Author Topic: Booster Recommendations  (Read 12821 times)

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phxbass

Booster Recommendations
« on: October 02, 2006, 06:52:10 PM »
Alright...I'm going to take a step back.  I've completed 4 projects thus far and have yet to build a booster.  What I'm thinking though is that it might be cool to have 2 boosters in one box.  One that is clean and one that is a little distorted.  I've never really used a booster before but, from what I understand, you can get some cool sounds if you boost one with another.  Any recommendations on what two boosters to use?  Is it really as easy at it seems?  Would I simply wire the output wires on the first one to the input wires of the second one?  How would I wire two of them to one power supply.  There is probably a thread in here about this but I couldn't find it.  Any help is appreciated.

brett

Re: Booster Recommendations
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2006, 07:37:01 PM »
Hi.
A booster that gets nicely distorted if overdriven is the Stratoblaster (see generalguitargadgets.com).  You could drive it with the LBP-1 (at tonepad.com).

Simply connect the LBP-1 output to the stratoblaster input.  The volume control on the LBP-1 becomes the "drive" control.
Connect the battery/PS as per the layouts in the project sheets.  Both projects draw very little current from the battery.

You can also modify the gain of the stratoblaster by switching in/out the bypass cap on the source of the JFET.  Without the cap, gain is about 3dB, with the cap it is up to 20dB.
cheers
Brett Robinson
Let a hundred flowers bloom, let a hundred schools of thought contend. (Mao Zedong)

tcobretti

Re: Booster Recommendations
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2006, 07:41:57 PM »
On preview, Brett ideas seem good to me.  However, I might try the AMZ Mosfet into the Sparkleboost or the Rangepig.  Because the latter two are a little distorted, the AMZ would just add to that preexisting distortion.  At least I think it should work that way.  You could also try the Stratoblaster (or LPB) instead of the AMZ.  I think the AMZ will be cleaner, but the Stratoblaster is simpler.  You could put them in one big enclosure, or just box 'em separately for more flexibility.

Remember that how cool a booster sounds depends on your amp.  They add gain to what your amp is already doing.  IMO they are kinda weird with many solid state amps, but work great with some.  It's even possible to blow a solid state amp with a booster.  If you play thru a solid state amp, you may want to try a ROG Fet based pedal to "tubify" the amp just a little.  So maybe a clean booster into a ROG Fetzer.

Heck build 'em all!

phxbass

Re: Booster Recommendations
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2006, 08:02:01 PM »
Great suggestions...thanks!  I do have a solid state amp so I think I'll try one that will help "tubify"  sound in combination with another.  Are there any other recommendations for a booster that will do that?  The ROG Fetzer looks like a good choice but the PCB and perf layouts are a little confusing...not excactly "paint-by-number" as on GGG.  I might need some help with the wiring.  Anything similar to that on GGG?

coffyrock

Re: Booster Recommendations
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2006, 08:36:05 PM »
I had been thinking how cool it would be to have 2 independent boosters in one box... two switches: one for boost on/off, the other to toggle between 2 independent boost circuits with individual volume pots for essentially 2 preset boosts. A cheap handy tool, but I don't know how to go about wiring it up.

is that what was mentioned in the first post? I didn't quite get it?
Built so far: ROG Ruby, matching pair of LPB2s, Mr. Clean, Easy Drive,
Next up: Bazz Fuss, ROG Grace Overdrive, Smashdrive.

Pushtone

Re: Booster Recommendations
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2006, 08:37:57 PM »
Build them ALL!
Last year I went BOOSTER CRAZY! and built a bunch in a DD box and spent a month swapping the order around.

You might remember this from the Pictures thread.

From left to right...
Rangemaster, Brian May Treble booster, Stratoblaster, Fetzer Valve and AMZ Mini-Booster.
and the inside
http://www3.telus.net/david65/pedal-pics/Superbooster-inside.JPG

In the end all the boosters got paired up and put into different boxes.
Also built an AMZ MosFET boost and Fat Blastered.
Here is what I got out of it all.

AMZ MosFET - Clean boost and simple enough to build on perf.
Many have reported that the boost is all bunched up in the last 1/4 of the pot and I think the pot work backwards too. SD of SmallBear might be carrying a reverse 5K pot for this build in the near future. Mine is hissy when boosting, perhaps because of the transistor, but it works great as a unity gain buffer. I subbed a resistor for the pot and use it as a buffer now. Great for driving a long chain of TB pedals.
Its a clean boost and lacks personality so think of it a utility booster.

