Boost pedals are highly adaptable because of how straightforward they are, and their various applications largely depend on where you place them in your signal chain. More distortion will result by using a boost pedal before an overdrive (or a dirty amp), driving your signal strength into the gain section even harder. A boost pedal can provide a pure volume boost without adding any further distortion if you place it after an overdrive (and before an amplifier with appropriate headroom) — useful for solos!
You can also obtain terrific results with very clean boosts in your effects loop, basically turning them into a second master volume control that you can operate with your foot. A loud clean boost in your effects loop might also strain your power tubes past their breaking point if you’re using a tube amplifier, even more so than you could do by turning up your master volume. This is excellent for producing thick, powerful power amp distortion, but it does imply that your amplifier will be operating at its maximum level, so you might want to wait until the neighbours are unquestionably gone.
But boosts have a wide range of different uses in addition to straightforward gain staging. Consider using two guitars in a pair, one of which has much quieter pickups than the other. This volume loss can be compensated for by a boost guitar pedals at the beginning of your signal chain, negating the need to change the other components of your rig. Without necessarily making them louder or more distorted, boosts can also “sweeten” the sound of other pedals. For example, a modulation pedal that sounds a little lifeless can be given new life with a boost.
Table of Contents
Xotic EP Booster Mini EQ Effect Pedal
- Internal Switches for Bass Boost and Bright
- Discrete FET Preamp
- Up to +20db of Gain
Look no further than the Xotic EP Booster when you need the Best Boost Pedals for Guitars. This small pedal has a lot of characteristics that you wouldn’t notice just by glancing at it. The discrete FET preamp has a nice colour and provides up to 20 dB of gain. It’s based on the preamp in the iconic Echoplex tape delay pedal and sounds quite similar, adding the sparkle and shimmer that high-end users of that classic come to appreciate.
This little boost is named after the EP-3 Echo Machine, which was employed by great guitarists like Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, Eric Johnson and fret-tapping maestro Eddie Van Halen to bring out their tone control knob by giving the bottom end a bit more definition and brightening the top end. And we’re happy to report that it does just that – this is a fantastic clean boost pedal.
There are also two internal DIP switches that allow you to choose the type of boost you want. The ‘Bright’ setting is the default, although single coil guitars can also convert to a ‘Bass Boost’ preset. Surprisingly, bass guitars sound great in the ‘Bright’ mode since it adds some top end to the harmonics, making them more understandable.
It’s called the ‘Bass Boost,’ but what it really is is a full frequency transparent boost. As a result, you’ll get the best of both worlds here: clean and colourful. When used in conjunction with your own EQ pedal, you may design any sound you desire without sacrificing tone. Whether you want clean gain or a creamy full-bodied smoothness in your setup, this is where you can get both. Give it a try and you’ll see why it’s so well-liked and respected in the music world. This is the Best Boost Pedal in 2023.
Donner Boost Killer
- True gain booster, double +/- 15dB equalization to make the purest sound with lowest losing
- Create the rich distortion sound, and make it more powerful
- Whole aluminum-alloy chassis, stable and strong
The Donner Boost Killer is one of the best budget boost pedal. It could be the cheapest pedal on the market, especially considering how many functions they crammed into this little mini chassis.
Donner is a Chinese effects firm that produces low-cost knockoffs of popular (and more expensive) boutique pedals. Because the electrical circuit that goes into a pedal cannot be trademarked, companies like these are able to legally clone other pedals and sell them for less money as long as they don’t openly refer to the product they’re cloning as a clone. The Boost Killer is cool since it has a lot of features (apart from the ridiculously low price). Its gain knob allows you to enhance and attenuate your output by up to 15dB, which is a useful function when combined with the onboard bass and treble EQ.
There are also equalisation controls for Treble and Bass. Each EQ range can be enhanced or lowered by up to 15 dB, which is a significant amount of adjustment. You can adjust the character of your amp by increasing the high-end or decreasing the low frequencies, for example. Although it doesn’t have as much gain as other pedals, when combined with the volume knob, you’ll have no trouble pushing an overdrive pedal or an amp to distortion.
