Sometimes overlooked by beginners, treble boosters are some of the most important tools of professionals. Whether it’s about live performance or studio recording, these units are an essential part of every pedalboard, as this pedal supplies you with the additional volume of higher frequencies.
In practice, this means you can deal with the noise that comes from your bandmates in a much easier way. This is particularly important for your lead tones.
Of course, there are other ways to engage in more noise. After all, you can always crank up the volume on your amp but the problem lays in the fact that this changes tonal characteristics significantly. On the other side, a good booster pedal won’t affect your tone at all. Your guitar will sound louder, but the tone color will remain untouched.
Another thing to keep in mind when choosing a treble booster is that there are different types of these pedals. Some of them are rather simple and provide nothing but a transparent boost. Other units also feature EQ sections, so you can do some additional tweaks as well. Finally, there are booster pedals that also feature a gain control, which in practice means you can also make your tone a little bit fatter with a boost pedal.
Here are our picks when it comes to treble booster pedals:
Treble Booster Pedals – Our Pick
1. TC Electronic Spark Booster
This is definitely one of the first booster pedals that come to mind, mainly because of the impressive versatility. While most treble boosters tend to keep things simple, this one comes with a little bit more knobs and controls than usual. Four knobs and a toggle switch obviously indicate that you can count on a lot of options with this pedal, which can provide you with a quite impressive 26-dB boost
First of all, there is a toggle switch with three positions, which gives you a choice of three boost options. One of them is a typical treble boost, while the other two positions are for either a clean or overdrive boost. This is already enough to consider this pedal more than a one-trick pony. Moreover, there are also, four knobs, where besides controls that are typical for boost pedals you also get a nice two-band equalizer, which provides even wider tonal diversity.
Typically for the brand, the pedal is well-made and looks very sturdy and durable. Also, the price is pretty much average for such pedals.
2. Electro-Harmonix LPB-1 Nano Linear Power Booster
Having too many knobs on your pedalboard can be really confusing and complicated sometimes, especially when you want to synchronize all the pedals you want to use simultaneously. Therefore, sometimes it’s better to keep things simple, at least when it comes to certain pedals, such as booster pedal. If you’re in a quest for something like that, the LPB-1 is the pedal for you.
This is an extremely straightforward booster pedal with just one knob. It is a typical linear booster, which features the same design as the original pedal that appeared more than 50 years ago. It is a perfect tool to put in front of your amp to control distortion or to put in front of the whole chain and get perfect clarity and definition.
In my opinion, this is a must-have unit for your pedalboard, especially if you consider that the price is extremely affordable. It works great with bass guitars too.
3. Xotic RC Booster-V2
If you need extra versatility, this is the pedal for you. Besides typical booster function, this is also a gain pedal, so you may count on a lot of tonal options with this unit. The price might seem a little bit high, but this is an excellent unit in all aspects. It sounds great, it’s easy to use and it is sturdy and reliable.
The Xotic RC Booster-V2 offers a nice 20-dB boost, which can take your clean amp in the world of overdrive tones. It works great as a clean booster, but distortion is definitely its zone of comfort. Additionally, you can engage the Gain switch so you can get pretty fat tones as well. Additionally, a two-bad equalized is a nice addition in terms of tonal diversity.
Another important thing to mention is that this pedal features true bypass, so your tone will remain unaffected once you switch the unit off.
4. Catalinbread Naga Viper
If you’re looking for a genuine vintage booster, this is probably the best pedal you can get. It features the original circuit of the legendary Dallas Rangemaster, which was an integral part of most pedalboards in the ‘70s and ‘80s.
This is a typical treble booster, but a huge upgrade over the original unit is the added flexibility and versatility. Instead of one, there are three knobs now. Besides the boost level, you can also control boost clarity and frequency range. The Heat knob provides gain control, which means you can dial tones in a wide range between a clean and fat boost. On the other side, the Range knob controls the frequency range you want to boost, which is great if you want to get a more specific kind of boost, such as low-end fuzz tones or similar things.
The price may seem a little bit high, but this pedal gives so many great things in return. Totally recommended!
5. Friedman Buxom Boost
The legendary tone guru Dave Friedman has designed so many amazing guitar gear products and this pedal is definitely on the list. Compared to the above-mentioned boost pedals, this is a clean booster, with the focus on sparkle tones and superb clarity.
Still, it actually does much more than that. It is a highly versatile unit, which comes with several interesting knobs and controls. For example, there is a 3-band equalizer that offers a wide range of super-fine tonal tweaks. Also, the pedal features a bypass of this EQ section, so you can also get a fully transparent boost tone as well.
Another interesting feature of this pedal is the Tight knob. It a great tool if you want to get a little bit more low-end tones from your amp. As you can see, although essentially a treble booster, the Friedman Buxom is actually a highly-versatile clean boost pedal, which offers an impressive range of tone adjustability.
6. MXR M133 Micro Amp
Here is another unit for those who prefer keeping things simple. This is another famous product from the renowned manufacturer, which works as a perfect booster for your amp or whole signal chain. The pedal is extremely simple and easy to use and it is a perfect unit for your lead tones.
The compact housing means that you won’t have any trouble to find the place for it on your pedalboard, while the true bypass means your tone will remain unaffected when you turn it off. Once you engage this small but powerful unit, you get a nice dB boost. The knob is pretty linear, so you can actually use this pedal to set the right volume of the whole chain, which is particularly great if you want to keep your tube amp tone in a certain clean/drive zone, but still need a little bit more volume. A highly usable unit, which is simple and relatively affordable.
Those are our recommendations for the treble boost pedals. Keep in mind that there are so many amazing products these days, go for the one that suits your needs the most!