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.