Top 10 Rated Clean Boost Pedals for Guitar Solos in 2017

Finding the best boost pedal isnt always top of the priority list for guitarists on the hunt for tonal perfection. Distortion Pedals (click here for the review), Reverb and other effects units often steal the limelight, but that doesnt mean to say that your board is complete without a really nice booster. If you are looking for an all in one, you may wish to read our guide on Multi Effects Pedals here.

This versatile piece of equipment can help not only cut through the rest of the band to take the lead during solos, but itll also help give you a really solid signal to put through your board, and many have additional features to add tonal character too. That is of course, if its a good one. With this in mind, weve brought together 11 of the greatest options you can buy new today.

If you are into soloing, you may wish to experiment with the delay effect, using a delay pedal (click here for guide).

At a glance: Our top 3 picks
Your shortcut to our team's top 3 recommendations
Jim Dunlop MC401 MXR TC Electronic Spark Aroma ABR-1 Booster
  • Strong, clean boost with no coloration
  • Really well built for gigging dependability
  • True bypass to prevent contamination when switched off
  • Adjustment up to 26 dB of boost
  • 2-band EQ adjustment
  • Mini-toggle for added versatility
  • Incredible value
  • Gives more than just clean boost
  • True bypass
Click here for priceClick here for priceClick here for price

1. Jim Dunlop MC401 MXR

Jim Dunlop MC401 MXR

First up is the MXR MC401. With a true bypass and one goal in mind, this boost pedal is for those who need more boost without any coloration whatsoever. With boost adjustable between 0 and +20 dB, there is a decent amount of variance available, but otherwise, this is a no-frills option that really delivers.

One knob and one switch is exactly what you need if youre looking for a swift injection of boost, and its exactly what you get. Premium hardware inside the chassis also ensures that you wont suffer any signal interference whatsoever, which is ideal if you dont want any change to your tone - only boost.

The MC401 is also an extremely well built piece of equipment, being die-cast and robustly bolted together. We dont see why it wont stand up to years of touring use. The black brushed-metal-effect also looks great, and would certainly be at home on a more aggressive board - which just goes to show the potential for a clean boost even in a metalheads arsenal.

+ Strong, clean boost with no coloration

+ Really well built for gigging dependability

+ True bypass to prevent contamination when switched off

Why We Liked It - Theres nothing too fancy about this pedal, with just a level knob present, but if you need straightforward, reliable boost in a great chassis, then its hard to look past this as one of the very best & most popular boost pedal options on the market. Throw it before or after your effects chain and its going to work wonders.

2. TC Electronic Spark

TC Electronic Spark

TC Electronics Spark is one of the more versatile units on the market today, making it ideal for those that want a little bit more from their boost pedal than just a decibel increase. Rather than just a level knob to adjust the boost, youll also find a gain knob to really push your tone with a bit more grit and compression.

Theres also a bass and treble adjustment, along with a nifty little toggle that sits between the knobs, which allows you to move between a pure, clean boost tone, and a couple of preset tonal options, one in the mid range, and another that adds a bit of fatness.

That said, the TC Electronic Spark is really very effective as a pure, boost-only unit. The level knob will take you right up to an impressive +26 dB, and with the rest of the adjustments left alone, its ideal for gatecrashing the mix with high-powered solos and licks. In terms of looks, the housing is fairly plain, but its smart enough, and will blend into most boards nicely. Build quality is high, and the mini toggle is usefully placed between the level knobs to avoid being knocked.

+ Adjustment up to +26 dB of boost

+ 2-band EQ adjustment

+ Mini-toggle for added versatility

Why We Liked It - A very high quality pedal, with plenty of options, the TC Electronic Spark is ideal for guitarists that are looking for a feature-packed option that can do more than boost. Its great for really bringing out solos and choruses when used only for clean gain, but tone shaping options mean that its very flexible indeed. Excellent choice for most players.

