ThroBak Overdrive Boost review

April 28th 2011 | Posted in Reviews | 67 Comments

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.

I’m using a Fender CIJ ’62 reissue Telecaster Custom with a Cream T Pickups SSL5 bridge pickup into a MXR ’76 Dynacomp and Laney Cub12 15w stack and added delay in the mix.

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.

67 comments so far

  1. Jae says:

    Great video Bjorn!
    You really nailed the tone and vibe of the tune. I looked into the Thro-Bak late last year, but it was too much money. I bought a used DYI a couple of months ago. Some of the best money I’ve ever spent. It does sound better through my Bassman than my Champ, you’re right about that. Now if I can only find the right muff.

    Jae

    [I recommend the Musket or a BYOC Large Beaver. Both works great on the Bassman. Cheers! - Bjorn]

  2. Nico says:

    Hey Björn, a little offtopic but since you are reviewing a ThroBak, what do you think of Fuzz Haze? I think I’ve found THE fuzz.

    Great review, as usual! Take good care!

    [Never tried it but I sure will! The Overdrive Boost convinced me. - Bjorn]

  3. Peter Schepens says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    Great playing, really nice!
    The sound is perfect, thanks for this great topic.

    grtz.

    Peter S.

    [Thanks! - Bjorn]

  4. Eric Nyberg says:

    Bjorn, sounds like a very smooth pedal. How much different is it in concept from my Keeley BD-2?

    [Not as compressed but it has quite a bit more presence, which makes it a better booster I think. Gainwise they're about the same. - Bjorn]

  5. woonk says:

    I reckon the boss od 3 and blues driver bd2 sounds better…David Kilmister used one for Have a Cigar and other songs on 2007!!!

    cheers!!!!

    [Ah.... riiiiiiiiiiiight. Glad it worked out for him but I have all three and know which I'd choose. - Bjorn]

  6. Hugo says:

    Hi Bjorn. Great Review and great sound in that clip!
    At what % of the gain pot this pedal begins to break? is the same as in the vintage fx colordrive? or more near to the colorsound PB?

    That’s one of the reasons that made my Vintage FX leave my pedalboard and the inclusion of the Keeley BD2.. it was tricky to find a good spot for the gain and the interaction with the volume was not so good.

    What were your settings in that video?

    Cheers!

    [The settings is as shown in the inserted picture in the clip. The breakup is really nice and smooth much like the BD2 and Colorsound. The Colordrive is a great clean booster but it has hardly any gain. - Bjorn]

  7. Carl says:

    i have both analogman nkt 275 and bc 108 pedals… i have an idea bjorn… i’ll try the nkt at a lower setting as a boost with the bc as a fuzz on full… let you know how it sounds!
    PS, i LOVE your vids. you are a great resource sir-

    [I'm not sure but that might have been the way David boosted the BC in 1971 before he got the Colorsound. A lot of guitarists blended FFs in the early days. You need to be careful with the gain though. - Bjorn]

  8. Carl says:

    tried the nkt as a boost with the bc as the fuzz bjorn. sounds BEAUTIFUL… but not exactly like a colorsound/fuzz combo. much more saturated than a boost, (even at super low fuzz levels), and the fuzz break-up was a bit harsh too.
    i used an 80′s japanese ’70′s re-issue’ strat, (it’s a lefty that i string right; i got it for a STEAL a while ago! $300 US!!!).
    i put it through my blues jr 3, (fantastic little amp).
    what surprised me most was how quiet noise wise the chain was.
    for now, back to my bad impressions of ‘fat old sun’ and ‘corporal clegg’ with the nkt!!!
    cheers-
    carl

    [Cheers! - Bjorn]

  9. ruodi says:

    The “added delay” was the echoing wall of your neighbour´s house, right? I agree: Why closing your windows, if everybody at your district could just as well be happy for you that you´ve finally found THE tone! I´m using the same reverberation technology, by the way! Very naturally sounding, p.u.l.s.e-ish reverb. Highly recommended!

    If it was a pedal demo: I NEED that BIG MUFF!
    If it was a pickup demo: I NEED those pickups!
    If it was a Laney Cub12 demo: I NEED that amp!

    [Well, the sound has nothing to do with any of them. It only depends on your strings and your choice of speakers, of course. I prefer some kind of speaker chassis, which isn´t available anywhere. Finally: You´ve got to have it inside your fingers, ha, ha, ha ... YOU´VE GOT TO HAVE IT INSIDE YOUR FINNGEEERRS, HAR ... HAR ... HAAAARRR.... *RUMBLE*]

    (Bjorn, as he appeared to me in a nightmare last night. His actual name was Bjorn Taylor, and he was the long-time guitar technician of David Gilmour! … Frightening! … And it seemed so … so real!)

    Another poor attempt of being funny in a foreign language. Kids, don´t – try- this – at – home!

    [Ha ha! Well, to answer your question - the added delay is a digital effect from Logic. I'm actually not playing loud at all. I doubt my neighbours heard anything at all. The "trick" is to combine the right pedals and mic placement. You don't really need a huge stack or PA system to sound big :) Cheers! - Bjorn]

  10. David H says:

    Bjorn, Great review, really nails the tone and feel of the song. How does it sound with a Strat? The only drawback to the pedal is the cost,but…….. if thats the tone you’re going after….

