When it comes to playing in front of a crowd, there is no better friend for lead guitarists than a Boost Pedal. Not only for playing the lead, but also for taking it up a notch when you’re holding down the rhythm.
When you are in the groove and on stage, there will be times when your guitar just needs to stand out.
That is exactly what a boost pedal does. It adds gain to your guitar signal, essentially a boost pedal makes your pickups more powerful and gives you greater overall volume output.
Also, increasing the gain on the signal means there is going to be some overdrive/distortion that creeps into your sound. When you are about to hit the solo, a truly great boost pedal will add the kind of power that makes the audience take notice.
Boost pedals keep your guitar from getting lost in the mix when you need to be the center of attention.
Not only do the best boost pedals add volume to your guitar, but they can also make your other effect pedals more dynamic. This is one of the many reasons that no professional guitar player would be caught dead without a boost pedal.
So, if you are serious about making certain your guitar gets heard when it’s time to shine, a boost pedal is a must for your bag of tricks.
But which one is the right one for you?
We have put together a list to help you find the right one. So. let’s pump up the volume and get to know the best Boost Pedals currently available…
- Top 10 Best Boost Pedals In 2021 Reviews
- 1 Xotic Ep Booster Mini Eq Effect Pedal
- 2 J. Rockett Audio Designs Tour Series Archer Overdrive And Boost Guitar Effects Pedal
- 3 Zvex Effects Super Hard On Vexter Series Ultra High-Impedance Preamp Boost Guitar Pedal
- 4 Mxr M133 Micro Amp
- 5 Electro-Harmonix Lpb-1 Linear Power Booster Preamp Pedal
- 6 Tc Electronic Spark Mini Booster Guitar Pedal
- 7 Jim Dunlop Mc401 Mxr Boost/ Line Driver
- 8 Donner True Bypass Boost Killer Guitar Effect Pedal Rich Distortion Sound
- 9 Aroma ABR-1 Aluminum Alloy Housing Low Noise Booster Guitar Effect Pedal Built-In Operation Amplifier With True Bypass
- 10 Joyo Audio Roll Boost
- Best Boost Pedal Buyer’s Guide
- And The Winner Of The Best Boost Pedal Is…
Top 10 Best Boost Pedals In 2021 Reviews
1 Xotic Ep Booster Mini Eq Effect Pedal
The first Boost pedal on our list is the Xotic EP Booster Pedal. This little pedal offers you an additional 20dB of gain. This makes it quite powerful.
The EP Booster is designed around the classic Echoplex preamp unit settings which are intended to add shimmer and definition.
Jimmy Page and Duane Allman…
Echoplex preamps have been used by guitar greats such as Jimmy Paige and Duane Allman. At the heart of the Xotic EP Booster is a commitment to the vintage boost feel and sound.
This pedal features two internal DIP switches that allow you to boost the bass or boost the bright. By default, the pedal is set to Bright on/Bass off.
With these additional boost settings, you can really give your guitar some high-end sparkle. You can also flesh-out some of the darker low-end sounds with the Bass Boost. Opening the back of the pedal allows you to hard-set your preferred settings.
A classic tone…
The EP Booster retains the classic tone of earlier boost pedals but adds a little extra beef. This pedal is great for adding crunch when you’re playing hard rock, or for making your solos louder.
This boost does more than just add signal volume and gain; it makes your guitar sound bigger and fuller whether playing rhythm or lead. And, it does this without over-distorting your guitar.
It will not over-take the tone of your amplifier when you kick it in. You can push the EP Booster way up, and you’ll never get anything other than the pure tone of your amp sprinkled with some grit and body.
2 J. Rockett Audio Designs Tour Series Archer Overdrive And Boost Guitar Effects Pedal
The Archer by JRAD hits the bullseye on this boost pedal.
Based on original circuit designs this pedal has a whole quiver of sound possibilities. You can use it a pure, clean boost by turning all the way down or let it fly with vintage, organic gain that pierces through the mix with a howl. By slowly adding gain you can really trim the clean signal to hit the mark you want.
The Archer Overdrive and Boost Pedal has three main control knobs The Output knob is a volume control, and it is extremely powerful. It starts driving your guitar early and hard. You can adjust the Output to boost aggression or clean clarity.
The Gain knob acts as a mixer between the clean boost and the overdrive gain. When you slowly add gain the pedal will lower the clean volume while adding more gain. This allows you to fine-tune the balance between gain and volume.
Dark and wide or chime-like and bright…
The Treble knob is basically an EQ or Tone control. This knob lets you adjust the tone of your boost from dark and wide to chime-like and bright. It also lets you pull the mid-tones right in your crosshairs.
The Archer is manufactured in the US and has been made with quality and care. It is built with touring musicians in mind and features side-screws. This means you can keep the pedal mounted in place on your board while you change the battery or service the pedal.
It can be used with a 9V adapter and also has a solder-less footswitch that is quick and responsive.