3. Aroma ABR-1 Booster

Aroma ABR-1 Booster

This budget choice would probably not be on most guitarists lists, mainly because Aroma isnt well known as a manufacturer. That however, doesnt mean it isnt worth you taking a look. Despite the price, youre getting a true bypass boost pedal with level adjustment up to +14 dB, and knobs for low and high ranges too. Those are features youd expect from a much pricier pedal.

If were being honest, the ABR-1 does alter the tone slightly, even with no low or high adjustment, so if youre dead set on a unit that does nothing more than give you boost without any coloration, then this might not be the one for you. That said, there are very few pedals on the market that give you this much for so little.

Construction seems to be decent, with the chassis made from an aluminum alloy. The brand isnt hugely well known, so longevity over touring use isnt known, but initial impressions are good. Design is fairly basic, but the industrial feel is actually quite cool.

+ Incredible value

+ Gives more than just clean boost

+ True bypass

Why We Liked It - A left-field option from Chinese manufacturer Aroma, the ABR-1 has a couple of drawbacks as a pure clean boost pedal, but ultimately is such good value that its worth giving the unit a try - the quality and range of features will surprise you. Possibly the best budget option on the market.

4. TC Electronic Spark Mini

TC Electronic Spark Mini

The little brother of the standard Spark, TC Electronics Spark Mini offers the same high-quality components for clean, interference-free boost, but in a smaller package, and without a few of the bells and whistles. Aside from the footswitch, you get just the one single level knob which moves from +0 dB to +20 dB.

Its not as strong as the full-sized spark, and it wont allow you to alter your core tone, but it does do a superb job of giving you an extra kick for solos and other lead parts. One useful feature is PrimeTime, which allows the pedal to be either switched on and left, or you can hold the footswitch down just to boost for a short period. And it does this at an amazing price, making this little boost pedal a really good choice for those who just want clean boost and good components without breaking the bank.

And it might be small, but lets face it; this thing looks great. The cream and gold detailing is stunning, and actually looks cooler than the full-sized Spark. Theres clearly an aesthetic going on here, and itd look the part plugged into a brass and cream Marshall. Construction is again excellent as youd expect from TC Electronic.

+ Awesome value

+ Looks great, with fantastic attention to detail

+ PrimeTime feature is great for short bursts of boost

Why We Liked It - A great looking little unit at a hard-to-beat price point make the TC Electronic Spark Mini a sound choice for anyone who needs a boost pedal that gets the job done. Wed highly recommend it if youve found your tone already and just want a high-quality kick in a small package.

5. Joyo Audio Roll

Joyo Audio JF 38 Roll

The Joyo Roll Boost is one very interesting little pedal. The boost knob label is expressed only as gain on the front, which somewhat hides the fact that its capable of giving you a +35 dB increase. Thats some serious power, which means that whether you use this as part of your effects setup, or just to boost the signal into the amp, youre going to notice. It works well, adding some extra sparkle at the top end, but it does feel like theres a little bit of a tonal change. Certainly not bad for the price, which is why the Roll Boost deserves to be on this list.

Design-wise, this is a pretty shallow little unit, but its a good looking thing, and it should neatly fit into most boards with ease. Bright yellow might not be to everyones tastes, but it fits nicely with the funky aesthetic and rounded edges. Build quality isnt as high as some of the boxes on this list, but its still very competitive at what is an extremely attractive price point.

+ Huge +35 dB of boost potential

+ Funky design

+ True bypass

Why We Liked It - A great price, and interesting look, and a huge potential decibel increase combine to make the Joyo Roll Boost a hugely attractive proposition. The brand might not be that well known, and the yellow paint job is severe, but for this price, you really cant go wrong. Give it a try and see just how much difference a +35 dB boost makes to your sound.

6. Electro-Harmonix LPB-1

Electro-Harmonix LPB-1

Branded a linear boost pedal, the Electro-Harmonix LPB-1 is a relatively low-budget option that is in fact a reissue of the original effects board released way back in 1968. Dont let the low price fool you however - this is a great choice, and is no poorly made imitation of the original. This thing is made in New York, which is a real surprise, as US-made hardware usually carries a much heftier price tag.

