• Effectrode Fire Bottle review

    Effectrode Fire Bottle

    If you had to choose only one pedal, what would it be and why? I guess we all asked ourselves that question and it’s for sure not an easy one. I think mine would have to be one that’s as versatile, yet basic, as possible. I might have found it in the Fire Bottle from Effectrode. Here’s my review.

    OK, this is a bold statement, I know. What is the perfect pedal? Well, it’s a very subjective opinion and what might work for me, might be very wrong for you. It’s also about finding the pedal, or pedals, that will do the job then and there and that also makes a perfect match for your guitar and amp. My desert island pedal would have to be one that could make my guitar and amp sound better – like I was using several amazing sounding pedals. In my opinion, only a booster or overdrive would do just that. It’s down to the basics and the pure tone.

    I must admit, I did have a hard time figuring out the Fire Bottle. It took me some time to realize that this is not just another booster. It’s much more than that and it really forces you to rethink the whole concept of tone and what it is that makes up a good tone. Once I got to know it though, I fell in love.

    The Fire Bottle is essentially a pedal-sized vintage tube amp input stage designed to boost your cleans or, when driven hard, push your tube amp into creamy overdrive. The pedal is housed in a sturdy chassis featuring a sub-miniature NOS 6112 tube, true bypass switching, stage ready led and 12V adapter powering. It is recommended that the pedal is place first in your chain and used with magnetic single coil pickups for optimal performance.

    The boost control ranges from 0dB unity gain to a massive 30dB boost. The tone control is a classic Fender ‘Harvard’ tube amp tone control with internal ‘Q’ adjustment to fine-tune the response. At the top of the pedal there’s a three-way mini toggle switch, the Vari-Z, that allows your to fine-tune and alter the tone of your single coils. Middle position is flat and all the pedal does, is boosting your guitar signal. In the down position the resonant peak drops about 2KHz making a single coil sound closer to a P90 or late 50s low output humbucker. In the up position the resonant peak drops down 4KHz creating a much fuller and fatter sound.

    Now, this may sound very technical but what it really means is that the Fire Bottle is an extremely versatile booster that allows your to not only boost but also alter the basis for all your tones. Leave the toggle in the middle for a flat boost with crystal clean headroom ideal for your clean tones or for boosting an overdrive or distortion. Switch it down for fattening up your cleans or slightly overdriven rhythms and switch it down to make your overdrives and distortions sing for ages with dark and creamy mid range. The pedal can also be used for specific applications like beefing up your slide tones or glissandos (Gilmour’s slide technique on Echoes).

    It’s very hard to describe a pedal that doesn’t do much. Well, not as much as a distortion or phaser anyway. The Fire Bottle is a tool and one you’d want to leave on all the time. I’ve tested the pedal on countless amps and guitars and no matter how good they sounded alone they always sounded better with the Fire Bottle. The guitar sounded more open and dynamic and the amp sounded richer, with more harmonics and attack. Although I’ve grown very fond of the down -2KHz position, I must say that my favourite setup is just a flat frequency setting, with moderate tone and boost setup. It makes the guitar amp and sound huge… an very expensive!

    My desert island pedal? Well, I don’t know if I can ever answer that question but the Fire Bottle is damn close to being one. Highly recommended! Check out effectrode.com for more details.

    See my review of the Effectrode Tube-Vibe and PC-2A Compressor.

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114 Responsesso far.

  1. Thom Wright says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    Do you have any thoughts on powering this beast on a pedalboard? The website states it needs 600mA, while the Walrus Phoenix has a 12v output that only runs 100mA – even a 9v battery only supplies 500. Is there any way to use one of these with an isolated power supply or will this need to run on its own wall wart at all times?


    • Bjorn says:

      I’ve found that it really needs it’s own supply to both get the right powering and not risking any tone loss or colouring.

    • Ignasi says:

      Hi, I use a Ciocks 8 and works like a charm. You get 500 mA from every output at 12V. By using a parallel adapter cable you merge two outputs into one getting a total of 1A. I even power my Blackbird this way, and it is Phil Taylor endorsed.

      • Stefan Kozlowski says:

        I second the endorsement of the Cioks power supplies for running Effectrode pedals. I’m currently running the following Effectrode units, all powered by a Cioks 7 with a Cioks 4: Blackbird, Fire Bottle, PC-2A compressor and Mercury Fuzz. The Blackbird requires two ports but the others seem to run just fine set at 12V. I’ve done A/B comparisons using the manufacturer supplied wall-wart and the Cioks and I hear absolutely no difference.

  2. Reivaj says:

    Foxrox rules
    I use the CC Hybrid Fuzz (Captain Coconut circuit).

    Anyone tried the API TranZformer ?

  3. Mike says:

    With the Fire Bottle first in the chain i assume its meant to also help drive additional OD pedals. I have a sarno Steel guitar black box first in my pedal chain which goes into Volume > Wah > Comp > Tubescreamer > Morning Glory. i was thinking of replacing the Sarno with A fire Bottle to open up my guitar more as well as the other drive pedals. Would it work good for this setup? Thanks for posting all this info as well. Ive been really enjoying this site!

    • Bjorn says:

      The Fire Bottle is basically a pre-amp. It should be placed first to interact with your pickups. It can also be used as a tone enhancer/EQ and boost.

      • Troy says:

        I have the Fire Bottle, which is fantastic. However it is wasted pushing it into those two solid state ioverdrive pedals Get a BK Butler Tube Drive & an Effectrode Tube Driver (three valve overdrive) & push those with it – as well as use it for enhancing clean tones. Compressor before it or it won’t pre-boost the drives properly.

        The Effectrode PC-2A compressor will blow away any solid-state compressor even the better, less “coloured” sounding ones such as the Rothwell Live Squeeze. If you set the compressor really subtly you could maybe put the Fire Bottle as a boost before if (at the start of the chain) so that you can – if you want to – take advantage of its three position resonant peak switch. For that just make sure that no non-true bypass pedals are before it.

        Just be aware that compressor after it will limit some of the Fore Bottle’s ability to boost.your drives. It will however cause a compressor that is after it to sustain more which may be preferable depending on which end results you find that you prefer.

        If you don’t want or to go the expense of that lot – or it is for a gigging board that you want to keep under a certain weight or don’t want to take out pedals that are above a certain expense for a variety of reasons then keep the pedals all solid state.

        For solid state clean boosts check out either the Foxrox Two-Boost (has two levels of foot-switchable boost) or the Ibanez Mini Booster. Both of these are very new. The latter is just about to hit the stores along with the appealing featured & sounding Ibanex Mini Phaser (4 & 6 stage switchable).

        • Mike says:

          Thank you for the reply. Man Ive wanted to get some of those effectrode pedals for a while. Especially the compressor. I actually have a BK butler Tuber Drivers. It would be amazing to be able to run it with the effectrode comp, the tube driver and fire bottle. Ive also wanted to get one of the Tube Vibes for a while now as well. I would just have to get them a piece at time. Ive heard the compressor is amazing and am going to try and get one one of those first. I appreciate the advice. Thank you to both of you for responding!

          • Troy says:

            Hi Mike
            No worries. Yeah they are pricey but well worth it. I was in shock when I first compared the Effectrode drives to some of my favourite solid state drives. Same with the PC-2A compressor. They just sound more “3D”.

            When you’ve got that level of sonic goodness coming back at you out of your amp speakers you know that there is no “better” pedals only different. I don’t have any Kingsley pedals. They are also valve but only have two, not three valves in their drives. They sound great from demos – such as can be heard at the That Pedal Show special.

            The Effectrodes really hit the spot for me. I have the Blackbird as well. I use it in front of my (JTM 45/100 based, KT-66 equipped) Marshall Vintage Modern 2466 100w head (set clean, “LDR” setting, with “mid-boost” off – I also have a Vintage Modern 2266 50w head set for crunch, also on the “LDR” setting, but with “mid-boost” on) & matching 4 x 12″ slanted cab. Have a Ampete 88S Studio multi amp/cab switcher to flip between those & a couple of other amps.

            Kicking on the Blackbird with clean channel on gives the Vintage Modern an alternate clean channel to its own – even though its going through the front of the amp head. The Vintage Modern being based on JTM 45/100 Marshalls from ’66/’67 (with some additional voicing & gain options + a post-phase inverter master volume for reining in the SPL’s). The JTM 45/100’s were derived from the JTM 45, which was closely based on a 1959 Fender Bassman means that it will have more of a “tweed” tone. So stronger mids than the “blackface” amps like the Twin Reverb preamp that the Blackbird’s clean channel is based on (read: is basically the same as). I believe that the closest Fender to the JTM 45/100’s is the “tweed” era ’57-’59 5F8 “high power” (80w) Twin.

