[review] Colorsound Power Boost (Castledine Reissue) (by Bieke)

Colorsound Power Boost

As Macaris, that famous music shop in London, is getting close to celebrating its 50th birthday, they decided to release a limited run of 50 pedals of one of the classic Sola Sound / Colorsound designs, the 18V Power Boost.

The old Power Boost evolved into the black Overdriver pedal in the early seventies, upon request of the USA market, who thought it had too much flower power theme going on.

UK pedal guru Stuart Castledine was closely involved in the making, shaping and treating of this succulent and stunning recreation of the 18V Power Boost.

Colorsound Power Boost reissueThe Looks

Comes in an old skool Colorsound white cardboard box.

Well they did not change much of Alan Murray's original artwork, gotta love that  late sixties, early seventies styling, the bright orange finish, the yellow Colorsound logo, Power Boost in a yellow comic book style star shape, the yellow Hit It ! arrow near the footswitch, 3 Marshall amp style knobs for bass, volume and level, amplifier output on the right and instrument input on the right, no LED, no adapter socket.

They did make it sturdier, it's not the flimsy thin metal housing like the original, it feels solid. Still they used the original tooling to make these pedals.

Also, just like in the old days (after you take off two little screws on the side) , you have to wiggle a flat screwdriver to remove the bottom panel. The bottom panel has a Sola Sound label with the serial number.

Colorsound Power Boost reissueInside, the circuit looks beautiful, reminiscent of the original, the switch, the potmeters, the circuitboard, the wiring look exactly like the vintage pedals, the electronics look like better quality stuff as compared to the old Colorsounds. It looks like they definitely wanted to make this a good one.

The PCB is a copy of the last version of the 18V Powerboost (there were 3 versions). Potmeters look like the old ones, but were actually custom made , and it has a reverse log potmeter for Volume, whereas the original had a linear pot. The reverse log is supposed to give a better sweep. Transistors are BC184L, as the original.

To me it seems, they kept the good things about the original design, and improved the weaknesses.

The only thing I did not like is that it takes two 9V batteries, I can live with that but there are no battery holders, not even a bit of foam or something, but again, this is just like the original.  So why should I complain, I'm not.

The Sound

The neighbors might complain, your bandmates might complain, soundguys will complain, your housecat will disappear for a week, yes it is that loud. Perhaps the loudest boost pedal I've ever tried. Could it be too loud? There is a simple solution. Simply hit it, and always leave it on. It sounds so good, you will find it hard to switch it off anyway. Just work with the volume control on your guitar if you need to turn the volume down a little. Plenty of clean headroom available, you'll have to turn the volume control to noon before it starts breaking up and at about 70% it will give one of the creamiest, most inspiring and liveliest overdrive sounds I've ever heard coming from a pedal.

The bass and treble controls do exactly as described, boost the bass frequencies, deep rumbling sound or boost the treble frequencies, this will also give more gain, easy to find a setting you like, because there isn't a setting that sounds bad.

It has monstrous volume and sweet tone.

The Verdict

Woah ! Some pedals don't need lengthy reviews. Some pedals can simply be described in one word.

The Sola Sound Power Boost is one of those pedals. If I had to describe it in one word, hmmm that would most likely be... explosive.

Hit It !

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