You may also use it to “clean up” an amp that has an overdriven tone that you like without using a boost. Because of the distinct level and gain knobs, this pedal can be used nearly like a distortion or overdrive pedal, however this is primarily dependant on the amp because the pedal isn’t designed to clip the signal.
While it does not work in the same way as an RC boost, it has a lot of personality and versatility. When you consider the inexpensive price, it’s an excellent pick for anyone searching for a booster with a lot of features and excellent performance. This is the Best Boost Pedal for Guitar in 2023.
MXR M133 Micro Amp
- Adds a preset amount of gain with a single control
- Boost your signal for lead work
- Perfect for switching between guitars with unmatched output
The MXR M113 Micro Amp is unquestionably the best boost pedals for guitar. The operation is straightforward, as is the case with the majority of the others on the list. To turn on the pedal, step on the switch, then adjust the gain knob to select the amount of clean boost you desire. The MXR Micro Amp is a well-known boost pedal that has been around for a long time. I believe this pedal is commonly ignored because of its name, which doesn’t exactly scream “boost pedal” to me when I first read it.
It does it in a holy trinity fashion, whether you’re boosting a passive pickup instrument or getting ready to drive some distortion with an active instrument: it adds no noise, there’s no tone loss even if it’s not full bypass, and the amount of gain it can push is remarkable.It may be used to drive your distortion, to balance the volumes between two guitars, to compensate for loss in a long pedal chain, or to boost during a solo… it can do it all.
There is no compression, artifacts, or tone loss in this transparent, clean boost. As a result, it can be used in a wide range of situations for guitar, bass guitar, and other instruments. You’ve found one of the holy grails if all you’re looking for is an extra volume knob that’s otherwise hidden.
For a long time, this has been one of the best-reviewed clean boost units on the market, and we agree. It boosts cleanly like a small preamp and is quite easy to use. The unit’s small size is also a plus, and it’s almost shocking how much of an impact it can have on your sound.
Electro-Harmonix LPB-1 Linear Power Booster Preamp Pedal
- Small die-cast case saves valuable pedal board space
- Put this little monster in line before any effect to provide boost and definition
- Improves the gain and saturation of your amp
The Electro-Harmonix LPB-1, or ‘Linear Power Booster,’ is a reproduction of the original 1968 device that was credited for popularising overdrive. The procedure is straightforward. You switch it on and adjust the gain to your liking. There are no extras. It’s identical to the original in every regard except for the addition of true bypass, which we can all appreciate.
For the better part of a half-century, Electro Harmonix has been creating excellent effects, flawlessly straddling the line between “boutique” and “cheap.” Mike Matthews designed the LPB-1 as his first pedal in 1968, and it has stayed essentially unchanged since then.
The LPB-1 is extremely touch-sensitive, which means it reacts well to diverse picking attacks and volume changes on your guitar. It works as a responsive preamp for your guitar tone and can help bring your sound to life. It’s a no-brainer answer for all your boost needs, thanks to its very low price.
Because there are no extra features and it isn’t a nano pedal, it is less expensive than the others. It’s a little smaller than a full-sized choice, but not so small that you risk missing it with your foot and walking on other pedals. The case is made of die-cast metal and is exceptionally durable. Even if you tried, you wouldn’t be able to crush one of these with your foot.
The Electro-Harmonix LPB-1 is a fantastic bargain device that looks and sounds great. It may not be ideal for people who are adamant about tonal purity and want nothing but boos, but just about everyone else would benefit greatly from having this die-cast little beast in their arsenal.