            Anyway, the Marshall Vintage Modern loves that Effectrode Blackbird clean channel for an alternate clean that is like putting a Twin Reverb through a Celestion 4 x 12″ 25w Greenback equipped cab. Monster cleans! Kicking in the dirt channel on the blue light setting is a tasty alternate crunch tone to my other amp head. Have the Effectrode Tube Drive in front so that it can be used as a lead boost into the 50w Marshall set to crunch so that it can do (foot-switchable) screaming leads – or to do the same to the Blackbird’s “blue” channel – or to use by itself as an alternate crunch tone & then use the Fire Bottle or Blue Bottle or Mercury Fuzz to kick in front of that for higher-gain lead tones.

            One other thing about the PC-2A compressor. I have that in front of the drives (the Tube Vibe is immediately in front of the drives – that is such a fantastic unit, with a Mission expression pedal connected for LFO speed control it has full access to both the fastest speeds & stops sweeping at heel position just like the original Uni-Vibes – nice!).

            When Effectrode brought out the LA-1A compressor (with its three valves) it transcended even the PC-2A. So I have that mostly set quite lightly after the drives so that it doesn’t crush the dynamics when the drives are on. That has a foot-switchable clean boost built in.

            If you go far enough along the Effectrode route the pedalboard can get heavy so it is useful having a lighter setup too. I ended up getting so many fo them that I had to get another big board for a more varied mix of makes & types of pedals. That still ended up with four of the same Effectrodes on it (Glass-A, Tube-Drive, Blackbird, LA-1A). That one has a Foxrox Captain Coconut 2, a Thorpy Muffroom Cloud, a BK Butler Tube Driver & a bunch of other stuff in it.

            Drives & compressors are easy to choose – it’s delays that are hardest! That’s why you need a few boards – got to use all of those delays even if not at the same time. Good job that the (discontinued) Pedaltrain Grandes don’t take up much space when stood on end. :D

        • Mike says:

          Sorry for the double posts. Should asked this in the first reply. With the all tube drive pedals do you do a lot of gain stacking with running both drives at the same time? I do this a lot with my solid state pedals. I tend to keep my amp clean most of the time, and when I do use a gain channel its with mild / low drive just to add a little grit and more harmonics, but still rely on my pedals to push the amp. I don’t set my pedals with crazy amounts of gain either. I prefer to stack them to drive the amp more and create more sustain while still allowing my guitar’s tone to come through clearly. The comp drives the pedals a bit too and helps with rolling back my volume and keeping the overall level balanced while fattening things up (can’t wait to try the PCA-2). I’m just wondering how stacking the tube drives sounds and how it feels to have an all tube signal path in front of your amp. I would imagine that it just feels great and responds beautifully to your playing and dynamics. Thanks again!

          • Troy says:

            Well remember that the BK Butler Tube Driver has only one valve in it. I believe that it runs at “starved plate voltage” (& so you could get rid of the cable & have it powered off of a normal pedalboard power supply, I haven’t done that though). I don’t know for sure but it may have some solid-state components pushing that valve, unlike the Effectrode Tube Drive & Blackbird. The latter two cannot cop that unique Butler Tube Driver tone, no way, no how. That’s why I have it in front fo the other two on one of my big boards.

            I mainly use it either set for light crunch to go after a Muff-type pedal (as per the tried, tested & truly tasty tonal recipe of DG); or kick in a compressor before it for more sustain without having as much gain needed coming from the Butler Tube Driver; or roll the gain up on the Tube Driver by itself (i.e. not pre-boosted) which is also a fantastic high-gain tone.

            I don’t use the Butler Tube Driver as a pre-boost for the Effectrodes. I have it placed in front of them so that the possibility is there if I want a different tone to combine them but I’m pretty happy with using them as described above.

            The “all Effectrode” board (which still has a tuner & a delay & some other stuff made by other companies, it’s just that it has all of my Effectrodes rather than just some – there’s also an Effectrode Phaseomatic Deluxe & Delta-Trem on that – yeah that’s an insane board!) with the pedals mentioned in the earlier post doesn’t have a Butler Tube Driver or Muff on it. On that one the Mercury Fuzz going into the “blue” channel of the Blackbird is a great alternative to a Muff into a Butler Tube Driver. Awesome tone combination – one of my faves!

  4. Richard Foster says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    Do you think the Fire Bottle would work with a solid state amp like the Boss katana 50 ,or is it really only suitable with tube amps?

  5. James says:

    Bjorn. How would you compare this to a jhs morning glory ? It sounds like they are quite similar…..

    • Bjorn says:

      Surprisingly I haven’t tried the Morning Glory but to me it sounds like it has a bit more gain and compression than the Fire Bottle. I might be wrong but the Fire Bootle doesn’t have gain. It can boost the volume, and in that sense drive your tube amp, and tone shaping controls. Very transparent, with a hint of that Fender chime. The Morning Glory, again I might be mistaken, sounds more like a very transparent mild overdrive.

  6. Brian Goldberg says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    Your site is very informative and helpful! I recently purchased the Effectrode PC-2A and Tube-Vibe pedals and am very impressed. I am now looking at the Fire Bottle.

    In addition to being a tube boost does the Fire Bottle act as a buffer? I have a dedicated buffer on my board but was wondering if I purchased the fire bottle if I would no longer need that other buffer.

    Thanks and look forward to hearing from you.


    • Bjorn says:

      It doesn’t feature a buffer as far as I know but it is a pre-amp capable of driving the signal all the way through. It’s designed to be placed first in the chain interacting with your pickups. I’d try both and by elimination hear if there is a difference.

    • Troy says:

      The problem is that the Fire Bottle sounds so good that you might want two of them!: One as an “always on” tone enhancer after everything else & one as a pre-booster for your drives. I’ve had one since 2014 & used it after fuzz & a PC-2A Compressor but before the Tube-Vibe & the drive pedals that follow that.

      The Effectrode LA-1A Leveling Amplifier (a Compressor/Limiter with post-compressor foot-switchable) boost is my “always on” tone enhancer placed after my drives but before modulation, delay & reverb. The PC-2A is great but the LA-1A is heavenly. Having the former pre-drive & the latter post-drive enhances drive tones perfectly. Otherwise I would have likely got a second Fire Bottle.

      I don’t use the pick-up resonance shift switch on the back if the FB so having it after the fuzz & PC-2A is not an issue in terms of that feature interacting with the pickups. That placement also gives the option of the hitting the drives even harder with fuzz or compression than they would be without the FB – if I want. It also means that the interaction between the pickups & the fuzz isn’t adversely affected when rolling down volume from the guitar.

      I don’t know what buffer you used at the moment but whatever it is I’d wager that it won’t be as good as the Effectrode Glass-A.

      The thing is with these pedals literally everything else is enhanced by them when used together – fuzzes, drives, modulations, delays. The rewarding sonic payback is so good that it kind of dampens the enjoyment of most other pedals of the same type (e.g. clean boosts, compressors) that one was previously very happy with & had thought was among the better pedals out there.

      If you have more than one board you end up needing to have some of the Effectrodes on each as nothing else will do once you’ve tried them. The Mercury Fuzz, PC-2A Compressor, Glass-A buffer, Blackbird pre-amp/drive & LA-1A Leveling Amplifier have ended up on two boards of mine (one of which also has more Effectrodes – a Fire Bottle, Tube-Vibe & Tube Drive – on it).

      I also find that all of the Effectrodes love both my Strats & Les Pauls & the touch sensitivity & enriched harmonics that the Effectrodes facilitate just makes playing though them such a dynamic & satisfying musical experience.

      With the FB I like to roll off as much highs on the tone control as is sonically appropriate for lead tones for my different guitars. That tone control is very musical & leaving it on “10” is not getting the most out of the pedal. Apparently the tone control was based on that of the Fender Harvard amp. One of my other favourite guitarists, Steve Cropper of Booker T & the MG’s used a Harvard on the earlier period MG’s records – including “Green Onions” so maybe there’s a bit of sonic mental imprinting from those records that also endears the FB to me?

      Whatever way you use it you won’t regret it. Just experiment with all of the ways that come to mind & you’l then be able to decide how best to integrate it into your rig. That might change over time as that pedal can be used in a number of tone enhancing ways. That versatility from such a simply laid out pedal (volume & tine knobs + three-position resonance switch) is also both surprising & very welcome.

      Please report back if you get one. It’s always interesting to me how people like to use them – feeding what into what & why, etc.

      BTW: Get a decent expression pedal to use with your Tube-Vibe.I have a Mission expression pedal & when you bring it back at the heel the sweep freezes like the old original Uni-Vibes did. I have another nice Uni-Vibe “clone” & that doesn’t respond to the Mission pedal in the same way. The added interactivity by using that pedal to control the LFO sweep speed/rate makes it really expressive.