    [Works nicely on both a Strat and Tele. Gets a bit too saturated on humbuckers for my taste. - Bjorn]

  11. Vadim says:

    Hi Bjorn!
    Brilliant performance Have a Cigar!
    Can I replace the Treble/Bass Booster, as CPB and Throbak, GE-7 pedals? For example, in one GE-7 to raise the bass and another GE-7 to raise the high frequencies.

    With RESPECT
    Vadim.

    [It won't really be the same. An EQ alone can't compensate for an overdrive, which a booster really is. You can increase certain frequencies with an EQ and the gain but the whole idea of using a booster or overdrive is to get a frequency boost blended with gain/overdrive. This can't be achieved with an EQ. - Bjorn]

  12. Daniel says:

    Hi Bjorn!
    Nice cover and nice review.

    You said that if you place this pedal after a russian big muff you create the sound of animals and the wall. Could you test it with the Green Russian Pedal.

    Thank you
    Daniel

    [Thanks! The pedal works nicely with all Big Muffs. - Bjorn]

  13. chad says:

    you miss tip of the week for two weeks!!!! LOL.

    [Sorry. I'm trying to focus on finishing the new site but it takes a lot more time than I thought... I'll be back :) - Bjorn]

  14. joerch says:

    Hi Björn! What a great playing in this demo – well, it’s not about your feeling this review, but about the Throbak. I have recently built a Colorsound PB according to the original specs and at first I was really impressed. But meanwhile it’s off the board because I feel it doesn’t really do anything.
    Now the Throbak might interest me.
    One thing about the “mysterious” clean boost setting. As far as I understand, you use your Colorsound or the Throbak with settings that enhance the clean sound with a gain slightly before the pedal starts to distort. Is that true?
    I would love to see you demoing how that is done. That is first the clean sound, then the sound for the clean boost pedal and then in connection with a muff.
    The musket by the way is a fantastic pedal that offers Live ag Gdansk tones even on my Peavey Classic 30.
    Thanks for the good and inspiring work!

    [Thank you Joerch! These boosters depends greatly on the amp you're using them with. They don't work that well with solid states and amps that have a distinct mid rangy tone. It also depends on what you're looking for. It doesn't do much if you just set it up for a clean tone at unity gain. That leaves the signal pretty much as is. Things start to happen if you utilize the EQs or start to crank the volume. Increase the gain slightly and you're tube amp starts to open up. You need to play loud though so on a bedroom setup you might want something a bit more versatile like a BD2. - Bjorn]

  15. John says:

    Bjorn,

    I picked up the Overdrive Boost a couple of weeks ago and it was definitely the piece I was missing to Gilmour’s tone. My other overdrive pedals did not react well with my BYOC Large Beaver and BC108 SunFace. Using the ODB as a boost after both really smooths out the sound of the muff and fuzz face to a more musical and workable sound. Plus, I happen to think the ODB has a great overdrive tone and find the germanium side is great for some Zep and Beatles tunes too. I’m considering getting a second so I can have one set for the boost on the silicon side and the other as overdrive/distortion on the germanium side. Overall a great pedal, love all your reviews and videos. Did I see correctly that your video of this pedal was using the Germanium side?

    John

    [I'm using the silicon. The settings on the picture are correct but I forgot to switch back the germanium. - Bjorn]

  16. Matt says:

    I think I’ve learned more about effects from your site than anywhere else, maybe everywhere else combined, Bjorn. Thanks for all the work you do.

    I picked one of these up. I love it for the slide tones for High Hopes and Wot’s, with the germanium switch on. I haven’t been able to get anywhere close to the RAH/Gdansk slide tones before adding this pedal. Still not quite the same, but getting to a really great sound.

    Full chain is Frankensteel (heavily modified Fender FS-52: new bridge and tuning machines, Seymour-Duncan Hot Rail pickup) -> Demeter Compulator -> TopTone DG-2 -> ThroBak OD Boost -> T-Rex Replica -> 5W Laney Cub. Sweeeeet! Haven’t plugged it into the big Hiwatt yet.

    [Thanks Matt! Sounds like a great setup :) - Bjorn]

  17. Jae says:

    1 Quick question Bjorn
    It’s a little off topic, but have you tried any of the Hi-Watt simulation pedals? The Tech-21 Leeds and the Catlinbread WIIO both claim to capture Pete Townsend Live at Leeds tones, but I’ve never read any references to Gilmour tones. I’m just wondering if one of these pedals might be an inexpensive way to get my Bassman closer to Hi-Watt teritory.