You get just the one adjustment knob, as with all of the straightforward boosters, which packs a serious amount of gain. Wed really recommend this if youre working with pickups that just dont quite have the output you want. The transparency on this unit isnt quite as good as some other options, with a small change in the mid-range but its good enough.

Its hard to argue that this isnt one of the best-looking boost pedals on our list, with that unpainted metal casing and big, bold logo that reminds us of 80s sci-fi corporations. That metal is die-cast too, which makes the LPB-1 feel very, very sturdy indeed. There are also handy rubber feet on the base of the chassis to make sure it doesnt slip about if youre using it unattached from a board.

+ Awesome looks

+ Old-school approach

+Intricately well made

Why We Liked It - The Electro-Harmonix LPB-1 is a very good value product that looks the part and is superbly made. It might not be perfect for those who are extremely particular about their tonal purity, and want literally nothing but boos, but just about anyone else would really benefit from having this die-cast little beast in their arsenal.

7. BBE Boosta Grande Clean Boost

BBE Boosta Grande Clean

Right around the mid-range in terms of pricing, the BBE Boosta Grande sets out from the very beginning to be the most transparent clean boost pedal on the market. Its packed with seriously high-quality hardware to achieve this, and offers boost of up to +20 dB.

Does it succeed? We think so. The Boosta Grande really doesnt touch your core tone at all, making it absolutely perfect for those who are nervous about purchasing a boost unit that might mess up what theyve achieved already. Our only criticism would be that the bypass switch noise when turning boost off and on isnt the quietest - but that could well change once things have worn in a little.

The casing of this unit doesnt feel quite as robust as some of your alternative choices, and this comes after BBE decided to downsize the box a little. This certainly doesnt mean its going to fall apart anytime soon, but its something to consider if you plan to tour with it. Its also fairly plain.

And finally, this pedal does actually come with a power supply unit, which is fairly unusual, and makes it generally good value.

+ Superb transparency

+ Comes with power supply

+ High-quality circuitry

Why We Liked It - The Boosta Grande gets into this list for its excellent hardware and engineering, which means that its arguably the most transparent clean pedal weve reviewed. Its good value for this reason, especially with the supplied power unit. If you want something mid-range that genuinely gives you clean boost, then its hard to argue against this option.

8. MXR M133 Micro Amp

MXR M133 Micro Amp

A much smaller cousin of the MXR weve already covered in our list, the M133 is branded as a Micro Amp, and we like that name, because thats pretty much what it is. Crank up the dial and you get some serious extra boost without any real coloration. Just amplification.

We think this little unit would be ideal when twinned with an old Marshall or Vox and either no other, or a very restrained set of, pedals. Theres a bit of extra brightness when applied, but aside from that, its just pure, clean boost that you can feed into the amp. Youd get a really nice sound by pushing an older valve amp just a little bit harder than its used to.

Finally, its minimalist, but certainly not in a bad way. This little box would slot nicely into just about any board while looking good. In fact, we think its probably one of the nicest looking units on our list.

+ Great quality

+ Almost perfect transparency

+ Useful miniature chassis

Why We Liked It - This has been one of the top-reviewed clean boost units on the market for quite some time now, and wed tend to agree. It does a very good job of boosting cleanly like a little preamp, and is very simple to use. The miniature chassis is also very welcome, and is almost surprising for how much of an effect the unit can have on your sound.

9. Donner Boost Killer

Donner Boost Killer

The Donner Boost Killer. Interesting name, and we think something must have got lost in translation somewhere, because this little thing certainly doesnt kill boost - it gives you plenty of it! Youve got a 30 dB range to adjust through (-15 dB to +15 dB), with a total of four knobs to choose from, namely bass, treble, volume and gain.