      • Brian Goldberg says:

        Troy, thank you for the info and advice! I will def report back if I pull the trigger on a FB. I will definitely have to try the Tube-Vibe out with an expression pedal. Thanks again for the insights!

        • Troy says:

          Another way to use it is in conjunction with your guitar volume control in front of either an overdriven amp or multi-valve/tube pedals like the Effectrode Blackbird or Tube Drive going into a clean amp. Set the Fire Bottle for higher than unity level & then when you roll back guitar volume you have more sparkle to the cleaner tones & when you roll it back up the FB provides something extra to the fully driven tone.

          These particular valve/tube pedals are like an extension of your amp’s circuit that is both foot-switchable & controllable from guitar controls.

  7. Ricardo says:

    Ok, thank you for your advice i guess i will keep it as it is..

  8. Troy Hamilton says:

    I picked up a Buffalo FX Evolution, Effectrode PC-2A and a Dawner Prince Boonar to start messing around with Gilmour tones. Your review of the Fire Bottle has me curious about it as well. How do you feel it plays with the other pedals I mention? I’d be using it with a Carr Mercury V amp.

    Thanks for the fabulous site!

    • Bjorn says:

      It’s a clean booster, with three different tones or filters. Depends on what you need. I find it very useful on lower volume bedroom settings where you often need to add a bit of boost and character for compensation. It’s mean to be used fist in the chain but it can easily be set up after the gain pedals as well.

    • Ricardo Costa says:

      Hi Bjorn, i have a firebottle from the first batch that doesn’t have the internal tone Q trimpot, how much and in what way in your opinion does the Q trim pot effect the over all tone? I don’t know if i should sell mine and get the newer version do you think it would be worth it?

      • Bjorn says:

        Personally I don’t think the difference justifies a swap.

        • Troy says:

          I didn’t even realise that it had one till I read this question & then re-read the review. I have one that presumably has it (as I got it in 2014, the year after the article above) & have never thought that it needed any other controls. The default Q sounds plenty sweet to my ears. Mucking around with it would likely result in “options anxiety”! :D So it’s probably best that it’s rucked away inside on a trimmer.

          With it’s volume & tone knobs & three-position resonant frequency switch & valve-fuelled sonic magic it delivers the goods. Presumably the ones with the Q trimmer have it dialled in to sound the same as the earlier ones without one. Assuming that that is the case then why bother? You’d be better off keeping the pedal & getting a PC-2A or a Mercury Fuzz with the money.

  9. Eric Montoya says:

    HI Bjorn!
    Thank you so much for what you do on this site. I am mostly in the beginning stages of learning my musical capabilities and still learning what gear can do for finding the right tones for my particular sound. I have learned so much from you. Your style of teaching and sharing information is amongst the best I have found in helping me understand my journey with gear. Upon researching gear you review and even play on, I made a purchase of the Buffalo Evolution. You helped the pedal to shine and sell itself. In playing with the tones I am getting from the pedal, I am wondering how the fire bottle might compare, or even add to the Evo if placed together. I am playing off of a Laney Cub 15 amp, and do have a tree of life, also off of your suggestions.
    Thank you again for all that you are doing and sharing for us music lovers out there!

    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks for the kind words, Eric! Glad you enjoy my site! The Evolution has a lot of mid range, compression and gain so you don’t really have to stack that with anything. Depends on what you want to achieve. Is there anything lacking in the tone you get with it? If so, what? The Firebottle is a clean booster designed to beef up your pickups and drive the front end of a tube amp, such as the Laney. You can stack it with other pedals too.

  10. Ian Oakshott says:

    Hi Bjorn
    I am looking for some advice about the best pedal to go with my set up. Mainly I play my strat or a tele and jazzmaster sometimes, into a 5e3 deluxe or a tweed Princeton type amp. I am after something that will thicken and smooth the sound somewhat, enhance dynamics and add some sustain. I’m drawn between the fire bottle and pc-2a. Out of these which do you think would fit the bill? I’m not particularly after Gilmour sounds just good tone!
    Thanks in advance.

    • Bjorn says:

      I would definitely go for a compressor if you don’t have one already. Single coils often need a bit of compression to sound fatter and more balanced. The PC-2A is very transparent and dynamic.

      • Ian oakshott says:

        Thanks Bjorn, my old Carl Martin comp/limiter has just died so I do need another! I’ve just got on the list for a pc-2a, your advice is the same as Phil at effectrode by the way.
        Thanks again and thanks for your amazing site. A great resource indeed😊

  11. Giovanni Grossetti says:

    Dear Bjorn,
    Thank you for your very interesting review.

    I have a Fender precision ’63 reissue (it looks like the one Rog is playing at Pompeii) that I play with an Alembic F2-B preamp and a Glockenklang Soul II Head (final stage).

    After reading your suggestions on overdrive pedals and amps, I am wondering whether the Effectrode Fire Bottle would match my setup. I am looking for a warm overdrive. I have a AnalogMan SunFace (Silicon) but it is a bit too harsh for my taste and very specific to Pompeii. I am looking for something more flexible.

    Any feedback from your side will be beneficial.

    Kind regards

    • Bjorn says:

      The Fire Bottle doesn’t have any gain but you can drive the front end of the amp to get tube distortion. If you’re looking for an overdrive to go with your bass, I would recommend the Boss BD2. Sounds very nice with a bass and it has everything from clean headroom to warm fuzz.

  12. Jeremy Redmond says:


    Strat w/ Lollar Blondes -> Pedals -> ToneKing Falcon (clean BF settings).

    I love the Fire Bottle as the front end of my pedal board set to just above unity gain to bring up the level of my vintage style Lollars and inject a bit of mojo.

    I wonder how you think an Analog.man Sun Lion would behave between the Fire Bottle and my KOT knowing that the fuzz end of the Sun Lion would also like to be first in the chain.

    I normally just try pedal stacks and let my ears decide but the Sun Lion is $$! I would love your thoughts sir and thanks for sharing your experience with the rest of us!

    • Bjorn says:

      I’ve never tried the Sun Lion so I can’t really comment on the tone but, the Fire Bottle is true bypass so I would keep that first and then a fuzz. You shouldn’t get any conflicts.

  13. J OConnor says:


    Need some advice if the Fire Bottle will improve my tone. I have an unusual set-up: 8-string solid body with Bare Knuckle PG Blues pickups (PAF with the neck out-of-phase). I play only slide – very high action and no fretting. Although the guitar is designed for metal I use it for jazz and blues. BTW, my tuning is in 3rds rather than 4ths, so the 8 strings only extend two octaves like a normal 6 string. I run it into a Dumble Steel String Singer clone with no effects other than a Dumbleator (tube buffered loop) and the on-board spring reverb.

    My never ending journey is the pursuit of TONE. The only effect that I’ve ever liked with this rig is an old Effectrode Vibra Chorus. Do you think a Fire Bottle will make much difference?



    • Bjorn says:

      The Fire Bottle is a preamp and designed to be interacting with your pickups. It’s a subtle effect and perhaps used more as a tone enhancer than anything else. Depends on what you’re looking for. It’s not an overdrive or something that will do huge things for your tone.

      • J OConnor says:


        Bought the Fire Bottle. It actually improves the tone of my Steel String Singer clone. Does the “take the blanket off my speaker” thing. I leave it on all the time. The tone control is excellent – all the way up without shrieking, and all the way down without muffling. Interacts very well with the vast array of tone shaping tools on this amp. A much more effective tool than the pre-amp boost Dumble built into this circuit.

        BTW, according to Phil at Effectrode, the Fire Bottle resonance switch only affects passive pickups. Works well with my PAFs but does not change resonance peak of my EMG 808s.


      • J OConnor says:

        BTW, having read your review of Effectrode’s Helios, I bought their Mercury fuzz, the new version of the Helios. I normally do not use dirt pedals and bought this just for fun. This thing is nuts. On the fun side, with the fuzz dimed and the Fire switch on this sounds like Lou Reed just before the amp explodes.

        A pleasant surprise: I’m finding that with the fuzz set low it provides an excellent edge of breakup sound. It’s amazingly dynamic. Along with the Fire Bottle, I have two very useful tone shaping tools. Phil should be paying you commission.


  14. Javier says:

    Have someone used this pedal in a solid state rig? Digital modeling amp or even D.I.?
    Any thoughts about that?
    Thanks, best regards.

  15. Jonathan Thomas says:

    Hi Bjorn, the Fire Bottle has me intrigued. I own an Xotic EP Booster and that’s considered an “always on” pedal, by some. How similar is the Fire Bottle to the EP Booster or are they completely different? Would My EP be redundant if I purchased the Fire Bottle?

