• Buffalo FX Germanium Fuzz V2, CVIII Silicon Fuzz and 18v Power Booster review

    Buffalo FX reviews

    I recently did a review of Buffalo FX’s Ram’s Head – a take on the mid 70s Big Muff with a few very successful tweaks. Since then, Buffalo FX has released the Germanium Fuzz, CVIII Silicon Fuzz and the Power Booster. Here’s my review of all three.

    With the Ram’s Head (see the review here) Buffalo tackled a common problem with the early 70s Big Muff circuit. The classic mids scoop sounds great but it has a nasty tendency to drown in a dense band mix. This is also an issue concerning the old fuzz pedals and once again, Buffalo’s approach is to maintain the true nature of the pedal, with a few minor tweaks for making them more versatile.

    Each pedal is housed in a MXR sized die cast chassis. They’re about twice as high though, which can look rather strange but you’ll be thankful for the easy access battery compartment on these fuzz pedals (you run your fuzz on batteries, don’t you???). Each pedal is hand assembled, with carefully selected transistors, true bypass switching and a stage ready led.

    Germanium Fuzz V2

    The Germanium Fuzz features the usual gain and volume controls as well as a pre-gain and bias control. The pre gain allows you to add a bit more dirt and compression. Counterclockwise takes the pedal into mild overdrive territory, while rolling it all the way up, adds a nice gain boost.

    Germanium transistors are sensitive to humidity and temperature changes and the bias control make it possible to finely tune the character of the pedal. You can also dial in some extreme settings, from spitting dying battery to bursting speakers with tons of compression.

    I’ve never really been a germanium fuzz kind of guy. I don’t know why but they’ve never really fitted my setup. However, the Buffalo Germanium Fuzz doesn’t really sound like anything I’ve ever played before. It’s a fairly mild and dark sounding fuzz but warm, creamy and super smooth. It’s almost impossible to dial in any harsh tones with this one.

    Depending on how hot your pickups are, the pedal cleans up extremely well. Roll the guitar volume down to 8 for dark overdrive or all the way to 5 for crystal cleans with a nice bite. The Germanium Fuzz works nicely with UniVibes and is an excellent alternative for smaller bedroom setups. Hendrix in a box? Look no further!

    CVIII Silicon Fuzz

    Silicon fuzz pedals can sound like anything from a harsh ice pick to smooth distortion, almost Muff-ish. I prefer them as wild sounding as possible. You can’t really beat the feeling of stomping a pedal that sounds like a raving mad horse!

    Like the germanium, the CVIII is on the lighter side. In my opinion it doesn’t really come alive without a booster but it depends on what tones you want. In the featured clip you hear the pedal alone so it’s fully capable of producing the classic tones. In addition to the gain and volume controls, the pedal also features a Shape control. It’s basically a low-cut filter allowing you to sculpt the tone for a band mix. Rolling it all the way up also makes this one of the best silicons for your small amp bedroom setups, with a fat creamy tone.

    Compared to the Dunlop JH-F1 or the AnalogMan SunFace BC108, the CVIII might come off as a well behaved cousin. It’s not nearly as loud or wild but a more band and studio friendly model. It offers something different and perhaps more suiting for a wider range of pickups and amps than most silicons on the market.

    18v Power Booster

    Being a huge fan of the old Colorsound Powerboost I was especially interested in this one. I’ve been using the ThroBak Overdrive Boost for quite sometime, as my old CPB is retired from live use, and I haven’t found another clone that even comes close… until now.

    Buffalo Power Booster feature controls for gain, volume, bass and treble and, like the original Colorsound, it runs on 18V for maximum headroom (powered by 9V adapter, and switched internally to 18V). While some of the CPB clones tend to sound a bit thin and harsh when you crank them, running on 18V makes all the difference. It sounds bigger, more dynamic and the break up is right in that tube amp territory. With the gain control, sweep through crystal clean transparent boost, warm and creamy overdrive and full blast fuzz.

    This is a pedal you want to leave on all the time. Either for just adding life to your amp or as a dedicated overdrive or, for boosting your fuzz and Muff. The treble and bass controls allows you shape your tones much like an EQ but, in my opinion, in a much more effective and natural way than actually using an EQ. The gain and volume controls also act as a pre-amp for your amp – especially in combo with a tube amp.

    You really can’t get any closer to David’s rhythms on Time, Cigar, Shine On and Pigs than this. In fact, I already love this pedal so much that it bumped the ThroBak right off my stage board… who would have thought that?

    There are good sounding pedals and there are pedals that you don’t want to turn off. This trinity from Buffalo definitely falls into the latter. Love ‘em! However, despite my overly enthusiastic rant you should be aware that these old circuit pedals aren’t for everybody. Both fuzz pedals and the Power Booster can sound horrible on the wrong setup and although they’re versatile within their range they have obvious limitations.

    A big applause to Buffalo and I’m looking forward to what they may come up with in the future… a clone of a certain Mistress for their Ram’s Head and Power Booster perhaps? I expect no less! Check out buffalo-fx.com for more details.

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109 Responsesso far.

  1. Jan Geerts says:

    Hi, thanks for helping me select one of those Boosters. I had the Prescription once and found it to be too harsh. The mellower Buffalo is exactly what I wanted, and so very different from any drive I had before. I’d like two, really: one always on clean boost, and one dirtier. This complements my Maz 18 NR so well, and makes it sound huge. It sounds really open, uncompressed, and still sings and sustains. It is scooped, so I am curious how it will fare with the band. The sound is similar to the Top Tone Dg2, which works great in a band, and they stack very well too. Thanks again for your work.

  2. Pete says:

    Hey Bjorn!

    Thank you for everything you do. I just picked up a Buffalo Power Booster (assuming it would bump the ThroBak off my board) and I’m trying to figure out if I got a bad one or if it’s the nature of the pedal… The Buffalo is acting like it has a bad pot or is the gain staging is wrong. It has little to no breakup until the gain is at about 90%, and then even at 100% there is less gain and sustain than the ThroBak. It almost seems to jump in to breakup as you dial up the gain instead of smoothly increasing gain as the knob is turned. Does yours behave this way? I’m normally pretty self reliant in these sort of matters but I have nothing to really compare it to so any help would be greatly appreciated.

    thanks!
    Pete

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Pete! You’re pretty much describing the nature of the pedal. It’s not meant for all types of amps and it can sound pretty nasty on the “wrong” amp. What sort of amp and pickups do you have? Do you have buffered pedals in your chain?

      • Pete says:

        Thanks for the reply! Don’t get me wrong, the tone is awesome, my concern was the no breakup until about 90% on the gain knob to essentially maximum gain thereafter.. it just seems to jump from clean to fuzz.. no taper. I have no buffers before it. This was tested with several guitars, primarily with an ’89 G&L S-500 (strat with stock essential Gilmour wiring) with the original MFD pups, through an AC30, a 100w Diamond stack (el34.. very Marshall 800/jubillee), etc.. I have lots of gear haha. Also a Les Paul Standard with real PAFs, Tele with Duncan antiquitys.. the list goes on.. the pedal responded the same with any setup.

        Thanks again,
        Pete

        • Bjorn says:

          Ok, perhaps they changed the circuit for more headroom, I don’t know but the older one that I have has a nice and smooth breakup.

  3. Carlos says:

    Hello Bjorn,

    I hope this post finds you well. I recently picked up the PowerBooster and wanted to know what settings you recommend to get the “Have a Cigar” sound. I love he site and thank you for your time.

    Cheers,

    Carlos

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Carlos, which amp are you using with the pedal?

      • Carlos says:

        Hello Bjorn,

        The two amps I use (not at the same time) are a Peavey Classic 30 (Celestion Vintage 30 speaker) and a Laney Lionheart 5w Tube Guitar Combo. Is one of them a better fit with the Power Booster? I have you to thank for introducing me to Laney amps. Great amp (I like my old Peavey as well). Thank you so much for your time.

        Respectfully,

        Carlos

        • Bjorn says:

          The pedal works nicely with both amps although for David’s tones, I think I’d prefer the Classic 30, which has a bit more mid range. It’s hard to suggest settings for the Powerbooster because it interacts with the amp and pickups. I’d keep the bass and treble fairly neutral, perhaps with the treble rolled down slightly and a hint of volume boost to smoothen the tone. Other than that you should base the EQ and gain settings on the tone you get from the amp.

