How do you BOOST?

Hi all,

I been reading through the pick-up/amp post, and noticed a number of people mention various set-ups for boosting for lead playing.
I'm thinking about getting a preamp/DI with a boost footswitch. What about a Boss GE-7 pedal? Can that be used on the effects loop of a DI/preamp in lieu of a boost switch?

What about with a mix of mic/piezo/magnetic...where do your wires go?!!

What's your set-up? What have you tried? (other than picking harder...)

Looking forward to learning from your collective experience!


  • StevearenoSteveareno ✭✭✭
    Posts: 349
    I have a BigTone pu in my Dell Arte. The gain is pretty low (I guess to reduce feedback) but I like the tone and it's nice and quiet. Most of the Pre-Amps (LR Baggs and similar) have a gain control so you can boost your signal (volume) as well as tonal EQ. If I was playing out, I'd probably get one. Something small and simple. It's best to have as few wires, cords and gizmos as possible. You can trip up on that stuff.
    :wink: Swang on,
  • BonesBones Moderator
    Posts: 3,320
    I tried one of those pedals a while back but it was a bit noisy. I guess what should I expect at that price range but I was disappointed.

    Schertler makes a volume pedal that goes with their amp/pickup system but I have not tried that yet.
  • BluesBop HarryBluesBop Harry Mexico city, MexicoVirtuoso
    Posts: 1,379
    I use the Boss GE-7, works pretty good.
  • Ian RossiterIan Rossiter Fort Vermilion ,Alberta ,CanadaNew
    Posts: 203
    My Gitane dosen't have a Pickup, yet, but for my Larrivee L-05, my Mandolin,Tenor Banjo and even my neglected Violin get plugged into a Radial PZ-Pre Acoustic DI/Pre Amp. I LOVE this box!!
    It has 2 inputs ( one for active, one for passive pickups) , so you can have 2 instruments plugged in. Level controls for each, Notch filter, EQ, Effects Loop,XLR output (Pre or Post EQ), 1/4 inch out ,Tuner Out and a footswitchable Boost. You can toggle between instruments, Mute for tuning,ect, and it sounds really,really good.
    The Boost function is really handy, and you can dial in a ton of Volume should you need it.
    I should mention, I really do hate Piezo Pickups, and though handy as well as a nesessary evil for most live playing, the Radial does make the instruments sound better, when plugged in.
    Practice ,Practice,EAT PRACTICE- Tommy Tedesco
  • Ian RossiterIan Rossiter Fort Vermilion ,Alberta ,CanadaNew
    Posts: 203
    Oh, btw, if it's a gig that I'm only using my acoustic instruments through a PA, I have the Radial, and a Boss TU-3 ran from the Tuner-out. I plug into the Post eq XLR out and into the board. I mount the Pedals on a Pedaltrain Mini pedalboard. I'm hoping to aquire a Looping pedal of some kind and perhaps a Reverb pedal in the next few months, but that's pretty much it.
    For Electric gigs where I have to play Mandolin,ect, I mount the Radial and the TU-2 to my larger Pedaltrain board, where it sits with my Electric effects. Same routing, but it's wayyyy easier and neater having everything on the one board.
    Practice ,Practice,EAT PRACTICE- Tommy Tedesco
  • jimbo78jimbo78 New
    Posts: 8
    Thanks all for your replies so far,

    Ian, that radial pre sounds useful, although I only need the one channel.

    I was listening to some of Django the other day and realised that those old recordings, which are pretty much only upper-mids....sound, well, like a nasal old piezo!

    I've found that while using a mic is very natural and warm, it didn't have enough 'substance' to cut through the band, just got boomy. I know this is also due to my average technique and cheap-ish guitar, but unnatural as piezos can sound, they do fatten up your lead tone a bit.

    My plan is to keep my Pro70 on pretty low volume, straight into the PA and then use piezo>DIpreamp+volume pedal(in FX loop)> PA for my lead tone.

    Apart from GE-7 (thanks BluesBop Harry--by the way, do you use that for lead or rhythm? Which way round is quieter?), is anyone else out there using a particular EQ/volume pedal in their DIpreamp FX loop for boost? Footswitch a must for me.

    I've also tried a volume attenuator before, but that was tricky to adjust when background noise varied. The two levels needed different EQ, so there was always a sacrifice: rhythm=muddy (better than lead=harsh).

    What do the professional players use? Perfect technique? Soundman on the mixing board? (Attentive audiences... :D:D )
  • pinkgarypinkgary ✭✭✭
    Posts: 282
    The GE-7 is quite noisy, but you can buy "modded" versions (they change the pots for better quality ones), which is what i use to boost for lead, but i also use a headway EBD1 as a pre-amp.. I have the mic (ATM350) going straight into one channel, & the Schatten going through the GE7 into the other channel.

    The GE-7 has a volume control as well as 7 band EQ, so you can use it to cut or boost, as is your want.

    So when i boost for lead, i only boost the schatten, so, with the EQ set right (on the GE-7 & EDB1), i also have two different tones. One for rhythm (more mic, giving a more natural sound for pomping!), one for lead (adds more pickup & bite to cut through).

    This, i find is the perfect solution, that's taken me a few years (and plenty of experimenting to find). I am now, finally, HAPPY WITH MY SOUND! Since i hit upon this, about 12 months ago, i haven't bought, or even been tempted by, anything else.
  • jimbo78jimbo78 New
    Posts: 8
    Hey thanks Gary, very interesting. Thanks for detailed description. Sounds like a winning set-up. I think I'll try out the GE-7 with an Ultrasound DI Plus, and see how that goes. By the way, how do you find your Schatten? I guess it's the passive one? Any noticeable effect on acoustic volume? Feedback problems?

  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 6,154
    It's worth mentioning that almost any volume pedal that is in the signal chain will alter your sound (usually cuts a lot of highs). Personally, it drives me nuts. You can avoid that problem by using an infa red pedal like this one (not cheap): ... edals.html

    Built by a pedal steel player. Pedal steel players are the ultimate tone freaks...they make us look like amateurs. They are also big time tinkerers and have some of the best gear around.

  • Ian RossiterIan Rossiter Fort Vermilion ,Alberta ,CanadaNew
    Posts: 203
    Why didn't I think of this before???
    The Visual Sound Visual Volume.
    These things work great, in Active Mode, the pedal works as normal from 1-5. From 5-10 it gives (however many db) of clean Boost. There are LED's on the left side of the pedal so you can actually see what your Volume level is. It has dual inputs,dual outputs, plus a tuner out that is activated when the pedal is in the heel back/no volume postion. I love Visual Sound's stuff; been using their Rt-66 pedals for 6-7 years with my Telecaster. Most of my Electric pedals are Visual Sound, they make great stuff. I use their Truetone boost on my Electric rig for a clean Boost and it works great.
    You can find the Visual Volume at .
    Practice ,Practice,EAT PRACTICE- Tommy Tedesco
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