I do not know when but at some point along the way simple became a negative term. We all know what it means, right? It means that something that is straight-forward makes our lives easier and deprives us of the need to understand overly sophisticated things. Yet it is often utilized as the synonym of dull, which is not fair in my opinion. Not everything has to be complicated to be good enough and that is especially true with effects pedals. We immediately look down on stompboxes that do not offer versatility. We keep searching for diversity without realizing that it is more of an internal phenomenon rather than external. What I mean is that the array of choices you get depends on how you look at things. If you keep an open mind and are willing to experiment, you will be able to achieve the most wonderful results and even turn a one trick pony into a jack of all trades. I am not saying that additional features are bad and nobody should wish for them. I am just saying that sometimes we should look out of the box and consider simpler pedals too. Today we are going to talk about Electro-Harmonix LPB-1 – a pedal that is definitely a simple one. If I convinced you to give such units a shot, then keep on reading as I give you more details about it!
For last couple of years Electro-Harmonix has been trying to revamp their vintage pedals, shrink them down in size and provide the players with stompboxes that do not take up half a pedalboard. That trend is making all of us happy, since there is nothing sweeter than the ability to play with our beloved units without having to sacrifice everything else. LPB-1 falls into the same category. The original version was born in 1968 and contributed to many different sounds back in the day. The newer and smaller version features the exact same circuitry, but has some contemporary additions that were necessary to survive on today’s market. This bad boy has a true bypass circuitry that makes sure your tone is not sucked in the process of bypassing the pedal. Though it seems insignificant, this feature was not always the part of every other pedal. Plus, it is not that common to see a true bypass that is 100% transparent, so seeing this quality actually work out in practice is a little something that makes a good package even better. LPB-1 is essentially a clean boost but it can get a bit dirty if you get overboard. It has a certain texture to it that makes it more compatible with overdriven channels or distortion pedals. What is more, this fella can be powered with a single 9V battery or an adapter. It is that simple as that. You can connect in and out with the rest of your chain and be ready to boost the hell up from any performance. This fella should definitely be tamed as it can really go crazy if you let it get off the hook.
Just like with the majority of boost pedals out there, LPB-1 Linear Power Booster has a single knob layout. This slightly lonely encoder is mounted in the top center of the pedal and makes it possible to go from one territory to another with ease. It is labelled as Boost and modifies how much loudness is added to your sound. The thing is that it is really sensitive and if you go on and crank it up fully quickly, you might lose the sense of hearing. You have to take smaller steps with this one if you don’t want to create loud mess that no one can make out. But if you are careful, you will be able to add substantial amount of strength without ruining the whole thing. Since you have only one knob to modify, I don’t think it will take too much of your time to really understand the scope of its operation. Be smart, plan your movements and you will be perfectly fine.
If Electro-Harmonix products sounded like an angry child screaming on top of his lungs they would not have become so famous back in the day. They would not maintain that prominence till this day either. This means that LPB-1 Linear Power Booster has wonderful sound that sets this fella in the higher league. It can add so much gain to your sound that you will be awed each time you press that footswitch. As I have mentioned above, it doesn’t offer a 100% clean boost – rather it takes up some girth as you turn the knob clockwise. Though this might limit you in typical settings, once paired with distortion, you will receive mind-blowing results. LPB-1 doesn’t eat up your tone and has its characteristic vintage qualities even in the newer body. It will boost your sound gradually – you just have to rotate the knob really slowly. As you can see, this bad boy is capable of merging together vintage circuit and modern touches and as it appears, that is a freakishly amazing combination.
In conclusion, LPB-1 Linear Power Booster from Electro-Harmonix is a wonderful option for those who love old school sounds and want the replication of that in more contemporary bodies. This pedal will boost your sound perfectly, add girth and gain to your distortion boxes and add some grain to the clean channel as well. It is extremely easy to operate and doesn’t need any scrutiny in order to be understood. You take it out of the box, find the cables, plug it in and twist the knob. Then you start playing and understand what made the original stompbox so special. Plus, it is a budget-friendly option that will not empty your bank account. Give it a shot, as without a risk, you will have a hard time succeeding. Good luck!
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