Best Guitar Boost Pedals of 2019 – Complete Round-up

When looking at the myriad of boost pedals out there, we realize it is quite tricky to choose the right pedal, without adding fuzz or distortion to your sound.

But rest assured, we have done all the research on your behalf and put together this article about what a boost pedal is, how to choose one, and, of course, the best boost pedals. 

So read on to learn more about these pedals and discover one that will be best for your use.

Comparison Chart of the Best Guitar Boost Pedals

Product

Rating

Price

J Rockett Audio Designs Archer

J. Rockett Audio Designs Tour Series Archer IKON Overdrive and Boost Guitar Effects Pedal

Best Overall

MXR M133 Micro Amp

MXR M133 Micro Amp

Runner-up

TC Electronic Spark Mini Booster Pedal

TC Electronic Spark Mini Booster Guitar Pedal

Best for the Money

Catalinbread Galileo Booster Pedal

Catalinbread Galileo Booster Guitar Effects Pedal

Best Bass Boost Pedal

EarthQuaker Devices Arrows V2 Pedal

EarthQuaker Devices Arrows V2 Preamp Booster Guitar Effects Pedal

Best Mid Boost Pedal

Electro-Harmonix LPB-1

Electro-Harmonix LPB-1 Linear Power Booster Preamp Pedal

Best Treble Boost Pedal

Donner Booster Boost Mini Pedal

Donner Booster Boost Guitar Effect Pedal Super Mini Pedal

Best Overdrive Boost Pedal

Jim Dunlop MC401 MXR

Jim Dunlop MC401 MXR Boost/ Line Driver

Best Clean Boost Pedal

What is a Boost Pedal and What Does it Do?

A boost pedal is an effect pedal that aims to increase the gain of the guitar’s signal – or simply boost the output. This effect pedal has the tiniest impact on your tone and is made to boost the signal before it gets to the amp without adding any undesired presence such as fuzz or distortion. The main aim of a high-quality boost pedal is to transparently create a clean sound which does not change the frequency or tone. 

How to Choose a Boost Pedal

A high-quality boost pedal that does not distort your sound is quite challenging to find. This is what you should look for:

True Bypass

This technology is quite a win in any piece of gear. It means the pedal will work as intended, without doing anything you don’t want it to. This is desirable for the high quality and stability of the sound your guitar makes. 

Functionality

This one depends on your needs – are you just looking for a booster or would you enjoy some more tweakable features and knobs? For the scope of this article, booster is what we feature, although we did include some more exotic ones with more features for your delight. 

Power

Relevant to this might also be power – some pedals use more electricity to run and some are more efficient – remember to check this, as a power-hungry one could possibly run out of juice during a live performance. 

Size

The last consideration you need to keep in mind is the size. This is especially relevant if your pedalboard is already all lit up with different pedals, as adding another one may be a difficult job. The standard versions often pack more features and functionality, while the mini pedal sizes give you the basics and do the job. 


Quick Take: 
Top 3 Picks

Review of the Best Guitar Boost Pedals

Now that we have gone through how to choose a guitar boost pedal, let’s take a look at some of the best options on the market.

J. Rockett Audio Designs Tour Series Archer IKON Overdrive and Boost Guitar Effects Pedal

PROS

  • Can be used with battery
  • Sturdy design and long-lasting
  • Great sustain and compression
  • Has a stylish, retro, high-quality build
  • Highly adjustable with tweakable controls
  • Amazing clean sounds and signal by completely turning down the gain

CONS

  • Pricey for some
  • Hard to access the battery compartment

What Recent Buyers Report

This boost pedal performs exquisitely, overall. The sounds are smooth and it adds fullness and consistency. The drive is rich, with good compression and sustain. Additionally, you can adjust the settings to your liking, so it offers a lot of versatility. The best recommendation is to place it first in the pedal chain to ensure it works amazingly.

Why it Stands Out to Us

What is great about this pedal is its versatility – although a boost pedal, this is a 2-in-1 product. It cleans your signal and boosts it, offering you the ability to turn the gain all the way down at the same time. You can experiment with the features until you find the magical blend. It’s definitely worth trying.

Who Will Use This Most

This boost pedal is easy to use and offers high-quality results, so it is highly recommended for both amateurs and professionals. If you are looking for a clean boost and higher control over the quality of the sounds, this pedal will be a great addition to your pedal family.

