Treble booster vs eq pedal?



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Treble booster vs eq pedal?

Postby frigid midget » Fri Jul 14, 2017 10:11 am

I keep reading how great treble booster type pedals sound when they're combined with fuzz, or whatever other dirt.

I know it's not the same, but can't a similar thing be somewhat mimmicked with a simple graphic eq pedal, or other tweakable dirt pedal for that matter? :idk:

Total noob question, I know :facepalm:

It's just that the treble booster is one of the few classics that has always stayed under my radar for some reason. What sets 'em apart from tubescreamers, rats, etc? :idk:

I've got an MXR 6band EQ pedal to fix/enhance/hide stuff I (don't) like about the dirt pedals that come after it. So maybe something like a EQD Bows could replace it, and add the extra bit of grit/bite that the eq obviously lacks :idk:
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Re: Treble booster vs eq pedal?

Postby vidret » Fri Jul 14, 2017 10:31 am

usually made to boost the levels of the treble into the preamp into overdrive so it sounds smoother.

treble booster into a SS clean amp would probably sound shit, for example.
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Re: Treble booster vs eq pedal?

Postby PumpkinPieces » Fri Jul 14, 2017 10:51 am

My sole experience with treble boosters is the Sparkle Motion. It is nothing like a rat or a tube screamer. It doesn't have much gain/clipping within the pedal until you start really pushing the input gain. It is not compressed at all. For the most part its a clean boost that lets you dial in how much bass is or is not in the signal, adds a bit of treble, and with the bias you can tweak how it reacts to other dirt going into it. The first time I got a sparkle motion I had never really looked into treble boosters before, it was just another smallsound/bigsound pedal I had to have.

I wouldn't use an EQ in place of a treble booster. I cannot speak to the technical differences that are not obvious, but I use it as a clean or dirty boost/gain stage at the end of my chain. Recently I have put a Boneshaker after it and have been playing with different clean/slightly-dirty tones to push fuzz/distortion through. More a tool than an effect unless you have it tuned to completely remove the bass response from the signal.

Not sure if that was helpful! But I think treble boosters can be a cool pedal, its just a matter of having or finding a use for one in your chain.
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Re: Treble booster vs eq pedal?

Postby coldbrightsunlight » Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:19 am

All treble boosters do is boost some frequencies more than others, so yeah no reason I can see you couldn't do a similar thing with an eq. All treble boosters I've tried have added a bit of gain too so that's a factor as well but not the hardest thing to get somewhere in the ballpark with an eq I think.
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Re: Treble booster vs eq pedal?

Postby friendship » Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:37 am

Boosting frequencies on an EQ is necessarily increasing your gain, though if you want to increase overall gain and not just a particular band's gain, most EQs have a level slider as well.
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Re: Treble booster vs eq pedal?

Postby crochambeau » Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:41 am

Yeah, speaking from the circuit side of things what's cool about just focusing on a single EQ "tuning" is that you can go dead simple without a bunch of supporting circuitry that can mask some nuance/signal rip. EQ pedals are going to have a more defined footprint, and generally speaking the bands are going to be much tighter/more focused than the shallow EQ curve a decent treble boost has (unless it's shitting on your lows, then they can go steep too).
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Re: Treble booster vs eq pedal?

Postby mathias » Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:52 am

Rangemasters and other vintage treble boosters are also germanium transistors, so they're getting a bit of grit and overdriven sound on their own. At least, that's been my experience.
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Re: Treble booster vs eq pedal?

Postby blakestree » Fri Jul 14, 2017 12:14 pm

mathias wrote:Rangemasters and other vintage treble boosters are also germanium transistors


Yep, this is key. You can get an EQ pedal to do similar EQing and boosting as a treble booster, but it won't have the magic. To me, treble boosters are for heavily overdriven amps. When you think an amp is giving up on you and mushing out, hit it with a germanium treble booster. It can be a breathtaking experience. I run mine in front, so I get guitar interaction too, and I like it pushing into other drive pedals.
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Re: Treble booster vs eq pedal?

Postby mathias » Fri Jul 14, 2017 12:17 pm

Boosting treble also acts like you're cutting bass, less muddy. So yeah, it is for an overdriven amp. Think Brian May playing into a treble booster into an AC30 for an (extreme) example of what that can sound like.
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Re: Treble booster vs eq pedal?

Postby frigid midget » Fri Jul 14, 2017 2:03 pm

Thanks, helpful stuff.

Still not convinced there'd be a world of difference between a teble booster and my eq pedal though. Sure, it lacks the magic/grit, but if I dial in the eq pedal so it kicks the front end of my already cooking amp in the nuts, I tend to think I get in the same ball park :idk:

Doesn't *any* low gain booster/overdrive sound best when it's plugged into an overdriven amp? :idk:
I'm not much of a tubescreamer person though, and I'm not even much of a 'low gain' person to begin with, I usually try to pick my high gain pedals based on their ability to also sound okay when the gain's turned down. Which is part of why I never took a close look at treble boosters I guess.

So my brain is telling me: Make do with what you've got, don't change a winning team. My GAS however...: Look for a tricked out teble booster that has an extra gain stage or two :facepalm:
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Re: Treble booster vs eq pedal?

Postby MechaGodzilla » Fri Jul 14, 2017 2:59 pm

Treble boosters clip certain frequencies more than others which is why nothing sounds quite like them.
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Re: Treble booster vs eq pedal?

Postby Mosfed » Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:13 am

You could do it if your EQ has some sort of gain on tap as well. Probably easier just to use a set circuit
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Re: Treble booster vs eq pedal?

Postby rfurtkamp » Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:49 am

The germanium ones also have a bit of compression sponge going on, not full on compressor, but...it's not just "push the frequencies, cut stuff."

It's like trying to get a fuzztone from a stock DS-1, yea, they're both distortion...but...
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Re: Treble booster vs eq pedal?

Postby rustywire » Mon Jul 17, 2017 4:13 am

NSFW: show
mathias wrote:Rangemasters and other vintage treble boosters are also germanium transistors, so they're getting a bit of grit and overdriven sound on their own. At least, that's been my experience.

blakestree wrote:I run mine in front, so I get guitar interaction too, and I like it pushing into other drive pedals.

MechaGodzilla wrote:Treble boosters clip certain frequencies more than others which is why nothing sounds quite like them.

rfurtkamp wrote:The germanium ones also have a bit of compression sponge going on, not full on compressor, but...it's not just "push the frequencies, cut stuff."
It's like trying to get a fuzztone from a stock DS-1, yea, they're both distortion...but...
+1 (times 4)

Currently use a Retroman Beano 1st in my chain, OC44 variety. Used with single coils it clips the top end in a subtle way from unity gain (about 30%) up to about 40%, then gives more noticeable breakup extending to outright aggression, esp when digging in. Humbucker hits it harder all over; and rolling off guitar vol still maintains considerable top end clarity.
Most crucially It stacks with warmer fuzzes to perfection...a key difference from EQ is treble boosters are great for hitting simple fuzz circuit inputs' harder, whereas eq seems most effective after fuzz. Especially if it's inductor eq :love:
You should def try a few, as the lone transistor's gain (and leakage) will greatly influence the circuit's sound & response in ways eq can emulate but not quite duplicate.
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Re: Treble booster vs eq pedal?

Postby MechaGodzilla » Mon Jul 17, 2017 5:53 am

They're so simple and cheap, you can probably take a punt on a cheap home built unit on eBay/reverb just to get a flavour and, if you like it, get the closest thing to a real old one.
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