#CoffeeAndKlon 16: Boosting With A Graphic Equaliser Pedal

This conversation was originally posted to my Twitter feed.

Good morning! I hope you’re having a great weekend. Got another #CoffeeAndKlon for you this week. I hope you enjoy it.

Today’s Coffee

Coffee this morning is an Ethiopian wild coffee from the Yayu Forest Reserve. It’s the kind of mild coffee that’s perfect if you’ve got guests who are occasional coffee drinkers.

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I was hoping to be drinking Sumatra coffee this morning – my absolute favourite – but the Yayu Forest didn’t run out yesterday as I’d hoped.

I could have just had a 2nd cup, I know. I’m finding that one cup of coffee a day is the best way for me to enjoy it. The Sumatran will still be there tomorrow 🙂

So pedals. What do I have for you this week?

#DesertIslandRig

The #DesertIslandRig is still on hold. I will return to it. It’s just that those two Wampler pedals have really got me rethinking it. So far, in the room, everything sounds better when one of those pedals is last in the chain.

It’s important to change your mind when you learn something new.

My final opinion is on hold until I’ve recorded with this signal chain. I’ve got some work to do to get my home recording setup wired up again. I unwired it all last September when I bought some new furniture for the room … and I haven’t wired it back up yet.

(That’s also what’s holding up the Marshall Origin 1 Year Review. At this rate, it’ll be the 2 Year Review!)

Anyway, I’ve got another boost pedal to talk about today.

I Picked Up A New Boost Pedal

When it comes to boosts, I’ve talked about Klon, klones, treble boosters, and clean boosts. There’s another type of boost that deserves a mention: the equaliser pedal. Like the venerable Boss GE-7:

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I picked one up last week, for my #PlayAlternative guitar challenge. I’m using it to help the Vintage Lemon Drop sound closer to my Les Paul.

By cutting the lows in the right place, and boosting the mids in the right place, I can crudely* make the Lemon Drop sound a little more vintage-voiced.

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*I say crudely because there’s only 7 bands to adjust. By necessity, they’re quite broad, and it makes for a bit of a blunt tool.

To my ears, “vintage-voiced” means prominent mids, with the energy firmly in the upper-mid range of the tone. Does the GE-7 achieve that for the Lemon Drop? I’ll let you know when I do my write up for the guitar 😉

Btw, That Pedal Show has done several shows on using EQ pedals to shape the tone. Find them on YouTube 🙂

The GE-7 is on the board for another reason.

The Eighth Slider

I’m also using it as an overall boost pedal too. Because there’s an eighth slider on the Boss GE-7. It controls the overall signal volume:

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In this case, I’m using that eighth slider to turn DOWN the guitar volume, just a little bit. An anti-boost, if you like. There are two good reasons why.

I’m using the GE-7 to boost the mids of the guitar signal. That gives the tone a little more of a vintage character. It also has the effect of making the guitar sound louder, and that needs to be balanced out.

My rig is voiced for vintage-output pickups. Turning the Lemon Drop down just a little bit makes it sound much sweeter through my rig. The effect is to present a cleaner signal to the first drive pedal.

Compared to other boosts, a graphic equaliser gives you more control – if you want to shape your guitar signal.

Other boosts are a better choice IMHO if you want to affect how your dirt pedals or amp react to your guitar tone. They’re more musical than a GE pedal in that role.

What Do You Use?

So that’s my thoughts on using a graphic equaliser pedal as a boost pedal. What are your experiences with one? Good? Bad? Do you use a different EQ pedal? Share your experiences, so we can all learn 🙂

Hope you have a great rest of your weekend! Catch you next weekend for another #CoffeeAndKlon, and checkout the hometoneblog.com for more home guitar playing talk 🙂

#CoffeeAndKlon 2: Before We Had Klones

This conversation was originally posted to my Twitter feed.

Good morning! I thought I’d do another #CoffeeAndKlon today This week, complete with authentic rat’s nest wiring!

But first – coffee 🙂 Nothing happens here on a morning until there’s coffee.

Quickly, what’s with the terrible wiring in that first photo?

Turns out the Pedaltrain Nano+ is just too long to fit on a standard-size 19” rack shelf. And I need the extra depth of a rack shelf to fit the power supply and patch bay I’m using.

So, right now, I’ve got nowhere to route the power cables – hence the rat’s nest of wiring. Wiring like this will probably make my rig noisy. That’s why it’s terrible.

