Creation Audio Labs MK.4.23

One of the earliest methods of getting distortion was to use a booster preamp to jack up a guitar signal enough to overdrive the front end of the amplifier. Boosters are enjoying a new wave of popularity as players rediscover the coolness of brute-force overdrive, and one of the slickest to appear is the MK.4.23 ($225 retail/street N/A).

Sporting a compact enclosure made from mirror-polished stainless steel, the MK.4.23 consumes scant pedalboard space and delivers up to a pummeling 24dB of sparkling clean boost. The circuitry is encapsulated in a block of epoxy with handwired connections to the jacks, footswitch, and single gain pot. Power is via the included 9-volt adapter only, as the circuit draws too much current for practical operation with a battery. The unit scores well for ruggedness, sonic clarity, and amount of boost it can deliver, and it even has slide-on-style openings on the bottom plate in case you want to secure it to your pedalboard with screws.

Strong clean output. Quiet, even at full boost. Front-mounted jacks facilitate installation on crowded pedalboards.

Switching pops can occur until pedal is cycled on and off a few times.

(615) 884-7520;