Fully variable class-A power booster.
BigShot PB1 Development
After the successful launch of the Tonebone Switchbone, scores of guitarists told us how much the liked the power booster. They liked the fact that it did not color their tone and the buffering helped quiet down their system. The natural progression was to incorporate a refined version of our booster in the Loopbone. The PB1 follows the same topology by providing a no-nonsense, 'best-of-the-best' combination power booster and buffer for the most demanding guitarists.
But what makes a power booster better? How about buffering? Is this not a total affront to the concept of true-bypass switching? In many ways, the answer to the second question is subject to personal taste and akin to asking: what is better; a Strat or a Les Paul?
Let’s start with the easy question… What makes a great power booster?
It is safe to say that the very best devices ever invented have a base in science and technology. A fast sailboat, a winning race car, a great sounding amp, or a great feeling guitar all begin with someone taking the time to work through the problems and find a winning balance.
Most guitar products that made their debut since the first Fender Bassman came from musicians trying to create a solution to a given problem. Only a handful of these designs came from guitarists with a solid background in electronic engineering. To make matters even worse, very few electronic engineers actually play the guitar.
Engineers do not usually understand tone. The results are predictable: the guitarist creates musical solutions that may not perform to minimum technical standards while the technician (the engineer) produces products that are not always musical.
So what do you get? You plug in a typical power booster and the signal gets louder. But for some darn reason it just sounds bad. The most common reason for this is that chip or op-amp based preamp circuits are easy to develop, low power consumption, low cost and low noise. This makes it easy to produce a workable solution that can be driven with a battery. But they have one huge downside… they sound bad.
Since the early days of electronics, audiophiles have always migrated to class-A circuits. Listening test after listening test have proven that discreet components (i.e. separate