TC Electronic Spark Mini Booster Guitar Pedal
- Ultra-compact booster pedal with PrimeTime switching and all-analog design kicks your playing into high gear
- Impressive 20 dB of completely clean boost makes your core tone shine through
- Revolutionary PrimeTime footswitch seamlessly toggles between classic on/off or a momentary boost based on how long you hold it down
The TC Electronic Spark Mini is not only the best of the low-cost booters, but it’s also on par with those in the higher price range. It has a gain of up to 20 dB, which is plenty for any task, whether it’s amplifying a passive pickup or driving an active instrument for distortion. Tone loss is kept to a bare minimum thanks to the discrete analogue circuitry. When TC Electronic initially debuted the full-sized Spark booster, it revolutionized the clean boost market, and the Spark Mini delivers the same sort of clean boost in a smaller compact.
What’s cool about this one is that it features genuine bypass, in addition to being nearly half the price of other similar quality boosters. That’s fantastic, even though most people will leave it on and play through it. Its tiny footprint also means it won’t take up a lot of room on your pedalboard.
While it lacks the EQ controls of its bigger sibling, it does have a whopping +20dB gain increase on the gain knob. This will allow you to drive even the cleanest amps into overdrive, and your solos will always be able to reach above your crowded (and loud) band mix at your next rehearsal. The fact that the spark (and other TC pedals, for that matter) footswitches may be used in both a latching and a momentary mode is a cool feature.
While the Spark is a clean boost pedal that influences your guitar tone across the entire frequency range, it does have a tendency to add a little too much high end to your sound at higher settings. However, for a sub-$50 pedal, it’s a no-brainer in that it performs exactly what it claims to do and does it well.
BBE Mini Boosta Grande
- Mini Boosta Grande Clean Boost Pedal
- The all-analog Boosta Grande from BBE is back in a new mini chassis to conserve space on your pedalboard
- A clean boost pedal does nothing but pile on gain, right? Well, some do, but that doesn’t create the experience players want
From the popular sonic maximizer to this simple boost pedal, BBE is recognised for devices that “sweeten” your tone. The Boosta grande mini has the advantage of being a small pedal that doesn’t take up much space, and it also has a huge +20dB of gain.
What distinguishes this individual from the rest? According to BBE, driving a tube amp hard accentuates too many high frequencies by default, and the Boosta Grande attempts to mitigate this by softly rolling off some of the high-end frequencies in this pedal. As a consequence, you get a slightly darker but still clean boost pedal that’s a wonderful utility and doesn’t take up much pedal space.
Walrus Audio EB-10 Preamp/EQ/Boost
- Works as a preamp, EQ and boost with three presets to meticulously craft your sound allowing for studio-grade guitar tone in a live setting
- Each rotary knob offers up to 12dB of boost OR cut of Low, Mid, and High frequencies, based on where you have the toggle switches set
- When the Boost switch is engaged, add a 10dB MOSFET boost for some great extra punch
The Walrus Audio EB-10 takes a somewhat different approach to the concept of a boost pedal, in that it increases specific frequencies rather than simply your overall sound. As a result, it functions as a preamp, EQ, and boost pedal all in one. It also includes a 10db MOSFET boost for further gain. The ability to save settings or work in Live mode is another amazing feature.
This manner, you can save presets for various guitars or amplifiers and have them ready to use at any moment. The EB-10 is little larger than typical boost pedals, measuring 6 x 4 x 3”, but all those functions have to go someplace, and I believe it is well worth the space on your board.
Three rotary knobs on the top of the pedal correspond to the Low, Mid, and Hi EQ frequency ranges. Each of these knobs has a switch underneath it that allows you to enhance or lower the volume. Each frequency will be boosted or cut in 3db increments depending on whatever setting you move it to. In either position, zero is flat. Then, if you require a 10db boost overall, flip the MOSFET mode’s black Boost switch.
Basic operating instructions are printed along the bottom of the pedal, which is a lovely touch. Simply hold down the footswitch for 3 seconds to switch between Live and Preset mode. Hold the footswitch down for 1 second to save a preset in the best boost pedal under 50.