    Many thanks,
    Jae

    [I don't think it's that easy and it depends very mych on what amp you have. A common misconception is that these sim pedals like the 21 Leeds, Fender Twin etc will turn any amp into a beast but they're basically just like any overdrive pedal although tweaked to sound like a cranked Hiwatt or whatever. The Leeds is very similar to a BD2 with a classic transparent mids scooped tone. I've only tried it very briefly. It didn't do much on the Peavey Classic 30 I think but it sounded quite nice on the Twin. Personally I'd go for a Keeley BD2 or the ThroBak. - Bjorn]

  18. Marco says:

    Hi Bjorn!
    Well I have 3 original Power Boosts… Never tried a clone, but the closest pedal I’ve ever plaied with is the (rare!) Korg TNB-1 / Yamaha TB-01 Tone Booster. Actually very close to the Colorsound!!! Same controls, same transparency, same gain range. Of course I prefer the Colorsound’s EQ, but IMHO the Tone Booster is FAR better than my Boss BD-2 with Keeley mod! Great unknown pedal!
    Cheers,
    Marco

    [Thanks for the tip! - Bjorn]

  19. bruno says:

    hi Bjorn.
    many thanks for all the news.
    so sorry but would you please tell me more about this tele pickup so called TSSL5?
    is it a seymour duncan or not?
    it sounds delicious on overdrive.what about the muff?
    i’ve got a nocaster 51 set on mine .can you tell me the difference because i know you were using the same a few months ago?
    well hope you are fine.your “have a cigar”version is astonished.just like the master you always sound very natural and tasty.
    hope to hear the last Airbag very soon.
    take care.best regards.bruno

    [The SSL5 is actually a custom pickup that I got made from a Norwegian pickup designer. It's a hand wired Tele bridge version of the Duncan SSL5 as I wanted the same tone as I have on my DG inspired Strat. The neck pickup is a NoCaster from the same company. The SSL5 has about twice the output as the SSL5 and a bit more mid range. - Bjorn]

  20. Sly says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    thanks for this great review, once again !
    Do you know if there are differences between the “old” model (upright with 3 knobs on the face and 1 on the side) and this new one ?

    (Don’t think it is but I’m not sure. – Bjorn)

  21. Matt says:

    Hey, Bjorn, I know this is off topic, but David Gilmour made his appearance tonight with Roger Waters!!

  22. Karl says:

    Bjorn, love your sound. I have a few off topic questions how are you able to find all these great pedals in Norway ? I can’t find half of them in any of my catalogs or on line here in America. 2- hows Airbag doing, when can we expect new album ? I keep turning people on to the first album and friends are blown away. please keep up the fantastic work you do here with Gilmourish and your band.
    My 16 year old son and I saw Rogers ‘The Wall’ recently f*%#ing amazing.
    Stay in Peace.

    [I usually gets tips from my readers or the manufacturers contact me. There's a lot going on in the world of guitar effects these days though so it shouldn't be too hard to find cool pedals. Airbag is doing fine and we hope to release the new album sometime early fall. Thanks for your support! It means a lot to us! - Bjorn]

  23. Sly says:

    I’ve talked a bit with Jon and he confirmed that the old and the new versions have the same features and components. The only difference is the Pre Gain which is a toggle in the old version and a footswitch + LED in the new one.

    I would love to hear you play the Throbak with a strat !
    I have seen you have updated the picture of your Vintage Gear and the throbak is in !

    (Anyway I have just ordered mine, I hope it will sound as good as yours with the rest of my gear…)

    [Thanks for the info. It sounds great on Strat too! - Bjorn]

  24. Sebastien says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    Thanks for your useful review (as usual).
    Taking a look at your different pedalboards, it seems that you still use the original colorsound powerboost with the Analogman BC 108?
    So here’s my question: keeping the Dark side Of the Moon tone in mind, did you try the throbak overdriver with the BC 108? does it work perfectly with it (as the original colorsound powerboost does)? I’ve tried to use My Keeley BD 2 as a booster for the BC 108, and the result is crap….
    In other words, Is that new Throbak pedal a straight clone form the Colorsound original powerboost, when used on the silicon side?

    Did you also try to deal with the germanium setting on the throbak? If yes did it really sound like the early sabbath tone,like on the Proguitar shop demo on youtube? (they’re using a fender amp with the trhobak overdriver and they sound like early sabbath, altough iommi was unsing distorted laney supergroups with a modified rangemaster!!!! ). Actually this setting sounded more black sabbath than my plexi head with a BSM Rm Metal!!!!!

    Thanks for sharing your experience about that Throbak overdriver I’m planning to buy, Bjorn!

    Regards,

    Sebastien

    [The Colorsound is on my main board now for clean boost and the Sun Face is in my home vintage setup with the ThroBak. The Sun Face works nicely with both. The BD2 has buffers which makes the Sun Face sound thin and harsh. The ThroBak isn't a straight clone as there are some tonal differences but they're very similar and it's just down to taste and hearing the subtle nuances. The germanium feature isn't very Gilmourish but great for those early Sabbath, Mountain, ZZ Top tones. I use it a lot with my Les Paul :) Cheers! - Bjorn]

  25. Sebastien says:

    Hi again Bjorn,

    I ‘ve recently bought a used Throbak Overdrive Boost on eBay, and I have to say that I’m a bit confused with the manual included.

    Let’s make it clear:
    – Left position with the toggle switch is Silicon Side , Right position germanium side, am I right?
    – I guess the Original Colorsound Powerboost tone is toggle switch on the left for silicon, with the Pre gain stompswitch OFF (no light).

    – About the Pre Gain switch: the manual says it is bypassed when the toggle is set on the right, germanium side.
    Does it mean that it won’t work when you use the germanium setting?
    Will it work only with the silicon setting?

