In a world that seems to be dominated by discussion of overdrive pedals, the clean boost gets overlooked. Most people see it as a pointless volume boost for blues and jazz enthusiasts, hardly applicable to a modern metal, prog, or rock crowd…

But with such incredible pedals as the EP Booster, MXR Micro Amp, and the highly versatile Horizon Devices Nano Attack pedal on the market it’s insane that guitarists overlook these swiss-army-knives of tone.

Let’s look at 3 reasons why EVERYONE can benefit from a clean boost pedal on their board.

Make Sure You Get Heard

Let’s not pretend that us guitarists don’t spend days, weeks, or even months finely crafting our guitar solos bit by bit until they’re absolutely flawless works of the Gods (hey, let us dream).

Something with that much time and effort put into it should be heard, and there’s nothing worse than being drowned out by the rest of the band during your big moment.

It’s a solo, it should be the center of attention!

A clean boost at the end of your signal chain (or in the effects loop for purely a volume boost) can ensure that you never face this problem again. Placing it in the effects loop makes sure your painstakingly handcrafted guitar tone stays intact, only the volume is changed.

Stomp it on for a few extra db of gain so you’re sitting on top of the mix, not under it.

(P.S. The Nano Attack from Horizon Devices also includes an adjustable brightness knob for that added cut and bite – make sure you get heard!)

Boost Your Boost!

Do you already have a boost or overdrive pedal you love but wish it could give you just a little bit “more”? Clean boost it!

Stick your clean boost before your favorite overdrive to push a little more gain, saturating your overdrive pedal with a little something sweet.

Different pedals will react differently to this process, and sometimes they slay, while other times they’re disappointing. Experiment with your setup to see what works for you!

Preserve Your Amp’s Tone

There is no feeling like finally finding the perfect amp for you.

But now you want to boost it for more gain… ugh, that means trying to find the right overdrive that preserves the tone you love and doesn’t ruin it… come on!

If you’re in this position, don’t even worry about overdrives. A clean boost will saturate the front end of your amplifier in the same way an overdrive does but without the tonal coloration.

You won’t get the midrange bump and tightened low end of an overdrive, but if you’re already happy with your amp tone then this won’t be an issue for you! If it is, there are still great options for you.

Change Guitars Without Volume Drops

If you play multiple guitars on stage on any given night you may have noticed there can be a noticeable jump in volume between them. This can be due to the output differences in pickups, or even how loud a guitar is acoustically.

This volume difference can also change how certain pedals respond to your playing as they get hit with more or less volume. Gain pedals are notorious for feeling “loose” and “weak” due to a lower input volume.

A clean boost is the best way to level out these inconsistencies without changing the tone of the instruments.

Go back and forth with your guitars until you find the right volume setting on your clean boost, then simply turn it on when you use guitar A, and turn it off when you switch back to guitar B. Simple as that.

Final Thoughts

A clean boost is something that almost any guitarist can benefit from, not just blues or jazz players. Whether you want to push your tone to 11, or keep things unchanged and just get that extra volume now and then, a clean boost pedal is one of the best tools for the job, don’t overlook them!

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