    Many thanks for your time?

    PS are you going to Pompeii? Got my tickets last month, can’t wait!

    • Bjorn says:

      No Pompeii unfortunately but I’ll catch some UK shows later this year :) The Fire Bottle is basically the front end of a tube head, with three different voicings or filters. The EP Booster is a clone of the EchoPlexi preamp. Both have a nice clean boost and both can add a bit of mids. I think the Fire Bootle is a bit more subtle, although you can boost it quite a lot and drive your amp with it, and it also seems to interact more with your pickups and playing. The EP has a bit more bite perhaps. Ultimately, I guess, it depends on your amp and pickups.

  16. Massimo D'Annibali says:

    hi bjorn, a question: should the “fire bottle” be the first pedal in a chian or can be after a buffer? thanks for all, you’re almost my only source for my g.a.s. ! :-) massimo

    • Bjorn says:

      Awesome, Massimo! You can place it anywhere you want or need it on the chain, like behind an overdrive for boost or last in the chain for a master boost but it really should be placed first. It’s designed like the front end of a tube amp and should interact with your pickups for the best tone.

  17. Stephane says:

    Hi Bjorn ! I am almost buying the Fire Bottle since I dig the unique “pickup enhancing” pedal as a tool. I’m on my way to record some guitars very soon, and I believe that the Fire Bottle will improve the overall sound. But I already own the BuffaloFx Powerbooster (after watching your review), and it’s the most useful pedal I every bought, mostly for the very responsive treble EQ. It opens the whole sound, and It’s so good I don’t even use compressors anymore, for any Pre-Animals song. Though I’m having a hard time pushing it as an overdrive pedal (Time/Pigs/Cigar), even with a loud Hiwatt200 and a 4×100 Wem cab, with all the channel link tricks etc…It is just a bit too harsh. Any hints about that ?

    And would it be too redundant to have and use both the Powerbooster and the Firebottle on the same board ? One could also use the Powerbooster on a “stage” board and the Firebottle on the “recording” board, as you did before, or one for boost and another for overdrive ?
    Thanks again, and bravo for your latest solo album, the sound and the writing are amazing :)

    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks for your kind words, Stephane! Lots of questions here but I’ll try to answer them all…
      The Fire Bootle is designed like the input stage of a tube amp and it will respond accordingly to your guitar. The Powerbooster is somewhat similar, but it’s essentially an overdrive pedal. The Fire Bottle is a tool, while the Powerbooster is a booster and overdrive. As you’ve discovered though, the Powerbooster will also enhance your overall tone so it’s more a matter of which works best with your setup. Personally, I’d use the Fire Bootle for hi-fi recording tones and the Powerbooster for a stage board, as you mention.
      A 100w Hiwatt has A LOT of headroom and if you crank the presence as well, which boosts the 7k range, the amp will sound fairly bright and it can make bright sounding pedals sound dull and very harsh.

      • Stéphane says:

        Hello Bjorn,

        Thx for your precise answer. I’ll buy a firebottle just to compare them, I’ll let a comment about it once I have tried them side by side.
        In fact I got so many questions, I really tried not asking too many things !
        I’ve bought quite a lot of gear lately based on gilmourish, therefore I sent a small donation, but in fact you should deserve at least 10% of each gear transaction :)
        Anyway your articles really helped me while tone chasing and that’s priceless – not only for gilmour-like tones – but for the whole “sound chain” in general. Thanks again, and all the best !

  18. Luis says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    have you tried the Effectrode Tube Drive pedal? How far would it be from the BK Tube Driver?



    • Bjorn says:

      Never tried it so I can’t really tell. Based on the reviews I’ve heard it’s in that same tone family but how close, I’m not sure.

      • Troy says:

        As I have both & both I thought that I would write that both are essential tone tools for me. The Effectrode Tube Drive is classic hard rock par excellence & as one of my longtime guitarist friends said after hearing me playing through it: That is the best overdrive that I have ever heard. That was also while I compared it with the the Effectrode Blackbird.

        I mostly use the dirt channel on the latter for a JTM & Plexi type crunch tone (blue light voicing) that works a treat with the Effectrode Mercury fuzz front-ending it & mostly use the Tube Driver to front-end the Blackbird as a more mid-rich lead boost. Either used like this or by itself as a crunch tone it sounds more JCM-800’ish to my ears. Using this with Strat, Les Paul & P-90’s SG.

        With the BK Butler Tube Driver (with Bias), the Effectrode Blackbird & Tube Drive I am set for valve drive pedals. Get all three & you will no doubt feel the same.

        If anything tonally the BKB TD falls between the Tube Driver & the Blackbird. It is (like the other two) incredibly versatile but none are a substitute for the other. For a post-Muff “boost” (in reality as an EQ focus & textural enhancing type tool) the BKB reigns supreme. I have tried quite a number of excellent solid-state drives in this role & all fall way short in that post-Muff “enhancer/boost” role. Even my humble Vox Big Ben (notably also with a valve in the signal path) did better. The BKB TD had an extra low end richness that the VBB did not though – & a nicer top end.

        The Tube Driver & Tube Drive are both phenomenal pedals if used with an agreeable amp. My amps of choice are the relatively misunderstood Marshall Vintage Moderns (100 & 50 watt models – both with KT66 power amp valves, 100 watt has more complex & satisfying cleans, 50 watt has sweetest amp overdrive of the two). Service from both BK Butler & Phil & Sam Taylor of Effectrode is both excellent from my experience. If you can go for both (or all three if we include the Blackbird).

        Selling every solid state overdrive (or also valve overdrive) pedals will be worth doing to raise funds. A top quality Muff type pedal & one or two top 60’s style fuzzes are possibly the only other dirt worth keeping for variety in addition to these valve-utilising sonic marvels. I also keep a Foxrox ZIM dual overdrive off the boards as a “grab & go” battery powered option for lighter haulage. A second ZIM is on one of my pedalboards paired with the BKB TD & has two Muff cards in it – one for pairing with the BKB TD & set for low-medium amount of gain, the other utilises the ZIM’s extremely powerful EQ & is set for higher gain for use without the BKB TD.

        The Effectrode Mercury, Fire Bottle, Tube Drive & Blackbird provide many incredible combination tones on top of what they provide by themselves. I obtained the latter three prior to discovering that Gilmour had these on his multi-tiered recording setup. Online research led me to the hunch that these would deliver what I had been after sonically for many years – & deliver they do indeed continue to do, in spades.

    • Cédric says:

      I have both too.

      My BK is with bias knob but i use it always full up, so , i don’t need bias knob

      They are different pedals and i love them both.
      I use them in the clean chanel of my Mesa Nomad with a Strat Clapton with DG20 and a PRS
      The Effectrode as my main distortion and the BK for “light” od, to boost Effectrode and muff (personnaly, i prefer it before my muff)
      I find effectrode is more versatile, more easy to set up and sound better in the mix.
      The BK will always sound BK from light to moderate gain but only BK (and that’s why we love it).
      The Effectrode can do anything
      The effectrode is the best gain pedal i’ve ever had.
      The BK sound very good for high gain too when boosted with a Tube Screamer but the effectrode is less Noisy.

      The BK has more bass and is more powerfull.
      I’d prefer a little more bass for the Effectrode
      The BK is the most gilmourish of the two and effectrode is better for classic rock tone.

      They are both great pedals. The only two gain pedals i’m sure i’ll never change.
      If i’d have to choose only one, i think i’d go for Effectrode
      but i don’t have to…

      I agree with Troy.
      If you can, get both and you won’t never need other gain pedals (but gassss…).

      Kingsley pedals worth a try too.

      • Bjorn says:

        Thanks for sharing!

        • Troy says:

          Cédric, you wrote: “I’d prefer a little more bass for the Effectrode”

          Have you the later model with the bass boost switch on the back (the one I have)? Actually I usually switch that off. The circuit has been modded over time, apparently with DG’s help.

          The three-band Fender amp-type EQ is quite powerful on the Blackbird. The overall impression (without plugging in to do a verification here & now) is that it does offer more of a scooped sound with seemingly extended lows & highs than the Effectrode Tube Drive.

          I’m actually thinking of adding a second Fire Bottle before the two Effectrode drives so that I have the foot-switchable choice of:

          Setting up both drive pedals for lighter dirt for individual use then kicking on one FB in front to get heavier crunch from either drive pedal & then another FB in front to get higher gain lead tones from either drive pedal. This would be incredibly versatile & make best use of all Effectrode gain pedals.