  4. Richard McEntee says:

    Hi Bjorn, hope you well. I notice for the Buffalo PB video clip you chose not to play any Shine clips unlike the other PBs you have tested have. I am looking at getting the Buffalo PB and now know it is slightly different sounding than the traditional PB, and your review mentions using it to boost an amp or use as an eq after a muff, but I would like your opinion on using it as a straight overdrive for this Shine On solos? Will it be too compressed? I use a strat with CS69 into the clean side of a Laney L5t.

    • Bjorn says:

      The Powerbooster is not compressed. That’s what makes it so different from most other overdrives. David used the Colorsound for all of his overdrive sounds in the mid 70s, including live performances of Shine On, so yeah, it works nicely for that song and with the L5.

      • Richard McEntee says:

        Many thanks Bjorn – as luck would have it I saw a Buffalo PB for sale here in the UK so bought it anyway – delivered today and it is indeed as you say – perfect for those tones in every way. I used to have a DIY Overdriver clone that I sold a while ago and have never found anything that could get close enough to it, including BD2 and Skreddy Screwdriver etc so realised I had to get back to the PB :) Very happy now! (I have an M-1 on the way as well!)

  5. Uwe says:

    Hello Bjorn,

    What would be your choice between The Buffalo Powerbooster and the Vick audio overdriver, please? i’ll be trying to nail the Old Pink floyd tones from dark side to Animals. Want to get as close as possible.

    Is the Powerbooster as close as the overdriver ? My heads are old 1973 sound city 50, and at home Laney Cub head.

    Best regards, thank you!

    • Bjorn says:

      The Vick is the closest to the original Colorsound. The Buffalo is darker, warmer sounding and perhaps easier to make sound good on different amps.

  6. Evan says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    Have you ever tried the Xotic RC booster? If so, how does that compare to the Colorsound PB and Buffalo FX ?

  7. Clive says:

    damn…video blocked in my country (UK!) how can I view it please?

  8. larryrivers says:

    Great reviews and videos Bjorn! Would you recommend the FX power booster for a Fender blues jr amp (cannabis rex speaker) ? In the past i have had no problem running a Big Muff with this amp. Cheers!!

    Larry

  9. stuart jeneson says:

    Hi Bjorn, I am using a Buffalo FX booster at moment , but I have been reading a bit about the Shine Booster , from Brazil. Will this pedal be any different from the Buff , its seems limited on the controls , but it can really kick some balls … Best Regards Stu.

    • Bjorn says:

      Two different pedals. The Buffalo is sort of a EQ and overdrive, while the Shine is a clean booster with no gain. What I like about it, and the reason for me using it, is that it has a mid range switch, which is great for kicking it in on solo and stuff. I would say that the Buffalo is an overdrive, while the Shine is a dedicated booster.

  10. Paul says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    Checking in from Australia, again. I wanted to ask regarding settings used on various tracks using the Colorsound Power Boost, can I transpose these settings directly with the Buffalo 18V Power Booster? As you know it also has a gain dial, do I just keep that at noon when copying these settings?
    Thanks mate. Keep the hard work going of us Gilmour junkies. Cant wait until 25th March at Hollywood Bowl!!!!

    • Paul says:

      Since amp/guitar matters still on the CS69s and SSL-5 combo with Laney 5W LionHeart. Or DG20 set in my other Strat.

    • Bjorn says:

      The Powerbooster is extremely responsive to the guitar, its pickups and the amp. How you set the controls, depends on how hot the pickups are, how you’ve set the gain on your amp and what speakers and tubes you’ve got. I think the best way to replicate the tones is to just listen to the original tracks and then try to match what you hear. The settings I’ve listed should give you a start but keep in mind as well that David used the non-master volume model. I guess songs like Time (rhythms), Cigar and Pigs are the best references.

  11. Gary Jarvis says:

    Bjorn I purchased a Buffalo Fx Power Booster and am really pleased how it sounds with my muffs and fuzz pedals. Even with my Tube Drivers. Am curious though how you set your Buffalo Power Booster up, controls-wise. Love to hear how you have yours set up. Cheers

    • Bjorn says:

      Oh, that depends entirely on what amp and guitar I’m using. That pedal is so responsive to what you put next to it and I adjust the settings all the time depending on what I use. Usually, I prefer a slight volume boost, fairly neutral bass and treble (perhaps slightly boosted bass and the treble rolled down a hair or two) and the gain set just at the edge of break up to push the amp a bit.

  12. Mick says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    Would the Power Booster be a good addition to a stock Laney Cub 12R>Pig Hoof MkII setup?

    Thanks!
    Mick

  13. Gio says:

    Greetings Bjorn

    I’ve been following your website for a couple of years now. Great stuff. Great articles. Great guides. I wanted to ask you if you could please help me figure out the settings on the Buffalo Fx powerbooster. Perhaps any tips on how to dial the best tones for the Dark Side of the Moon era. Also how to get tones for the Wish You Were Here album. (SOYCD) Thank you very much, I hope to hear from you soon.

    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks for your kind words, Gio! That pedal is very sensitive to how your amp and guitar sound, so the settings would depend on that. What amp and guitar/pickups do you use?

      • Gio says:

        The amp is a Vox AC15 and the pickups are Seymour Duncan STK-S4 (Neck and Midde) and Seymour Duncan STK-S6 for the bridge.

        • Bjorn says:

          The AC15 doesn’t have much mid range, which isn’t ideal for replicating David’s tones, nor if you want a smooth tone from your Powerbooster. Check out this feature for some tips on how to set up your bedroom rig and this one for some tips on how to set up your amp. Settings depends very much on what amp you’re using and how you set it up, so it’s kind of pointless for me to provide any specific settings that might not suit your setup.

  14. Eddy says:

    Will the Power Booster work well on my bedroom setup below?
    Peavey Classic 30>MXR Carbon Copy>EO Pig Hoof>Strat with Fender CS 69 pickups

  15. Heiko says:

    Hey Bjorn,
    great review. I am after a Powerbooster Clone. I am looking for a warm “at the edge of breakup” sound, that goes gradually from sparkling clean to a warm (slight) overdrive with my VolumePot at the guitar. Don´t need too gainy sounds cause I already have a sunface and an astrotone for these jobs if needed.
    I am looking for something that excells at the range from NO-GAIN to LOW GAIN. Could the Buffalo Booster be what I am after?
    Don´t need over the top, but lots of flavors in the in-between range and the ability to get my drive pedal totally clean by turning down the guitars volume a bit.
    thanks
    Heiko

    • Bjorn says:

      The Buffalo sounds to be spot on what you’re looking for. It’s warmer and smoother than most PB clones out there.

  16. Jason says:

    Hey Bjorn,

    Have you ever tried the Dingotone HZD boost? A buddy of mine bought two a couple years back (the guy from Dingotone had a bunch of handmade ones he was trying to get rid of) and sold me one. It cleans up my clean tone with beautiful articulation and punch, but with character and finesse. I don’t hear of many people using them and you seem to try LOTS of stuff.

    Jason

    [Never tried it. – Bjorn]

  17. Nicolas says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    Looking at the power booster again.
    Does it retain ALL the mids of the guitar signal?
    When the gain is cranked, does it crash a bit in the lows, sortof a bias thing?

    I’m still in search of the perfect fuzz or boost to stack onto my lazy j cruiser to act as an extension that doesn’t alter the tone and mids at all, but just gives bigger bass that crumble or bias just a tad, without compressing too much :)

    My recent chase tone fuzz face is amazing but just scoops the mids a small amount, which I guess is typical for a fuzz face. And my recent PTD rotobone is awesome too, but compresses too much and sounds more like a pedal than the rest. Awesome crumbling in the lows though.

    Nicolas

    [The Powerboost doesn’t have much mid range. It’s very transparent so it doesn’t scoop your tone either but you won’t get much mid range with it… especially on typically mids scooped amps. – Bjorn]

  18. James says:

    Hello Bjorn,

    Great site, thanks for sharing all of your hard work. I am just getting back into playing again, I have an old Carvin set up from 1979, 2 channel 100w ss/tube hybrid (like MusicMan) combo amp and a stereo Les Paul-style guitar, everything in very good shape. Anyway, I have never owned any pedals, but thanks to your site, I ordered a Pig Hoof from Electronic Orange and a Banana Boost while I was at it, and have picked up a few other pedals as well.

