Can Lightning Boy Audio 2020’s Instrument Transformer upgrade your tone?
Passive studio tone upgrade in a box?
Lightning Boy Audio has launched a new product, the 2020 Instrument Transformer, a passive 1:1 transformer in pedal format. Can this little box add studio grade tone to your guitar signal?
Lightning Boy Audio 2020 Instrument Transformer
Lightning Boy Audio launched the valve-based Lightning Boy II pedal a few years back. Now, LBA have added the 2020 Instrument Transformer, a passive transformer that the company says can upgrade your guitar tone.
Attenuate your pickups
The 2020 works completely passively, so it doesn’t need a power supply. It’s based on a transformer developed in-house and wound using a computer-controlled winding machine.
So what does it actually do? Specifically, if your signal comes from a humbucker or bass split coil pickup into 2020, it lowers the frequencies with 1.5 dB / octave. At 14 kHz it should be -3 dB, between 10 and 5000 Hz it is “flat”. A single-coil pickup, it is flat from 7-28000 Hz, and an effect pedal directly before 2020 is “flat” from 2- 20000 Hz.
Yes, it certainly is subtle and hard to pick out from the demo videos. But YouTube uses compression and so it will awkward to recreate the presence that this transformer adds to your guitar tone.
Currently, you have to order directly from the link below and so it is a bit of a punt, as you cannot easily try before you buy. However, if you are looking for a tonal upgrade for your guitar signal, then it isn’t exactly expensive for what it does. This little box may add a little ‘studio magic’ to your signal path.
Check out the demo videos below and let us know what you think in the comments section below.
RRP – USD 99 plus shipping/taxes
Either it “lowers the frequencies with 1.5 dB / octave” or it “adds presence”, make up your mind. Of course, a passive circuit can never “add” anything.