          As contrasted with (or in addition to) my current setup of primarily using the Blackbird for crunch, one FB for kicking things up to heavier crunch (& placed before both drive pedals) the Effectrode Tube Drive (placed in the middle of the BB & FB) as a lead boost.

          My Effectrodes currently go like this:

          Mercury Fuzz > PC-2A Compressor > Fire Bottle booster > Glass-A buffer > Tube-Vibe > Tube Drive > Blackbird.

          That leaves one spot available on the front row of a PedalTrain Grande (these IMHO unless you are in an active big-draw ticket act are due to their extreme weight best suited for home recording & pedal “storage”) for another Fire Bottle or a Helios if I manage to acquire one.

          Very much looking forward to getting the Vibralux (revamped Vibra-Chorus), Phase-o-matic Deluxe, & Delta-Trem when these are revived over the coming year – & the Binson Echorec-inspired Echo-Delay if that ever sees the light of day (hopefully it will).

          An Electric Mistress-inspired Effectrode flanger possibly with stereo outs, tap tempo, a “manual” control dial & CV expression pedal sockets for both LFO speed & foot-controlled sweeping would be interesting. I know that valves on Phil’s designs are always a key part of the circuit & not just “added sauce”, so not sure how this might work with such a circuit.

          • Cédric says:


            I don’t know how old is my tube drive as i bought it used but it ‘s with bass switch. At the beginnig i used it off too but now, i need it.
            Maybe it’s time to change tube.

            does the fire bottle should not be first before PC2-A?

            I’ve just pick up a 2nd hand fire bottle this week for realy good price.
            but i don’t have time to realy try it yet.
            how do you use the gain knob? The unity volume seems to be at 0 and increase to much if i roll it up.

            My effectrode gear si now Fire Bottle, PC2-A, Tube Drive

            • Troy says:

              I have the settings like this at the moment on the Fire Bottle booster:

              “Tone” control at minimum; “Boost” at 11:30 (o’clock).

              Over time I set stuff differently – one unit’s settings being changed can affect the settings required on others, mainly in terms of gain-stacking. The tone at the minimum position is not too muddy for me. I like lead tones to be not too piercing (ears have taken a bit of a battering over the years & certain frequency spikes are painful), though I don’t go for “sludge” “tone” either. This is dialled in with a fair bit of volume coming off the amp. For lower volume use which some might need to do at home then you could probably roll up the tone control a bit more.

              Rolling the “tone” control down allows for more “boost” to be applied to front-end overdrives following it without things getting too overly emphasised & unbalanced in the upper mids & top-end. I learned this trick with the “Boost Buffer” card in one of my Foxrox ZIMs. Every booster (whether used pre- or post-drive needs a (decent) tone control in my opinion.

              I’m using the FB’s resonance switch set to the flat (unaltered) position at the moment as I have guitars with humbuckers, P90’s & Strat single-coils. The resonance switch works great with single coils.

              The reason that I have the FB after the PC-2A is that the PC-2A didn’t seem to interfere with the resonance switch when I experimented with it. That is apparently the only reason for putting the FB ahead of other pedals.

              This signal path then also frees the FB up to boost the signal unrestrained by the PC-2A if both are switched on.

              I don’t use the FB as a buffer, so it is freed up to be set to hit the inputs Tube Drive & Blackbird with as much output level as I want to hear in the moment. The level that I set the boost at would be too much if it wasn’t followed by & being used with the two drive units to push them into higher gain. The overdrive/distortion units’ own valve clipping interacting with the FB’s output – & “tone” control setting – is what I am working with for setting the FB’s boost amount. The amp probably compresses it slightly too.

              I have the Effectrode Glass-A for buffering duties (you’d only need the FB’s boost to be set to unity if you were using that instead for buffering – which is a waste of the FB’s potential).

  19. Nick says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    I saw on a DG rig picture his Firebottle has a third pot added. Could it be a volume ? In that case the Boost knob is becoming a “tube level”. Also, his PC-2A has two more knobs…
    Any idea of theses mods ?

    • Bjorn says:

      Both are modified by Phil Taylor (of Effectrode – not David’s tech). Apparently, David wanted easy access to the inner trim pots. I can’t remember what those trims are but check out the Effectrode site :)

  20. Carlos Zuniga says:

    Hello Bjorn,

    I hope this post finds you well. I was looking at what you have listed in the Live 8 settings, particularly utilizing the Chandler Tube Driver as a volume booster. Could the Effectrode Fire Bottle be used as a volume booster in place of the Tube Driver? If not, what would you recommend using as a volume booster? In case you need to know what amp I play, I have a Peavey Classic 30 (JJ tubes and a Celestion Vintage 30). I have an Effectrode Compressor, Buffalo FX Ram’s Head/Evolution/Power Booster.

    Thanks for the knowledge and wisdom sir.


    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Carlos! Why not use the Powerbooster for boost? The Fire Bootle can be used to boost but it works better first in the chain as a pickup enhancer. I’d either use the Powerbooster or get a pedal that’s closer to the Tube Driver, like the Wampler PlexiDrive.

      • Carlos says:

        Thanks for the info. Would you say that the Fire Bottle works better on certain pickups? Would there be a huge difference in what it does with the Echoes pups compared to EMG’s?

        • Bjorn says:

          It’s meant to be used with passive pickups. You can use it with the EMGs as well but you’ll probably experience a lot of hiss and less headroom.

  21. bstiel says:

    Hi there Bjorn, your site has both enriched my life and decimated my bank balance! I play mostly in my bedroom at apartment-friendly volumes. Would the Firebottle add much depth to my guitar tone at low volumes, or does it really come into its own when the amp is opened up? Should I save my money, or will it improve my low-volume tone enough to justify the expense?

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi! Depends on your amp and guitar, I think. I often use mine to add character to a clean tone or to add a bit of juice to distortions. It works really well with tube amps and passive pickups. Not that well with solid state amps and active pickups. It’s a tool more than an effect so again, depending on your gear you could also go for a compressor or a transparent, cheaper booster.

      • bstiel says:

        Thanks Bjorn! Stratocaster with Lollar dirty blonde pickups. Blues junior with cannabis rex speaker. I’m mostly interested in improving my jazz tone through this set up. Would the firebottle help me with this, or is there another pedal that might do the job better?

  22. Mr Muff says:

    Picked this up today actually, to replace my old seymour duncan pickup booster.It definitely makes things sound that bit sweeter alright.One thing i have noticed though with the boost set to zero it doesnt seem to be unity gain.Its a small bit quieter than the guitar straight in.How is yours Bjorn?Also is the tone control when set fully left flat with clockwise turns adding more top?Still getting use to it right now has something to it and is very well built too.

    [It may behave slightly differently on different pickups and amps but I’ve found the unity level to be between 8-9 o’clock and the tone around noon. – Bjorn]

  23. Ben Rudge says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    Thanks as always for the amazing reviews. I see you’ve tried this with all sorts of amps and setups and consistently like it – always makes an improvement! it sounds amazing but will it still work out on a bedroom setup? Obviously won’t be driving tubes hard etc but what has your experience been in that environment?
    Many thanks for your advice,

    [I have one on my home studio board and although I can crank it pretty good I mostly keep the volume at a very reasonable level. I don’t use that much for boosting but the high cut modes are very useful with low output pickups and smaller amps. It makes the guitar sound fatter and bigger. I mainly use it with a Tele that I have to bring it closer to a P90s kind of tone. – Bjorn]

  24. Andrea says:

    Hi mate, as usual thanks for your invaluable help.
    I fell in love with the sound of this pedal but I’m not sure about my setup. I’m using american special strat, factory pickups, laney cub 12r with following pedals in line: Dyna comp, TC spark booster, Hoof fuzz and TC flashback delay. I look for a creamy and smooth overdrive to cover solos like shine on but at the moment I’m only able to play nice cleans from the spark and aggressive distorsion from the fuzz. Do you think Fire Bottle could help me? Shall I changed instead of the Spark?
    thanks ;)

    [The Fire Bottle is a pickup booster, meaning that it is designed to enhance the dynamics of your single coils. It interacts with your guitar much like plugging the guitar straight into a tube amp. In that sense I don’t think it’s what you’re looking for. It doesn’t add gain but it can drive a tube amp into overdrive. Still, so can the Spark Booster. In your case I’d check out a more conventional overdrive. My favourite at the moment is a Wampler PlexiDrive. It’s very similar to the Tube Driver and it goes very well with the Cub. – Bjorn]

  25. Dimitris says:

    Hello Bjorn!
    Congratulations about your your new album, nice ideas and musical themes! One year now, I check your work and I ‘ve learned a lot and it has helped me a lot, musically!
    1. One thing I haven’t understood (’cause I don’t own the whole gear, to try it myself, I guess) is how boosting works. For example, when Gilmour introduced the Coloursound PB in his rig, he placed it after his Fuzz, right? If you do the reverse, how will it sound? Also why in studio he didn’t boost distortions, while live he did? Something that had to do with the use of echo, considering that in much studio work he used only studio reverbs?
    2. My rig is inspired by early 70’s Gilmour’s and consists of a Strat with DAllen Voodoo 69’s, into a SunFace 109, Vox Wah, Catalinbread Echorec and a Laney LH20.
    Next I want some overdrive, especially one as a mild crunch; the idea is to produce an -always on- tubelike tone to manipulate with guitar volume knob (of the first ever tone techniques I learned from another favourite, Rory Gallagher) and after it my -always on too Echorec- into a clean amp. I was thinking of two Buffalo PBs, one as heavy Drive and one to use, as I wrote above! But a tube booster like Fire Bottle wouldn’t it be more dynamic?
    If not, any other suggestions, in terms of tube ODs? I play mostly at home, so most times my Lionheart’s volume isn’t nowhere near it’s sweatspot -although that’s a whole different topic, right?