Bottom Line

Overall, despite the higher price tag, this boost pedal is perfect for anyone who needs highly accurate and long-lasting construction. If boost is what you need – end your trip here, as you just found your winner. It is unquestionably worth it for any perfectionist out there!

Runner-up: 
MXR M133 Micro Amp

MXR M133 Micro Amp

PROS

  • No distortion
  • A highly affordable, yet accurate boost pedal
  • Best for musicians who dislike any tone coloration
  • Compact, tiny-size ideal for any type of pedalboard
  • Simple and easy to use, has only one control for gain

CONS

  • Only one control for gain control
  • Lack of versatility (can only be used to boost the tone)

What Recent Buyers Report

What is really great about this boost pedal is its simplicity. If all you need is some tone boost, this tiny case is the perfect companion for your instrument. It has only one control, which can help you improve your lead role or adjust flawlessly between humbuckers and single coils or vice versa.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This boost pedal is a great option to boost your tones or optimize them between different instruments. More specifically, you can switch between guitars without reducing the output, so it is highly recommended for larger groups with multiple instruments or musicians playing the lead roles.

Who Will Use This Most

This boost pedal comes with a reasonably affordable price, making it a good choice for any budget and any musician. Additionally, it does offer some premium features that professionals might benefit from. The pedal also comes with a compressor, which contributes to a cleaner boost.

Bottom Line

Overall, the MXR Micro Amp is a tiny pedal that will make a difference in your performance. Whether you want to boost your output when you’re having a solo or want to correct other pedals taking from your signal, this tiny boost pedal is a perfect choice.

TC Electronic Spark Mini Booster Guitar Pedal

PROS

  • Clean boost of up to 20 decibels
  • Completely noiseless manipulation
  • Small footprint and a transparent setup
  • Gain control makes it easy to control the quality of the sounds
  • Offers consistent, clean boosts without distortion or tone coloration
  • The simple design allows easy setup and quick installation and removal

CONS

  • Becomes slightly noisy when gain turned to 12
  • Alignment issues due to the placement of the input jacks (close to the DC input)

What Recent Buyers Report

You will notice the clean boosting properties from the first use. What is more, you can boost the sounds up to 20 decibels, which makes it useful for numerous situations when you want your sound to be louder. Additionally, it is easy to use and the setup is flawless.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The ultra-compact boost pedal offers a completely clean boost to your sounds and shapes some tone enhancement at the same time, making your tones shine through in the right moments. With a great boost of 20 decibels, this tiny pedal is an excellent option for a discrete analog circuit.

Who Will Use This Most

This pedal is a great option for both amateurs and professionals. It is amazingly easy to use during live performances because of its dual-activation system. You can either stomp on it like other pedals, or you can just press and hold the switch, which activates the pedal as long as you press it.

Bottom Line

Overall, the TC Electronic Spark Mini is a fantastic boost pedal that uses the analog circuit to give you clean boosts of up to 20 decibels. The true bypass ensures tonal integrity and a lack of sound distortion, and is quiet and perfect for live performances. The design is pretty eye-catching, too!

Catalinbread Galileo Booster Guitar Effects Pedal

PROS

  • Offers controls for tone
  • Ideal for any lead guitarist
  • Versatile, perfect for most genres
  • Has subtle and clean overdrive sounds
  • Gain and volume controls are separate for higher quality

CONS

  • Does not have EQ settings

What Recent Buyers Report

This boost pedal is high-quality and can be used with almost all genres. There is a clean, subtle overdriven sound that makes this pedal stand out from the crowd. This makes the product an ideal asset for any lead guitarist. Once you try this pedal, you will fall in love with it!

Why it Stands Out to Us

This pedal is one of our top choices due to its flexibility and tonality. What we really enjoy is the separation of gain and volume controls, which often lacks on cheaper models. This will offer you more control and the boost will be cleaner. The design is not a put-off either – the sleek metal case with a golden decal is hugely pleasing.

Who Will Use This Most

If you enjoy the sound of Brian May’s guitar in Queen, this pedal is definitely for you. Additionally, you can use it as both overdrive and booster. It is highly recommended for both amateurs and professionals since it offers you high versatility through the three attached controls for gain, volume, and tone.

Bottom Line

All in all, the Galileo pedal is a tremendous booster-overdrive unit that will make you sound like Brian May, with that distinctive mid-range, throaty sound, and specific crunch. It combines the controls for gain, volume, and tone in order to up your game, provides either piercing or sweet, subtle overdrive sounds, and makes the lead guitarist stand out.