    I have not seen any reviews of the Banana Boost 9v; how does it compare to the Power Booster 18v? For distortion options I have: vintage RATII (with original LM308)>Pig Hoof (soon)>[Boost Goes Here]> Amp (occasionally using built in distortion circuit). Pickups are fairly high output humbuckers. My goal is to get a fat, sweet full range tone with huge sound.

    Thanks in advance!
    James

    [Hi James! The Bananaboost is very close to the original. Perhaps a tad darker and not as much headroom as the 18v but enough anyway. It works really well as both a booster and overdrive. – Bjorn]

  19. John says:

    Bjorn,
    Awful sorry to bother you again, but I am wondering if there is any possible reason why I should buy a Colorsound PB if I already own a Buffalo PB and a BK TD. The GAS is clouding my judgement.
    Thanks man,
    John

    [To be honest. No. The Buffalo is just as good and more reliable. Still, now that you got a ’74 Ram’s Head and ’76 Mistress you know the feeling of owning the real stuff. How long will you be able to look at that clone knowing it’s not a real Colorsound… The GAS is a vicious beast that will haunt you for the rest of your life :) – Bjorn]

  20. Fred says:

    Bjorn,

    How does the 4 knob version of the PB compare to the original as far as settings go? On the original, a heavy OD setting might have the volume knob at 3o’clock. But all that changes with the gain knob.

    Thanks!

    [The master volume gives you more headroom, which the 3-knob model didn’t have. Otherwise, the tone is the same. – Bjorn]

  21. Cem says:

    Hi Bjorn
    I’m really curios. Which distortion pedal did you use to get the tone of the short snippet that plays at the beginning of your video reviews?
    Thanks!

    [Oh… I recorded that years and years ago. I think it was done all digitally. I always do that when I record demos for songs. It was probably a Les Paul into a Line 6 POD but I can’t remember what effects I used. – Bjorn]

  22. Ian says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    Regarding the Colorsound Overdriver or Buffalo Power Booster, do you (or David!) get any drive/ break-up from the pedal itself, or, are the smooth drive tones generated by causing the amps pre-amp valves to distort?
    I have an Overdriver clone (made by Monsterpiece, with Bass, Treble, Gain and volume controls) which stays clean all the way round to about 2.30 – 3 o’clock on the gain control. When it starts to distort, it is not especially smooth or creamy – it is more of a spiky/ splatty tone – is that typical of the Colorsound circuit?

    [It is typical of the original Colorsound. It does bleed a little when you crank it and especially on brighter sounding amps. The Buffalo FX Powerbooster is voiced for a darker tone and sounds much warmer when you set it for overdrive. Personally I only use the Powerboost for clean boost but David used his for overdrive as well. You can hear it on songs like Time (rhythms), Shine On and Have a Cigar. – Bjorn]

  23. Ian says:

    Hi Bjorn
    Great site, although as others have said, it can get expensive! Everything you review sounds awesome!

    I’m after some advice – I’ve saved enough money to buy another pedal but I’m torn between a Skreddy Lunar Module or the Buffalo FX Power Booster and would value your opinion as to which would be the best addition to my rig as I’m struggling to get those smoooooth Gilmourish lead tones. Amp-wise, I have the Laney Cub head and also a 50w Vox Night Train head.

    For muff’s, I already have an AA Green Russian and a BYOC Rams Head Large Beaver.
    For fuzz face type pedals, I have a Monsterpiece NPN, an MXR BC108 Classic Fuzz and a Tonefactor Huckleberry.

    I also have a custom-made Colorsound Overdriver Clone made by Monsterpiece but the transition from clean to overdrive is a bit scratchy/ spitty – not as smooth as I would like.

    The Lunar Module seems to nail the early Gilmour tones straight out of the box, without needing any other pedals with it, whereas the Power Booster could possibly help smooth out my existing fuzzes and achieve a smoother overdrive transition on its own.

    Which would you choose and why?

    Cheers
    Ian

    [Hi Ian! As you are aware, these are two very different pedals for different applications. The Lunar nails the fuzz tones but not much more… obviously. The Buffalo Powerbooster, is perhaps more of a tool, capable of anything between clean to near fuzz. I also think it does overdrive much better than most other Powerboost clones that I’ve tried. Based on what you already have I’d go for the booster. – Bjorn]

  24. Bernie Heerey says:

    Thanks for the info Bjorn. I find that the Musket benefits from a clean boost with my BD2, giving it a fuller tone, as it were.. I am thinking now of getting a dedicated Overdrive pedal and I would like to be able to get close to the solo tones on Division Bell with out having to change pickups. I have a standard Mexican Classic players 50s Strat with a SLL5 bridge pick up and Callaham Tremelow block and a Laney Cub amp. Would a maxon od808 or a MJM Phantom Overdrive help in this direction. Love your guitar work by the way too. Thanks again for your experience and help,

    [I think the Dover Drive that I recently reviewed would be perfect for your setup and the tones you’re looking for. – Bjorn]

  25. Bernie Heerey says:

    Hi Bjorn
    I have a Musket for my distortions ( which I love) and a standard BD2 as my power booster, which I have also been using for some overdrive tones. Do you think It would be worth me getting the awesome Buffalo Booster as a dedicated overdrive and a bigger choice of tones or do you think I have it close enough with what I have..I know this is a bit vague so a definitive answer is not easy! Thanks for your help – from a born again musician.

    [The Musket doesn’t really need a booster, as it has plenty of gain on tap and a few extra features allowing you to tailor the tone. The BD2, although transparent, has a hint of mid range, so actually, a Power Booster would be an even better option for clean boost, and using the BD2 for overdrive. The Power Booster also has dedicated treble and bass controls, which allows you to use it as an EQ for both your cleans and for adding a bit more character to the Musket. Cheers! – Bjorn]

  26. David says:

    Bjorn,

    I have been following your site for quite some time now and am overwhelmed at the amount of valuable information you share. I have to give you some perspective first so I digress a bit.

    I grew up with Pink Floyd and remember when I first purchased DSotM on vinyl. That should tell you something about my age anyway. David is a true master and I am still struggling with his tone versus my modest guitar skill.

    I only play in a “bedroom” environment so anything related to “cutting through the mix” doesn’t really apply to my setting. Based on many of your suggestions I have added a BYOC “Rams Head” in front of a clone flanger and delay. These go into the front of my Egnater Tweaker 15 watt Combo. It’s a great sounding tube amp with many different tone environments and I have it set on a slightly darker version of the “AC” British tone sparkle clean setting.

    I have built several strats and teles and probably a better woodworker than guitar player (although there are days I wonder about both). I have built a strat that I put in active “EMG-style” pickups that sounds pretty accurate and another hand-made telecaster with Seymour Duncan overwound bridge that plays a mean “Run Like Hell”.

    My only original Fender is an American Standard Stratocaster from 2003 that I use as a tone/construction basis for my builds. I am considering replacing the stock Fender pickups with SSL-5/CS69/CS50’s. Would I be able to notice the tone difference? What do you think? The price is pretty stiff for a vanity-thing unless the tone difference will make me cry.

    Now finally the question that brought me to write to you: I agonize over a transparent booster based on my playing environment. I wonder if this Buffalo PB would be my dream-come-true or if you think I could be just as satisfied with either a Wampler Plexi-drive, Keely-modified BD2 or even just a Rat behind my BYOC rams head muff. Currently I have no other overdrive and just use the BYOC (which can be a beast to tame. So the question is if I could only add one more pedal to cover 80% of my Gilmour boosted or overdrive tones…what should I choose?

    I appreciate all you have done on this site. My wife lives on Facebook, I live on Gilmourish.com!

    Fondly,

    David

    [Hi David! Thanks for your kind words and for sharing your story :) About the pickups… yes, I definitely think you’ll hear a difference. The set you’ve described has an all together lower and more transparent output than the standard Fenders and they’ll provide that vintage flavour and blend perfectly with your pedals. You’d need to do some adjustments to your pedal and amp settings but you’ll figure it out. The Buffalo booster isn’t really an overdrive but rather a clean booster that, when driven hard, can make your amp distort. It can sound a bit bright on lower amp volume but you should be able to set it up for some typical Gilmour tones as well and especially those Dark Side and WYWH rhythms. It’s great for boosting or adding a bit of character to Muffs and other pedals. The Plexi Drive is best used as a dedicated overdrive, while the BD2 will work for both applications. They’re all similar but they have their very distinctive character. Personally I can’t live without a booster and I also think the Plexi Drive is one of the better overdrives on the market… hard to choose :) – Bjorn]

  27. Brad W says:

    Bjorn,

    As I’ve mentioned I’m an enthusiast supporter of the Buffalo PB. I recently didn’t have it for some reason and felt like I couldn’t achieve my tone without it!

