here. This pedal works great for pretty
much all types of rock music, older and
modern. It primarily sounds best for lead
guitar and solo work, but it does clean up
when the volume is backed down for a
nice crunchy rhythm tone. – KR
Buy if … you’re after the most killer snarling Strat tone ever, or a really aggressive
Skip if … you’re looking for more of a
Stevie Ray tone.
BSM VX-C Treble Booster
This pedal is based on the Vox Treble and
Bass booster. I happen to have an original
one, and I found the BSM VX-C nearly
identical to my original Vox pedal.
The VX-C actually boosts treble or brightness, along with the bass frequencies.
It did not have a huge dB boost, but it did
have enough to help push an amp into
overdrive—a bit, but not massively. What
is cool is that it can be used on clean or
dirty settings of an amp, giving you several
practical functions. On the clean side, it
would be wonderful with a Rickenbacker
12-string, a la The Byrds and Tom Petty.
Country players looking for that special
sound when playing different registers of
the neck will also appreciate this tone.
My personal favorite use is with an amp
that is already distorting. It should be used
before a distortion or overdrive stompbox, so you can find that singing, driving
tone a la David Gilmour. Used this way it
provides an adjustable bite and sing with
just a touch of the guitar’s volume control.
I think the VX-C is a pretty cool thing for
modern music as well because you can
add definition without getting muddy.
Because of the design of these pedals,
you can overdrive the circuit with a hotter
humbucker, so be aware that this may be
good or bad, depending on what you’re
doing. The pedal design incorporates a
smart tone control mounted on the side,
which allows you to attenuate and define
your own sound. – KR
Buy if … you’re looking for more definition and bite to your guitar tone, or you’ve
always wanted a Vox TB Booster.
Skip if … you’re looking for an EQ-type
BSM RPA Treble Booster
Another entry from the workshop of mad
scientist/tone historian Bernd Meiser, the
RPA (which stands for Richie’s Pre Amp)
emulates Richie Blackmore’s post-1974
sound: an AIWA TP-1011 reel-to-reel tape
recorder’s preamp and a heavily hot-rodded Marshall Major 200.
The RPA has both Gain and EQ controls
to help compensate for different amp
and pickup combinations, allowing you to
achieve that very specific target tone without having to use exactly the same gear.
Though the distinction between pre- and
post-1974 Blackmore might be too fine for
many players, it’s easy to appreciate the
dedication to detail that went into making
this pedal. It sent me rummaging through
an old box of cassette tapes to find some
late Purple and some early Rainbow, and
it made me want to see if I could emulate that tone with an LP Studio and a
modeling amp. I can’t say if I was entirely
successful, but I learned some things for
having tried—and it was fun. If this is not
the BSM boost for you, find the one that is
and buy it. – CB
Buy if … you’re all about the Blackmore.
Skip if … there’s another BSM pedal calling your name.
Lizard Leg Flying Dragon
Hand built by Steve Miller (not that Steve
Miller) in Gonzales, Louisiana, the Flying
Dragon is housed in a sturdy, custom-labeled enclosure with a cool graphic and
a very small footprint. Made of top-quality
components, the Dragon is true bypass,
noiseless, and dead simple—one big, toe-friendly knob.