This is a genuinely versatile product, because its clearly been designed to give you all kinds of boost. It will very happily be used as a purely clean booster (though the transparency isnt perfect, but far from bad at this price point), but if you play with the other dials, you can get some nice overdrive going, and a bit of general tone shaping.

The chassis is very, very compact despite the functionality, and is made of all-aluminum, so we have no concerns over its durability. There have been some reports of faulty internals on delivery, but these have been rectified quickly.

Note that the Boost Killer can be powered with a supply but not a battery, so bear that in mind before purchase.

+ Plenty of features for a small price

+ Packs a surprising amount of boost

+ Well made and nicely finished

Why We Liked It - An interesting pedal, because while its definitely good for entry-level clean boost, it has a fairly wide range of applications. We think its definitely worth a look, which is why weve included it here, because its so very flexible for the price, is built well, and looks great.

10. Xotic EP Booster Mini EQ

Xotic EP Booster Mini EQ

Named after the EP-3 Echo Machine used by legendary guitarists such as Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin fame, and fret-tapping genius Eddie Van Halen , this mini boost is intended to do nothing but bring out your tone by giving the bottom end a bit more definition, and brighten the top end. And were pleased to say it does just that - this is a very, very good clean boost pedal indeed.

All of the marketing spiel claims that you can change the EQ shape of this pedal as well as boost, and youd be forgiven for being pretty confused by that. There is after all just the one level/gain knob, and the footswitch, right? Wrong - if you open up the chassis, youll find a couple of additional switches that allow you to make adjustments other than boost. This is an interesting choice on what is a premium piece of kit, priced above almost all of the other options on our list.

Construction is sound - you could throw this at a brick wall and the wall would probably come off worse - and only very high quality components have been used. It has a very classic look, which should be to most peoples tastes.

+ Very high quality

+ Excellent sound

+ Strong reputation

Why We Liked It - This is a costly option to say that it does very little other than offer clean boost, but it does that very well indeed. If you want to be sure that youre getting the absolute best, and particularly if you want to buy on reputation, then this is a good option, which is why it goes into our list.

11. Rockett IKON

Rockett IKON

J Rockett Audio Designs (often known as JRAD) have set out with this particular unit to emulate one of the boost pedals of legend - the Klon Centaur - which is well known as the standard by which many other boosters are measured. Its out of production now, which is why enthusiasts will have to make do with this.

We say make do, but in reality, this is a fantastic choice for boost. Very clean, very smooth, but with the potential for some nice bite with the the boost turned right up. We really cannot fault the sound that it produces, which means that it absolutely has to be on this list, despite a fairly big price tag.

It does look a little odd, but the gold paintwork is pretty cool, and it is attempting to emulate what is now a 27 year old design, so it gets a free pass on that one.

+ Flawless transparency

+ Feels very well made

+ Retro design

Why We Liked It - If you want the absolute best boost, then this just might be it. Yes - its not a true clean boost pedal because of those additional knobs, but it takes on the task better than pretty much anything else out there. You are paying for some serious hardware, but in our opinion its worth it, and we can see why its inspirer is used by everyone from Jeff Beck to James Hetfield.

What is a boost pedal?

Boost pedals are probably one of the most underrated pieces of guitar equipment available, along with the Wah Pedal (click here for the full review). Most guitarists tend to think of the flashier, more obvious pedals such as those that add distortion and other effects as being the real showstoppers. After all - they sound more interesting on the face of it, and if youre trying to find that tone that you really like, then surely looking for the right pedal to change your tone is the way to go?

What Is a Boost PedalIn reality, thats just not always the case, which is why these things can be found on most guitarists boards, and why the very best guitarists use them (and why you should consider using one too). In short, a boost pedal is designed to increase the volume of the signal going from your guitar into the amp, but without making your tone any muddier, overdriving it in any way, or in fact changing the core tone in any way at all.