    I like it so much as both OD and Clean Boost that I’m considering buying a second. However, I’m entrigued by the EHX Soul Food. It seems like the Klon and the CPB seem to have a lot in common–known for being good at OD as well as Boost, and generally having a dynamic, open, transaprent fuzz-like OD.

    Let’s imagine for a second that the soul food is basically like having a Klon. Do you think I could do much the same thing with a Klon and a Bufallo PB, as with two of the Buffalo pedals? If you used the Klon and the Buffalo, which would you use or OD and which for clean boost/overall tone shaping/leave on all the time…?

    Many thanks!
    Brad

    [Hi Brad! The Klon/Soul Food has a bit more mid range and compression than the CPB/Buffalo so I don’t think they’re identical. The Klon works great both as a booster and overdrive but with both in a setup, I’d no doubt use the Klon for overdrive and the PB for boosting. – Bjorn]

  28. Huy Tran says:

    [If volume is an issue, why don’t you just lower the volume on your amp?….. Try not to get too focused on settings but try different stuff and see how that matches your amp and guitar :) – Bjorn]

    I feel like a dodo. You make so much sense all the time. I figured out what you said a few days ago by finding the balance between the volume on the amp and the volume on the powerbooster I get a much better sound as a base.

    In regards to the tube driver, I have been messing around with the settings and I have got it to work for me. I understand the tone controls somewhat and even by increasing lo, I can get it to sound brighter due to what I assume is the active tone control. It is a great pedal but it’s overdrive just doesn’t sound as powerful while staying fuzzily clean as the Buffalo powerbooster. Got it working great as a booster though. Next on the shopping list is a Laney. Lionheart. Always wanted that amp even before I got ‘Gilmourish’.

    The buffalo powerbooster is great though. It always sounded amazing loud but now I got it to sound awesome at lower volumes too. I am really anticipating the Buffalo Evolution which is suppose to sound like a G2. Will you be getting one Bjorn? I would love to hear your thoughts on it compared to the Top Tone DG2.

    As always, Thank you for your site.

    [Glad it worked out :) In regards to the Tube Driver, – it’s very sensitive to the amp’s settings and the volume in particular. Many people think that it’s something wrong with the pedal when it sounds thin and fizzy but that basically means (if you want it to sound smoother) that the settings on the pedal and your amp needs to be tweaked. The fizzyness evens out when you crank the volume on the pedal to 2-3 o’clock. Keep the treble on your amp low as well – no higher than 30-40%. I’m very much looking forward to the new Buffalo pedals! Cheers! – Bjorn]

  29. Teppo says:

    Hello again, Bjorn!

    Great review, as always!

    I want to have some additional info about the Power Booster. I have some mixed info here. First of all, can PB be used as a totally clean booster? And how about as a treble booster?

    Have you compared PB to Rockett’s Lemon Aid? If you have, what is your “verdict”?

    Someone asked you about Black Arts Toneworks’ Pharaoh Fuzz in your Buyer’s Gear Guide Big Muff topic. You still haven’t checked that out? Well, there is a new version coming up called Pharaoh Supreme. See info here

    http://www.blackartstoneworks.com/page/3/

    Hopefully some day you give us a review on that pedal too.

    By the way, if something doesn’t work on your gear, then…

    ;-)

    [Hale and Pace… can’t beat it :) The Powerbooster is as clean as it gets. It’s got the full range, from crystal cleans to creamy distortion, near fuzz. I guess you can get some treble boost tones from it as well but it’s not quite the same. Cheers! – Bjorn]

  30. Huy Tran says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    Before I start I just want to say I am using a Laney Cub12r using 15watt with volume at 7.5 or 2:30oclock. Just recently got the Powerbooster. I love it. Sounds so good. Only issue I have is that when I increase the gain I have to decrease the volume as it gets way too loud. I can play pretty loud but if I use the settings you used in the video with gain at max and volume on 2clock it just rips through the house. And I live in a big house. But if I increase the gain and not the volume it sounds very thin and fizzy. When I max out the gain I put the volume on 10clock and bass nearly max and treble to suit. If anyone is having the volume restraints I have those are pretty good compromises.

    In terms of boosting a big muff, can you please share your general settings with me?

    Lastly I bought a tube driver with bias knob and I am having hell with it. I can use it as an overdrive and it sounds pretty good but I am using the Eric Johnson setting and it doesn’t have the response that I hear on Gilmour’s stuff. Hopefully I can come to grips with it and get it to work for me. I find it takes me weeks to learn how to use a new pedal but I do know the tube driver needs a more powerful amp however I want to try get it to work for me.

    Do you think if I swap out the stock HH speakers for something like the WGS Jensen C12n clone with 75watts the tube driver will respond better? Or any suggestions would be appreciated. I want to use the tone knobs without it sounding like ice picks in the ear territory.

    [Hi Huy! If volume is an issue, why don’t you just lower the volume on your amp? These old boosters are designed to interact with your amp so volume will always be an issue. The fact that you experience a thinner tone when you roll back the volume on the pedal is natural. Increasing the volume will create more compression and also drive your amp harder. There might be a slight boost when you increase the gain but what you’re also experiencing are clipping transients, which appears as being very loud. You do need to spend some time sorting out the best match between the amp and the pedal and a good tip is to set the amp fairly neutral and use the booster as a main booster for all your tones – not just for boosting the Muff.
    Eric Johnson and Gilmour have two very different approaches on the Tube Driver and I don’t think EJ’s are the best for Gilmour’s. He depends on that dark middy overdrive, almost like a Tube Screamer, while Gilmour is all about powerful transparent tube tones. Try not to get too focused on settings but try different stuff and see how that matches your amp and guitar :) – Bjorn]

  31. Brad says:

    Bjorn,

    Just want to follow up and report back since my post on this page from October. As much as I thought it was cool to have that big orange colorsound sound on my board for “authenticity” or mojo or whatever, I sold it and bought a Buffalo Power Boost and still had money left over. I am not the least bit sorry, but instead thrilled I made that decision.

    The PB is an animal! There is a huge difference in the nature of the overdrive, as compared to the 9v version, as you mentioned in your review. I was always struggling with thinking my 9v was a little harsh unless my tube amp was absolutely pushed to its sweet spot.

    The Buffalo, in contrast, can dial in rich warm, open, clear OD at any volume. It is amazing how well it operates as either a clean boost or OD, and never sounds compressed. I am seriously considering buying a second to replace my current OD so I can have both functions. The OD certainly rivals my Timmy–great as it is–and to my ears, brings a little more sparkle, clarity or something to the party:).

    How awesome and useful would a double Buffalo PB be?!!! Steve…!

    So I trade “mojo” and “authenticity” (a dubious assertion at best, anyway, since the 9v CPB is a modern re-make) for a much smaller footprint, indicators on the knobs (seriously!), true bypass, led, 9v power supply operation, and wait for it…better tone!! Bravo, Buffalo Effects.

    Thank you, Bjorn, for spotlighting the pedal.

    Cheers,
    Brad

    [Thanks for the update, Brad! Couldn’t agree more. I love my old CPB but you really need to crank the shit out of the amp to get the right overdrive tones. THta’s just the nature of the pedal. I still use mine for recording and clean boost, no clone has managed to quite replicate that clean punch, but as for overdrive, the Buffalo is superb. – Bjorn]

  32. Dave E. says:

    I think the reason some people might have trouble with the PowerBoost is that they are using it to increase the volume coming out of the pedal board – makes sense with a pedal called Power Boost. But try the opposite. I have some hot active pickups, the EMG DG20, that don’t require a boost to drive my Blues Jr. I play at living room volumes and found that I couldn’t get a good tone from some distortion pedals because I had to turn their volume so far down or the BJr master volume so far down that nothing was operating near the sweet spot, With the PB I set my pedals where they want to be and then control the room volume with the PB. I also adjust the tone knobs and Drive on the PB to tweak the tone. I generally just leave it on.

    I find it can be set to be completely transparent, but of course that would be pointless. At worst I think you have a decent EQ and volume control if nothing else.

    I generally set the guitar volume on 8, the boost pedals up about 3 db, others at unity and the PB down about -10db. The Blues Jr Volume is left near 8.8 and Master near 2.8. I am not saying this is ideal for your situation but if you have a PB and can’t get it to work with your rig – try using it to bring your volume down instead of unity or boost volume. The PB just gives you another dimension of control.