    Do you stick to the silicon setting with your strats? Do you use that Pre gain switch in your Gilmourish pedalboard?
    On your main picture of the pedal (beginning of the article), showing your settings, the toggle is set on the right (Germanium). I don’t understand why ….

    Thank you for your help,

    Regards,
    sebastien

    [Sorry for my late reply Sebastien. You're right about the silicon/germanium switch and that the original is silicon only without any pregain. This won't work with the germanium side engaged. I use the silicon mode usually without the pregain. The reason is that I'm mainly using it for clean boost. I forgot to flip the switch before I took the picture, so it should have been to the left. - Bjorn]

  26. David Brown says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    After seeing the review I ordered one of these. Got it yesterday and I know this sounds over the top however I think it is one of the best pedals I have owned to date. I had one of the colorsound re-issues and didn’t like it at all. This pedal is great, does the shine on thing beautifully.

    Thanks for the review,

    Cheers,
    Dave
    Melbourne, Australia

    [Glad you liked the pedal Dave! - Bjorn]

  27. Johan says:

    I just managed to get hold of one of these as a second hand. I received it a couple of weeks ago, but didn’t have time to try it until yesterday. Combined with my T-rex Reptile and a Hardwire Leslie simulator (admittedly not the best, but still) I found myself getting a very credible Shine on sound in a matter of minutes. All in all this pedal is fabulous and sounds wonderful as a clean boost, but also gives you a great fuzz / distortion / overdrive. I have a feeling this pedal will become one of those I use all the time in the coming months.

    Thanks for the tip! I doubt I would have come across this one unless having read about it on this site.

    [Congrats! The Colorsound Powerboost has always been one of my favourite pedals and I love the ThroBak as well. Smaller footprint and a few more features. - Bjorn]

  28. Sergio Rodrigues says:

    This pedal sounds really great. I’d like to get one of these on my pedalboard. Do you know any online shops in Europe that sell this pedal?

    Cheers

    Sergio

    [I don't have any specific tips but send ThroBak an email and ask :) - Bjorn]

  29. Chris says:

    The ThroBak Overdrive Boost seems to be a nice pedal. But unfortunately it ist as expensive as the Coloursounf Power Boost. Did you ever try the Fulltone FB3 Fat Boost? It seems to have the same concept and is much cheaper to get, so i wonder if it could be a substitute.

    [Never tried it so I'm not sure. The Boss BD2 is very similar too and check out the Way Huge Pork Loin as well. - Bjorn]

  30. Jon says:

    Have you used/reviewed the Coloursound Overdrive? It supposed to be the same as the boost with the option for more distortion. At least that’s what it says on their website.

    Thanks

    P.S. Great site!! An absolute wealth of information :)

    [Yep, it's 99% the same pedal. The Overdriver breaks up a bit sooner but it doesn't really matter for your Gilmour tones. Both have all the headroom you'll need for boosting. - Bjorn]

  31. Fritz says:

    I wonder how the SansAmp Character Series-Leeds pedal would sound if you used it as a preamp instead of a distortion pedal. For example, run it at the end of the signal chain into a ElectroHarmonix 44 Magnum power amp, right into a cab. It may then take on more of the amp character. Just a thought…let me know if anyone is able to try that idea out.

  32. Brad says:

    Hey Bjorn,

    OK – admittedly this is one of those “only you [meaning me] can decide for yourself” kind of questions, BUT– I have a colorsound power boost reissue that I got used at a local store for $150. It’s in nearly mint shape. I see them sell on ebay between $300 and $400 bucks. I really like this thing but its vintage design is pretty inconvenient and starting to get pretty annoying–the size, the lack of led to remind me when it’s on, the pita process of unplugging the input to save batteries, the pita process of prying the back plate off to change batteries, and the astonishing lack of indicators on the dials to let me know where the controls are set! So I’m actually thinking about selling it and going for a clone with the modern niceties such as the throback. Is the original that much better in your opinion? Is there a better clone out there than the throback that completely nails the original? I have a 30w tube amp that I don’t often play loud enough to let this thing really shine, but I am in the process of forming a PF cover band and will hopefully before too long be playing out.

    Thanks for your feedback!

    [I haven't found a clone that's dead on the original. They either lack the raw power and mojo or they're stacked up with other features. The Colordrive is much cleaner. Doesnt' really work as an overdrive but it's excellent as a clean boost. The ThroBack is the closest match and I use it all the time. It also has a couple of added features which are very nice. Highly recommended! - Bjorn]

  33. Brad says:

    Bjorn,

    Thanks! I guess I will hold on to it. Would probably regret letting it go since I got it at such a good price and it has so much mojo despite the inconveniences.

    A couple of quick follow up questions about the use of the colorsound: When you are using it to recreate David’s overdrive sounds on let’s say the rhythm in Time or Pigs, do you have the volume on the pedal set basically for a clean boost and use the master volume to push your amp into overdrive, or are you turning that volume knob on the face of the pedal into the point where it gets crunchy or fuzzy?

    Lastly, do you have to change your colorsound settings when going from using it as a boost to smooth out a muff or fuzz to using it as an overdrive, or do you have it set so you can go back and forth by simply clicking on or off your muff or fuzz? Then how do use it as just a nice sparkly clean boost? Do you tweak it again, or use the volume on your guitar, or something else?

