Ever wondered what NOS means? Or what the four-cable method is? Some guitar pedal terms can be confusing but below we explain some of the most common (and some not-so-common) words related to guitar pedals.
Guitar Pedals were originally built with analogue circuitry - resistors, capacitors and transistors - before microchips became widely available. Today, analogue pedals are revered for their "organic" sounds and response to picking, although some may argue that the gap is narrowing.
Artisan is defined as "made in a traditional way by someone who is skilled with their hands", which we believe sums up the builders we work with and the pedals they build.
BBD is an integrated circuit and the abbreviation stands for "bucket brigade-delay", referring to how the signal is passed from transistor to transistor, resulting in a degradation of signal. You'll find BBD chips in many analogue-style delays for this very reason.
"Boutique" is a term widely used to describe guitar pedals made in small volumes, often by hand, with high quality components and eye-catching artwork, but it is actually defined as "a small fashionable business that sells a particular product or service". We believe "boutique" is best used to describe the very high quality tones these pedals are capable of producing, hence our slogan: Artisan Pedals | Boutique Tones. See ARTISAN.
A buffer is part of your signal chain that preserves tone. Often found in guitar pedals, it amplifies or 'buffers' the signal to help it through a pedal's internal circuitry with minimal loss. You can also purchase standalone buffers. Buffers are perfect for combatting signal degradation from long cable runs or large pedalboard setups.
Clipping is a type of waveform distortion that occurs when you push a circuit beyond its capabilities, leading to the peaks of the sine wave turning into more of a square wave. Different components clip in different ways; the two key types of clipping are soft and hard clipping.
Diodes are components used in a guitar pedal to achieve clipping. There are many different types of diode that can be used, including silicon, germanium and LED. See CLIPPING for more.
Used to connect pedals up to your amp so that boost, distortion, wah etc can go in front of the amp but time and modulation effects such as reverb, delay and phaser can go through the amp's effects loop - i.e after the preamp section.
The element germanium (Ge) is used as a semi-conductor in transistors and diodes. Germanium components were used in early guitar pedals, such as the Dallas Rangemaster Treble Booster, before being replaced by more stable, higher purity silicon. Germanium transistors and diodes are revered these days for the warm, organic, "vintage" tone they confer on pedals but they can be extremely sensitive to temperature changes, unlike silicon.
NOS is the abbreviation of "New Old Stock", referring to original vintage transistors, resistors and diodes that have never been used before. Some pedal builders scour the globe for small batches of these finite components. They are favoured in vintage-style circuits to help get as close as possible to the original pedal.
Described by the Cambridge English Dictionary as "a regular change in strength or direction in a wave or electric current", oscillation in the context of a tremolo pedal refers to the rapid increase then decrease in volume of the soundwave.
Patch cables are short instrument cables (1/4" TS unbalanced) designed to connect up several guitar pedals while minimising cable length. Excess cable length can not only get in the way but it can also affect tone.
All guitar pedals require a power supply. The vast majority run on 9V, allowing a battery to be used (if there's a battery snap built into the design of the pedal). While it's important to ensure your pedals run at the correct voltage to avoid damage, it's also important to pay attention to the power draw in mA. If your power supply doesn't provide enough mA, your pedal may not work correctly. Most analogue pedals typically draw between 50 and 200mA, while digital pedals prefer much more - up to 500mA. If you own several pedals it's worth investing in a multi-pedal power supply with outputs that allow you to tailor power delivery for each pedal.
Silicon (Si) is the element which largely replaced germanium as the semi-conductor of choice for pedal builders from the late 1960s onwards. Unlike germanium, silicon is temperature-stable and its purity enables a fuller tonal signal to pass through. It also appealed to builders as it's cheaper to manufacture silicon-based components. In character, silicon-based pedals can be said to be more aggressive compared to germanium equivalents.
Stacking is the act of combining two or more drive pedals in order to push the input stage of the subsequent pedal for a saturated, full character. Careful balancing of gain stages between the pedals can also achieve more nuanced tones than a single pedal can produce.
Live music is gradually returning to venues large and small following a hellish 2020 and 2021 for the music and events industries. Whether gigging is a hobby or a full-on career path, things have changed and musicians have had to adapt...
Had a few vibes, absolutely loving this one, check the YT demos, lovely satisfying vibe with all the swirly goodness you could hope for. Beautifully made and reasonably priced. Highly recommended - and Jim at Boost is a top guy
I came across the Formula B Fuzz Rangers via online demos on Youtube, and they all sounded so good that I had to get one. Looking online I found the Boost Guitar Pedals website via the Formula B website as a listed UK stockist. Jim was excellent and the pedal arrived when he said it would and it was perfectly packaged. I would have no hesitation in buying any other product from Boost.
As for the Fuzz Rangers, it is a great pedal. I had to work at it a touch to get the sounds I liked from it, but it seems to react really well to different guitars and different amps with adjustments to volume and tone on the guitar and different amp settings. I found it works best into a slightly cranked amp, and volume roll-off on the guitar offers a great variety of sounds from clean to classic fuzz. Thoroughly enjoying the pedal. Well done Jim, great website and a great selection of interesting brands and pedals..... Which one next????
Having used a number of univibe clones over the years this one truly nails the sound for me, it comes with some clever additions in a pedal board friendly size and is excellent value for money. If you want the true sound of the original this pedal delivers.Special thanks to boost Guitar Pedals for putting this deal together so quickly..
I'm still working my way through all the sounds, but so far I'm loving them all.
Each time I think I've got a fav sound I flip the diode switch and there's another one. Great value for a four-in-one fuzz pedal!!
Both modes really useable. The first can get a wooly or starved/wolly sound or more nasally raw sound depending on how you dial it in.
Mode two can be more mid focused and with both switches down it's just a real nice deep, warm wall of fuzz. Great stuff.
Awesome pedal. Does everything from short slaps, to long endless delays, or echo-verb. The infinite delay feature on the button hold is interesting, though if you need a certain sound out of it like that, you have to be okay with the sound that those settings create when the infinite hold feature is off. I’m sure it will be great for recording some interesting textures, but I don’t think I’d use it live, as the infinite hold sounds glitchy and cuts off very quickly at some of the shorter, more subtle delay settings that I use. The art on the pedal is nice, and the build quality is solid. Comes with a carry bag, for some reason, but I can’t complain. A great unit by any standard, but especially good quality and features for the ticket price.
This pedal is simply fantastic.
Great fuzz with a good sweep of control with the guitar volume pot. Cannot get an unlikeable sound through any pickup selection single coil/humbucker.
Added benefit of the Rangemaster included is just lush. I am preferring boosting into the fuzz and use the boost into other drives along the chain.
I am praising this as 2 great pedals in one comfortably sized housing. Amazing!
I have held myself back from purchasing a vibe for years now but I took the plunge on this and I am extremely happy.
The size of the unit is great on my board and pairs with my drives and fuzz amazingly well. I am preferring the flavour of keeping it pre-gain stages on the board.
Simple controls with the added benefit of 2 speeds.
I highly encourage anyone else who was on the fence like me, go for this!