Jim Dunlop MC401 MXR Boost/Line Driver
- MXR joined forces with Custom Audio Electronics founder Bob Bradshaw to bring you the MC-401 Boost Pedal
- Cleans up nicely when you roll back your guitar volume, making it extremely responsive to picking dynamics without thinning your tone
- High-quality components provide quiet operation and trouble-free interaction with other pedals on your board
Jim Dunlop designed the MXR MC401. It’s simply the best pure clean boost pedal on the market. While some may have more features and decibel-adding capacity, this one accomplishes precisely what clean boost pedals were supposed to do in the first place, and it does so in a better compact at a lower price than other expensive ones.
The chassis has only one word to describe it: bulletproof. It’s evident that this is a pedal that was built from the ground up with travelling artists in mind, and it also looks the part. Black pedals will always have an advantage in this situation, and this one is no exception. It wouldn’t surprise us if it was found on the pedalboards of certain well-known rock and metal musicians.
The bottom line is that if you want a mid-to-high-end boost pedal that does precisely what you need it to do, doesn’t have any tone shaping options, and is built to last, this is the pedal for you. It’s simply that good.
Aroma ABR-3 Mini Booster Electric Guitar Effect Pedal
If you have a restricted amount of space, you’ll want to choose a tiny pedal that doesn’t sacrifice performance. The Aroma ABR-3 Mini Booster is an excellent travel companion because it can be taken anywhere. If you’re looking for a massive profit, you won’t find it here. This is the successor of Aroma ABR-1.
For most players, though, 14dB is sufficient. You should also keep in mind that this unit is reasonably priced. The best mini boost pedal is powered by an adapter, but it does not come with one, so make sure you have one when you purchase the pedal.
The build quality is another feature that makes this a fantastic boost pedal for travelling. It’s built of high-grade aluminium that can withstand the pressures and strains of performing. The booster is really simple to use and is an excellent choice if you’re looking for something a little smaller.
Walrus Audio Emissary Parallel Boost Pedal
- 2-In-1 boost that helps make leads stand out, slides sing, finger picking come to life and pushes tube amps into great natural breakup
- The top knob controls the volume for the “bright” boost circuit: a clean, high headroom jfet boost, with a slight emphasis on higher frequencies...
- The bottom knob controls the volume for the “mid” boost circuit: features a targeted boost at either 1kHz or 800Hz selected by the toggle switch
The Emissary is an intriguing concept: a parallel boost that combines a JFET circuit (the “bright”) with an op-amp boost circuit (the “mids”). Both circuits have their own controls, and the mids circuit has a switchable EQ for where the boost ‘bump’ is located. You can choose between 800Hz and 1kHz, which is where a Tubescreamer’s mid hump is located. We love a good JFET boost or drive, and the option to mix in the gleaming JFET circuit to provide more top-end material is a game-changer.
JOYO JF-38 Roll Boost Guitar Effect Pedal
- Classic A circuitry, clean clear transparent boost that preserves your original guitar tone.
- A flip of the switch gives you up to a 35dB boost, supports a maximum input of 18V DC voltage.
- When you need a boost to your guitar signal before you amp for certain song sections it should be boost and not suck tone.
The Joyo Roll Boost is a fun little pedal with a lot of potential. The boost knob is labeled just as gain on the front, which masks the fact that it may increase the volume by +35 decibels. That’s a lot of power, so whether you use it as part of your effects arrangement or just to boost the signal into the amp, it’ll make a difference. It works nicely, bringing a little extra shine to the top end, although it does feel like there’s a tonal shift. The Roll Boost deserves to be on this list because it is certainly not terrible for the price.
This is a somewhat tiny little device in terms of design, but it’s attractive, and it should fit into most boards with ease. Although bright yellow isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, it works well with the unique style and rounded corners. The build quality isn’t as good as some of the other boxes on this list, but it’s still incredibly competitive at such a low price.
The Joyo Roll Boost has a wonderful pricing, an interesting design, and a significant potential decibel boost, all of which combine to make it a very appealing option. Although the brand isn’t well-known, and the yellow paint job is harsh, you can’t go wrong for this price. Give it a shot and hear how big of a difference a +35 dB increase makes.