    You’ve mentioned that you essentially leave it on all the time and I would love to benefit from your experience of how to do that and master the three different uses I mentioned above. Normally I wouldn’t pester you with such specifics, but as you’ve made reference to, this is not a “beginner’s” pedal, and not exactly “easy” to use, even though it’s tonal payoff is great.

    Thanks so much!

    Brad

    [No problem :) Obviously, the specific settings varies according to the guitar and amp but for overdrive I set the master to about 50% and increase the volume/gain. With a Hiwatt or similar you'd have to play insanely loud to get the amp to distort so David, Beck etc would use the pedal for overdrive. You might need to roll down the treble for a bit smoother tone. I mainly use the Colorsound or ThroBak for clean boost and the Tube Driver for gain. You need to adjust the settings between songs if you want to use the Powerboost for both. - Bjorn]

  34. Johnny B. Goode says:

    Nice review, are you gonna review the new 18V Colorsound Power Boost reissue, too? They announced it on the D*A*M forum recently: link

    [Yeah, I just saw that. I'll look into it :) - Bjorn]

  35. Brad W says:

    Bjorn,

    A couple of questions about my cpb…i bought it used and instead of the normal little battery connector, this has a battery clip to hold the battery in place, with two metal tabs to make the connection to the battery. The only drawback is that I can’t use one of those onespot adapters to run the pedal off ac power. I haven’t seen another one on the web with this type of connector. Have you? Any idea what vintage mine mihgt be? It has the master volume knob, no led, and no lines or indicators on the knobs.

    Do you think battery power makes a big difference with these? mine seems to eat batteries even when i unplug the input connection when i’m done. any chance this is using power just leaving the “out” still connected?

    lastly, how am i ‘supposed’ to be opening the pedal?? I can’t find an easy way to do it without sticking a small flathead screwdriver into the slot between the bottom and the casing and prying it open, which leaves small scratches…any tips or tricks? I have a real love/hate thing going on with this pedal…love the sound/hate the lack of modern conveniences.

    Thanks!
    Brad

    [Hi Brad. Sorry for my late reply. The original CPB didn't have master so this one's a reissue. Mine is a 2005 model with a battery clip and a metal holder for the battery. There's a significant difference if you use power instead of battery. It gets brighter and slightly harsh in the top frequencies. The best tone is with a non alkaline or carbon battery. That'll give you the smoothest tone.It's a pain to open I know but that's the only way. Keep in mind that these reissues aren't meant to be up tp modern standards. They're meant to be a true replica of the classics. Check out the ThroBak Overdriveboost if you want a close tone, smaller footprint and power supply. - Bjorn]

  36. Keith says:

    Hey Bjorn, after our emails yesterday, I went straight out and picked up the TC Spark booster, to go behind my Musket. WOW!!! I wanted a budget booster until I could afford CSPB from Macari’s, and you suggested, and I took your advice. All I can say is, the only thing budget about this pedal, is the $125 I paid out the door. I’ve never played through a colorsound, but I’ve heard them many times, and understand the controls, and it’s purpose, and this versatile little bugger doesn’t sound far off. EQ is set for + or – Bass, or Treble, on the clean setting, it is totally scooped in the mids, and has the basic gain, master set up so I was able to get it right there to just cause my amp to start overdriving. With the Musket kicked in, it totally gave me the added punch for solos, I am astounded by the value for this much of a transparent boost, a that doesn’t change my tone at all, unless of course I want it to. Got to get back to it to fine tune, and explore the possibilities. A definite must for those who want a great clean boost, on a budget. TC Electronics, and Bjorn, have done it again!
    Thanks for the info, you were, as usual, spot on!
    Peace, Keith

    [Glad to hear the Spark Drive worked out for your Keith! Cheers! - Bjorn]

  37. Keith says:

    Bjorn, you seem to have a good relationship with TC electronics. I hope you plan on reviewing the Spark Boost in your next update. While not a dead ringer for the CSPB,(Is anything other than a handwired copy really going to be dead on? That was rhetorical), It does get very close, and it looks Bulletproof! It’s only slightly bigger, top to bottom wise, than an MXR pedal, and the Clean, Fat, Mid micro switch makes it extremely versatile. Unless I get a major influx of unforeseen cash, I don’t think I’ll bother ordering that Colorsound from Macari’s afterall. This really inexpensive pedal seems to cover David’s CSPB sounds quite well!
    Peace My Friend, I have added Gilmourish to that 4am Zen time I recently told you about, and look forward every morning to see what new posts are up, and the questions, and answers they contain!
    Talk to you soon, Keith

    [Glad you enjoy the pedal and your zen time Keith! I have lots of stuff coming up but I'll try to squeeze in the SB too. - Bjorn]

  38. Casey says:

    I’m a little confused as to the comments regarding best with “loud tube amps” and ideal for “smaller setups”. Cutting to the chase I have an old Deluxe Reverb clone amp and sometimes I use an attenuator for small gigs. Is this a good fit? (does the master volume work as an attenuator as Throbak claims) the od part sounds great as does your playing.
    Thanks for your site,
    Casey

    [Well, some pedals works better on big amps while others works better on small. The Colorsound Powerboost was designed for loud tube stack and for taking them beyond tube break up. The Powerboost would add anything from clean boost to total mayhem. On smaller amps it, and most of the clones, will sound a bit fizzy due to the bright silicon transistor and the overall bright tone of the pedal. It's better to use more mid boosted pedals like the Tube Screamer or OCD, which were designed to make smaller amps sound like cranked tube stacks. The master on the Throbak doesn't quite work like an attenuator because the pedal is designed to interact with the tube amp. It works on smaller amps too but to reach the full potential of the pedal you really need to crank the hell out of it. - Bjorn]

  39. Tom says:

    I absolutely love this pedal, works great between sitting after an SS-3 with the germanium switch on and after a G-2 as a clean boost. Sounds great with humbuckers with the gain on and with singlecoils as well. On it’s own it’s probably one of the most versatile pedals I’ve tried. Clean all the up to a slight fuzz.