AMZ MiniBooster.
This is one of the best out there. Makes my Epi Valve Juonior sound 100% better and will do the same for any tube amp. A booster with personality. Sounds a bit gritty especialy with SS amps. A good canidate for a dual booster as driving one into another is about equal to a BSIAB - overdrive to high gain sounds. You could build one with high gain J201 tranies, and another with 2N5457 for a slightly cleaner sound. There are several project files for a dual Mini-booster with two footswitches. This is a must build.

Fetzer Valve is another excellent booster project. Simple, works like you expect it to. A little different from the MiniBooster, cleaner, thinner. Good for a clean sound boost. Its my goto pedal for country riffs.

Stratoblaster. I love the sound of this one (thick, full-range, no bass cut) but the pot dosn't work the way you would expect. The boost is crammed into the laster 1/4 rotation and the pot works best backwards. But the sound at unity gain is fuller than the MosFet. I love it as a buffer. I put the Fetzer Valve and Stratoblaster in one box. The Statoblaster is a buffered bypass with its pot subbed with a resitor for unity gain and the footswitch kicks in the Fetzer for a boost (no TB here). This is a good combo because of the full range sound of the buffered bypass and the Fetzer drops some bass which is just what you want for boosted solos.

Rangemaster - tricky to bias but excelet learning project because of it. Also good to examine the diference between neg and positive ground versions. I like the sound of the Mini Booster driving the Rangemaster. Another good combo for 1/2 of a dual booster.

Brian May treble Booster - The story is Brian's Rangemaster was lost at a gig and so being the inventive guy he is, he set out to build a silicone version. He succeeded! Sounds very much like the Rangemaster with parts that are easier to find and cheaper too. If you could only build one of these two, go for the BMTB. Note that DC flows through the pots so they sound scratchy when turned. This is normal for both these boosters.

Fat Blastered - The long running "Revival of the FB" thread says it all. A super great booster with tone stack. Its basicaly a Mini Booster with tone stack and master volume. If you want a booster that can adjust quickly for Humbucker and Single coils this may be it. Although puting a switch in any booster to select cap values will do the same thing. The 4 knobs makes it a challenging build for a 1590B box. Fun and useful build. Load it with J201s for a gritty overdrive or 2N5457 for a cleaner sound. Use transistor sockets and experiment. Read the FB revival thread!
Heres apic of mine: http://www3.telus.net/david65/pedal-pics/FatBooster-34.jpg

I'm moving away from boosters now (I have enough) but I still would like to try the Sparkle Boost. I think thats the one with the blend control that allows mixing the drirect and boosted sounds. Gosh there are so many to choose from I can see why it would be hard to choose.

About putting two in a box.
I think a good idea is to make a small power and ground distribution board. Wires connect between the DC jack and the distro board. Several headers are used to feed the two boards, LEDs, footswitch. It can be made out of perf. In the photo above you can see I used a Euro terminal block for just this purpose.

Here is another photo of a perf distro board.
This one also houses the LEDs and LED current limiting resitors
On the left of the board are two rows of headers. One row is 9v+, the other row is gnd.

And here it is with the two booster inside


It a better idea than soldering several wirers to the same tab of the DC jack. Make it easy to remove PCBs too.
This will save you a lot of grief.


« Last Edit: October 02, 2006, 08:47:28 PM by Pushtone »
It's time to buy a gun. That's what I've been thinking.
Maybe I can afford one, if I do a little less drinking. - Fred Eaglesmith

Pushtone

Re: Booster Recommendations
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2006, 08:39:50 PM »
I had been thinking how cool it would be to have 2 independent boosters in one box... two switches: one for boost on/off, the other to toggle between 2 independent boost circuits with individual volume pots for essentially 2 preset boosts. A cheap handy tool, but I don't know how to go about wiring it up.

is that what was mentioned in the first post? I didn't quite get it?

The dual booster wiring project is in one of the layout galleries (see link at top of page).
Seek and you SHALL find.
It's time to buy a gun. That's what I've been thinking.
Maybe I can afford one, if I do a little less drinking. - Fred Eaglesmith

coffyrock

Re: Booster Recommendations
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2006, 08:45:11 PM »
The dual booster wiring project is in one of the layout galleries (see link at top of page).
Seek and you SHALL find.

Still can't find it... Maybe I'm not sure what I'm looking for??
can anyone point me to it, pleez?

that super-boosters pedal is absolutely awesome!
Built so far: ROG Ruby, matching pair of LPB2s, Mr. Clean, Easy Drive,
Next up: Bazz Fuss, ROG Grace Overdrive, Smashdrive.