EarthQuaker Devices Arrows V2 Preamp Booster Guitar Effects Pedal

PROS

  • Extremely affordable
  • Great sounding qualities
  • Easy controls with only one knob
  • Great design with a boutique-style
  • An upgraded version of the initial product

CONS

  • May be too simplistic for some (only one control)

What Recent Buyers Report

You can use this great boost pedal for a saturated boost at higher levels and cleaner ones at lower levels. It has nice tones, however, if you are looking for a clean boost at a higher level, this pedal might not be for you – if you turn the boost knob to the max level, it will saturate the sound.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This pedal has a nice boosting quality and contains analog circuitry. Additionally, its manipulation is completely silent and has a true bypass, keeping your tonal integrity when you disengage it. Apart from the aesthetically pleasing looks, this unit has an easy-to-use interface with only one knob.

Who Will Use This Most

If you’ve heard of the initial EarthQuaker Device Arrow or have used it before, rest assured, this is the best option for you. If you enjoy a simplistic, yet stylish design with an easy-to-use interface, this boost pedal offers precisely what you are looking for.

Bottom Line

This product is a simple, yet efficient boost pedal, which comes with an affordable price point and gets the job done. It is reliable, high quality, and perfectly silent, as the true bypass helps it maintain the original tone qualities when you disengage it. You should definitely give it a try.

Best Treble Boost Peda:
Electro-Harmonix LPB-1

Electro-Harmonix LPB-1 Linear Power Booster Preamp Pedal

PROS

  • Removes distortions
  • Highly responsive in no time
  • Boosts the sounds to a tremendous level
  • User-friendly pedal, great for any situation
  • Compact-size, highly portable, and easy to install

CONS

  • LED lights go out quickly
  • Increases distortion for acoustic guitars
  • Can get noisy with active pickups/digital gear

What Recent Buyers Report

Electro Harmonix is a great boost pedal which can diminish the signal reduction in a long chain and offers value for the money. The pedal efficiently and quickly increases the base signal and volume without affecting the natural sound qualities of your tones. It offers great control over saturation and gain.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This great booster has a small, compact size, and is based on a metal chassis design. It is extremely easy to operate, as it includes the boost knob and on/off switch. What is more, you can easily power it with a power adapter or a 9V battery, which can be easily accessed.

Who Will Use This Most

This boost pedal is ideal for any amateur or professional musician. It is high-quality, well-built, and easy to operate in any situation, whether you are rehearsing, playing at home, or on stage, performing live for your audience. It is also great if you want more emphasis on top-end frequencies (when the gain is higher).

Bottom Line

Overall, if you like simplicity and ease of use, all you need to do is purchase this pedal, plug your guitar in the amp, and start rocking. It is a great helper for solo guitarists, but make sure you are aware of its drawbacks when used with digital gear.

Best Overdrive Boost Pedal:
Donner Booster Boost Mini Pedal

Donner Booster Boost Guitar Effect Pedal Super Mini Pedal

PROS

  • Normal effect of metal drive
  • MID effect mode for metal drive
  • Has two modes for higher versatility
  • Creates a rich and powerful distortion
  • Ideal for a crowded pedalboard with a small functional design

CONS

  • Quality control could be better

What Recent Buyers Report

This budget-friendly unit performs exceptionally. The high quality of the sound remains intact and has true bypass technology, which ensures tonal integrity, even when the pedal is disengaged. It also has high flexibility due to the multiple controls for tone, gain, volume, but also for the two modes.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This great booster made it on our list due to its numerous versatile features. You can adjust the output through the tone, gain, and volume with easy to use and highly visible knobs, and you can also choose from two modes, normal and MID. True bypass technology and analog circuitry are real benefits of this affordable pedal.

Who Will Use This Most

If you enjoy freedom and want to explore, this pedal is great for you. You can adjust the volume of the output sound, adjust the brightness of the tone, and also set the gain of the boost. This is also affordable, so is highly recommended for any amateur or professional guitarist.

Bottom Line

Overall, this booster is definitely underestimated. It offers excellent controls over several sound qualities. You can create powerful boosts and masterfully design the sounds. Ultimately, it is incredibly durable, easy to use, and has an analog circuitry with true bypass – what else can you wish for?

