You may be thinking “Oh no, not another clean booster…”.
If that is your thought right now, I don’t blame you. If you’re a stompbox junkie you probably know that there is no shortage of signal boosters out there.
So what makes the Phat Phuk Hybrid Booster different?
Well, a few things:
This booster was not made to be “transparent”.
It’s not a JFET or MOSFET based booster. There are many fine boosters out there that are designed to be “transparent". If that’s what you’re after, the Phat Phuk may not be for you. A JFET is used in the Phat Phuk however, more on that below.
The Phat Phuk is not a clone of any other pedal.
The Phat Phuk is a JFET/germanium single circuit hybrid booster.
There is a double booster I know of with two independent boosts, one being a germanium, one JFET based. It’s actually a very fine pedal. Perhaps there is another single circuit JFET-germ booster out there, but I’m not aware of it.
Here’s what the Phat Phuk Hybrid is:
A germanium/JFET booster. A unique sounding pedal which adds a beautiful sheen to your guitar’s top end and a bit of grit to the overall tone. You’ll hear a light to medium emphasis on the hi-mids and a nice round boost to the lows. It’s a fantastic pedal for situations where you want a lift in your overall level, during a chorus or bridge for example, with a bit of bawdy bump via the germanium transistor.
One nice feature is also the more modern JFET transistor at the input which keeps the pedal impedance-friendly when it comes to other pedals and/or active pickups. This helps the Phat Phuk to remain consistent whether you put a Strat in front of it, or an ESP.
Another recommended use: As a simple preamp when going direct into your DAW. Helps to de-sterilize your direct tone and add a little life before hitting your favorite amp sim.
Something else that was considered when creating the Phat Phuk Hybrid. Many clean-boosts offer way too much boost in my opinion. In any normal playing situation, including intentionally slamming the front end of a tube amp to induce the amp’s natural overdrive, one really only needs a hefty thump to get the job done. There’s nothing wrong with having a large amount of volume on tap, but a problem that can sometimes occur is a lack of ability to fine tune the amount of boost you want. When the sweep of the knob goes from zero to melt-down with one turn of the knob, it gets tough to really dial in a precise amount of boost. Also a slight bump of the boost knob (with a foot or nervous “live show” jitters) can send things out of control.
I know because its happened to me. Went for the big chorus during a song, hit the clean boost (not mine, this was long before Wren and Cuff existed) and tore the heads off the people in the front, pissed off the sound man, and pretty much ruined that song. Therefore, the volume sweep was reduced with the Phatty. You still get a big gob of gain, and probably won’t ever need to run the pedal “at 11″, but the trade -off is worth the extra control. Just an example of what Wren and Cuff prides itself on: pedals that sound great, attention to detail, look beautiful, are tough, and are made with the “real world” player in mind.
Give the Phat Phuk a try! It’s beauty is in it’s simplicity, but you’ll be surprised how often it’s on!