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Analog Man Beano Boost - Boost Pedal


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From the Analog Man Website:

This is the Analog Man Beano Boost, a simple looking yet effective pedal.

This pedal is based on the 1960s British Dallas Rangemaster, which was best at the time to give a treble and gain boost to the dark British amps. This allowed them to get a sound more in tune with the time, as guitars were starting to become a loud, bold, lead instrument. This pedal is a type of BOOSTER, not really a distortion pedal nor a clean boost- it does modify your sound quite a bit. It excites certain frequencies and pushes your amp to allow it to create rich tube distortion. The pedal colors your tone, with a crunchy overdrive, boosting certain frequencies, and warming the tone with NOS germanium transistors. It does not have a lot of compression and sustain like most OD pedals, but a more raw, open sound.

This pedal has three tone settings from the tone switch- Center is a treble boost, the same as the original Dallas Rangemaster. UP is a fuller-frequency mid range boost (MID setting). Down is a LOW range, also quite a full frequency sound. Optionally we can install a push/pull switch (built into the volume knob) for 2 tone selections (treble and mids) but this option is not as good so we rarely build them.

The Beano Boost is spectacular into an amp that is already cranked up pretty well. It will also work well into a clean amp, but you probably need to turn the volume on the pedal up, to make the tone thicker by hitting the amp harder and making it work more.

At 9:00 the Beano Boost is unity gain and may not sound very special into a clean amp. At 12:00 it starts to boost the volume and get thicker. At 3:00 it should be waking your tubes up like a passing jet plane.

So if you use a clean amp, it's not something you can just turn on and get a great sound at the same volume. However most of the time when you want more crunch you want more volume, so it may work out fine. The clips on my site are into a clean fender amp.

Blues Breakers album coverThe John Mayall Blues Breakers album is often credited as the first major use of the Les Paul guitar with a crunchy, distorting Marshall amp, which would become an icon in the following decade and it still one of the most popular sounds with today's bands. Eric Clapton plugged his '60 Les Paul sunburst into a combination Marshall amp with two 12" speakers (now called the "bluesbreakers" model!). In addition to those two pieces of equipment, many people believe that Eric also plugged into a Dallas Rangemaster on a few of these tracks to get his unique tone.

Eric Clapton reading Beano Here is a closeup of Eric on the cover, which is why this album is often called :

Nobody can seem to prove that a Rangemaster was used on this album, so I won't claim that it's positively true. But I AM certain that YOU can get his exact tone a lot easier by using our Beano Boost, and that's all that really matters. When you first try one, a lightbulb will turn on in your head- you will see how SO MANY guitarists got their awesome tones, and now you can too.

This is an original Dallas Rangemaster (with our sticker on the front so it does not turn up for sale on EBAY by some scammers). They were not a pedal at all, but a tabletop unit with on/off switch and volume knob. The input jack was on the front and there was a built in cord on the back to plug into your amp. These are selling for very high prices, well over $1000, and much more with original boxes for collectors. Here's some trivia - the original Rangemaster was NOT true bypass, with the BOOST switch off, quite a bit of high-end is rolled off, like an old wah.

Eric is not the only one who used this effect for his tone - Brian May used one or a modified version on nearly all his guitar parts in Queen, which is how he got such a sweet tone out of his Red Special through walls of AC30s.

Here are some cool pictures of Marc Bolan of T Rex with his Rangemaster and a review from a fan of his who got our Beano Boost.

Billy F Gibbons seems to hold his Dallas Rangemaster in high regards, one of his Holy Grails. In 2008 he called to tell me that his new Beano Boost was even a little better, and maybe the old box was best for a museum. We should hear his new Beano Boost on the album they are working on in 2008, Mr. BFG is always at the cutting edge, with the best tones, while revisiting vintage gear and making it fresh again.

Ritchie Blackmore of Deep Purple also used these quite a bit. Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath was another heavy user of this effect - his SG's through Laneys got boosted to create the original HEAVY METAL rock guitar sound, a sound that still holds up today as one of the best tones ever. In June of 2001 Mr. Iommi's guitar tech Mike Clement told me that Tony was looking for another Dallas Rangemaster as his was lost years ago. I did not have any to sell, so I offered and make him a clone, our first BEANO BOOST. Last I heard he has it in his home studio along with our Chorus and modified TS9 tube screamer.

At that time I was not interested in making a production model as Cesar Diaz was making an excellent version called the Texas Ranger. But when Cesar and his pedals left us, and due to heavy customer demand, we came up with our own unique version in early 2003. Diaz pedals are available again (you can order from their website, highly recommended) but I will keep the Beano Boost available as long as I have excellent transistors for them, as we have already invested a lot for their production. We feel we can make a more authentic Rangemaster than the several (maybe DOZENS now!) other clones now on the market, as we had reverse-engineered and studied our original Dallas Rangemaster in depth years ago, while most of the other builders simply copy the schematics which are available on the DIY effects pages. We sold our original Rangemaster a few years back when someone offered what we thought was a lot for it, but now we are glad to have a NOS rangemaster back in our museum in 2007 and it's not going anywhere.