    [I don’t think thta’s a worst case scenario. In fact, David’s not using his CPB and Tube Driver for boosting but rather for EQing his Muffs. They’re set pretty much at unity level and the tone controls are used to add character to the distortion pedal. You can either keep the pedal clean or add a hint of breakup, which adds even more harmonics to your lead tones. I’ve never used EQs but keep a booster on for all my tones. Wether it’s cleans, overdrive or distortion, I have a booster as a basis adding tone and character top the amp and overall sound. Cheers! – Bjorn]

  33. Benjamin says:

    Hello Bjorn,

    Unfortunately on my setup the power booster doesn’t work well at all. Are there any other options to getting the rhythm tones on pigs, shine on and time? Right now I’m just turning down the volume on my guitar with a surface.

    [Try the Boss BD2 or the new EHX Soul Food :) – Bjorn]

  34. Robert says:

    Bjorn,

    I can’t stop reading everything on your site, great reviews. One question; have you run the FX Power Booster thru your Laney Cub? Is it a bit to much for the small setup? I am interested in the tone your getting out of this little guy, but have always stayed away from the power boost clones because I don’t run my amp to hot in the house.

    Thanks in advance!

    [Obviously, if you use it as a volume booster, the amp will run very hot and loud, which is probably something you don’t want at home :) I usually use those power boosters for either just adding a bit more tone, with unity volume, or as a dedicated overdrive. Both setups works nicely with the CUB. Another cool trick on bedroom setups is to use a transparent booster like the Buffalo, in the FX loop of the amp. Set the pedal fairly clean but with a hint of volume boost and a hair of drive. This will drive the power tubes a bit more giving the amp a fatter and darker tone. – Bjorn]

  35. Ben says:

    Hello Bjorn,

    Great review. Love the tones you’re getting from these pedals!

    I’m surprised the Power Booster isn’t more popular. It sounds amazing. The only reviews I found featuring it are yours, gearmanndudes, and Steve’s from Buffalo FX.
    I wonder why?

    [I don’t know but they are amazing if you ask me. Deserves more attention! – Bjorn]

  36. Kim says:

    Hi Bjorn
    thank you, for the answer,
    i am surprised that you dont like Velvet fuzz, it should be ‘gilmour in a box’ pedal/
    i dont mind creamy distortion. i should say i really like the octafuzz, tone bender sound, can the velvet fuzz make that sound too. ??

    but if its between hoof and buffalo fx germanium fuzz (brown one)
    which one, would you recommend (or like best)
    sorry for all the questions, but i really am in doubt :)
    best regards from Denmark
    Kim

    [Well, Gilmour in a box is a relative term and at best, a cheap marketing statement. There’s no such thing as Gilmour in a box but I know the idea behind the pedal was to capture some of his tones. I don’t think they succeeded but that’s my opinion :) I think pedals like the Iron Bell, P19 and the TopTone pedals are much better. Anyway, I think I’d go for the Hoof. It’s a more versatile pedal I think. Cheers! – Bjorn]

  37. Kim says:

    help me! i cant decide between buffalo Germanium Fuzz V2, wampler Velvet fuzz or earthquaker Hoof fuzz
    i love versatility from a fuzz pedal. i love the Hendrix tone, Gilmour, gary clark jr,
    modern rock like black keys too. i like creamy smooth tone, but also classic rock disortion tone
    i have a small bedroom setup , with a single coils strat with lindy fralin vintage hot with a rockett blue note overdrive which one would suit me best

    i love the sound of all three, i play blues and Rock. please help me :)

    [Hard one… These are three distinctly different fuzz pedals. The Buffalo is a germanium fuzz, which is what Hendrix mostly used. It’s a versatile pedal that easily doubles as an overdrive. The Hoof Fuzz is a Big Muff and not really a fuzz but you can tweak it for more fuzz-like tones. Awesome pedal but perhaps not that suited for blues and warm overdrive. The Velvet Fuzz is a strange mix between a fuzz and Muff with lots of gain, mid range and compression. Personally I don’t like it and think it sounds way too dark and muddy but you can get a wide range of tones with it from dark fuzz to creamy distortion. – Bjorn]

  38. Gareth P23 says:

    Hey Bjorn,
    I think I’m going to have to get one of these Buffalo FX Power Boosters. I was going to go with the EP booster, but this one just seems worth the extra few £ as it’s more versatile as an OD too. Even though it’s primary role on my board will be clean boost. I’ll continue using my BD-2 for OD until I get my hands on a Tube Driver. One day.
    I’ve also just put a deposit down on a Pig Hoof MKI, waiting list until Sept 2014! It’ll be worth the wait though, and I have my Skreddy P19 to keep me company in the meantime :-)
    Fantastic work as always Bjorn, this site truly rocks.
    Cheers, Gareth
    P.S. I forgot to say, following Gilmourish advice I resisted buying a new RAT and managed to find a 90’s re-issue vintage big box RAT – what a pedal!! Getting some sweet PULSE tones from it with the EMGs in my red strat replica. Thanks for all the tips.

    [The Buffalo PB is quite different from an EP booster. The EP is great but the Buffalo is much more versatile, with a tone ranging from clean to creamy overdrive and it also doubles as an EQ. – Bjorn]

  39. Gene says:

    First off, I wanna say I love your site! A lot of excellent gear related info to be had. I’m contemplating getting the Laney cub head for home use. I remember reading you saying that you use a transparent boost in the loop when playing the amp in 1 watt setting. Do you think that the Power Booster is equipped for the job or do you think I should be looking for another booster for that. I would rather buy just one instead of two, if you know what I mean ;) Let me know what your thoughts are. Thanks!

    [Thanks for your kind words, Gene! The Powerbooster works nicely! – Bjorn]

  40. Brad Roller says:

    Thanks so much for your help Bjorn! I will try these settings. I really think the Buffalo is what I was needing all along. I am soon going to be getting a new amp I want the reeves 30 or 50 not sure yet but with me living out in the country, Im blessed I don’t have to worry about any neighbors! I blow the windows out at my house! haha But with me and my band playing live soon(hopefully) I think a 30 watt amp would be perfect! I also finally got my analogman bc108 sunface…I cranked the amp, and used the settings for the fuzz you suggested and if you closed your eyes you would have thought you were in Pompeii…I mean it sounds fantastic! Anyways, thanks so much for the time you put into helping us Gilmourish nerds! We would be lost without you for sure haha! Take it easy Bjorn! God bless!

    [Ha ha, thank you Brad! – Bjorn]

  41. Brad Roller says:

    Hey Bjorn, my settings are volume 6, treble 6, bass between 5 and 6, middle about 5, master 5, and the speaker just says its a fender special.

    [The Blues Jr is quite bright sounding, especially with the stock speaker in it. Try rolling down the treble to about 4 but not too low. Try setting the Powerbooster volume to slightly above noon and the gain as desired. Set the bass at 1:00 and the treble between 9-10:00. Tweak your way around that to match the amp and guitar. The Blues Jr might not be the best combo for these boosters but experiment with different settings and see what you can come up with :) – Bjorn]

  42. Brad Roller says:

    Hey Bjorn! I got my power booster, my first power booster clone. Im aiming for some wish you were leads with it. shine on, have a cigar you know. I can’t seem to dial in tones just right. I got em sounding good but not quite there ya know? Im playing through a strat with ssl5 bridge into a fender blues jr. my settings on my pedal are volume around 11:00, Gain at about 2:30 or 3:00 and bass a little under noon and treble a little over noon. are their any settings you could recomend to me? Im adding a phaser while using it and an RC clean boost to boost the PB during solos. thanks for your help buddy! I promise when i get a day off I will send some recordings of our band your way, Ive done worked about 2 weeks straight now. Anyhow, take care man! Rock on and God bless!

    [Hi Brad! What settings do you use on the Jr and do you know what speaker that’s in it? – Bjorn]

  43. Keith says:

    @Alex, I went to his home page about a week or so ago, to check the price, since Bjorn twisted my arm off, that I needed one to overdrive my Reeves, hahaha. It said you better get in line of you wanted one, because he was going to shut down production for good in the near furure. I paraphrased, but that was how I took it. He’s probably making a lot of money on the high end power amps for home theaters, and studios he’s got on his site, and tired of making that same pedal over, and over, and, I don’t believe he’s a youngster. That’s what I gathered anyway. I hope I can save up for one before he stops, maybe I’ll just say, ” Charge it to Bjorn Riis!
    Peace, Keith
    PS, wish I hadn’t sold my Chandler/ Butler rack mounted “RealTube” preamp, then I wouldn’t need it, but I’m switching out my Deluxe Mistress for an ElecLady, so at least I’ll have the room! Ha-ha!

