Duh Voodoo Man's "Tone Triage" TriBoost Pedal

I never really appreciated the concept and utility of a booster pedal until I built this little gem, but I'm a believer now! I mistakenly thought of a booster pedal as a way to increase your playing volume with a quick stomp, but a good boost pedal does much more than just that. A key part of their use is in loading up the preamp section of your amplifier, driving a clean signal over the line into overdrive or even outright distortion, and bringing out harmonics and overtones not normally heard. Also, depending on the nature of the boost circuit, the effect can add very little of its own character to the resulting tone....or a great deal of it.

This ingenious design from Keith Vonderhulls at BYOC offers a plethora of different boosted tones from a single pedal. There's really nothing else like this design out there that I've come across, though it has its roots in the vintage Dallas Rangemaster germanium transistor-based booster of the 1960's--the very one that Eric Clapton is rumored to have used during the recording of the legendary "Beano" album with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. But Keith didn't stop at a simple clone job--far from it! The design includes a 3-way toggle switch for the germanium boost mode that boosts the trebles, the mids, or the entire range as you prefer. The germanium transistor providing this signal boost also lends a distinct grainy edge to the tone, an element of low-level distortion. It certainly makes your sound jump to the forefront when you kick it in!

But the best enhancement is the incorporation of two additional, completely different boost modes in the pedal--a bipolar silicon transistor "linear" boost and a MOSFET-driven "clean" boost. Both are quite clean in character compared to the germanium boost, but the linear mode provides a uniform boost of all frequencies (including a nice, punchy bass), and the clean mode adds more top-end sparkle. Topping off this 3-mode boost configuration that gives the pedal kit its "Triboost" name is a very cool 3-color LED that switches from red to blue to green as you turn the rotary switch that selects the different modes.

While not a cheap kit at a cost (as of mid-2008) of $95, this is THE boost pedal to own, in my opinion, and a lot of fun to build. Recommended for intermediate skill DIY builders. And, by the way, I'm very proud of how the pedal's LED lights up as the "Tone Triage" ambulance emergency beacon on the finished enclosure! One of my rare creative moments....

'Tone Triage' TriBoost Pedal - top 'Tone Triage' TriBoost - gut shot

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