Introduced in 2016, the Xotic RC Booster V2 is a “renewed” version of the original RC booster, which is now discontinued by Xotic Effects. The company based the design of the RC Booster V2 off of the Scott Henderson RCB-SH model, but with a few tweaks and modifications from the original RC Booster.
If you’re trying to enhance your sound without adding color or distortion to it, the Xotic RC Booster V2 is a popular option. But is it right for you? Below, we’ve included a detailed review of the pedal and some handy tips for purchasing a boost pedal.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Boost Pedal
Before you buy anything, here are a few factors to consider about shopping for boost pedals:
If you like the way distortion or grit sounds, a boost pedal probably won’t provide you with enough range or color. But, if you only want to amplify your original sound, you may want a booster.
RC Booster V2
Features and Benefits
We’ve gone over some of the basics of what might make the Xotic RC Booster V2 worth buying. Here’s a more detailed breakdown of this pedal’s features, benefits, and sound:
RC Booster vs. RC Booster V2
You may be interested in the RC Booster V2 because it’s from the same lineup as the discontinued RC Booster. But, it’s important to know that these two pedals aren’t the same. The core sound is the same, but the V2 comes with some added perks.
For instance, the original RC booster only features one footswitch. This version comes with two. That second switch will engage both gains—which means you don’t have to worry about manually turning it on.
The second gain is also another feature you won’t find on the V1, and it can provide some extra volume if you want it. As far as appearance goes, both pedals weigh the same, but the V2 has a sleeker design.
As far as controls go, the Xotic RC Booster V2 offers many standard features that you’d see on a boost pedal. As mentioned before, there are two footswitches. The right footswitch is the primary one, and it engages the pedal itself. If you want to add the second gain, you’ll need to press the right switch. Many musicians prefer the second switch instead of a knob that you have to turn on manually.
There are four main controls on the pedal. Your treble and bass are on the right, and your volume and gain on the left. Each knob should be easy enough to turn, but not so delicate that you end up accidentally adjusting something when you reach for a footswitch. There is a control for the second gain, but it’s much smaller and sits in the center of the other controls.
The position of the second gain can be a benefit and con. While it’s small enough that you shouldn’t accidentally hit it, adjusting it with your fingers can be tricky. As tiny as it is, you may end up turning another knob in the process.
Outside of its controls, this pedal comes with a few other handy features. One of the main features that you’ll find with this RC Booster V2 pedal is its true bypass switch. If you turn the pedal off but leave it plugged in, it may provide some interference to your signal. If you’re using other bass pedals, you could end up with a warped or distorted sound.
With a true bypass switch, you can prevent that interference. That will also ensure that the pedal doesn’t engage with any other bass effect pedals.
Another perk is the added headroom you get with this pedal. While it uses a 9-volt DC power supply, it’s still compatible with an 18-volt power supply. The extra “headroom” you get here allows you to use more power on your amp before the effect begins to distort.
Finally, you’ll also get a sturdy chrome case with the pedal. Although the Xotic RC Booster V2 is fairly resistant, having a case can help you prevent accidental damage.
Operating the pedal is only half the work—you’ve got to make sure it provides the right sound. Some musicians may only want to use the V2 as a solo boost without adding any equalization. Without touching the treble or bass EQ controls, the V2’s sound is fairly subtle, but it does still give your bass a noticeable boost.
Once you dial in the bass EQ controls, the pedal is capable of adding a fat, low-end boost into your tone. With some boost pedals, adjusting the treble and bass EQ controls can result in a muddier or harsher sound.
However, the V2 remains fairly clean but still enhances your sound quite a bit. Since the EQ has a range of 15 decibels, you can adjust your tone with more accuracy, and fine-tune the exact sound you want.
Speaking of decibels, the range of this pedal is around 20 decibels. That’s standard for many boost pedals, so if you’re looking for any huge enhancements, this might not be the right choice.
As transparent as the sound is, it’s not unusual for some musicians to just leave the pedal on whenever they play. Even if you turn it off, that true bypass switch should keep it from distorting your sound.
Social Proof of the Pedal
If you really want to know why the Xotic RC Booster V2 may be a great choice, here’s what different users have had to say about the pedal.
For instance, the user below found that the second gain, one of this pedal’s most primary features, is what gave the sound a noticeable boost. Even musicians that don’t have much use for that second gain may still want to buy this pedal, especially if they were fans of the original RC Booster.
Another review included below highlights the transparent sound you get with this pedal. The only downside is that some of the buttons may be easy to bump, especially if you’re reaching for that second gain knob.
Besides the improvement it might add to your sound, the aesthetic of the pedal also appeals to some musicians. The knobs come in a vintage cream color, while the blue light mentioned below appears on the second gain. So, when you’re using the pedal, that LED light lets you know when the second gain is on.
The headroom is another popular perk for a lot of musicians. Plugging your pedal into an 18-volt power supply can increase the power, but leave out the distorted noise.
Along with all the benefits of a second gain, the chrome case is another benefit. As the user suggests below, the case is sturdy enough to prevent damage and provides a convenient way to store the pedal when you aren’t using it.
Many pedals can boost your sound, but they don’t provide the same clean sound that you’ll get with this one. Not only does it contain all the same features as the original RC Booster, but it comes with a second gain and footswitch. Whether you enjoyed the first RC Booster or you’re just looking for something that can enhance your tone, the Xotic RC Booster V2 may be the right choice for you.