If raw, old-school, extended-dynamic boost power is your thing then you would do well to investigate the Power Booster from Buffalo FX. The Power Booster is unashamedly based on the Colorsound Powerboost, an 18v booster as used by the likes of David Gilmour, Marc Bolan and other Classic Rock greats. It’s a simple affair that features Bass, Treble, Gain and Volume controls, which allow it to be used as a clean boost through to a grunty fuzz.
The Buffalo FX Power Booster has internal voltage doubling (9v to 18v), which means you’ll get all the headroom and punch of the original with the single power source of a 9v battery or standard Boss-style 9v power supply. You will also find a handy side-mounted battery drawer that eliminates the need for removal of the bottom plate when it’s battery-changing time. There’s an LED to tell you when the pedal is on or off and top mounted input and output jacks to help preserve pedal board space. The pedal is tall (think of a Tim pedal or similar) so it will happily sit at the rear of your pedal board while keeping its on/off switch accessible. These are all great features in my opinion.
Unfortunately I have not had recent experience with an original Coloursound Powerboost so I cannot say how sonically faithful the Buffalo FX version is to the original. However, the Buffalo FX Power Booster does feature new-old-stock BC184 and BC169 transistors that were also found in the original so I have to assume that it is at least playing in the same ballpark.
This pedal has a myriad of uses from simple EQ tailoring (apparently David Gilmour liked to use one to EQ his Muffs) through to all out belligerent fuzz-tone hell. For an example of the latter, think of the intro to T-Rex’s “20th Century Boy.” Are you with me? The Power Booster will do that and more. As a clean boost it will fill out, thicken or thin out your sound, or it can be tweaked to make up for any tonal shortcomings in your amp. After using it for a while you may wonder why you would ever turn it off, such is its potential influence on your tone. You can use it to add sparkle to dark amps, bass to bright amps, grit to clean amps and more drive to already driven amps. There’s enough clean Level on tap to simply inject an amp or pedal with just ‘more’ or more bass or treble and there’s always the added bonus of the Drive being there as well if you really want to frighten your chosen target. All of these applications will yield pleasing results; there is nothing half-hearted about the Power Booster.
The Power Booster is currently available in two different case sizes. My demo pedal was the (preferred) tall box version but there’s a flatter version with side-mounted jacks available from the Buffalo FX site.
The pedal is what it is: It is not a smooth overdrive with “boutique-voiced” mids. It is a raw and potentially unbridled booster that can deliver sparkly cleans through to raw fuzz.
What we like:
No fuss, big results, old-school supercharger pedal with tons of uses.