    Thanks for putting me onto this pedal!

    Tom.

    [Glad you like it :) Great pedal indeed! - Bjorn]

  40. Rod says:

    Hi Bjorn, I’ve noticed that on most of your clips you add delay and reverb in Logic. Was just wondering which plugins you generally chose for this. Thanks!

    [I just use some presets. The Platinum Reverb and Tape Echo I think. - Bjorn]

  41. Julius says:

    Hi Bjorn!

    I’m a bit lost here, I need to find a booster to boost my musket, but it needs to be true bypass, so could you giüe me a list of good pedals for boosting a muff.
    Thank you!

    [ThroBak Overdriveboost and the TC Electronics Spark Booster. - Bjorn]

  42. Julius says:

    Hi Bjorn…again!!!

    A question about Spark booster, how well it works to be used like a Colorsound PB?
    Thank you!!!

    [Very similar. The SB is cleaner but works great for adding a bit more bite to your tones and for boosting Muffs etc. - Bjorn]

  43. pba says:

    Clean please the previous messages!

    Thanks! Fine demo! It affected Throbak purchase…
    After the answer to Sebastien message, you told that “… switch before I took the picture, so it should have been to the left… “Its OK!
    If to trust settings for video:
    % gain=90
    % bass=75
    % treble=40
    % master=60
    1 . Position of the master handle is interesting to me. At me the optimum situation master for the silicon mode (switch left) of =40% of and germanium (switch right) of =60%
    Check and specify this moment please.
    2 . I have Demeter Compulator. Whether the sound differs from MXR Dyna Comp, for this song (Have a sigar) essentially? I have no opportunity to compare…

  44. Johnny B. Goode says:

    @Brad W.: The battery switching jack in your Power Boost might be the output. My vintage 18v Power Boost is wired that way and it seems they only changed it recently.

  45. Eric Nyberg says:

    Hey Bjorn, another consideration is the Keeley Luna Overdrive. I don’t know if you’ve tried it but it’s got a Baxandall tone adjustment like an amp and a mod switch for a classic tone and a modified high gain. The Skreddy Screwdriver is another one. What are your thoughts on how these compare to the Throbak?

    [I haven't tried the Keeley, so I can't really tell. Sounds to me like the Luna is quite a bit more aggressive than the ThroBak and Coloursound but it has some of the same flavour. The Screwdriver, is very similar to the Tube Driver, with a bit more mid range... perhaps somewhat similar to the OCD. - Bjorn]

  46. Julius says:

    Hi Bjorn!
    It’s great to see you’re back. I need your advice!!
    I got a chance to buy Throbak Overdriverboost, but it seems to be the earlier version.
    So does it stand back sound vise to the one you reviewed here?
    Thank you!!!
    -J.J-

    [Never tried it so I'm not really sure. From what I understand, it's basically the layout and chassis that's different. - Bjorn]

  47. Deny Bisson says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    I have an opportunity to purchase one MXR Custom Shop GT-OD and one MXR Custom Badass ’78 distorsion pedal to complete my borad. I wonder how I can use them for Gilmour tone. I already own one BD-2 that i can used as a booster or overdrive. To complete my setup I need another booster or overdrive and an acceptable Fuzz for DSOTM era.

    What is your recommandation?

    Deny

    [Hi Deny. Both the MXRs are in that Marshall territory. The 78 is what you'd get from adding a Distortion + to a Super Lead or something. Not quite a Gilmour pedal in my opinion. The GT can deliver some nice Tube Driver-ish tones. Boosterwise, I recommend a clean booster like the TC Spark Booster or ThroBak Overdriveboost. Check out the Buyer's Gear Guide for some tips on fuzz pedals. Cheers! - Bjorn]

  48. Julius says:

    Hi Bjorn!
    I received my Throbak Overdrive Boost and I really like it. But could you give me settings to David’s “Mild Boost” and “Heavy Boost”. I’m using a Fender 62′reissue stratocastes with CS69 pups into a Peavey Classic 30g
    Thank you!!!

    [Depends on your amp settings and how loud you play but set the bass and treble around noon, the gain between noon and 3 o'clock and the volume at about 2 o'clock. That should give you a nice boost. Adjust the gain and treble to match your rig. I don't use the boost or germanium mode. - Bjorn]

  49. Dan Richter says:

    Hey Bjorn, How close is the TC Spark Booster to the Thro Back. I really want the Thro Back but don’t want to spend that much. I have the Iron Bell and want to get the Olympia Fuzz and replace my TS-9 with an OCD. I’m trying to cover all my basses as far as OD and distortion. From what I’ve learned here I think that should do it. Just looking for your opinion. Thanks for any help.