  44. alex.loudass says:

    Keith (or anyone who knows),

    when (and where) did Butler say TD production might come to an end soon..?
    Didn’t know that. Might want to get a second one as long as they are available…

    Best
    A

  45. Jon Anders says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    How is the 18v Power Booster compared to the current Colorsound Power Boost from Micaris London?

    Best regards,
    Jon

    [Tehy have both a 9v and 18v available now. The 18v, both Buffalo and Colouround, has much more headroom and a smoother break up compared to the 9v. – Bjorn]

  46. Keith says:

    Thank you for the reply to the post from 10/10, it answered my question perfectly. I may get a Tube Driver, if I can still get one in a few months, as BK says he’s reached tbe end of his tether on tube drivers, and will stop building them soon. But I totally understand that need for the extra mojo of a good booster, for eqing, and driving the Reeves to just a bit of hair, if you attack it really hard. The spark almost gets there, but just doesn’t have the gain, although it will tame the beast in a Si FuzzFace, and the EQ is pretty good. So, I’ll mess around with the spark for my clean boosting, and tbe Throbak for a bit of gain, or just turn the gain on tbe tbtobak up on occasion, until I can afford a nice tube preamp/ OD, like the Tube Driver. Thanks for teaching an old no pedal using horse, all the new tricks!
    Peace Bro’, Keith

    [He he, I try my best :) – Bjorn]

  47. Brian says:

    Lizzy used it for the “Whiskey in the Jar” recordings apparently, and I’ve seen them scattered throughout videos from the seventies. It’s the combo model that’s on the way, the IC100 L with 2×12″ Celestions. Laney ended up buying the company in the 90’s, so cant be bad ;-)

    [They’ve been on/off for the past few decades. I haven’t read much about it but from what I understand the last run (from Laney?) wasn’t all that… I had a IC100 years ago. Lovely amp! – Bjorn]

  48. james says:

    Would you rate there CPB pedal a 9v reissue you have?

    [Not sure I understand your question but the Buffalo sound a bit more open and it has a smoother breakup compared to the CPB 9V :) – Bjorn]

  49. Brad says:

    Bjorn,

    Perhaps you can help clarify something for me. You mentioned the Power Booster can be used as a pre-amp. What exactly does that mean? I’ve been hearing this in regards to some pedals for a while–some marketed specifically as ‘pre-amps’ and others simply drive pedals–and I’m not 100% clear on the meaning.

    My best guess is we’re talking about something than can significantly boost the signal level before it reaches the amplifier so the amp has a nice strong signal to work with. But does that mean that any overdrive or boost pedal is also a pre-amp? Does this mean if I wanted to, I could use such a pedal to “replace” my amp’s pre-amp by plugging my chain into the power section of an amp via the effects loop? Why would I want to do this?

    Thanks in advance for the clarification.

    Brad

    [Oh… I’m far from any expert on this so I don’t want to suggest anything that could ruin your amp. However, the first stage of a guitar amplifier is called pre-amp. Its job is to translate and boost your guitar signal into the output section of the amp, which again will amplify the signal out through the speakers… I’m sure there’s a better way to describe this. The pre-amp can be voiced for any types of gain. The more it clips or boosts, the more distortion it will produce. In that sense, a distortion pedal works very much in the same way. A Powerbooster, or any other gain pedal, will boost the signal and act as both a clipping source and EQ unit – given that it has a tone or treble and bass (and perhaps mids) controls. Now, a pedal such as the Effectrode Blackbird, is in fact, a pre-amp with the same stage as you’ll find in most tube amps. This can be used as an overdrive pedal, recording etc. Again, I’m not the best person to ask but an overdrive pedal is not the same thing as an amp’s pre-amp. – Bjorn]

  50. Brian says:

    Hi Bjorn

    Quickie, did DG ever use the popular H&H IC100 guitar amp? I think I’ve seen one of their PA heads in his rig. I should be taking delivery of one I found…excavated more like, later this week.

    [Yep. He had a couple in his 1971 rig. I’m guessing they were used for pre-amp much like the Alembic F2B that he used between 1974-94. Possibly for driving the Leslie 147 cabs he used at the time but this is not confirmed. Check out the Live at Pompeii gear guide for details. – Bjorn]

  51. Brad says:

    Buffalo FX Power Booster arrived from France yesterday–did not take long at all! Awesome pedal! Pedal is just as you described, more warm and smooth than my 9v CPB. When you crank the gain and get it into fuzz territory, its a much more usable tone than the “fuzz” from the CPB. “Time” rhythm is now spot on. Love this thing! Thanks for the review.

    Brad

    [Glad you like the pedal, Brad! – Bjorn]

  52. Scooter says:

    Hi Bjorn
    I got my PB from Steve earlier this week, WOW!!! Great pedal!! Really makes my rig sound sweet I also prefer to leave it on! I’m strongly thinking about the germanium next, GAS!!!!
    As always thank you Bjorn
    Scott

    [Cheers, Scooter! – Bjorn]

  53. Keith says:

    You’re answers have been very helpful, and I have understood them well, but still have a question. When I got the spark, you said it was a vfeat clean boost, but that if I wanted to get an overdrive /booster, the CPB, ir Throbak was the way to go. Right now, my only Muff type pedal is the Musket, which I suppose I could use the pre, mids, and focus, and no boosting would be necessary, but I do plan on getting Castledines ’73 Muff clone. So here’s the real question. If I don’t plan on going any further tonewise than Animals, could I use the Spark to boost my cleans, Fuzzes, and muff, and from your clips, and Andy at PGS, it sounds as though the Throbak has enough gain to overdrive the REEVES. Am I wrong in my thinking? At $299.00, the 4 knob Tube driver isn’t out of my range, and when I had the rack mounted “Real Tube”, which I believe was also made by BK, I loved it, but knowing the specific tones I desire, would you say that to get a smooth ,compressed overdrive sound, I require another dedicated OD, and to use the Throbak as a clean booster, set at the edge of breakup? Once again, I hope my question is clear, and I trust your judgement, so please be brutally honest! Ha-ha!
    Thanks my brother in tremolo arms, Keith

    [Sorry, I must have overlooked this one… It’s always hard to answer these kind of questions because ultimately, it comes down to personal preference and what fits your rig. Let me answer by descrtibing how I use my pedals. We both have the Reeves and a fairly similar Strat setup. I always boost my amp. Hiwatts and similar are fairly flat and “sterile” in lack of a better word, so I feel that a booster adds live and a bit of bite to the overall tone. For cleans I always use a CPB-ish pedal set at the very edge of break up. I don’t want overdrive or bleed but a tone that pushes the tubes just a hair, so I dial it in for that sweetspot based on a combination of what pickups I’m using and how loud I’ve set the amp. I use this setup for both cleans and for boosting Muffs and fuzz. The ThroBak can also be used as a dedicated overdrive to capture David’s early CPB tones from DSotM, WYWH and Animals. The TC is an excellent clean boost but in terms of versatility, I think the Throbak is a better option, as it doubles as both a clean booster and overdrive. For overdrive tones I mostly use the Tube Driver, which is also set for a slight volume boost. This drives the tubes a bit more and it adds a nice compression to the overall overdrive tone. The Musket can operate alone but boosting in terms of Gilmour’s tones isn’t so much about the actual boost but rather for adding tone to the overdrive and distortions. You don’t need to boost the Musket for neither volume nor gain but pairing it up with a booster such as the ThroBak or Tube Driver, will create a smoother and fuller tone. Much like an EQ but much more effective tone wise. Hope this answered your questions. – Bjorn]

  54. Huy says:

    Thanks for your advice. I just got the Laney Cub12r and the boutique pedal store I go to has a good exchange policy so I’ll try the Plexidrive. After the pd I’ll stop shopping until I get better and have a better understanding.

    Keep up the good work and thanks mate.

    [Seems like a good approach :) – Bjorn]

  55. David says:

    Bjorn i need help on something, i still need a flanger but i dont know which one to buy, i have 3 alternatives: 1: vintage electric mistress 18v (very good condition) 120$, 2: vintage deluxe electric mistress (very cosmetically damaged) 180$, 3: the new version of the deluxe electric mistress 200$. so which one should i go for it bjorn? help!