Original style wiring, no circuit board

Ours is also the only clone that I know of that is built with the original style point-to-point wiring rather than on a circuit board. It takes a lot longer to build them this way, and much more skill from the builder. Our circuit is seen below:

Most people who build things this way are making very expensive boutique amps, and they will tell you that hand wiring this way will sound MUCH better than the other guys who use circuit boards. We won't be that boastful, a good circuit board can sound good, but point to point wiring like our Beano Boost cannot be beat. It seems to be QUIETER too for some reason.
We started using the large "Orange Drop" capacitors in 2012, they are huge but fit ok in the normal size Beano Boost and sound very similar to the original large caps used on the Rangemaster.
The Rangemaster type pedals are not only for blues or classic rock. George Lynch used one, and said this in an interview:

The European version of the first record which is out of print, has the sound. When I played on that record, all it was was an old Marshall head, an old Super 100 Marshall cabinet with a cane front, and a Rangemaster Treble Booster which Ritchie Blackmore uses. They don't make it anymore. That's how I recorded that record, and it's actually the best tone I've ever had. Terrible-sounding record- it's a horrible mix, and the vocals are too loud, but the original tone on the first record is really cool.
The American version is not as good. They remixed it and added some bits. After doing six records, that was the best tone I ever had, and I would love to go back and get that tone.

We were able to come up with a truly exceptional version of this pedal due to the tens of thousands of New Old Stock (NOS) transistors we have bought for our Fuzz Face mods and Sunfaces. Up to mid 2008, we usually used selected British (not the skinny, terrible sounding USA version) Newmarket NKT275 germanium transistors which we used in our SUNFACE fuzz as we had a lot of them in stock. In 2014 we started to provide some Beano Boost pedals to a company that installed actual yellow Mullard OC-44 transistors and sold them on eBay (very expensive, great mojo but really don't sound different from our normal Beano Boosts). Unfortunately he copied our Beano Boost design exactly, and now has someone else build them for him. No good deed goes unpunished.

We heard from someone in the UK that in the 1960s some Rangemasters came with NKT transistors. Here is a Picture of an old Rangemaster from the UK that appears to be original with an NKT (not NKT275). Here is a Picture of a real OC-44 transistor, you won't find these in any of the normal Rangemaster clones. Here is a picture of a NOS rangemaster that had a Mullard OC71 inside.

We now use several transistor types, including some cool old 1960s USA made General Electric transistors, NOS pulled out of 40-year-old Baldwin organ tone generator boards. We test these in several ways, and most of these transistors can be used as the gain range is excellent and the noise is very low. Chuck from moe. seems to like these a lot (more than the NKT275). We ran out of the NKT275 transistors in 2011, they were a little low gain for the Beanos, a bit weak sounding, but people liked them. The ones we use now are silver or black, we also use some "W" logo silver germaniums that are the same specs as these, or some old RCA transistors that we are also using in the Sun Face. We also use the Japanese NOS 2SB171 and 175 transistors as they have low noise and sound awesome. Some of the Russian transistors we use in the Sun Bender MKIV also test in the Rangemaster range so we use those sometimes too. All the transistors we use now sound about the same, as they are tested to the same specs of gain, leakage, noise, and tone. But the "standard germanium" transistors listed above are the quietest, the sometimes available optional British ones can be a bit noisier.

In 2019 we got a batch of "Black Bullet" transistors, made probably in the 1960s for Amperex in the USA, in Holland by Mullard/Philips. These are OC71 transistors with the US version part number on them of 2N280. These sound quite similar to our other transistors (NOS USA made germaniums) but maybe a bit less polite, a bit more of a sharp, throaty snarl. Some original Rangemasters came with OC71 transistors as seen here.
This pedal is often used with Humbuckers and British amps, if that is your setup you will be thrilled by the tones of this pedal. With Fender type guitars and amps this pedal can also be used for some excellent tones, especially with the tone setting in the mid or low range boost mode. Blackmore, Brian May, and Rory Gallagher (live youtube sample, you can see it on his AC30) all used single coils with their Rangemasters. Brian and Rory used them with VOX AC30 amps (Rory turned Brian onto that combo!).

While doing the R & D for this pedal, I tested the other versions of British boosters to see which features and sounds were best. The Orange Treble and Bass booster, and the Apollo version, have a TONE control for Treble and Bass tone. This is just a passive tone control on the input of the effect, it works just like turning down the tone control on your guitar. It does not really sound good when used, and you already have a passive tone control on your guitar, so we left that feature off, like the original Dallas Rangemaster. We found the way to get the tastiest tone was through the input capacitors, which is how our tone switch works. All your tone gets through, none is bled to ground like a passive tone control.

We use much more expensive 2% tolerance capacitors, so our pedals are more consistent in tone than the normal 5% capacitors.

We also tested the "Brian May" boosters which are Silicon based and have 2 knobs. They sound quite good but a bit bright, so we are sticking to germanium for now. The 2nd knob on the Brian May pedals and clones of these is for "gain". This Gain knob is just a passive volume control on the input. This is just like turning down the volume control on your guitar, and a feature we have as a trim pot on the SUNFACE fuzz. But the Dallas Rangemaster type pedals sound best when you can turn your guitar all the way up, so we don't see the need for this knob. Do use your guitar's volume control to control the gain, and you will find many shades of crunch from the pedal. They clean up quite a bit by backing the guitar down.

Condition: Light wear typical of a gently used Pedal. Light surface scratches, scuffs, etc. Does not have original box. Fully operational, sounds fantastic!

Please feel free to reach out to our knowledgeable sales staff with any additional questions!