    [The ThroBak has more of the classic vibe to it. More brighter sounding and scooped. The TC is very good though and you got three modes for different tones, which makes it very versatile. - Bjorn]

  50. Toni says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    Where do you place the Color Sound Power Boost in your chain? Before or after the Tube Driver?
    Sorry but I couldn’t find the link to your pedalboard (maybe you erased it).
    Once again, thanks from Barcelona!

    [If you intend to use them together I'd place the CPB after the TD. - Bjorn]

  51. Andrew says:

    Thanks for the awesome review, and indeed this all around awesome website!
    For a bedroom setup, would you recommend the ThroBak OD or the Butler OD, or does each do well for a different Gilmour era? Thanks again!

    [Thanks Andrew! I wouldn't quite compare the ThroBak with the Tube Driver. They sound very different. The ThroBak works nicely as a clean boost on smaller amps but can sound a bit bright when you increase the gain. The Tube Driver is hard to use on smaller amps I think. For similar tones as the ThroBak and Colorsound Powerboost, check out the Boss BD2 and TC Electronic Spark Booster. - Bjorn]

  52. Keith says:

    Hey Bjorn, do you generally leave your clean boost on all of the time, most of the time , or just boost your solos? Or is it on for some songs, and on and off in others? For my personal at home stuff I’ll be pairing it mostly with the London Fuzz, or JH-M1, but for the new band stuff, it will likely be used to boost the Musket for solos, and heavier rhythms. One thing I’ve never covered with you is a second O/D pedal, like the Tube Driver. I wish I still had my rack mounted one, but knowing my rig, what would you suggest as an O/D that wouldn’t break the banking, or be difficult to find?
    Thanks Bjorn, KC :)

    [Sorry for my late reply. I always use a booster. It adds a bit more life and character to the amp. The Reeves (and Hiwatt) is a bit dull sounding when you use it all clean so I could use an EQ but I think a booster has much more character and pairs better with tube amps. I use the ThroBak for all my clean tones. It's set for a mild volume boost, all clean and a fairly flat EQ. I sometimes also engage the compressor as well. I also use the ThroBak with Muffs and fuzz - never the Tube Driver. For crunchier tones and overdrives, I always use the Tube Driver. It's basically set at the very edge of breakup and a slight volume boost. I often use a compressor with this. - Bjorn]

  53. Keith says:

    Hey Bjorn, now that I look back, you were recommending the Spark quite a bit, basically as much as the BD-2,( see several examples above.). That you have had a change of heart doesn’t really matter, as it’s what I can afford, and have, so that being said, to best use it, do you suggest leaving the gain all the way down, and volume at, or slightly above unity? You stated in an earlier reply that you do keep your boost on for your cleans, and for boosting muffs, and fuzzes, so that would be most of the time, with the exception of crunchy rythyms and such. For those crunch tones, can you suggest a budget alternative to the TD?
    Thanks Mr. Fingers, Keith :)

    [I still recommend the TC as a great sounding clean boost. Personally I prefer a bit more dirt from my boosters but the TC does the job nicely. The settings depends on your amp and pedal settings of course but I mainly keep the EQs flat and I'd set the gain at about noon for a bit of that punch and compression it adds to the amp. The volume depends on how much boost you want. I like a slight volume boost to go with the gain boost. - Bjorn]

  54. Keith says:

    Hey Bjorn, do most players put the oatch cables above the surface of the board, or run them down and back up from pedal to pedal. I originally ran them all beneath the surface, but I’m preparing to wire it up again, and feel keeping them up top,( with the exception of the input, and outs.), would keep them away from the power cables better, and make it much easier to move pedals around, or add or delete pedals without opening the board up. Is that the way most people do it? I’m totally clueless, this being my first board.
    Thank you for everything, especially your patience with my endless questions. Like I said, just trying to get it right, or at least right for me.
    You are the man! Keith :)

    [Depends on the board and your preference I guess. Obviously, not all boards allow you to have cables underneath but you might benefit from separating the patch cable and power cables. I don't have a good answer here. The most important thing is that you setup a pedal board that works for you, both tonewise and a layout that feels natural when you play. Keep the patch cables as short as possible and use strips to keep everything nice and tidy :) - Bjorn]

  55. Bryce says:

    Hi Bjorn! Like the comments made by Brad above, I too have a colorsound overdriver, and though I love the tones I can get with it, it is a rather cumbersome pedal for me to use. The whole “not knowing for sure when it is on” and pain of having to change out the batteries every two weeks has me looking towards the throbak. I guess my question for you is can it run on a power supply without sacrificing tone? I know you say that the Colorsound and fuzz pedals you should use batteries (which I do). But i am honestly getting quite tired of the routine I mentioned above. I was also wondering if your opinions on the pedal have changed much since you first reviewed it. Do you use it on your board still? Thanks!

    [The Colorsound gets much brigter and a bit fizzy when you use adapter (battery clip converter) so I strongly recommend carbon batteries with that one. I run my ThroBak in the power chain and I haven't noticed any change of the tone. Still feature it on my stage board. - Bjorn]

  56. Keith says:

    Hey GASMAN, just got a return email from Jon at Throbak, pulling the trigger today! Should be here by Thursday, or Friday!
    Peace, Keith!