Sometimes this is referred to as being transparent, but as with many things when it comes to tonal vocabulary, different users will call it something else. There are lots of different potential benefits to this ability to boost cleanly, which well look at in more detail in the next section, but ultimately it allows you to either temporarily boost your volume to cut through the sound when youre playing in a band, or it allows you to get a stronger signal into your amp or pedals, which can mean better characteristics from them.

Its important to note that boost pedals often get called different things, such as clean boost, linear boost or distortion free boost. In essence they all mean the same thing, but that doesnt make them all equal, and not all of them are limited to clean boost alone either. Some pedals will be better than others at boosting that signal, and many have additional effects available that really will alter your tone, even if theyre branded as a clean booster. They might offer EQ adjustment too, or even other preset tone shaping. Theyre sometimes known as hybrids, or for instance treble boost pedals if they have a specific function.

Whats more is that clean boost can actually be achieved sometimes by effects units that are not marketed or branded as clean boost pedals. If you turn off all the levels and effects on some overdrive pedals for instance, you can reduce the function to simply giving clean boost. That said, in many such cases there is still some tonal change, which isnt what most users want.

At their core then, boost pedals are designed to get that signal across as cleanly as possible, at a higher level. All good players know that additional metal between their guitar and amp can cause tonal changes, whether good or bad, which is why a lot of work goes into ensuring that doesnt happen with a clean boost pedal.

What does a boost pedal do?

So what is it exactly that happens when you hit that footswitch for more boost, and how can you use this to your sonic advantage?

Your first option is the most straightforward and obvious one. Choose which decibel setting you want the unit to output at, and then a quick stamp on the footswitch will instantly give you a power lift thats perfect for making the guitar louder at will. At home, this can be useful where youve got varying volume demands over a song.

What does a Boost Pedal doMany people will also ask - whats the point in a clean booster when you have a volume control on the amp?. Well the answer is that its very difficult to very specifically change the volume mid-song - its far easier just to hit a pedal. In addition, changing the volume on the amp may well alter some of the characteristics of your tone in a way that you dont want - particularly with a nice valve amp. The low down is that increasing the signal going into the amp is not quite the same as increasing the volume coming out of it - or indeed altering the gain on the amp as the signal comes in.

On the stage, in the rehearsal room, or at the studio, this ability becomes pretty much essential for most guitarists. Theres nothing more annoying than coming to your solo, or even a break, and finding that the rest of the band is still pretty much at your level - preventing you from being able to shine through and make an impact.

A clean boost pedal gives you the ability to suddenly cut through that mix, allowing the guitar to be heard more clearly over everyone else, and then cut back as you need to. You can do this to whichever degree you like too, because all boost pedals will allow you to choose the decibel increase/gain that hits when the footswitch is depressed.

Virtually no live guitarist thats part of a band will go on without either a clean boost pedal, or some method of getting clean boost from another pedal. But thats not all these little units are for.

Remember how we said earlier that changing the volume of your amp might make things sound different in a way that you dont want? Well, theres a flipside to that. Increasing the signal thats going into your amp - even if its an incredibly clean or transparent signal, can make the amp work harder, which in turn might alter the tone - but in a way that you do want.

An old vintage amp for instance will have a little bit more bite to it if the signal coming in is stronger, because it'll be working harder, and be a bit more strained. This can be a great thing if your tone is too smooth and just needs an edge to it. There are also lots of players out there who have breathed new life into what they thought was a tired old vintage amp by pairing it with a nice clean boost.

And while all of this is true for amps, its also true in a way for other pedals. You can put the clean boost pedal at the end of your chain to boost the signal from all of your effects before they go into the amp, to really strengthen them. Alternatively, lots of people put their clean boost either at the front, or somewhere in the middle of their chain to give the other effects units a stronger signal to play with. Boost is flexible.

While those are the main reasons you might use a boost pedal, there are others too. You might for instance want to be able to bring two guitars with differing pickup outputs closer together, and this is the perfect solution to that.

It is of course entirely up to you as to how you use the pedal and where you decide to place it in the circuit, but these are the primary methods that people use, and why very few boards can be said to be complete without one.