3 Zvex Effects Super Hard On Vexter Series Ultra High-Impedance Preamp Boost Guitar Pedal
Here we have a very small and incredibly simple boost pedal. The ZVEX Super Hard On is a straight preamp pedal and can boost your signal by up to 60 times, so make sure you’re not standing under a chandelier when you kick this pedal in.
There is only one control knob on the pedal. The “Crackle Okay” is a volume knob that is based on the negative-feedback control found in 1960s recording consoles. The old recording inputs would actually crackle when they were turned up.
The main function of this pedal is to make your guitar and amp louder and bigger by causing natural overload. The high-end really shines with this tiny beast. When it does hit the point of distortion it gives you a fuzz sound, but more of a triode overload. This means it won’t be over-powering the boost in volume.
The Vexter Series comes with silk-screened art and has the same internal components as the more expensive Vexter pedals that are hand-painted.
This pedal is great for getting a simple and pure boost that will breathe new life into some older pickups that have lost some of their heft.
4 Mxr M133 Micro Amp
Anyone with a basic knowledge of effect pedal makers will have heard the name MXR. Their reputation for quality, compact pedals that deliver, is well-earned.
And they have done it again…
The M133 Micro Amp is a basic boost pedal that acts as its own preamp.
With just a single control knob, you can add varying amounts of gain to your signal. Increase the gain to give your solos more definition and power, or you can use this pedal for guitars with unmatched output when you are playing live.
This pedal also gives you an overall permanent boost to your effects chain in case there are issues with volume drop off caused by different effects pedals.
The MXR Micro Amp gives you boost with an over-driven sound that does get too muddy or fuzzy.
You can get a nice, clean boost by keeping the gain knob just under 12 o’clock. When you turn it past 12 o’clock, you get more and more overdrive that is sweet and strong.
A Blue Collar pedal…
Not only does this pedal give you an amazing amount of boost it also helps to add clarity to your tone. None of the signals get compressed or pushed down when you increase the gain, making this pedal a natural option for distorted sounds.
The look of this pedal and its sturdy design makes it the perfect “Blue Collar” pedal. It just goes to work and will never let you down.
5 Electro-Harmonix Lpb-1 Linear Power Booster Preamp Pedal
The LPB-1 Booster Pedal is an exact replica of the circuit that gave birth to overdrive in 1968. You can use this boost pedal to add strength and definition to any other effect pedal on your board.
This simple pedal can seriously impact the gain and fullness of any amplifier. It also helps to accentuate your overall tone with warmth and depth.
A single Boost control knob is all you need to over-saturate your signal. For those that use smaller and brighter amplifiers, the LPB-1 is perfect for boosting your overall sound.
Turn up the dirt…
This pedal tends to get pretty distorted, pretty quick. It is sometimes compared to an Ibanez TubeScreamer since it is modeled on the original circuits used to create overdrive.
Depending on where you place this pedal on your effects chain, you will get slight variations in your overall sound and how the LPB-1 interacts with the other effects.
Built with quality and very fairly priced, this pedal is a great introduction to overdrive boost pedals.
6 Tc Electronic Spark Mini Booster Guitar Pedal
The Spark Mini-Booster is an ultra-compact pedal that features an all-analog design that will let you take your playing to new levels.
With a clean boost capacity of 20dB, this pedal may be the size of a gnome, but it has the strength of a giant.
The Level control knob doesn’t add any gain to your sound. It is just pure unadulterated analog amplification. There is no degradation to your tone, nor is there any distortion or crackling the higher you crank it.
The discrete analog circuit allows you to pump new life into your guitar and all of the effects in your chain. Each and every part of the pedal is carefully selected for optimal tone, and sound clarity that lets you make is sing or roar.
Let’s get some PrimeTime…
The Spark Mini-Booster also features a whole new footswitch design called PrimeTime.
Basically, this footswitch can be used as a simple on/off switch, or you can use it to selectively boost at specific times by pressing and holding down the footswitch. The Spark will recognize when you want the boost permanently on or are looking to just give some weight to different phrases in the music. The moment you let go of the switch it backs off the boost.
If you are in the market for a pure, clean boost pedal, the Spark Mini-Booster will have your guitar casting spells in no time.
7 Jim Dunlop Mc401 Mxr Boost/ Line Driver
Legendary effects board designer and founder of Custom Audio Electronics, Bob Bradshaw, teamed up with MXR to create the MC-401 Boost Pedal.
It includes high-quality components that are designed to give you a noiseless, worry-free interaction with other effect pedals you use at the same time.
This pedal offers you the cleanest, clearest, and the most uncolored boost for your guitar and amp. While other boost pedals will add gain that dirties the sound as you pump up the levels, the MC-401 keeps it clean all the way to the top.
Clean all the way…
Using this pedal with a tube amp adds to more signal input to the amp on the clean channel. This means you will be getting distortion from the amp itself and not the pedal. The result is a crunchy overdrive sound generated by the tubes in the amp.
This pedal can also be used to match signal strength when you change between guitars with different pickups.
The Boost control knob clearly marks the decibel levels you are going to be hitting.
Housed in a sleek black metal case, the MC-401 looks as tough as it sounds.