    [Hi Dimitris. David doesn’t always boost the fuzz or distortions but it depends on what tones he needs. Usually, the booster is placed after the high gain pedal. This way you get a more transparent signal with the distortion being the dominant effect and the booster acting more like an EQ, adding just a bit of character. David isn’t actually boosting the volume but rather just blends the pedals for a bigger tone.
    The Powerboosters are very bright and transparent. Personally I think they work better for clean boost but the overdrive tone is classic early 70s if that’s what you want. Te Fire Bootle is a tone enhancer and not really a conventional booster, although you can boost the volume quite a lot. I wouldn’t use it to boost distortions but it can do wonders to a clean tone. – BJorn]

  26. Brad Roller says:

    Ok I understand! Thank you!

  27. Brad Roller says:

    Bjorn, does this pedal sound good with the emg dg-20? I’m sure it sounds good with any singlecoil pickups but I wanted to know if you’ve tried the fire bottle with the EMGs? I would think you would get some really nice creamy tones with it.

    [It’s meant to be used with passive pickups. Works OK with EMGs but it would be a waste as the pedal doesn’t interact with active pickups but rather just boost the volume. – Bjorn]

  28. Jae says:

    I have a chance to buy a Firebottle Bjorn. After reading your review, all these comments and questions I see everyone using it to achieve a PAF or P-90 like tone. My question is how well does it work when you already have a P-90 or PAF equipped guitar instead of single coils? Also, it’s been a year since your review, do you still have it on your board?

    [Yep, it’s still on my board and I use it a lot for recording in particular. I think it’s better suited for single coils. It works with humbuckers too but the idea is that you can either just boost linear or cut the highs for a tone similar to P90s and humbuckers. It’s not by any means a simulator for those tones but that’s with the high cut does. – Bjorn]

  29. Matthias says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    Hope you’re doing well.
    I understand the Fire Bottle is not the perfect booster for other pedals like a Muff but should rather be used as a pickup booster that will add character and life to the tone.
    Then would you say it is a good idea to have that pedal engaged at the beginning of the chain all the time to improve the tone? Or would it badly interact with other boosters/overdrives? If this is a case, is it then just a tone enhancer for the cleans which should be disengaged when using an overdrive or a muff?
    Hope I made myself clear.
    Take care,

    [It should go first to be able to “see” your pickups and enhance their tone and dynamics. I use mine in the studio both as a booster but also to make single coils sound fatter by choosing either the P90 or PAF setting. It works nicely with other boosters placed in the middle of the chain but you need to adjust the overall gain in your rig, meaning that the booster and Muff may need to be tamed a bit when the Fire Bottle is on. – Bjorn]

  30. Kevin says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    Quick question…
    Would the Fire Bottle pair well with the Helios Fuzz? I now have both and can’t seem to find a good way for them to work in tandem. And it’s not clear to my ear which pedal ought to go first in the chain (BOTH are supposed to be placed at the front of the pedal chain). I’m beginning to think that these pedals will achieve their “stated goals” better/easier when NOT linked in the same pedal chain. I like what both do individually—but when both pedals are engaged (regardless of which comes first in the pedal chain), the result is less than I’d hoped for. I’d be happy keeping both in the chain–even if I never engage both at the same time. But which pedal ought to go first in the chain? In either order, tone seems to be compromised, despite true bypass. Any suggestions? Thanks, Kevin

    [I’d place the Fire Bottle first. It’s more dependent on the guitar pickups. I haven’t managed to make them work that well together but then again, I don’t think the Helios really needs a booster. Try using the middle position on the Fire Bootle for a linear boost and keep the boost moderate. That should work. – Bjorn]

  31. Jeff Comeau says:

    I have Effectrode Blackbird and Compressor, but am still looking for more sustain when using green mode of blackbird. I thought the compressor would do this? So, how about the Fire Bottle? Would it make sense to run the compressor and Fire Bottle together .. alone .. and also with the Blackbird? Many thanks, Jeff

    [A compressor will great a more even signal and often more sustain but rich singing depends on a lot of things. A dead or flat sounding guitar won’t provide much sustain. Old strings will also kill it. What’s your amp and its settings? Hard to tell just by one pedal. – Bjorn]

  32. Helio says:

    Hi Bjorn!!

    I hope all is well!

    I love effectrode pedals and recently purchased a FIre bottle.

    I have been using it after the Helios, not ideal but worked for me.

    Quick question: My fire bottle doesn’t seem to achieve unity gain. It is always louder then the bypassed signal even with gone as 8 o’clock and gain all the way down. Is that the way yours is too?


    [On my setup the Fire Bootle produce unity gain around 8 o’clock on the gain and the toggle in the middle (flat) position. – Bjorn]

  33. Matt says:

    Hello Bjorn. Nice review and thanks for a very interesting and informative site. Effectrode makes some of the best pedals out there imho. My question to you is have you compared it to the Maxon TBO-9 True Tube Booster/Overdrive? I just found out about the Maxon. I thought that Effectrode were the only folks utilizing the sub-mini tubes in their designs. Turns out Maxon has been doing it as well for a while. It’s not a perfect direct comparison, as the Maxon also has a clipping diode/overdrive stage that follows the tube stage, but it can function as a totally clean boost as well with the “drive” nob all the way down, like their 0d-820. Have you had any direct experience with the TBO-9 that you would like to share? Thanks Bjorn!

    [Hi Matt! Never tried the Maxon, so I can’t really comment on it. – Bjorn]

  34. Rob says:

    Hi Bjorn

    I have had a chance now to enjoy the tube vibe and pc2a compressor in my rig. All I can say is wow! They are so quiet yet so detailed; much like high end tube based audio components. I am very much looking forward to hearing a Helios when it becomes available again. I am guessing I may not need my cornish pedals; or at least the g2! The combo of the effectrode pedals and my butler tube driver is a killer match, along with the cornish p2… At least for sorrow. Will keep you posted as my journey continues. Thanks again for your putting so much effort in helping us Gilmour fans to navigate through the myriad of sonic choices!

    [Cheers, Rob! Keep us posted :) – Bjorn]

  35. Rob says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    Thanks so much for introducing us to this fine line of pedals!! I was wondering if you ever compared the fire bottle to the Cornish NB-3 in terms of a clean boost?
    I just ordered a Tube Vibe and PC-2A to go along with my Cornish P1 and G2. Really curious how the collection will play together?!


    [Never tried them alongside Cornish pedals but I would recogn that it would be a great match. Let us know when you’ve tested the new rig :) – Bjorn]

  36. Ron Hockin says:

    Hello Bjorn:
    Let me say, first of all Happy New Year to you. You have an amazing site here. I discovered it early last year and, have it saved on my toolbar for frequent reference and enjoyment. Your music ability is very evident on the accompanying video for the Fire Bottle pedal. I believe this will be my next major purchase. I currently use a Wampler Velvet Fuzz into a Fender DRRi which gives me a pretty sweet tone with a Fender single coil pickup.
    Thank you for such a wonderful and informative website. I look forward to your future gear evaluations and discussions. David Gilmour is such a gifted musician and you bring him alive here. Take care and thank you again.


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

  37. Howard forton says:

    Merry christmas Bjorn. This pedal sounds amazing. How does it compare with the less expensive mojohand rook? . I figure I need one or the other for my home set up.

    Hey it’d be great if David released a new album and toured agin!!!


