Review: Seymour Duncan Pickup Booster (a restrospective)

So I thought I’d say a few words about what my plans are for the review content of this blog. I’d really like to go into great depth for each piece of kit, including samples, photo galleries and so on. However, while I’m getting to grips with wordpress and finding my voice I think it would be a shame to waste a new pedal on an early review. With that in mind I’ve decided to go over a few older pedals that I have since sold in my first few reviews. So without further ado, I bring you the Seymour Duncan Pickup Booster.


I picked up the pickup booster a couple of years ago off a seller on gumtree. At the time my main amp was a fender pro junior, a single volume single tone small valve amp. The pickup booster is a clean boost with a few nifty tricks up it’s sleeve. As well as 25dB of boost it also features a pickup switch which drops the resonance peak of single coil pickups to voice them more like a humbucker (2-3 kHz drop for PAF, 3-5kHz for modern voicing). By boosting the signal going into an already warm valve amp, these kind of pedals are great for pushing them over the edge and into creamy overdrive. That’s the idea anyway, and to its credit it did a fine job, providing an extra kick for sections of songs that needed to cut through a little more in a live setting. I particularly enjoyed using it for sparkly lead lines and for those songs with really pronounced volume changes. I also used this pedal in the studio, where I took advantage of the resonance switch on a few songs where my strat was a bit too glassy. I think in the studio is where this pedal really shines, where hotting up the input signal a little can make all the difference, and changing the resonance (but not the overall feel of the tone) for multi tracked parts could make certain parts really stand out. The 25dB of boost should be plenty for any applications that spring to mind. I kept it pointing straight up for a pronounced 15dB kick with my strat. Certainly it could also be used with lower gain instruments where the extra lift available might be useful, but I imagine any microphonic component to the signal – such as from an undersaddle pickup on an acoustic – would result in horrible feedback.

So why did I sell it? I replaced my Pro Junior with a Carlsbro TC60 (somewhat misguidedly, but that’s a story for another blog) which had two channels and adjustable gain, so I had plenty of dynamic variation just through the amps channels. I think perhaps I was a little hasty in shifting it, and it certainly hasn’t put me off getting a different clean boost in the future.

As always feel free to reply with any C&C. Has anyone else used one of these versatile boosters?


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