    [Since you ask me, the vintage Deluxe. The original 18V is noisy as hell and has a very nasty volume drop. It sounds great but I don’t think it’s worth buying. The current Electro Harmonix model sound a bit darker and it has more mid range than the early 80s and late 90s reissue Deluxe. Cheers! – Bjorn]

  56. vitor palmeira says:

    hi bjorn, im from portugal and i consult your amazing site for about 2 yers .
    i think you realy are a pink floyd super-fan just like me!
    after read your review about the big muff i get admired by the fact that you say
    that the bass big muff goes beter than the others big muff.
    and i`ts truth! i by on and it goes amazing with my transistor amp (fender frontman 100w)!!
    you realy help me a lot!
    please continue with your woderful job with this site!
    you realy have lots of work to do all this reviews, amazing job i have to admit!
    thank you.
    Vitor Palmeira (Portugal)

    [Thanks a lot for your kind words, Vitor! Glad you enjoy my site :) – Bjorn]

  57. Huy says:

    Hello Bjorn. Would like your thoughts on the power booster. I have asked you before about a booster but I didn’t give enough information on what I am after and you were still kind enough to reply.

    I’m thinking of getting a Laney Cub12r (the Blackstar isn’t doing it for me) and I have a Wren and Cuff Box of War and Ibanez DE7. I am looking for that Gilmourish scooped mids sound with a fat bottom end. Like on Comfortably numb (The Wall) and I am also looking for Pulse tones and On an Island.

    Would you still recommend the Buffalo Power Booster? I gotta decide between the Buffalo, Boss BD2 or Wampler Plexi. I haven’t played guitar that long at all but I’m thinking something like a Wampler Plexidrive is too middy with the box of war?

    Thanks for your thoughts and advice Bjorn.

    [Depends on how badly you want to cover all of the tones. I don’t think you can cover both boosting and overdrive with just one overdrive pedal. While the Buffalo is great for clean boost and vintage overdrive tones, I don’t think it’s close enough to David’s Tube Driver tones. It’s just two different pedals. The PlexiDrive is very close to the Tube Driver, but then again, it has too much mids and compression for boosting a Muff. You could leave the Box of War without a booster though. It has enough gain and tone to stand alone. If that’s your option, then I think I’d go for the PlexiDrive as the main overdrive unit. – Bjorn]

  58. Keith says:

    I know you said no theology, but if the love of money, is indeed the root of all evil, then God sent you to me so I’d never have any money to love! (hehe).
    Love you brother, Keith

    [Ha ha, well, I think you’re much a much happier person with a nice guitar than lots of money… if you ask me :) – Bjorn]

  59. Alan says:

    Bjorn, you are truly a terrible person…its almost as if you want the bank accounts of all Gilmour fans to shrivel into nothingness! Haha of course I mean that in the most lighthearted way possible, fantastic review as always! That power booster sounds so good, you have no idea how seriously I’m contemplating getting one. Have you tried pairing it with the ancient Absolutely Analog Green Russian? If so, I would love to know how well it boosts that beast ahaha.

    [Ha ha, well I’m truly sorry :) The Powerbooster works nicely with most gain pedals really. Its transparent tone and huge headroom makes it more like a powerful EQ or almost pre-amp, that compliments most pedals, guitars and amps. Cheers! – Bjorn]

  60. warren says:

    Hi Bjorn, do you keep the PB on all the time and switch the muff on into it rather than switch the PB on into an already engaged big muff? This seems to be suggested on Kit rae’s site and here a few times. Thanks.

    [I leave the PB on for all my cleans and engage the Muff on top of that. My set up is guitar > Muff > PB > amp. The idea is to give the amp a bit more tone and adding a bit more character to the Muff. Not so much about boosting but rather using the PB as an EQ. For my overdrives I mostly use the Tube Driver or OCD. – Bjorn]

  61. Operario says:

    Not only does the Power Booster sound great, it’s probably one of the best looking pedals I’ve ever laid eyes upon. Beautiful sight, really.

    By the way, Bjorn, you said the CVIII is sort of “well behaved”. Do you think it would be capable of producing the screaming fuzz tones of the funky part of Echoes (from Live @ Pompeii specially) WITHOUT being paired with a booster or would it not be aggressive enough (please consider that I’m using a Strat with CS69s and a clean Fenderish amp… and I mean it in gig volumes, not bedroom)?

    [Depends on how wild sounding you want the fuzz. It’s definitely capable of producing those Echoes tones without a booster but personally I prefer it paired with a booster, as I do with all my distortions and fuzz. It’s not so much for the actual boost but more for smoothing out any harsh overtones and giving the tone a bit more character. – Bjorn]

  62. Scooter says:

    Hey Bjorn I just want you know that I was only joking around about the $ thing I love your site and read it EVERYDAY like many others. And I buy the pedals because I want to improve my tone and without your reveiws I’d be lost!
    Thank You a million times over!!!
    Scott

    [He he, yeah I got that :) I’m glad you enjoy my site and find it useful for your tones and purchases. Cheers! – Bjorn]

  63. Brad says:

    Thanks again for the great review, Bjorn. I pulled the trigger on a Power Booster a few days ago based on the strength of this review. Hoping I can retire or sell my 9v Colorsound reissue. Though I love the vintage orange mojo, getting really tired of having no LED, the inconvenient battery switching, and the size. To be honest, never really loved its overdrive sound, though I’ve tried to! Always seemed a tad too raw and harsh or something, even with such a versatile eq. Now I know the CPB is supposed to be a different, more open kind of crunch, but I’m hoping the Buffalo Power Booster will be just a little smoother and throatier. Is that somewhat accurate, Bjorn?

    Steve sent a confirmation email right away to let me know he’ll send tracking info once it’s built and shipped. He also gave a nice, thorough answer to my question about non-carbon batteries vs. power supply for the booster.

    [Steve’s a great guy :) I love the old CPB but the fact that the Buffalo, like the original CPB, runs on 18v makes the overdrive tones a lot smoother and warmer. The 9V CPB needs a loud tube amp to really open up but the 18v version works better on most amps. – Bjorn]

  64. mark says:

    What was the 12 string Mr. Gilmour used on the wish you were here LP?,,,,,I have an old Framus 12 string and a Martin 12 string jumbo. The Framus sounds much more like the tone than does the martin. I have looked at the gear listing but it just states 12 string guitar.

    [Never seen any brand mentioned in any of my sources. All I have is “12 string guitar”. At the time, David used Martin, Gibson and Levin but it could be a different brand as well. – Bjorn]

  65. Luca says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    another great review! Love the tone you get from the CVIII and Power Booster, amazing!!

    I’ve just pre-ordered The Great Show On Heart…..The Redemption preview was really promising and the album design is awesome…..Can’wait!!!

    Cheers,
    Luca

    [Thanks a lot, Luca! – Bjorn]

  66. KuroNeko says:

    Nooo Björn, you can’t do that !!! I’ve just ordered an AnalogMan BC108 a few days ago and now you’re reviewing a new and better Fuzz ? Not even mentioning that the Throback OB had been left apart O.O” !!!

    Only Joking :D
    Great review as usual – the all 3 ! And we never have enough “Money” ! According to what I heard on your vid, the Throback sounds a bit thinner than the Buffalo – I guess it is the main difference between those 2.

    Too late for the fuzz but I guess I will go for the RAM’s head some day. This new range of product from France (that you can’t find in shops in Paris :/ ) looks really interesting specially for Premium European Gilmourizers (no concern with customs).

    Greetings from Paris

    Great review as usual –

    [Thanks! I think you’re pretty much set with the AnalogMan BC108 though :) The ThroBak does sound a bit brighter and thinner, especially the overdrive tones, but that’s partly due to the 18v operation of the Buffalo. As I said, the ThroBak probably has a better sounding clean boost, while the Buffalo has a smoother break up. Cheers! – Bjorn]

  67. Keith says:

    Bjorn, did you get the email about your neck radius? Lindy asked.

