Uncle Ernie’s Booster

Designed to keep your fundamental guitar sound intact by not introducing clipping diodes or tone filtering into the signal path, the Booster ($189 retail/$139street) features just Gain and Volume controls and a 2-way Bright switch. The die-cast enclosure is deeper than that of most compact effectors, and it cleverly comes fitted with a sticky Velcro pad on the bottom for instant mounting to your board. A bezel-mounted bypass LED and a 2.1mm external-power jack are included (an adapter is not)—you have to pull the bottom plate to change the battery. The Booster has a good amount of output, but it’s not a clean booster. You have to turn both controls up pretty high to get the maximum output from this box, which in turn, pumps grinding overdrive into your amp.

The JFET-derived distortion sounds equally good with humbuckers or single-coils, and the response is very dynamic. Whip your guitar volume up and the circuit pours out a torrent of distortion for solos or heavier chording. Turn down your guitar and you get a lively, shimmering, clean/grind thing that works excellently for strummed or fingerpicked rhythm parts. The neat thing is that you can peg both controls and still revel in this kind of guitar-controlled fun. Not all distortion pedals allow you to use their entire range so easily, and that’s what makes the Booster cool.

Kudos  Great dynamics. Excellent clarity with humbuckers. Voicing switch helps to fatten single-coils.

Concerns  No clean boosting ability.

Contact Uncle Ernie’s Effects (303) 373-6730; uncleernieseffects.com