Vintage Guitar - March 2017 - Open - 147

SMART BOOST

The Nocturne Dyno Brain Booster

I

n the not-so-distant past, guitarists learned
that those great tape-echo units of the 1960s
and '70s not only added echo, but their preamps
boosted signal, and in turn sweetened tone.
Soon, designers began isolating the preamp
sections of echo units in simple 9-volt boxes.
While this treatment has already been
accomplished with the Echoplex, Nocturne
has taken the same step with the preamp
from the Roland RE-301 Space Echo and
made it available in the simple two-knob
(to adjust gain and bass cut) Dyno Brain.
The Dyno Brain can run 9 or 12 volts, but
Vega recommends the 9-volt setting for more
saturation and less headroom. Its op-amp
Price: $189 (list)
Info: thenocturnebrain.com

is socketed, which allows the player to try
different chips to tailor their sound. The unit
is also available in a BS-301 version that has
a larger housing and utilizes a NOS Toshiba
op-amp for those who want to follow the
original design to the nth degree (and for a
minimal $16 upcharge).
In testing, the Dyno was fantastic for
boosting at low to mid gain settings; it was
also nice for pushing a non-master-volume
amp into overdrive at extreme settings. It
does add bass, hence the Bass Cut knob for
situations where one's sound can get tubby.
The Dyno is different in that where most
boosters are mid-focused and hairy, it's
much more even and clean.
Though conceived for those chasing Brian
Setzer's tone, the Dyno Brain is great for
those looking for a simple booster with a
unique hi-fi tone. - Zac Childs

HERE COME
THE BOOSTER

Xotic Effects' RC Booster Version 2

G

ear designers tend to avoid straying from the workbench - and too
often, outside their imaginations. But
when professional musicians get involved
in designing music gear, good things can
happen. Acclaimed fusion guitarist Scott
Henderson has brought the live performance
experiences to the gear world with the Xotic
Effects RC Booster Version 2.
Inspired by the RCB-SH signature model,
Version 2 offers the same tonal recipe for
volume boost and clear enhancement as
Version 1, but adds a Gain channel for lowlevel overdrive and the ability to engage both
channels simultaneously.
Version 2's 20db of clean boost and
adjustable +/-15dB two-band active EQ
allows the player to modify an amp's tone
with harmonic overtones and sparkle. It'll
take a 9-volt battery or adapter; an 18-volt
adapter gives greater headroom.

On top are large knobs for Gain 1,
Treble, Volume, and Bass. Located
less-than-conveniently between
them is a tiny Gain 2 that could prove
difficult to adjust on the fly. The
"extra" switch combines Gain 1 and 2
for smooth lead tones or the muscle to
push a favorite dirt pedal to maximum
overdrive.
The RC Booster Version 2 will push a
clean amp into overdrive while leaving
its personality intact. In other words,
it not only adds volume, but gives an
amp a beauty makeover - making
a dull one come alive and a great
one even better. - Oscar Jordan
Price: $168 (list)
Info: xotic.us

March 2017

147

VINTAGE GUITAR


http://www.thenocturnebrain.com http://www.xotic.us

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