Portland’s Blammo! Electronics builds hand-made guitar pedals often inspired by classic vintage circuits. Their brand new Voltage Booster is their take on the Colorsound Power Boost, one of the first overdrive circuits ever made back in the late ’60s.
The Voltage Booster is built around the original BC184L transistors and offers both 9v and 18v operation mode, emulating both the early and the later units, which run at a different voltage.
It features several improvements over the original:
- Sturdy, relay-based true bypass switching system for quiet operation.
- Beefed up power filtering
- Polarity protection diode to defend against any potential damage an incorrect power supply might cause
- The master volume control mod allows overdrive and distortion at lower levels (something the original units couldn’t pull off).
- Redesigned PCB to fit into a compact enclosure
But the most important thing is how it sounds, which you can hear in the demo below.
The Colorsound Power Boost was one of the first overdrive circuits to hit the pedal market. Originally created around 1968 by Gary Hurst, it offered players a wide range of useable guitar sounds with its simple 3 transistor pre-amp design and 2 band Baxandall EQ. The first units ran on 18 volts offering a more open and dynamic tone than the later models, which ran at 9. The BLAMMO! Voltage Booster recreates that classic Power Boost circuit using original BC184L transistors but offers both 9 AND 18 volt options by adding an internal charge pump on a toggle switch that doubles the operating voltage internally.
We also added a relay based true bypass switching system to quiet that annoying click / pop standard 3PDT footswitches make when pressing them. Plus they’re rated for 3x as many cycles. We also beef up the power filtering and add a polarity protection diode to defend against any potential damage an incorrect power supply might cause if accidentally plugged in. The master volume control mod allows proper overdrive and distortion sounds at lower bedroom levels, which was one of the drawbacks original units had. We then redesigned the PCB to fit into a more compact pedalboard friendly enclosure with board controls (pots and toggle switch) and a screen printed 2 color graphic based on the original.
– True Bypass
– No click footswitch
– Original BC184L transistors
– Internal charge pump for 18 volt option
– Nichicon and Panasonic capacitors
– Board mounted pots and switch
– Matte orange powder coat w/ hand silkscreen 2 color graphic
– 125b metal enclosure (4.8 x 2.6 X 1.5 inch)
– Top mounted jacks
– Yellow LED
– Teflon coated wiring
– Uses the standard 2.1mm center negative 9 volt power supply
– Current Draw: 9 volts = 25ma , 18 volts = 32ma