall the RC Booster is a great simple pedal perfect for pushing our tight, neat, transparent tones. If you're looking for something quick and simple to get the job done outright, go with this puppy, you won't be sorry.


For more info on the RC Booster or Xotic Effects go to or click the Xotic logo in our links section. Stay tuned for some more on Xotic and it's current line of effects.

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