Exotic have just announced the new version of their popular clean boost pedal, unimaginatively called the Xotic RC Booster V2. With a very transparent extra 20 dB of clean boost available, this pedal strives to add some power but not colour to your guitar’s tone.
The RC Booster V2 has a new gain stage added, giving you two levels that you can switch between. It also offers an active EQ consisting of treble and bass controls. Each of these has +/- 15dB of boost or cut. So you can ‘colour’ your tone if you want to.
One of the two foot switches on the front of the pedal toggles between Gain 1 and 2. The other switch bypasses the effect. This unit is, of course, true bypass, so when not engaged it will not affect your guitar tone. LED lights on the front show you when the effect is engaged and which channel you have switched in: Green means the effect is engaged, with Red meaning Gain Channel 1 is active and Blue telling you you’re using Gain Channel 2.
On or Off?
A lot of players that have used the old version tended to leave it turned on all the time. The idea was that the extra boost altered the harmonic content of your guitar tone, making it a little more touch-sensitive to your playing dynamics. I personally have never tried the original ones, so I cannot comment. However, it is a pedal that players like Scott Henderson have been known to use. He even has his own signature version of the pedal, the RCB-SH, which this pedal is apparently partially based on.
Why Clean boost?
Personally I do really like a good clean boost pedal and have owned a number of different models myself in the past. I currently own a couple that are similar types of unit to this one. They tend to help with dynamics and adding that extra bit of sparkle to your guitar’s core tone. If you have not tried one you could be missing out on some useful tones. They aren’t as obvious as a fuzz or a distortion, so many players miss out on giving them a go as they aren’t as immediately apparent as those types of pedal.
If you have never tried a clean boost, do yourself a favour and try a few out, be it this new RC Booster V2 or a similar style of clean boost. This new one looks quite fully featured and the demo below gives a good indication of what to expect. However, I would always recommend trying one out, as a lot of it is down to personal taste and how it reacts to your own personal playing style. Also, try them with a few different amps and guitar combinations wherever possible.
V1 vs V2
The new V2 version of the RC Booster replaces the original pedals and carries the same price tag. The original versions will cease production later this year, once Xotic have run out of parts to build them. I do like that they haven’t put the price up and still have managed to add new features to this V2 model.
RRP USD: $210
Xotic RC Booster V2: Xotic site