    [I have some mails from you, yes. I’ll try to squeeze you in tonight… I need more hours… :) – Bjorn]

  68. Michel Giroux says:

    G’day and thanks Bjorn.
    No,I don’t use all 3 at the same time!!!
    I’ll try this combination.
    Thanks

  69. Scooter says:

    Hello again Bjorn,
    I have to agree with Dave A !;{)> your great site and reviews have already forced me to purchase a set of D Allen echoes p/u ‘s, a Moonvibe mk2 and now a buffalo powerboost, Damn it those subliminal messages in your outstanding video reviews are going to put me in the poorhouse. I’m not even going to mention the 2 pedals from mojo hand fx you haven’t put up a review for yet ( guess that’s on me)
    Seriously though thanks for everything Bjorn you rock!
    Scott

    [Thanks a lot for your kind words, Scott :) I’m sorry to cause you financial problems LOL :) – Bjorn]

  70. Maarten konings says:

    Great review as always.
    After your review of the buffalo rams head, i ordered one and decided to also buy the power booster.
    It sounds great and does a great job with my olympia fuzz on the laney cub.

    The only problem i have now, is that my wife threatens to blacklist your site :-)
    I think it is time for some flowers and chocolate.

    Regards from holland

    [Ha ha, sounds like the wise thing to do :) – Bjorn]

  71. Mateus says:

    Power Booster really sounds great, others do not seem to fuzz, behaved and weak. I know how much a fuzz can be a major headache, but one must be a fuzz fuzz, wild!

  72. Keith says:

    A little over a month since I spent $309 on a new Thobak, and now you bring back that horrible disease I’d just overcome, and for just over $230 I’m having GAS PAINS AGAIN!! and for two pedals. I don’t think anything will ever replace my AVS London Fuzz for Ge, but That 108, and that boost are calling my name, and I always come when called since I started listening to you. Thanks for my phone getting turned off in a month or two! I’m obviously going to stay broke reading this site!
    And thanks for the overtime, Keith of little cash!

    [Well, I’m sorry Keith. Perhaps I should start a new site offering advice on how to get rid of that nasty GAS. I will charge heavily though, so either way, you’re screwed… Cheers! – Bjorn]

  73. Julius says:

    Hi Bjorn!
    It’s funny how I’ve just got Throbak and Plexidrive and then you drop this bomb over my head…god dammit!!! Do you think these two overdrives will work for using Plexidrive for OD and Throbak for CB?

    [My sincere apologies :) Since you already have the ThroBak you got a very nice Powerboost clone so unless you’re really desperate for something new (aren’t we all?), then I think you’re pretty much covered. The PlexiDrive doubles easily for the Tube Driver and the ThroBak is an excellent clean booster. That being said… the Buffalo Power Booster sounds awesome! … sorry… – Bjorn]

  74. Ruud says:

    Hi Bjorn, very interesting review again. I have the colorsound powerboost and found out that this was the missing link in my search for the Gilmour sound. Great in combination with the Pig Hoof. Only problem is that it’s such a huge pedal. if the Buffalo is that good I’m thinking of replacing the Colorsound. What do you think?

    [My stage board feature a red Pig Hoof and the Buffalo Power Booster so based on that I’d say “retire that old orange beast!”. – Bjorn]

  75. Joseph says:

    Hello Bjorn,

    Great review! Have you tried the Buffalo FX PB clone on a Laney Cub head? If so, what was your impression? Thanks!

    [Yep! Works great! – Bjorn]

  76. Michel Giroux says:

    Excellent review Bjorn.Buffalo FX will be an interesting brand to follow.

    In the mean time,I have a Boss BD-2 Blues Driver,a Throback Overdrive Boost and an EHX Big Muff Pi with tone wicker.What would be the best order:

    Throback>Big Muff>Boss BD-2
    Or
    Boss BD-2>Big Muff>Throback ?
    Or something else?

    Regards,
    Michel Giroux

    [I assume that you don’t use all three at the same time? In combo I prefer having the booster after the Muff. Personally I use the Throbak for boost and the BD2 for overdrive so I guess that would be Muff > ThroBak > BD2. – Bjorn]

  77. Taylor says:

    Great review Bjorn. Wish you hadn’t been quite as exalting of the 18V Power Booster, cuz now you make me think i need to buy one. I love my Throbak, but you said yours came off your pedal board. I use a Colordrive and a Throbak right now (Colordrive for OD, Throbak for clean boost). Makes me wonder if I should use a Buffalo Power Booster and the Throbak… Have you tried the Mojo Hand Pompeii Fuzz yet? I just got mine about three weeks ago. With a Catalinbread Echorec, the Pompeii fuzz is hard to beat. I’m picking up a germanium fuzz with bias control and bass cut switch this weekend. I wonder how it will compare to the Buffalo Germanium V2… Time will tell I guess. Thanks for the great site, keep those reviews coming. Could you maybe do some A/B/C… video comparisons of like clones performing the same songs? (i.e. Throbak vs. 18V Power Booster vs. Colorsound). Different Ram’s Head Muffs all on one video, or different silicon fuzzs, or uni-vibes? I’m sure you get the idea.

    Thanks again for all you do to help us all get a little closer to that glorious tone we all love so much.

    [Thansk for your kind words, Taylor! Glad you enjoy my site :) It takes a while to do all these reviews and YT clips so I need to prioritize but comparison test is a good idea that I’ll look into. Interesting that you’re using the Colordrive for overdrive. I never got to terms with mine and found it only suiting for clean boost. Depends on the guitar and amp I guess. The ThroBak is perhaps a tad better clean booster than the Buffalo. Again, it depends on the amp but I love that transparent, almost twangy clean you get with it. The Buffalo is slightly darker and not as twangy or punchy. That being said, I think the Throbak has a too bright break up that can sound a bit harsh at times. The Buffalo is just dripping out of the amp… preferences I know but I’m very hapy with the Buffalo. – Bjorn]

  78. Patrick says:

    How well would the Power booster work for a bedroom setup? I’ve been eyeing up the Throbak and now this comes along. Plus have you used the Power Boost to boost a muff? Thank You!

    [It depends on your amp and how well it handles certain pedals but in general I would say that the Power Booster fits bedroom setups very well and better than some of the other clones, including the Colordrive and ThroBak. The Power Booster is awesome with a Muff :) – Bjorn]

  79. Ilias says:

    Thanks for the great review Bjorn! Love the Power Booster, already ordered! Steve is a great guy to deal with! As you already said, it will be awesome to see a 18V Mistress with NOS Reticon chip in the near future! All the Best!

    [Indeed! – Bjorn]

    • David says:

      Those Reticon chips are so rare these day that I doubt it will ever happen unless he gets really lucky and finds a stash of them. Even 10 years ago they were almost impossible to find, but I was lucky enough to buy a dozen or so Reticon SAD512’s for my vintage synthesizers as well as a a few SAD1024’s, which can go for $50 to $100 these days if you are lucky enough to find one. Fortunately, I have a couple of the SAD1024’s left and I’m currently using one of them to build a DIY Electric Mistress that I hope to finish this weekend or early next week. (I’m keeping the other SAD1024 as a spare.)

  80. Dave A says:

    I hate you , yup I do ;)

    Hope alls well mate :)

    [Love you too, Dave! – Bjorn]

  81. Brian says:

    That power boost sounds monstrous! Bit pricey though. Is Santa’s house near you Bjorn?

    [Well, he lives a bit further north than I but we talk regularly :) – Bjorn]

  82. Andy McKay says:

    Excellent timing Bjorn,
    I was looking for a fuzz to replace my Dunlop JH-F1 and I really like the sound of the CXIII ,the BC 108 reference is pretty cool, lol.
    I was looking at the Catalinbread Octopussy and the Mini JH-F1 Fuzz Face that have recently been released, but I will be rethinking that after this review as it sounds like just what I need for my studio setup.
    Like you I love the wild silicon tone but how does it stack-up noise wise?
    Best wishes mate, looking forward to the release of TGSOE, got mine preordered on white vinyl, can’t wait.
    :@)

    [Thanks for your pre-order, Andy! The CVIII is quite different to the JH-F1. Not as wild and bright but I think it fits a studio setup a lot better due to the fairly low gain stage and noise level. This is a fuzz though so everything is relatively. It got lots of gain but not as much… you get the idea. It blends very well with a booster, like the Power Booster, and the noise level is definitely studio acceptable. – Bjorn]

  83. Will says:

    Another awesome review Bjorn! I would have liked to have heard Have A Cigar and Pigs with just the Power Booster though! Cheers :)

    [Thanks! It’s a bit short I know, but I thought it was cool to do something different this time and use three different pedals for one song :) I honestly can’t find a pedal that’s closer to the original Colorsound and David’s tones on the mentioned songs than the Buffalo Power Booster. – Bjorn]

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