This is a pedal for the pros. The AXiom XFMR Boost XB-1 is the industry's first analog transformer emulator boost/buffer pedal to precisely recreate the harmonic profile and frequency response of high-nickel to steel core transformers. Why settle for a simple clean boost or buffer pedal when you can have one that lets you dial in transformer "color", as desired?
Why not just buy a real transformer and send your signal through that? Well, aside from the obvious fact that you can't just plug your guitar or bass directly into a transformer, most of them are designed precisely not to be heard. You have to hit them hard and make them sweat to get them to impart the "warmth", "punch" and "clarity" they're famous for... and that isn't always easy. In fact, unless an amplifier is specifically designed to handle it, it isn't even safe to hook it up to a saturating transformer (the clipping you hear will be mostly the amp trying to supply current to the transformer, not the transformer itself). Then there's the reality that if you buy one transformer you have just one transformer. What if you have a very clean transformer and you want a "dirty" one? What if your high-output humbuckers push your transformered gear to where you like it but your vintage output single-coils don't? Anyone who has worked with audio transformers knows that unlocking their magic isn't exactly as easy and user-friendly as cranking up an overdrive pedal. (...Well, until now.)
Another thing transformers are famous for - particularly in a studio setting - is increasing clarity without changing tone. How do they do that? Let's just say the "secret" lies in the frequency-dependent harmonic content they create. In fact, they were probably the first harmonic "exciters" or "enhancers". Not all transformered gear will do this to the same extent as it's heavily influenced by the size and material of the core, as well as the DC current in the windings (which is set by the design and application). The XFMR Boost gives you complete control over these parameters and complete control over transformer harmonics, so you can go from a subtle increase in clarity, through a noticeable punch to your tone, all the way up to the sound of a hard-pushed fully saturating transformer.
And to round it all out, the XFMR Boost gives you up to 12 dB of clean level boost on its own dedicated footswitch for solo breaks (or whenever you need to cut through), and can give you a buffered flat frequency response from 20 Hz to 20 kHz if you set it accordingly (if a transparent boost is what you're after). Why buy a plain Jane boost/buffer pedal when you can have one that can dial in the coveted transformer magic on demand?
- 100% analog circuitry
- True bypass