I have never used a treble boost before, but now I want more of them.
As far as treble boost pedals go, I am pretty solidly an amateur. I have heard people rave about them as a gain stage or secret weapon for solos, but never really felt I needed one playing through treble-rich Fenders and Vox amps. It seems like I picked a really good place to start with this Tombstone Treble Booster, as I was quickly captivated by the tones I dialed in. Featuring one giant boost knob that works as a sort of overall signal level control, you also get 3 different modes to switch between. The “Daisy If Ya Do” option in the middle is a standard Treble Boost, while the other two “Smoke Wagon” and “Street Howitzer” are fat modes, that add different amounts of bass back into the mix to thicken up the sound. Used on its own to liven up a dark amp tone, the Tombstone oozes vintage sounds and vibes akin to an AC/DC or even Brian May-like treble boosted tone. But it also stacks incredibly well with other gain stages, meaning it can serve a wide variety of roles on your pedalboards, as either a standalone gain stage, an always on pedal, or a true boost function.
Review & Opinion
Despite not really knowing how to use a Treble Booster, it took me only a matter of seconds to find some awesome tones with the Tombstone. And really, it shouldn’t be hard for anyone with just one huge knob and a few voicings to chose from. My favorite sounds were using the “Smoke Wagon” fat mode on the bridge of my Explorer and the “Daisy If Ya Do” standard treble boost on the neck pickup. Both of these settings produced such a lo-fi, warm overdrive that I genuinely have never find using other pedals. To me, it doesn’t add gain so much as it just emulates pushing my Vox amp to the edge of breakup. This is real, tube amp tone when used in conjunction with my rig. I definitely see how people could use this for solos, as I kicked it on over dense loops to cut through the mix. But honestly, it works way better for me as a standalone gain stage. Almost like an “always on” pedal. It’s a very crispy, light type of drive, but it works so well for the garage rock/alt rock music I play. And if I can make a sound that I can actually use, then the pedal is going to get major points from me.
Conclusion & Final Score: 8.5 out of 10
Thirty7fx’s Tombstone Treble Booster is incredibly simple, fairly affordable, and just sounds great. It’s not a pedal that everyone will need or want, but for those who crave a vintage, amp-like approach to guitar tone, I think this pedal will be a valuable addition to your rig. Just like with their Fat Guy Little Coat fuzz, this is a pedal for players who just want to plug in and go. You’re not going to be dialing in crazy settings or sound with this pedal, you’re going to use it to accentuate your rig’s tone or push your amp over the edge. $135 is a great price for a boutique pedal, so I can’t really harp too much on this being a bad value either. It’s a fun, good sounding pedal, and that is all I want it to be. For a new approach to overdrive and gain, give this a shot, and stop just buying each new version of a Tube Screamer that comes out.