How to choose a boost pedal

Choosing one of these units is certainly not easy. In the next section were going to look at what makes a pedal good or bad, but firstly, what should you think about when youre picking between them?

True bypass is something that youll see a lot when looking at the different options in front of you. What this means is that when the footswitch is in the off position, and you dont want any boost, there should be virtually no interference whatsoever - it should be as though the pedal isnt even there, and the signal flows through as it needs to.

How to choose a Boost PedalThis is generally seen as a big positive, and youll find that most pedals on the market do come with the feature. It means you can have the unit ready to boost, but it literally will not do anything while you dont want it to, which is very important if you really want to keep your tone as stable and replicable as possible.

The pedal does this by physically switching the circuit so that the input and output jacks are connected to one another without anything in between.

However, true bypass isnt always completely desirable. On some premium boost pedals, youll find that true bypass isnt a feature - surely thats a mistake if most boutique-made pedals do? Not quite. True bypass has two issues that may be severe disadvantages to some, and not a problem for others.

The first is that the switching of the circuit with the footswitch almost always makes an audible pop or click. Often this isnt too much of an issue if youre not hitting the boost frequently, because its very quick and will get lost in the rest of the sound if its live. In the studio however this can be a really big problem. Its also a potentially big problem if the pedal sits before any effects. If that clicking noise happens before a delay effect for instance, its going to happen multiple times before it disappears.

The other issue with true bypass is that when you depress the footswitch to make the boost kick in, the change happens instantly. In many cases, thats absolutely fine, but often this is going to be harsh and jarring. Again this is particularly true with effects. Imagine if you have some delay or reverb going on, and its suddenly killed outright when you switch the pedal on or off - not ideal.

This is why lots of pedals will have processors or buffering instead of true bypass, which will smooth out the transition. So when considering which pedal to get, you need to have a think about whether you want true bypass or not. If you do, then try to find one that has the best, quietest switchover.

The next thing you need to consider is whether or not you want or need any additional functionality from the pedal. Many come with EQ options, which might be good if you want more out of the pedal than just boost, and like the idea of having some versatility. They can vary a lot, which will make your decision making process a lot longer, but if youre clever you can get a lot of features in one pedal for a decent price.

You may also want to consider the size and shape of the box itself. There are generally two sizes on the market - standard and mini. The standard ones are the ones that pack the most tech, but the mini ones are great if space is an issue, and both should be just as durable as one another. Its also worth bearing in mind when comparing boxes that some are physically higher than others too - and you ideally want to keep all of your pedals at a similar height for ease of use.

Next up is power. Not the power that the pedal will give to the signal, but the power needed to make the unit work. Most can either be used with a battery or a power input, but its always a good idea to check depending on what youre planning on using. And remember that some pedals will come with a power supply or batteries, and some wont.

Finally - and its a minor point - if youve got a particular look that you like, then bear that in mind when youre browsing too!

What is the Greatest boost pedal?

So weve covered some of the main points that you need to think about when picking a pedal for your own needs and tastes, but what actually makes a booster the best? Knowing this will also help you make sure that you make the right decision.

Weve already touched on one of the points - the switchover. Higher quality components in a true bypass pedal will ensure that the click of the circuitry changing isnt too prominent, and this leads us to what is the most important differentiator between pedals.

What is the Greatest Clean BoostHigher quality circuitry in general is what allows a really good boost pedal to get that transparency that so many guitar players desire. Its generally interference from some of the components that affects tone negatively, or indeed the way in which the gain is applied. Ultimately, the greatest boost pedals will do nothing other than open up the tone youve already nailed.

This is something that has been chased for years - famous boost pedals often have their designs copied because theyre that good at being transparent, but theyll go a long way in hiding their secrets, which is why theyre still prized.

That decibel gauge on the knob isnt always equal between pedals either, and that again comes back to the hardware. Youll find that the very best units will sound better at +20 dB of boost than lower end products will at the same level of boost - just because theyre both supposedly doing the same thing doesnt mean that they actually are. This is why people are willing to spend more to get better hardware and ultimately better boost.

