Xotic EP Booster
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Overview

An Xotic EP Booster added to your effects chain is like ripping a wet blanket off of your tone. This little transparent FET preamp naturally enhances the sound of your guitar and amp with a drive that replicates the pre-amp on a vintage Echoplex tape delay.

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Video

Product Specs

Brand
Model
  • EP Booster
Finish
  • Black
Year
  • 2010s
Made In
  • United States
Categories
Pedal Format
  • Mini

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More Information

The EP-3 Echoplex ranks as one of the most celebrated and sought-after vintage effects of all time. This mythical tape delay can be heard on the guitar tracks of Jimmy Page and Eddie Van Halen, and while most cherished for its enchanting echos, was just as embraced by players for its use as a pre-amp. There are plenty of pedals on the market that replicate the tape delay functions of the Echoplex (see the Catalinbread Belle Epoch), but the Xotic EP Booster takes a different approach by capturing its pre-amp.

On first glance, the Xotic EP Booster is not much more than a one knob clean volume boost. Plugging it in and letting it gel with the rest of your rig, the EP Booster shows its true, tone-shaping colors. Most Xotic EP Booster obsessives (of which there are many) have a difficult time explaining exactly what the EP Booster does, but most frequently you see it lauded as something like a "magical tone expander." Like any good transparent drive pedal, the EP Booster enhances the tones of your guitar and amp rather than cloaking it in generic dirt. And that's just scratching the surface.

How To Use It

There are two main approaches to using a boost of this nature. There's the 'always-on' school of thought where the EP Booster serves as an all-purpose tone pedestal. Just find the setting that best suits your guitar and amp, set, and forgot. And then there's the engage when needed, little something extra method. Like other drive and distortion pedals, the Xotic EP Booster can serve just find as a boost for solos and lead parts, and brings a full +20dB of gain when switched on.

On the lower end of the gain knob, the Xotic EP Booster veers more towards the clean end of things while widening and heightening your tone, adding just a little harmonic edge to the mix. At a higher-gain setting, things break up more and more, moving into vintage, overdriven tube-amp territory. Results will vary depending on your amp, guitar and other pedals, but will always be somehow improved.

Added Flexibility

There are two dip switches inside the Xotic EP Booster that give some additional control to the sound. The first switch toggles +3dB on or off, and when not engaged leaves the pedal at unity gain. The second switch impacts the base EQ, moving the response to flat when flipped up. This switch is termed the Bright switch and is well-suited for darker sounding guitar rigs that need a little sparkle. The Xotic EP Booster can also run on either 9- or 18-volts, which changes the amount of headroom you're working with for a bit more tonal variety.

Pairing the Xotic EP Booster with Other Pedals

For as much as the EP Booster enhances the best qualities of your guitar and amp, it's when using it to drive and expand the sound of other pedals on your boards that the fun really starts. Countless forum threads from when the EP Booster launched discuss the merits of throwing this before or after pedals like an OCD or Big Muff, and the debate continues as to which approach works best. And as you might expect from the pre-amp of an Echoplex, the EP Booster does wonders when paired with delay and reverb effects, either pushing a gloriously boosted signal to be modulated or enhancing the tone of individual trails. Make no mistake, the Xotic EP Booster is an enhancing pedal, and as any pedalhead will tell you, it's all in the experimentation.

Believe the Hype

When the Xotic EP Booster first came out, it was met with a cavalcade of praise and hype. Garnering nearly universal applause from amateur and professional gear critics, guitar store dudes the world over hocked the EP Booster to countless players, thus improving guitar tones on a global scale. But can a little one knob pedal really do all that? Short answer: Yes. Yes it can.

Specs and Features

  • Up to 20dB of boost
  • Two internal dip switches for added tone control
  • Dimensions (W/D/H): 3.5" x 1.5" x 1.5" (89mm X 38mm X 38mm)
  • Weight: 0.57 lbs. (260g)
  • True Bypass
  • Weapons-grade construction
  • 9 or 18 volt operation

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