The EP Booster Pedal, Xotic Effects USA

The original, vacuum tube Echoplex units have been used by many of the biggest names in guitar history.  The likes of Chet Atkins, Duane Allman, Eddie Van Halen, Joe Walsh, Eric Johnson, Randy Rhoads, Andy Summers, Joe Satriani, Jimmy Page, and many others, have all utilized the Echoplex as an integral part of their tone.  A tape delay effect unit, the Echoplex uses magnetic tape to record input signal and then output the recorded copy at desired time intervals, thus creating an “echo” effect.  This was the earliest incarnation of delay/echo – a truly analog guitar effect. Roughly designed after its predecessor, an amplifier called the EchoSonic, the Echoplex incorporated recently developed vacuum tube technology, which could be used as a filter when the delay effect was turned “off.”  This made the Echoplex function as a pre-amp, supplying a boost to the signal before it was processed by the amplifier.  This is the way in which a majority of the infamous Echoplex devotees have used it – as a pre-amp.  Most will use an Echoplex in the beginning of their signal chain with the delay effect turned “off,” gaining a clean signal boost that, many claim, is the key secret ingredient to their tone.

For whatever reason, the boost supplied by the Echoplex adds elements to a guitar signal that just sound better!  The unique combination of EQ, slight compression, and gain boost create harmonic qualities that beef up any guitar tone in the most desirable way.  The problem – vintage Echoplexes usually go for around $1000 dollars.  Not only that, the unit is heavy, about 1 square-foot, and filled with fragile, expensive magnetic tape.  Who wants to deal with all of that just for a signal boost?

That’s why Xotic Effects created the pedal that everyone is talking about – the EP Booster.  Probably the smallest pedal on the market, the EP Booster takes all of the unique elements of a vintage Echoplex pre-amp, and puts them into one compact stompbox.  With up to +20dB of clean boost available, dictated by one knob, the EP Booster provides that tonal “spark” that has made the Echoplex legendary.  Used as a permanent staple at the beginning of a signal chain, or as an occasional clean boost, the EP Booster will radically improve the tone quality of any guitar.  It also has an internal DIP switch for dialing in EQ and boost frequencies, to really hone the tone.  Overall, this little pedal has a big effect on the sound of an amplified guitar, one not easily described, but undeniable.  Don’t believe it?  Just ask the EP Booster’s biggest fans, Steve Lukather, Joe Bonamassa, Brent Mason, Dave Weiner, Oz Noy and Tim Pierce, to name a few.

So check out the EP Booster by Xotic Effects USA!  For more info on the pedal itself, check out the EP Booster website, and be sure to check out YouTube for some great examples of what this amazing pedal can do.

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13 thoughts on “The EP Booster Pedal, Xotic Effects USA

  1. Brandon says:

    I have heard of this pedal! It sounds very nice…though I have not had the chance to play live with it.

  2. Sam says:

    It sounds like a really interesting pedal-I would love to get a chance to use it. Quite a list of users too!

  3. 0xdfx says:

    It is one of those pedals I’ve always meant to try, you do see them on so many of the EP Boosters on pics of pedal boards

  4. whowhatwoof says:

    awesome! love how informative this is.

  5. Frederik says:

    Holy damn dude! That thing is tiny! I would be afraid of breaking it… I’m in the bad habit of really stomping on my pedals while jamming…

    I’m still trying to find the delicate side of my playing… haha… yeah, well, anyway…

    I already love the tone I get from my guitar when running her through my VOX AC30 but this post has intrigued me… all of a sudden I’m interested to check it out.

    When I really need something extra for my tone I’ll use an EHX Big Muff (such a warm sound and sexy sustain) but what would happen if I had an EP Booster AND Big Muff? Would it still do something for my tone quality?

    I’m thinking the EP might help shape the sound one gets from a Big Muff a little more… But then again… Does one really need shaping for the Big Muff? Isn’t the whole point of a Big Muff to have it be all over the place with its mad, heavy and untamed sound?

    One thing I do know and love is how the Big Muff helps my Tele to sound just a little bit more like a Strat… Oops… I hope she didn’t hear that… Haha

    Keep up the good work, dude. I’m learning so much interesting stuff.

    • Haha I’m not sure Frederik, definitely an experiment worth trying! The EP Booster would be a more transparent boost than the Big Muff, but the combination could be awesome, and I think the pedal fits very nicely ahead of fuzz/overdrive. You’ll have to let me know how this all pans out. I’m so glad you’re enjoying the blog, and I really appreciate your reading and comments, keep rocking!

  6. Keith says:

    Great info about a might little beast. That explains a lot about creating that good sound. Thanks Riffsman. Keep it coming.

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