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AC and RC boost from Xotic effects review
By Anders Begdahl UGG.
AC and RC boost from Xotic effects
While I have quite a few overdrives I where attracted by the video clips of the AC-booster. The sound those pro players got with that pedal was amazing. The overdrives I have all color the sound, which actually can be a good thing, the Landgraff can give Marshall grind to a Fender and the Klon has a nice fat midrange boost when overdriving. The RC boost also seemed attractive, the ability the push the just a little bit more is something the Klon does well but I looked for a smaller pedal that would be easier to transport for jams etc.
The background on the pedals, from the designers at Prosound Communications.
The AC boost where designed to a boost pedal for, you guessed it, Vox AC-30. During the design of the pedal the design team decided to make more of an overall overdrive/boost pedal for any amp.
The RC boost main purpose is to be a clean boost and to drive the rig, pedals, cords, amps and guitars for the best natural sound. RC stands for Rig Conductor. Both pedals where designed with input from pro players
Both pedals have the same size and controls, small MXR type boxes with Volume, gain, bass and treble controls, both are true bypass. The RC boost is white and the AC boost is yellow.
The AC/RC sound.
Let's start with the AC -booster. This is NOT a Tube Screamer type of pedal. It does not have the mid-hump of the TS style pedals. Instead it is a smooth and transparent overdrive. The treble and bass controls let's you tailor the sound to fit you're rig, cut treble add bass to make a fat sound or boost treble to cut through with you're neck pickup. As this is a transparent pedal it complements you're amp and guitar and lets you get the most of it.
The pedal has great sustain and can go from subtle boost to singing sustain. I think the best results are achieved if you have an amp that distorts a little and use the AC-boost to take it to the next level. The AC-booster is a great versatile overdrive at a really good price, I highly recommend trying it.
The RC has not received as much buzz as the AC-booster but I liked this pedal a lot. It can be a real lifesaver.
If you have to borrow an amp and find it flat sounding the RC can add some sparkle and that little extra bit and overdrive to make come alive.
When I played it with my showman the amp was totally clean, when switching on the RC I achieved a great 70's stones rhythm sound. It is very natural and work great as mild boost.
It does not have a huge volume boost so it will not be ideal to push the preamp into crazy distortion, but what it does it does extremely well. I could set my Skrydstrup or Mystic totally clean, switch on the RC for rock rhythm and set the lead channel to sweet sustain and boost just a bit with the RC.
I have never tried a pedal that does almost distorted sounds as good as the RC. Since it has both treble and bass controls it can work also as a treble boost for a tired neck pickup or fat boost for the ice picky bridge pickup. I am very impressed by this pedal there has been several occasion where I almost got a great sound, adding the RC took away the almost.
Another funny thing is that the RC interacts very well with other overdrives and it also behaves differently depending on where it is in the chain. When using it after another overdrive it will add a lot of smooth distortion, with either the Landgraff or AC-boost before it, my Showman sounded very much like a Marshall.
If I instead put the RC in front of the other overdrive there was not nearly as much overdrive, even with all settings the same. Instead the RC made the sound a bit clearer and punchier.
The bottom line
These are two very good pedals, the AC an overdrive with smooth singing sound with bite and the RC is a boost and mild distortion pedal that can clear up you're sound and push the rig into that special sweet spot.
Please visit http://www.prosoundcommunications.com/english/index.html for more information and some great videos and clips of the pedal.
Sound clips by me can be found here: http://www.soundclick.com/bands/5/abergdahlmusic.htm
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