Caroline Guitar Company
Ability to darken and brighten the boosted
tone. Solid build and crisp tonality.
Can often sacrifice softness in the tone with
more intense settings.
in heaven for the Tele and the Boogie.
Fingerpicked chord structures had a more
stalwart nature, with a stronger kick in the
midrange and low end. The low, clean tones
of the Royal Atlantic are pretty tight, but
the Icarus gives them a crisper, less rounded
nature. It’s a pretty cool tone that’s still
really detailed—especially for Jerry Reed
and Merle Travis fingerpicking styles.
The Icarus’ built-in treble control doesn’t
just add top end. It also counteracts the
brightening effect that results from the lower
output impedance of booster circuits. This
makes the Icarus great for pulling back on the
abrasive edge that sometimes comes with a
boosted single-coil pickup too. Lower settings
can have a drastic effect on the tone, blanketing it in darker, thicker voicings. The treble
control came in handy when I needed to subdue the high end for jazzier progressions.
of heightened clarity or added bite, so if
you’re looking for a booster that adds a little
character with a volume jump, you might
want to check out one of the other models
on this list. But if you’re in the market for
a booster that doesn’t color your tone, this
bomb might be right on target.
earth in front of a blue sky. The build is
classic Whirlwind, though—solid as a tank,
smooth action in the controls, a footswitch
with a satisfying click, and solid couplings
between the jacks and cables.
The face of The Bomb has only one
giant knob—labeled 1 to 11—for setting
the amount of volume boost, and that’s it
as far as features go. The pedal is rated for a
maximum output of 26dB, with unity gain
at 1 and the full amount at 11.
The Icarus is a great boost that invigorates your tone without sacrificing its best
attributes. It can be a touch rigid-sounding,
especially with higher settings of the boost
control. But dropping the treble control
will take the edge off the extremely snappy
top end, thicken the tone, and let your
guitar breathe a bit. If you’re in the market
for a boost that takes no prisoners, but can
mellow out too, this one is worth a try.
The Bomb is incredibly honest and
accurate—perfectly replicating nearly every
aspect of the Tele’s biting tone. It will pick
up the sharper dynamics of flatpicking but
the softer overtones from fingerpicking come
through just as beautifully and precisely.
The Bomb has pure volume boost in
spades. I rarely moved the pedal’s single
control past the 11 o’clock range. But even
at high volume it’s hard not to be struck
by how well The Bomb preserved the Tele’s
original tone, no matter how hard I hit
the strings. To some players looking for
just a little more dirt from their boost, this
might be the pedal’s only drawback. Nor
does it bring anything to the table in terms
Whirlwind The Bomb
In terms of extroverted presence, The
Bomb by Whirlwind is the boldest boost
in this pack. It certainly stands out with its
caricature of a black bomb falling to the
Little noticeable tone coloration. Preserves
original guitar signal.
Doesn’t add any character to the tone.