The Germanium Boost is our recreation of the Dallas Rangemaster pedal from the early 1960s. The
Rangemaster was famously used by Eric clapton during the Blues Breakers era as well as by Tommy
Iommi, Rory Gallagher, Marc Bolan and most famously by Brian May who still uses Rangemaster
reproductions to this day.
The original Rangemaster was a treble booster and was not strictly a "pedal" or "stomp box" - it was an
amp-top box with a hardwired output lead. The original effect was designed to give British Marshall, Vox
and Selmer amps some more "American" (i.e. "Fender") treble presence. Vox later introduced the Top
Boost circuit for this same reason.
But the true magic of the Rangemaster circuit is not in it's treble boosting abilities but in it's grainy, crunchy
germanium tone and it's ability to overdrive a tube amp. Intended as a clean(ish) boost - the simplicity of
the circuit and the lo-fi quality of germanium transistors meant that a certain ammount of distortion was
introduced as well. As you turn up the single control (labelled "set" as the originals were) the single
transistor distorts more and more - becoming almost a fuzz at it's extreme setting. Well before you reach
this level however, the input of your tube amp will be well and truly overloaded adding tube fuzz to the mix!
We've added selectabe input capacitors so you can choose the original treble boost setting or a more full
range boost. We've also added true bypass switching, LED and our voltage inverter circuit (the original
and nearly all the clones use a positive earth power supply, ours is safe to daisy-chain with regular 9V
Much mojo has been attributed to the original Mullard OC-44 transistor but to be honest, this circuit can be
made with many transistors of similar gain. However we're using original Mullard OC-44's until they
become prohibitively expensive (they already cost over 10 times as much as the AC-125's in our other
It must be noted that this pedal doesn't really do much at low volume - you really need to set a tube amp
to the point where it's almost distorting (perhaps a "crunchy rhythm" setting) and let the pedal push the
amp into distortion for a stinging lead tone.
It also must be said that this pedal is not recommended for use with solid state amps - it simply wont
work! You'll just get crackly overloaded, broken sounds - I've tried it!