Super clean boost and awesome EQ pedal?

Have been thinking about adding a pedal like this recently.
I don’t dig the options in the Studio 40 for this type of stuff.
Is there a pedal / preamp pedal best suited for a VERY clean boost of signal and an outstanding EQ?


There are lots of choices in that regard. I’ve tried a couple and settled on this. I love it!

Be prepared for a slew of opinions on different pedals. You be the judge.

1 Like

I was thinking that may be an option. Wasn’t sure how “clean” of just a boost it would give, but maybe that’s not as important.

I really want some flex in eq settings but also the ability just to boost a clean signal too if I want.


Only “clean” boost that I know is the Harmonic Booster from Darkglass.


Most everything with a level knob is a clean boost when their other knobs are set flat or disengaged.

The Mooer Radar has a 5 band fully parametric EQ. You can set each filter to exactly the frequency and bandwidth you want. It is marketed for amp sim and cab sim, but I just turn those off and only use the EQ when not on headphones. The master level has plenty of boost.

I couldn’t find another EQ that had the frequencies where I wanted them. Most are designed on standard EQ centers rather than instrument specific centers. Unless you go with a preamp pedal that has 3-4 bass friendly EQ centers that you may or may not like. On that road I like the ToneHammer because it has a sweepable mid control that I can put where I want.


1 Like

I guess what I am trying to do is one of two things…tell me if I am making no sense or nuts, could be either, could be both.

I want something that will bring out the sound of the bass itself more (thus the clean), and then shape that tone with an eq that does a GREAT job. @DaveT, I don’t know if I want the complexity of dialing in each frequency (that might make me nuts if I am not already).

I just feel like the tone knob on the bass, or the generic eq knobs on the Studio (even if in a sim) are either meh or color the tone as much as enhancing a specific EQ point.

I have read all the great stuff on the Tech 21 VT, and it has a lot of features that I don’t need, but I suppose it would also do the job here well, no?
But @PamPurrs, would you say the Tech 21 VT colors your sound beyond just the EQ and you really like that sound or is it clean and then you can color with the 3-band EQ knobs.

I am sure I am over thinking this whole thing quite a bit…


The VT Bass DI is very, very far from clean. Which is why I like it. It adds a lot of really great tube-like color to the sound.

Very clean preamps: EHX Battalion, TC SpectraDrive

Clean preamps do not interest me at all though I have owned a Battalion and it was really cool. Nice clean 4-band EQ.

A little. There’s a lot to be said for preamps that color your tone a bit. I vastly prefer them. And the VT Bass DI can be dialed in pretty clean - but people do not buy it because they want a transparent preamp.

1 Like

Another option, a very good one, if you just want a clean boost: Get a compressor pedal with a level knob. Most have a very nice transparent boost. Some less transparent.


I’ve got that on the Hyper Luminal, which, I have not sat down to sort out yet, that is a this weekend project. Will try that for the boost part @howard.


So let me ask this another way…

Forget the boost, solid EQ pedal?

1 Like

The VT Bass DI Pam mentioned is fantastic. Not transparent, but adds a very nice tubey flavor to the sound across most of its range.

The preamp (“Ultra”) versons of the Darkglass pedals like the VMT are fantastic. Also not transparent.

My favorite I have owned was the EBS ValveDrive. Defimitely not transparent- has an actual tube.

I liked my EHX battalion a lot, nice 4 band EQ, but sold it because it was transparent :slight_smile:


For EQ you could also get a preamp with EQ controls, but this would be my top 5 for Graphic EQ pedals:

  1. Boss GE-7 Equalizer - solid choice
  2. Source Audio EQ2 - most pricy but digital and includes a tuner
  3. MXR 10 Band Equalizer - if you want more bands
  4. Behringer EQ700 - cheapest option
  5. Mooer Graphic G - mini pedal

For Tone & EQ pedals you have so much more options. I think a preamp would be a better buy but I had some interest for the EarthQuaker Devices Tone Job which is an EQ & Boost.


So, what did you end up getting, @John_E ??

I was wondering whether anybody had any experience with this baby here:

Seems to be a steal for around 60 bucks…

1 Like

I had my eye on a used Source Audio EQ2 but decided it’s way overkill for me (10 set table filters).

Then I decided to go another way and am now looking at clean amps in combination with preamp pedals that can give very flat to lots of color. I have a Darkglass B7K which when set flat is a great boost but gives me enough EQ settings outside of an amp that I could use it as a preamp for a clean amp or just use a the amp eq settings.

I’m looking at Harley Benton, Darkglass and Bergantino amps (across the entire price spectrum) for a class D ICE amp, each has pros and cons on the preamp side (or cost cons). Taking my time to go do some trialing over the next 6 months to decide.


Thanks, John! I am mostly looking to get a boost option with level control, whereas the tone control isn’t strictly necessary for me.

Not to open that other debate again, but given the plethora of pedals you have, wouldn’t you just want the cleanest of amps possible (in order not to muddle the sonic picture any further)!?!

I guess I said this before, a Bergantino, Genzler or Trickfish are probably among the cleanest (and, yes, priciest) amps out there :slight_smile: (I am sure the Darkglass is a great amp, but I guess people choose it particularly because of the tone it is giving you…)

Happy hunting!


All 3 solid options. If I had to pick one I would prob pick the Trickfish. Maybe in this price range you should also add the Mesa tops? Not sure how colored those are.

Maybe the Bergantino amp is the way to go?


They also make a Mooer Graphic B for Bass with slightly different frequency centers, depending on what you like.


Just to close this thread out, I have found the Darkglass B7K to be the ticket here, with lots of other features too.
It is very clean with all EQ at 12:00, and gives great EQ flex. The bonus is the awesome drive/distortion circuit that comes along for the ride, plus cab sims.