    [Hi Howard! It’s two very different pedals. The Rook is an overdrive similar to the old Powerbooster but with more compression and mid range taking it closer to an OCD and the TS9/OD808 family. The Fire Bootle is an all clean booster with a huge headroom and distinct tube flavour. It’s more a tool than an effect and something you’d want to leave on all the time for adding more character and tone to your guitar and amp. Enjoy the rest of the holidays! – Bjorn]

  38. Patrick says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    My question was maybe not enough clear but your answer was fine!!
    So i bought the fire bottle…..
    Only 1 thing to say!!!
    So amazing pedal!!!!!
    And really……. Stop doing review like i said..
    My wife like the sound but not the gear cost!!!!
    Thanks again! And happy holidays!


    [Ha ha, sorrrrrrrryyyy! Glad you liked the pedal :) – Bjorn]

  39. james says:

    hi bjorn … in a basic setup with maybe four or five pedals .. I’m not quite sure which pedal the fire bottle would be replacing .. it’s definitely on my must have list .. telecaster to firebottle to yellow pig hoof muff with throbak delay at the end of the chain .. what additional pedal would you choose to go after the pig hoof before the delay for the best gilmoursh tone… ? can four pedals and a peavy classic 30 amp get me a good gilmourish tone ? .. one last thing , nocaster neck pickup for sure .. I think you talked about 6.7 wound bridge pickup .. im sorry I don’t have my notes in front of me .. I’m still not sure what’s best for my Telecaster bridge pickup … I love the tones from” the wall ” and Dark Side of the Moon .. you kindly told me to call David Allan which I may do but I wish you could tell me a little more about my bridge pickup options .. a heartfelt thanks for all of your amazing reviews and advice .. if you ever come to New England I will be in the front row ! .. james

    [Hi James! Sorry for my late reply. I think the Buffalo Powerbooster would be an excellent choice for your setup, doubling as both a booster for the Muff and as an overdrive. You might also want to consider a modulation, like flanger or phaser. If you want those Animals and Wall tones then the Electric Mistress is a must. The Mooer ElecLady is well worth checking out. In regards to Tele pickups. I’m very happy with my current setup – NoCaster neck and a 7.2k custom wound bridge pickup. It has a nice vintage twang but a bit more bite and mid range, which works nicely with Muffs etc. Cheers! – Bjorn]

  40. Gábor Illy says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    I am a great fan of EFFECTRODE, having Tube Vibe, Helios Tube Fuzz and PC2A Compressor are already in my setup.
    Reading the review, I have ordered the Fire Bottle + an Atomic Power Supply unit.
    How can you compare the Fire Bottle to BK Tube Driver’s clean boosting features? I have the BK Tube Driver too, and I am thinking about to use it chiefly as an overdrive, and the clean boost responsibility should be taken over by the Fire Bottle!
    What do you think?
    Congrat to the Airbag album, I enjoy it very much!
    Kind regards from the Hungarian ILLY PROJECT(visit our FAcebook site at:
    Yours friendly:Gábor

    [Thanks for your kind words! Sorry for my late reply… I don’t think you can compared the Tube Driver with the Fire Bottle. Whereas the Fire Bottle is a booster, which should be placed after your pickups for the best result, the Tube Driver is an overdrive unit, which of course can produce clean boost but it’s not really the same. The Fire Bootle should be set up as a master clean boost. Either for an actual volume boost or at unity just to get that tube tone going. The Tube Driver is still a better boost for the Muff etc so you might want to use it for both a clean boost and overdrive. I’m sure you’ll figure it out :) – Bjorn]

  41. Bryan S. says:

    Hi Bjorn … I’ve been carefully reading both reviews and comments on Buffalo PB and the Effectrode Fire Bottle (FB). I was about to buy the Buffalo and then along came the FB so could you help me clarify my thoughts .. :-). My understanding now from all I have read is that the FB is most effective before the pedal chain and left on all the time as a general tone boost to the whole system and that putting it in the chain ( where the Buffalo might be expected to go) would lose that absolute sparkle it brings to your tone. Therefore if one desires that pre effect toneboost as it were then would it be a waste of time to buy the Buffalo to put in the pedal chain as boost/overdrive. Would one be better just sticking with the BD2 or similar for overdrive boost. However if one is looking to boost a muff then would the Buffalo be the best thing to put in there but still be able to do overdrive duties and still have the effectrode at the front of the chain. Also .. does the Buffalo work nearly as well at the front of the chain acting as a “toneboost” as does the Fireboost. I guess what I am trying to figure is if I need BOTH pedals haha! Thanks as always for this great site ..

    [Sorry for my late reply, Bryan. The FB is more of an overall boost and it should be placed first in line for it to “interact” with the pickups. Placed in the middle like an ordinary booster you’ll loose much of its dynamics. The Buffalo is really an overdrive and doesn’t do much in regards to enhancing your pickups so it’s best placed after the high gain effects, like a Muff. The BD is similar so it’s down to what tones and nuances you’re after. So, to sum it up, the Fire Bootle won’t be covered by neither the BD2 nor Buffalo. – Bjorn]

  42. Blobe says:

    Well, i’m off target here, but the rig to obtain the clean tone is ?
    it’s really, really, gorgeous.

    [Not sure I understand you question… What rig am I using? – Bjorn]

  43. Hi bjorn says:

    I got a fender sélect stratocaster With a fender super sonic am and ratler pedal by jam and the red muck tube dreamer 88 and effectrode Compressor and effectrode fire. Bottle booster i hâve problème gettiing david gilmour tone coule you give me some setting With m’y gear ans is m’y amp good for david tone or m’y fender sélect guitar thank you Björn your the best jeep it up

    [Start by setting up the amp for a nice and warm clean tone that will be the basis for all your tones. See this feature for some amp setup tips. See this feature for some Muff and overdrive settings and setup tips. In regards to the Effectrode pedals I’d use these either for dedicated applications or with very mild settings. The compressor in particular can ruin your tone if the settings are too high and you use it with other pedals. Hope this helped. – Bjorn]

  44. David says:

    Hello bjorn i need help, i´ve just bought a vintage deluxe electric mistress :D, the thing is it doesnt sound quite right with the 10 o´clock setting so im supposing that the previous owner of the pedal has been messing around with the trim pots so could i have some photos of your deluxe electric mistress´s trim pots?? you would be helping me a lot, thanks man.

    [I’d rather not open mine up as it’s pretty much glued to my stage board. Check out this feature from the Electric Mistress site.

  45. Patrick says:

    hi Bjorn,
    Please stop doing review!!! hahaha
    Just want your opinion for only booster setting…
    Which one do you chose with all that you’ve tested??
    With same guitar and blues jr!!
    Thanks man and don’t stop doing your great job in the and of course your band.

    Regards from Canada

    [Ha ha! You mean settings for the Fire Bottle or what booster pedal I prefer? The Fire Bottle is perhaps the best clean booster I’ve played. It makes your guitar and amp sound so much better. Still, I prefer the old Colorsound Powerboost because it’s a bit more versatile, with tones ranging from clean boost to classic overdrive and near fuzz. At the moment I’m using the Buffalo Power Boost, which is the closest I’ve heard to the real thing :) – Bjorn]

  46. Pierre Sanfacon says:

    Just received my effectrode fire bottle. I played several hours with it and yes it brings clarity and presence to you play.

  47. Brian says:

    Hi Bjorn

    Great review, my thoughts about the PC2A->Firebottle has been addressed. What a great sounding pedal. It’s re-jig the rig time again!

    Could I ask you a sort of “techy” question, if it’s not eating up too much of your valuable time?

    When you strike the guitar and the “signal” passes into the stomp, what exactly happens? Is the “sound” being treated or is the “signal” treated? Does, say a CS2, compress the voltage/signal or the actual sound of the guitar? Or is it the same thing?


    [A compressor doesn’t change the voltage but rather certain frequencies. Check out this article for an in depth explanation. – Bjorn]

    • Javier says:

      A compressor does “ride” the volume in real time in response to your playing, your dynamics.
      That’s an easy way to see it.
      It does so by varying the gain level at some point of the pedal. It’s done in different ways and with different flavours.
      You can have an intuitive and comprehensive further description in ovnilab . com I learnt a lot reading that.

    • Javier says:

      The sound passes through your pedals and amp in the form of voltage.
      That’s the thing with electric instruments.
      The final voltage delivered by the amp is sent to the speaker, making it vibrate so it creates airwaves that our brains recognize as sound.

  48. Dlopes14 says:

    Hi Bjorn ;)
    Great review! (Got me exited about the pedal)
    Looks like the Fire Bottle should be a great buy to squeeze that extra something out of my amps!
    I have also a question for you… Can I use a Graphic Equalizer to turn regular humbuckers into P-90s?

    Cheers from Portugal!!!

