BACKGROUND: The EP-Booster is yet another offering from the Xotic, a company that seems to have a knack for coming out with the right pedal at the right time and making it a top quality product. The EP-Booster is based on the “legendary echo machine EP-3” (I’m told this is the Maestro Echoplex) which the likes of Van Halen, Jimmy Page, and Eric Johnson (I’m assuming Eric Johnson, perhaps it is another Johnson) have all used as preamps -ecause, of course, who wouldn’t think to use an echo machine as a preamp. The EP-Booster is the reincarnation of EP-3 as a peamp (no echo here). This pedal is not only a boost but seems to have an aura of being that almost mythical tone-enhancer-in-a-box we all look for, a pedal that doesn’t change your tone but somehow makes it better.
GUITAR: 1986 Fender MIJ ’62 Tele Reissue
AMP: 65 London Combo, 1985 Mesa Mark III
FIRST IMPRESSION: For such a small pedal it is heavy and feels very sturdy. If you were to throw it at someone’s head you would knock him out cold. I’m not sure if there is a single Boss pedal that can boast that. It has a silver black tint, which is always good.
PROS:It is probably one of the most sturdy pedals I have ever played which gives me quite a bit of confidence as a guitar player when I step on it. I have replaced one too many (truth be known, three too many) switches in my Line 6 DL-4 so that is a big issue for me.
It does everything a boost should do. That is, it boosts the signal. It does a very good job of this, but I wouldn’t expect anything less. After all it’ as boost. If you screw that up, maybe you shouldn’t be making pedals. Fortunately, Xotic should be making pedals.
It does kind of feel like a “tone enhancer.” I say “kind of” because it is so abstract that it is hard to put concrete words to. Nevertheless, I played my church’s worship set with it turned on (set as low as possible) the entire time.
This pedal is also an impecable paper weight.
…and it has a nice hint of silver…I’m a fan.
CONS: This pedal is so simple I would be worried if there were cons to it. It doesn’t suck tone, feels sturdy, doesn’t take up a lot of space, and does everything it promises. Even the LED is blue. Nothing to complain about here.
FINAL THOUGHTS: The Xotic EP-Booster is everything a boost should be and then some. Sturdy and durable, this pedal is like a little tank on the board that doesn’t mind sharing space with other pedals. This pedal is not only an exceptional boost, it is also that highly sought after yet very allusive tone enhancer.