Build quality is another big one that separates good pedals from average ones, and average ones from poor ones. Youre going to be standing on this thing a lot, which means that it really has to be able to stand up to a fair amount of abuse.

Poorly made pedals can suffer from a variety of failures. The circuitry inside the box can become damaged or detached, the chassis itself can crumple or split, the switches can break off, and the back can sometimes even come apart. Sometimes these issues can be repaired, but its far better to simply buy a high quality unit in the first place.

Its often the case that a super well made boost will last years and years. Some vintage ones like the Klon Centaur that we mentioned in the IKON review are now more than two decades old, but still perform exactly as they did in the early 90s.

So there you have it - the main things that will separate good boost pedals from the top is that the best will use high quality components to be as transparent as possible, really boost the signal, and create a strong chassis and switches for reliable use.

Top Choice - Jim Dunlop MC401 MXR

Jim Dunlop MC401 MXR Our top choice has to go to the MXR MC401 made by Jim Dunlop. Its simply the best out-and-out clean boost pedal on our list. While others might have additional features and even more capacity for adding decibels, its this one that does exactly what clean boost pedals were designed to do in the first place, and it does it in a great package at a better price than other premium options.

The chassis can only be described as feeling bulletproof. Its very clear that this is a pedal that has been designed from the get-go with touring musicians in mind, and it looks the business too. Black pedals are always going to have an advantage in this area and this one is no different. We wouldnt be surprised if it was on the pedalboards of some seriously famous rock and metal musicians.

The takeaway is that if you are looking for a mid-to-high market boost pedal that will do exactly what you need it to, you dont need any tone shaping options, and durability is important to you, then this is the pedal for you. Its just that good.

Premium Choice - TC Electronic Spark

TC Electronic SparkThose with a good budget can do little better than spend it on TC Electronic's Spark, which is our premium choice. Its got loads going for it, including the clever PrimeTime, and simply doesnt fall down in any area. It does cost a fair amount more than other pedals, but its not a crazy price, and still comes under some other pieces of equipment that arent as highly specced.

The Spark offers a lot more than just clean boost, which means that its a really good option for people who want to cut down on the number of pedals that theyre using. In fact - you could quite easily use it alone with a nice valve amp and it would sound fantastic with some of the additional effects turned up. That said, when it is being used purely for clean boost, its hugely competent - you could use it only for that purpose and the price would probably still be worth it.

The whole thing just looks and feels like the premium choice too. Its been designed carefully, with very solid materials that have a definite robustness to them, and this is contrasted with a really slick white paintjob. Just a great all-round pedal.

Great Value - Aroma ABR-1 Booster

Aroma ABR-1 Booster Lets face it - the price is criminally low, which means that this product would find it really hard not to be our great value choice. And the thing is - this isnt a no-frills, one-button product either. Its got plenty going for it, and while none of it is the best, its a superb choice for someone who is trying a few things out for the first time, or is even new to pedals entirely.

The TC Electronic Mini Spark certainly came close to beating out the ABR-1, but we simply couldnt overlook the fact that this one has a few different options for you to play with as well as its clean boost function. Its got a true bypass switch, and two EQ knobs and it costs this little. Just brilliant. OK, so the transparency isnt 100%, but that really has to be overlooked.

Whats more is that the ABR-1 just does not feel cheap. It has a reassuring weight to it, and the aluminum alloy feels very strong, as does all of the switchgear. Yes it doesnt have any fancy design to it, but its not bad looking at all, and certainly doesnt look like your typical low-budget knock-off. The engineering of the pedal is most certainly up to scratch, especially when you consider the great value.


So there you have it. 11 excellent clean boost pedals to choose from, with options whether youre looking for great value, the very best, or a good all-rounder. Remember to think about what you want from your pedal before you make a decision, and what to look for when youre deciding which of two options is better.

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