MI Audio Boost 'n' Buff v2



MI Effects


The Boost n Buff is a tri-functioning pedal that should be an essential on every pedal board, whether to keep your original guitar tone intact or to boost the signal.

  • Huge 35db Boost range.
  • Ultra quiet, Class A (single transistor) design.
  • Tri-function booster/buffer
    • In bypass mode, it's an ultra high input impedance buffer (5Meg!)
    • In the lower gain range, it's a flat booster (<15db)
    • In the upper range, it's a treble booster (>15db)
  • Huge headroom, with 18V (2*9V battery) internal power.
  • Volume Control - to control the output volume
  • Powder-coated and silk-screened enclosure, measuring only 4.3" * 2.2"
  • Heavy Duty 3PDT footswitch
  • Uses 2 * 9V Battery or DC power supply with up to 25V headroom (N.B. If using batteries the Boost n Buff will not work on 1 * 9V battery alone. You need 2 * 9V batteries to complete the circuit.)

Bypass Mode/Buffer

In bypass mode, the Boost 'n' Buff acts as an ultra high input impedance/low noise buffer. In fact, the input impedance is approximately 5Meg. With such a high input impedance, your guitar pickups don't need to deliver a lot of current in order to reproduce their full natural bandwidth. You can drive cable lengths as long as you like without sacrificing tone, and due to the ultra low noise design, you can use the Boost 'n' Buff out the front of dirt pedals or high gain amps without worrying about introducing any significant noise.

So what's different about this buffer and the buffer you'd find on mass produced pedals? Well, the primary role of a buffer on a mass produced pedal is not to 'rescue' your guitar tone from degradation, but rather to drive the low quality transistor based switching system. The input impedance of these buffer circuits are thus designed not to keep all of the top end sparkle of your guitar tone. In some cases, the input impedance of this buffer is as low as 200kOhms, which is 25 times lower than the input impedance of the Boost 'n' Buff circuit.

By adding the Boost 'n' Buff in your signal chain, especially near the front of your effects, you'll notice that in bypass mode your guitar signal will have a bit more sparkle and top end detail. It's not that there are any special EQing 'tricks', but rather that the Boost 'n' Buff is faithfully reproducing all of the frequencies that are coming out of your guitar. Your tone will feel a bit more powerful, with more punch and almost as if there's more dynamic range and 'sustain' (although these are not the right words to describe it). You've got to try it out to feel what I'm talking about.

Bypass Mode/Buffer

Flat Booster: In the first half of the volume sweep, the frequency response of the Boost 'n' Buff is flat. This provides you with about 15db of flat boost before the frequency response of the pedal starts to become more treble booster-like. This is perfect for solo volume boosts. The one thing to note is that if you're going to use digital effects in your signal path, I'd suggest putting the Boost 'n' Buff after the digital effects to avoid overloading the A/D converters.

Another interesting application is using the Boost 'n' Buff in the FX loop of an amp to act as a secondary volume control. Since it has ample headroom, line level signals are not a problem. So even if your FX loop is line level, you can still get quite a bit of boost using the Boost 'n' Buff. This way, your FX loops can also double as a solo volume booster as well as a standard FX loop. By putting the Boost 'n' Buff in the FX loop, you can use it to boost the volume of an overdrive channel. If you're using the overdrive channel of your amp, then putting any booster between the guitar and amp will just increase the amount of distortion as opposed to increasing volume. By putting it AFTER the preamp (in the FX loop), you can achieve volume boosting without affecting preamp tone.

Treble Booster

Once past the half way point, the mid and high frequencies start to climb faster than the low frequencies. At maximum gain, not only do you have an amazing amount of boost (approximately 35db), but the frequency response is perfectly tailored to driving a valve amp. It's literally like hot-rodding your amp with an extra tube stage. Also, with the 18V headroom, your sound will be 'cleaner' going into the amp, so that there's less colouring from the transistor.

Volume Control

The new Boost 'n' Buff pedal now features an output volume control. This can be used in a few different ways.

  • Firstly, you can now turn down the volume, and use the built in gain of the Boost 'n' Buff to get mild dirt sounds.
  • Secondly, you can now use the pedal in the treble booster range at any volume.
  • Finally, by mixing the relative levels of volume and gain, you can now coax a wider range of timbres from the pedal.

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