    [Thanks! I’ve never tried the EQ thing myself but I would imagine that it wouldn’t work that well or at least not as good as making single coils sound like a humbucker. The reason is that a humbucker would still sound quite dark due to massive high end roll off and by increasing that with an EQ you’d essentially get less headroom. – Bjorn]

  49. Nick says:

    I read on Effectrode webside that David Gilmour is referenced as a user. By chance, do you know on witch album or show ?
    Do you think this pedal could be comparable with the BK Butler Tube Driver or the discontinued Vox “Valve Tone” ?

    [As far as I know, David’s only recently started to use Effectrode pedals so we might hear them on a future album or performance. The pedal is a booster and can’t really be compared to a driver. The Effectrode Tube Drive would be the closest match I guess. – Bjorn]

  50. Luciano says:

    PS I think the Alnico 2 and FB are the perfect match, do you?

    [I would think so. – Bjorn]

  51. Luciano says:

    Hi Bjorn

    I’m a lucky owner of 1 Fire Bottle and 1 PC2A Compressor and I totally agree with you.
    Effectrode pedals impressed me so much that I begin to be addicted; now I wish a Tube Vibe and I am very curious about the Helios Fuzz (in fact I never saw/heard one but I could buy it right now, I’m sure it will be good).
    Since I received the Fire Bottle and I put it first in chain it is ALWAYS on.
    With this tool not only my guitar sounds better but all the other effects seem to be more “reactive”.
    Now a question: is a (clock) position 8/8:30 the moderate setup you suggest?
    If I don’t use the Fire Bottle as an effect but as a tool personal taste could influence the tone control (ok we could discuss long about this point) but not the boost control.
    Overdrive and Muff like high boost level but I find difficult to dial the right settings in the compressor if the boost is higher than 8:30/9 (and PC2A is not easy at the beginning, I had first to forget all my other compressors).
    Also the Colorsound changes totally with high boost, if I drop the volume control of the CS to match medium-high boost settings I loose the flavor of CS (you are a huge fan of Colorsound, sure you know what I mean).
    I hope I was clear with my question, I wait to know your point of view.

    [It’s hard to suggest any settings because how the pedal sounds depends entirely on your pickups and the amp and of course what tones you want. I mainly keep mine in the middle position for a flat boost with the tone at about 9 and the volume slightly below. This gives my amp a hint of boost but mostly just tone. I wouldn’t use the Fire Botle together with a CPB as they mostly operate on the same frequencies. You’ll get a muddy and choked tone and not a very effective signal. – Bjorn]

  52. Jorge Morgado says:

    Hi My friend! What song is that in the demo?

    [Pink Floyd, Shine on You Crazy Diamond :) – Bjorn]

  53. PÃ¥l says:

    Would a mix of Effectrone Tube Vibe, PC-2A Compressor
    and Fire Bottle be a great combination?
    I have a Marshall 60’s and 70’s 1W heads and a 5W Vox
    feed by Strat and Les Paul. Home use only.
    Thank you for the review!


    [That works nicely! – Bjorn]

  54. Gabe says:

    Hey Bjorn, quick question, if you recommend it coming first in the chain, does that include before a Fuzz Face, or a compressor, etc? You mentioned boosting overdrive/distortion with it, does that include moving it to after whichever pedal you want to boost? Thanks!

    [You could run it after the gain pedals but this is not your average booster but rather one that’s designed to respond directly with the pickups. I’ve tried different positions but it definitely sound best after the guitar. Not that the pedal it self sound bad in the middle of the chain but the overall tone sound much more dynamic with it first. It’s true bypass so you can place it in front of your fuzz as well. – Bjorn]

  55. 100JH (David) says:

    Bjorn. So I am using the Throbak OD and have been happy with it but there is some room for improvement. So you are on a desert island (and you can have more than one pedal!) but only one OD. Tell me after having played all three, would it be the Throbak, Buffalo FX or the Fire Bottle? I heard the Fire Bottle is best when first in the chain to interact with pickups. Have you tried this with the rest of the pedals on your board, where it is not first in the chain? Have you tried boosting a muff with it? Results of the two (not first, muff boosting). Thanks for your insight. Hope all is well. (PS I saw on the Effectrode site that DG is using this). Thanks again…

    [OK, the Fire Bottle works nicely in the middle of the chain as well but it sounds best when placed after the guitar and its pickups. It produce a more dynamic tone that way enhancing the nuances of your guitar. It’s really not fair to compare the Fire Bottle with the ThroBak and Buffalo since it’s a very different type of booster. All three are capable of boosting cleans but while the Fire Bottle is a clean booster all the way, the two others are basically overdrives. Given that you probably want more pedals in your desert island setup I’d go with the Buffalo. It’ll boost and double as an overdrive. – Bjorn]

  56. Alex Mircica (Gunslinger) says:

    Grrrrr, goes back to ebay and starts looking for Electrode Fire Bottle pedals and thinks about rejigging rig again… ;-)

    Can you try the Wampler Velvet Fuzz one day please.

    Thanks Bjorn, love what I have heard from the new album by the way.



    [Thank you Alex! I’ve had the Velvet Fuzz for some time now and to be very honest I don’t like it that much. A nice pedal I’m sure but it kind of sounds like a Muff tweaked to sound like a fuzz, which I find a bit too overwhelming and muddy. I’ll try to do a review one day. – Bjorn]

  57. alex.loudass says:

    Sounds excellent! For me the H&K TubeFactor (ch 1) does that trick and is very flexible too. Doesn’t sound exactly the same, but I would say equally good. But what impresses me the most is your playing in this vid. So clean, no fret noise and great feel!! Well done bro!!

    [Thanks a lot, Alex! – Bjorn]

  58. Nathan says:

    How does it mix with muffs and fuzz?

    [The flat boost works very well but I didn’t quite manage to get the tones I wanted with the other two settings. Then again, I rarely use Muffs with humbuckers :) – Bjorn]

  59. Scooter says:

    Well Bjorn here we go again I just got my Helios Fuzz which totally blew me away now you go and review the Fire Bottle and now I have to have it too! arg! and by the way fantastic guitar playing very creamy tones ALL OF THEM :)> (keep it up and the wife is going to try and ban me from Gilmourish.com) notice I said Try

    [Ha ha, thanks! – Bjorn]

  60. Keith says:

    Sound was great, price for this Effectrode product is very reasonable, however, most everything else on their site is overpriced! A $429.00 Tremolo! And $15.00 for a JJ preamp tube I buy for a maximum of $9.00. It could be the greatest vibe, and compressor, etc. on the planet, but the Fire bottle, and maybe the Helios, are the only thing on their site reasonbly priced. Shave $150 off everything else, and I’d think the price would be reasonable. If they gave them to me, even better! Hehe ;)
    You know who!

    [Hi Keith! Hmmmm… Well, I see your point but I think your not quite seeing the whole picture. One can always bash a company for selling their stuff too expensive but then again, they wouldn’t have unless there was customers willing to pay that price. That being said, and on a very general note, it’s very different to buy pedals or parts from a wholesaler or a huge company than from a small “mom and pop” store. I don’t know anything about how Effectrode conduct their business and I’m not here to really defend anyone but you can’t survive on selling parts and pedals at wholesale prices if you want to cover the rent, wages and food on the table. It’s just not possible. Some of these companies also go a great length to create stuff that require a lot of work just to come up with the basics designs and I think that companies like Effectrode has managed to create a niche selling pedals that’s very unique and people seem to be willing to pay for it. However, don’t think for a minute that they ship thousands of pedals like the big companies. It’s a matter of barely keeping their heads above water. There are lot of mechanisms in this market, in any market, and there’s always a fine line between a healthy business and a rotten one. I don’t think anyone would survive being rotten so it’s more a matter of trying to create a niche and to find your market. Effectrode, Cornish, Strymon (and others) has obviously done that – part good products, part good reputation and obviously, part the fact that expensive sell in certain communities. Anyway… Cheers! – Bjorn]

  61. Julius says:

    Wow, just WOW Bjorn! That thing sounds so HUGE and open. Really adds a nice bite and attack to your tone, really dynamic and warm. But I’m still very happy with the Throbak used as a clean boost right on the edge of breakup, gives me a great Shine on tone (when used together with Whirlwind Orange Box and Boss RE-20). But still, I’m considering of selling the Throbak and getting the Buffalo PB instead…haven’t made my mind yet. What do you think? :)

    [Thanks! Well, I replaced my trusted ThroBak with the Buffalo, so obviously I’d go for the Buffalo. Still, they’re very similar and it’s always a matter of which is the best match for your guitar and amp. – Bjorn]

  62. Will says:

    Awesome review Bjorn! Not sure if I’ll be looking to get one any time soon, but still very nice! Was great to hear Shine On as well :)

    [Thanks! – Bjorn]

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