Any ideas on what might fit into this space and give me elevation to route the power cables, let me know.

So, this week … there’s no Klon on my practice / gear test setup. It might seem incredible today, but it wasn’t all that long ago when there were no klones, and we had to use other pedals in that clean boost / colour role. I want to talk about that today.

We’ve had the Klon KTR (I love it, many do not) and klones for what – 6 years or so now? Before that, there were Klon Centaurs and some klones that utter amateurs like me didn’t know about. And boost pedals. We’ve had boost pedals for decades.

Remind me, and I’ll feature some popular boost pedals in the future.

What does a boost actually do? There’s three key aspects, for me:

  1. a volume boost
  2. an EQ change
  3. without adding dirt

Any pedal that does all three can be used as a boost.

There’s no written rule that says you can only use pedals that are made and marketed as boost pedals. Look at the Tubescreamer. It’s a drive pedal. But someone figured out that you can put it in front of a JCM800 to boost that amp into 80s rock heaven.

Before the Klon KTR, my boost pedal of choice wasn’t a boost pedal at all. It was a compressor. Mad Professor’s Forest Green Overdrive. And that’s what’s on the shelf this morning, on the far right of this photo.


I honestly couldn’t tell you what colour it’s adding, just that (to my ears) it does add something. Some of that will be down to using it to boost the volume. As sounds get louder, we hear them differently.

A Klon can make pretty much any pedal sound better. Some pedals – like this Bluebird Overdrive – sound better when boosted with the Forest Green instead, imho.

As Klon inventor Bill Finnegan himself says, the hype around the Klon is ridiculous. Klons (and many klones) are great. Other pedals can be great boost pedals too. Inc ones that aren’t sold as boost pedals.

I hope I’m encouraging you to experiment.

What non-boost pedals do you use for boosting your main dirt pedal or your amp? I’d love to learn more about what you’re using 🙂


#CoffeeAndKlon 1: The TC Electronic Mojomojo

This conversation was originally posted on my Twitter feed.

Good morning, and welcome to #CoffeeAndKlon. Starting off with this question from last night: can the Klon make the Mojomojo sound any good? (PS I’ve dusted the Klon for y’all this morning)

The Mojomojo isn’t a ridiculous pedal like the Metal Zone or Digital Metalizer are. (See last night’s thread for context). It’s probably the worst drive pedal I’ve got to hand right now.

Can the mighty Klon help it out?

(It’s not just my opinion. When I posted my Take The Plexi Challenge a year ago, the clip recorded using the Mojomojo was everyone’s least favourite tone.)

So what makes the Mojomojo what it is? If you could build a drive circuit out of a marshmallow, it would sound like a Mojomojo. It’s just the softest-sounding drive pedal I’ve come across.

That’s my only criticism against it. Otherwise, it sounds perfectly fine. Decent amount of frequency range, decent dynamics, good strong separation. 30 years ago, I’d have been delighted if this had been the worst pedal any of us had.

So, now I’ve finished my coffee, the question is: can a Klon make this pedal sound better?

A quick break for 2nd coffee 🙂 Almost feel human and functional now.


The Klon delivers a bit of a mid-boost. It’s one of the ways that the Klon helps lift a guitar out of the mix a bit – and why it’s such a desirable pedal. That should help bring out the character of the Mojomojo a bit.

The trick with a Klon – imho – is that it doesn’t do anything interesting at unity volume or below. The magic happens when you’re using it as a boost.

Not all pedals react well to a boosted input signal.

The Klon also has an active treble control. I can nudge that up bit by bit to add some bite to the final sound. So does the Mojomojo. There’s a little less noise if I turn the Klon’s treble up a bit, and the Mojomojo’s up to 3 o’clock.

The overall result is to turn the Mojomojo into a marshmallow with a bit more bite. It still doesn’t crunch, but it’s got much more life to it now. It can definitely growl now – and that’s a sound I can make use of.

To finish off, I’m going to switch out the Klon for one of the JRAD Archer klones. Curious to hear how that does.

I grabbed the white Archer. To my ears, it does not do what my Klon does. There’s a perceived loss of bass. Not what I want for noodling at home. In a mix, this might be a good thing.

That’s it for coffee and Klon this morning. If you enjoyed it, please do let me know.

What should I boost with a Klon in the future?