Pushtone

Re: Booster Recommendations
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2006, 09:05:34 PM »
The dual booster wiring project is in one of the layout galleries (see link at top of page).
Seek and you SHALL find.

Still can't find it... Maybe I'm not sure what I'm looking for??
can anyone point me to it, pleez?

that super-boosters pedal is absolutely awesome!

Thanks, that box is now empty and soon to be the U238 Space Modulator. (there was supposed to be an Earth Shattering kaboom)
I figured out a way to use all the holes and toggle switches. Can't wait to show it off (if it works  :icon_rolleyes:).

I thought that dual booster was in Dragonfly's gallery but no.
Anyway check out his "Booster Bar" gallery to be overwhelmed with boost projects.
http://aronnelson.com/gallery/albums.php?set_albumListPage=4
Thank God they are simple and can be had in a weekend.

Ahh here it is... In Nabo's gallery
http://aronnelson.com/gallery/NaBos-Layouts

Use the "Two LPB-2 boosters in series" wiring and sub any PCBs you like.

This site "uSTOMP", also has a dual AMZ MiniBooster layout as well as other cool boost projects like the Peppermill.
http://ustomp.com/index.html?menu=2&section=8
« Last Edit: October 02, 2006, 09:08:05 PM by Pushtone »
It's time to buy a gun. That's what I've been thinking.
Maybe I can afford one, if I do a little less drinking. - Fred Eaglesmith

Dragonfly

Re: Booster Recommendations
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2006, 09:08:49 PM »
...or you can build either the Sparkle Boost or the Snakebite Boost in my gallery ...they BOTH have controllable gain (dirt), and can go from clean to light overdrive....

AC

Pushtone

Re: Booster Recommendations
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2006, 09:32:13 PM »
...or you can build either the Sparkle Boost or the Snakebite Boost in my gallery ...they BOTH have controllable gain (dirt), and can go from clean to light overdrive....

AC

Yeah great idea, sounds much more flexible than a straight booster.

Hey Dragonfly,
Could I/He/Us use your EA half speed mod  to get a pseudo dual boost.
http://aronnelson.com/gallery/The-Mod-Zone-%21/EA_rate_mod
Instead of half speed you would have half gain. Play with the resistor value to get the appropriate spread.

I see the dual volume control mod but I was thinking the Half speed mod would save a pot.

Oops never mind, now I see the dual volume mod can just use a small trimmer, just as good.
It's time to buy a gun. That's what I've been thinking.
Maybe I can afford one, if I do a little less drinking. - Fred Eaglesmith

Dragonfly

Re: Booster Recommendations
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2006, 09:37:23 PM »
you could use a DPDT footswitch to change resistance values...kind of like the "half speed" mod...just use a pot to find your favorite settings, measure them, and use "those" value resistors....

AC

tcobretti

Re: Booster Recommendations
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2006, 11:11:38 PM »
Great suggestions...thanks!  I do have a solid state amp so I think I'll try one that will help "tubify"  sound in combination with another.  Are there any other recommendations for a booster that will do that?  The ROG Fetzer looks like a good choice but the PCB and perf layouts are a little confusing...not excactly "paint-by-number" as on GGG.  I might need some help with the wiring.  Anything similar to that on GGG?

If you build the fetzer in figure 1, it isn't complicated and sounds great.  The Sparkleboost (which I have not built, but everybody loves D-Fly's stuff) is similar to the Fetzer but has more options.

The wiring is very simple once you've done it a couple of times.  From GGG:



I must say all the options presented are worth trying.  All the boosters we've described have very solid reputations, and any combination may be cool.  I would try to pick a dirtier booster for #2, probly one that is fet based.

Good Luck.


phxbass

Re: Booster Recommendations
« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2006, 01:44:29 PM »
AMZ Mosfet into Fetzer Valve?  or the other way around?  How would that sound?  I don't know why I'm so worried about out.  I'm sure I'll end up making them all.

tcobretti

Re: Booster Recommendations
« Reply #14 on: October 03, 2006, 06:38:44 PM »
The AMZ is very clean, while the Fetzer is dirtier, I'd use the AMZ to drive the Fetzer harder.  Remember, you could also try two of the same booster.  A fetzer into a Rangepig would probly be pretty good.  In fact, now that I think about it, I may try it!  There are some boutique pedals based on this sort of idea.