    [Great! I'm pretty sure you're gonna love it :) - Bjorn]

  57. Yoel says:

    Hey Bjorn!

    I know this is a bit unrelated, but how similair is the Colorsound Overdriver to the Power Boost? I’ve heard some places its almost the exact same circuit, just with a few minor modifications. If I got the Overdriver, would I be basically getting a re-housed Power Boost? How is it the same and how does it differ?

    [I've tried to ask Macari's the same question but they seem to make changes to the pedals all the time. The original models, from what I understand, were identical. The Overdriver was intended for export and the US market and they just made the chassis different. In regards to the current models I'm really not sure. I've tried both and the Overdriver has a bit more gain but that could very well be a coinsidence. Send Macari's an e-mail and ask. - Bjorn]

  58. Johnny B. Goode says:

    When the Power Boost came out it was running on 18V. The Overdriver was its successor (not an export model) in 1972, but running on 9V and with the circuit adapted to that. In 1974 there was a short run of Power Boosts with the 9V circuit, but those are rather rare.
    Colorsound is making the original 18V version again (http://www.macaris.co.uk/colorsound/Colorsound-Pedals/vintage-colorsound-pedals/p/power_boost.aspx). They only changed the volume pot from linear to a reverse audio taper to give it a better sweep. Same value as vintage units of course, so it’s electronically the same and won’t change the sound. Just easier to set.

    They’re making Overdrivers and Power Boosts running on 9V, too, but they do have some modern tweaks..

    [Thanks for the input! - Bjorn]

  59. Michel Giroux says:

    Excellent review!!!

    [Thanks! - Bjorn]

  60. Keith says:

    Hey Bjorn, I’ve finally broke the bank, and pulled the trigger on the Throbak today! I haven’t really gotten started learning the Echorec, and something made me call Jon today, and it will be here by Tuesday. One Vibe Machine, and wah kit to go, and now that both guitars are back in tip top shape, I’m almost done! I’m almost gas free…….For NOW!
    Peace, Love, and Gilmourish, THE POSTECUTIONER

    [Great! You'll never be GAS free though... trust me :) - Bjorn]

  61. Keith says:

    YOU STARTED IT!!

    [Lol! - Bjorn]

  62. Keith says:

    Dear Norwegian department of public utilities, I received my new alotment of GAS, and promptly emailed Drybell in Croatia. I’m feeling a warm fuzzy VIBE, but wonder what I’m going to eat for the next month or so. I suppose there are all these cardboard boxes I’ve accrued, a little salt, might be okay. :)
    You Know Who, P, L, & G! K~

    [Mmmm... Who needs food when you got the Vibe :) - Bjorn]

  63. Stephen Ford says:

    Gas On Keith!!!

  64. Keith says:

    JUST ONE MORE PEDAL MAN, THEN I’ll QUIT, I PROMISE! C,MON MAN, KUST GIVE ME ONE MORE, PLEASE.
    Sounds like an addict to me. Hi, I’m Keith C., and I’m an addict. If you too have this problem, join GA, Gear Anonymous, 12 easy steps to freedom from obsessive Norwegian pedal pedalers! I’ll even buy those rusty, dusty old pedals for as much as 10 cents on the dollar, to get them out of your site! Dial 1-800-PEDALNO!
    THANKS, Keith C.

    [I'm afraid I would make a lousy sponsor... :) - Bjorn]

  65. Keith says:

    Hey Bjorn, my Throbak was sitting on my living room chair this morning! Someone put it there and didn’t tell me it had showed up, so as you can imagine, it was a very nice way to wake up this morning. I now only neex to wait about two weeks for my Vibe Machine, and God knows when I’ll end up with a wah that does everything I want. The Castldine drop in is probably the closest thing one could find to an Italian made ’60s Vox/Crybaby, and he’s willing to add the reversing swith, and a resistor to make it possible to put the wah in front, or after vintage fuzz, without killing the Seagull effect like the FoxRox FFT, but he’s slammed with work, and it’s a tad expensive at £159 + mods, plus shipping, and any customs I may incur, so I’m waffling, and may just get a crybaby, or 847, and TB it. Anyway, almost ready to try and fit all these on my board. I will post my thoughts on the Echorec, but as yet, haven’t had a minute to do anything but work, and sleep. I’ll be taking a holiday in a week or two, and will try to explain my experience, or send a clip or two. Sorry about the length.
    Peace to all, Keith

    [Seems like you're getting closer to a great setup! Looking forward to your thoughts on the Echorec :) - Bjorn]

  66. Norm says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    I currently have a Signa overdrive. How different would this be to the throbak?. Is there a big difference.

    [Never tried it so I can't tell. - Bjorn]

  67. Brian says:

    Hi Bjorn, for enhancing clean tones and eq-ing other pedals, what do you think would be better, the Throbak Overdrive Boost or the T.C. Spark Booster? Thanks!

    [The TC is an all clean booster but compared to the ThroBak it's a bit flat sounding. The Throbak is an excellent EQ/clean booster and you can set it up for some really nice overdrive tones as well. - Bjorn]

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