The legendary Colorsound Power Boost has always been one of my favourite pedals. The transparent booster soon became synonymous with Jeff Beck and Marc Bolan and defined David Gilmour’s 70s tones. The ThroBak Overdrive Boost promise to capture the mojo of the original Colorsound with a few new features. Here’s my review.
David introduced the Colorsound Power Boost in his rig in early 1972 as Pink Floyd premiered their new suite Eclipse – later to be released as Dark Side of the Moon. This was the first time David used a dedicated overdrive effect, – perhaps inspired by Jeff Beck who’d already been using the pedal for some years. The Power Boost was David’s main overdrive unit on Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here and Animals. It was later replaced by the similar Cornish ST2 and Chandler/BK Butler Tube Driver.
The ThroBak Overdrive Boos is housed in a MXR sized box with controls for gain, bass, treble and master volume, true bypass switching and runs on a 9V battery or Boss style adapter. The pedal also feature a toggle switch for blending a germanium transistor and diode pair with the silicon transistor circuit, a pre gain on/off switch for even more gain and an internal bias control. The Overdrive Boost leaves a small foot print on your board, which is a bonus for many I’m sure.
In all fairness the Colorsound Power Boost isn’t for all setups. You need a loud powerful tube amp for the pedal to shine. Otherwise it sounds rather thin with a nasty silicon bleed. The ThroBak works much better on smaller setups allowing a nice clean boost without any bleed and even some pretty nasty fuzz tones without getting harsh and spiky. Engaging the pre gain stage adds more saturation, which is great for a bit more bite on milder settings or for taking the pedal further into fuzz mayhem. The germanium stage turns the pedal into a Fuzz Face-ish overdrive similar to Germanium 4 Big Muff from Electro Harmonix. I couldn’t make it work with a Strat and found it a bit redundant but with humbuckers it produced some convincing early Beck tones.
As the Colorsound the ThroBak is an excellent EQ with powerful treble and bass controls that brings life to your amp. It’s always hard to describe tones but although the pedal is capable of producing a really nice clean boost it’s not as punchy and open as the Colorsound. It lacks a bit of that crisp attack and presence. Nevertheless, place the pedal after a triangle or ram’s head Big Muff and you’re spot on Animals and Wall. Again, a better alternative for smaller setups.
The ThroBak Overdrive Boost is by far the best Colorsound Power Boost clone on the market and the additional pre gain and germanium features makes it an incredibly versatile overdrive whether you’re into Gilmour, Beck, Iommi, Clapton etc. I still swear by the original but then again there’s something special about that first love. The Overdrive Boost is an excellent alternative for cramped pedal boards and a good travel companion when you don’t want to risk your beloved Colorsound being stolen. See ThroBak’s site for more details and ordering information.
The Overdrive Boost was tested on a Stratocaster with Fender CS69+Duncan SSL5 (bridge) pickups and a Telecaster with a custom Cream T SSL5 bridge pickup and two different amps, a Laney Cub12 15w stack and Reeves Custom 50w – both with Weber Thames 80w speakers.