Best Clean Boost Pedal:
Jim Dunlop MC401 MXR

Jim Dunlop MC401 MXR Boost/ Line Driver

PROS

  • Boosts up to 20 decibels
  • LED lights for easy visibility and indications
  • Highly dependable, consistent sound quality
  • No tone coloration, a clean and powerful boost
  • True bypass stops potential interference after disengagement

CONS

  • Quality control
  • Has no EQ controls
  • Can color the wet signal

What Recent Buyers Report

This pedal is highly reliable and you can depend on it to hold on, even after many hours of usage. It is robustly bolted, and die-cast, thus, is built like a rock. It has a black metal effect, which makes it stand out from your pedalboard and you will definitely enjoy its boosting abilities.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This quality boost pedal is clearly made by people who know what they are doing and what we need. It is sturdy, long-lasting, and can give you up to 20 decibels of a clean, powerful boost every single time. It has no presence by default and cleans the sounds to your liking.

Who Will Use This Most

If you don’t need an overdrive or distortion unit, this pedal is the best choice for you. It simply acts as a booster and drives up your amp, maintaining the integrity of the sounds without interfering with your other pedals. It is great for both amateurs and professionals – anyone would appreciate its crystal-clear results.

Bottom Line

Overall, this pedal is tiny, extremely compact, and easy to use. Although it might seem quite simplistic at first sight, considering it has only one knob, you would be surprised to see the entire array of results this one control can have. It is a high-quality pedal and is worth every cent.

Can You Really Find a Quality Boost Pedal That’s Affordable?

Choosing a high-quality boost pedal can be tricky. You might think that a higher priced one is necessary to do the job. However, you can get an unpleasant surprise when you unpack it and discover that it adds a lot of distortion and muddies your tone.

In fact, just like with other products, price is not necessarily a good indicator of high quality. Rather than choosing an expensive one and realizing it is not so good, after all, it is better to purchase one that offers value for money. One that gives you a clean boost and is durable. This does not necessarily mean it has to be expensive though. 

How to Use a Boost Pedal

Here’s a short list of guidelines on how to use a boost pedal:

1. Do Not Mix up Volume and Boost

Most guitarists make the mistake of mixing up boost with volume pedals. They are not similar at all – the volume pedal has a knob you can control with your foot and adjust the sound your guitar makes. A boost pedal adds a little bit extra on top of what your instrument is capable of, like an extension. 

2. Use it for Extra Gain

What a booster is good at is to force your amp to give more. A good boost pedal has no impact on the tone, although making your guitar amplifier to work harder will result in a refined, clean sound, which is impossible to get in any other way. 

3. Get Natural Overdrive

When you press the switch, the tubes will get overloaded enough to distort the signal a bit. It is a gentle, light type of overdrive, which is extremely useful when you want to use the clean channel with just some bite. 

4. Fix the Signal Chain

If you use many pedals, you have probably noticed your signal is weaker. The boost pedal can solve this issue and add some more definition. 

Conclusion

Overall, boost pedals are quite useful for any musician. We have walked you through some of the best boost pedals on the market. It is a tricky task to find one which gives you a clean boost without muddying up your tones. All you need now is to give them a try!

People Also Ask

Here’s a short FAQ section to offer you some more insight into boost pedals. Hopefully, it will clarify the most common issues you might have regarding their ideal position in the effect chain, what order your pedal chain should be in, and the comparison between boost and overdrive

Where Does a Boost Pedal Go in the Chain?

You can experiment with its place, although most people place it before ODs, in order to get more gain, which can also alter the saturation or the feel of the effect. If this results in very overdriven sound for you, you can place it after ODs to produce a louder sound. Other guitarists prefer to place it at the end and leave it on all the time. 

What is the Best Order for Guitar Pedals?

A recommended setup starts with the dynamics or compressors, followed by filters (such as wah pedal), pitch shifter, and volume pedals. Then, you can add gain-based effects, such as distortion or overdrive, followed by mod effects – chorus, phasers, flangers. Time-related effects such as reverbs and delays work best at the end of the pedal chain. 

What is the Difference Between Boost and Overdrive?

The overdrive gives a clip to the sound – this occurs by boosting the mids and rolling off low ends, which will result in a tight sound with plenty of body and presence, even though you might have zero gain. A boost pedal, on the other hand, will give you a boost or spike in the signal, which makes it louder, but without altering the sound.