8 Donner True Bypass Boost Killer Guitar Effect Pedal Rich Distortion Sound
A nice true gain boost pedal that has made all the other Chinese manufacturers take notice.
Chinese-made effects are numerous and you could be forgiven for thinking this one is just another cookie-cutter copy. However, the Donner Boost Killer is really turning some heads.
Featuring a double plus/minus 15dB equalization that cranks out a rich distortion and overall powerful sound.
The Volume control knob allows you to boost the overall signal of your guitar. With the gain knob turned and the volume at 12 o’clock, you will get a clean bypass signal. When you start to turn up the volume, you can compensate for weak pickups and increase your overall output.
You can likewise use this to make your guitar quitter when your practice with having to make any adjustments to your amp settings. There are also two control knobs that let you cut/boost the treble or the bass. This is an additional feature that lets you get a wider range of boosted sound possibilities.
Get some twang!
Turn down the bass to get twang and tangle to your boost. These two control knobs can provide you with dynamic tone settings.
The Gain knob offers lots of power and headroom. You can use this knob to produce an overdrive sound that goes from slightly gritty to one that is full-bore fuzz.
The Boost Killer features True Bypass to give to a more transparent tone. Made with an aluminum alloy this pedal is strong and durable.
At a fraction of the cost of other boost pedals, the Donner Boost Killer can easily push tube amps or add new excitement and subtlety to solid-state digital amps.
9 Aroma ABR-1 Aluminum Alloy Housing Low Noise Booster Guitar Effect Pedal Built-In Operation Amplifier With True Bypass
The Aroma ABR-1 is a snappy new-comer into the realm of boost pedals. It features True Bypass to help reduce noise and preserve the tone of your guitar, as well as, three different control knobs that allow you to play around with how you want your boost to sound.
There is High knob that controls how much treble and high-end frequency you want coming through with the boost. A Low knob does the same thing for the bass and low-end. The Level knob adjusts how much gain you are adding to your amplifier.
This pedal lets you dial in your own tone preferences using the High and Low knobs. For a very inexpensive boost pedal, the tone is pure and quite clear. Turning up the Level gives you a soft distortion as well as greater overall output.
It comes housed in an aluminum alloy casing. It runs off a 9V battery or can be plugged in using an adapter.
Oddly enough there is the faintest delay that comes out when the level is pushed up.
10 Joyo Audio Roll Boost
The Joyo Audio Roll Boost pedal is made for tube amps. In fact, this pedal boasts of an “over-the-top” signal that will leave you awed by its sheer raw power. It is not an exaggeration to say this pedal could potentially blow the speaker in your amp if you are not careful.
The Audio Roll features True Bypass which means you won’t lose any signal when it is switched off. This also helps to preserve the tone and sound of your guitar when the pedal is engaged.
There is a single Gain control knob, and that is all this pedal wants to do. This booster is as raw as boost pedals get. If you want volume without sacrificing clarity, the Joyo Audio Roll will take you the edge and egg you to go further.
You will need to place this boost pedal at the end of your effects chain to get a real bang for your buck. It adds more depth to your other effects, and more power by pushing gain into other pedals.
It should be a crime to have this much gain power at your command, especially for such a low price.
Also see: Best Noise Gate Pedals
Best Boost Pedal Buyer’s Guide
Before you make your decision on a new boost pedal, there are some things you should keep in mind…
What’s Under The Hood?
Boost pedals have different interactions with different kinds of amps and other effect pedals. You should know if you are going to be playing through a tube/valve amp or a solid-state one. This may not seem like a big deal, but some boost pedals are designed specifically for tube amps.
Also, you will need to think about what kind of additional effect pedals you are using. Most boost pedals are going to add grit and overdrive the higher you push them. Will this conflict with the other pedals you use? Do you want more drive or just an increase in overall volume?
Take these things into consideration before you make a purchase. Boost pedals are fantastic but can be a little temperamental when used in combination with other distortion/overdrive pedals.
And The Winner Of The Best Boost Pedal Is…
While all the boost pedal we reviewed are going to get the job done, one will always stand out among the crowd.
Our best boost pedal is the…
This boost is so simple and such a fundamentally sound pedal that we would be foolish not to award it the blue ribbon.
It has plenty of power and works very well with all your other effect pedals. In fact, the MXR Micro Amp can make your whole rig sound better. The price is right on this pedal that is made with care and high-quality materials.
The overdrive is subtle and strong with untarnished tones and sounds capabilities. This boost pedal will grab you by the ears and make sure it is heard.
Our runner-up is the…
This boost pedal is small and strong, as well as being very fairly priced. We also liked that it is an analog pedal, so it really stays true to vintage boosters. This pedal works to keep your tone and sound clear and clean while offering up some serious guts.
We hope you found this rundown useful and it’s given you a better idea about which boost pedal is the right one for you. Whichever pedal you end up getting, we are positive you will be grinning from ear to ear with your new found power.
Just remember that with great power comes… well, great music.
Have fun and don’t forget your earplugs.