Review: Radial Elevator Dual Mode Buffer and Boost

It’s a common practice these days for guitarists to use two overdrive pedals—one for an “always on” slight clean boost to sweeten the overall tone and dynamics, and a second as a midrange and output level boost for solos.

The good folks at Radial have built their company around producing ingenious all-in-one utility solutions for musicians’ and recording engineers’ common applications.

Now they have introduced a stomp box that combines clean and midboost functions along with several useful features that let guitarists dial in tonal perfection with optimum, professional-quality signal levels.

FEATURES The Elevator has a logical control panel that’s divided into Baseline and Booster section. Baseline includes a three-position “set-and-forget” switch with True Bypass, Buffer and Drive Preset settings. The True Bypass setting bypasses the internal circuitry, including the pedal’s drive and drag controls, when the effect is off. In the Buffer setting, users can use the drag control to dial in the ideal load for a guitar’s pickups to match the tone of plugging directly into an amp. The Drive Preset setting combines the buffer, drag control and drive control, the latter of which is used to make the “effect off” signal hotter, like using an overdrive pedal for a slight clean boost. The baseline section is always on.

The Booster section can be engaged with the pedal’s footswitch. Its controls include a three-position midrange switch with off, 5dB and 10dB settings and a gain control that dials in up to 15dB of clean gain.

PERFORMANCE The Radial Elevator is a great-sounding boost and extremely useful as well. Its Baseline section removes all the headaches of using long cables, wireless units or even guitars with weak pickups, delivering a robust, noise-free signal that hits the amp with ideal dynamics. The Booster provides clean boost or an attractive midrange peak that cuts right to the front of the mix, giving you ample power when you need it.

Manufacturer: Radial Engineering,

THE BOTTOM LINE The Radial Elevator combines a professional-quality “signal enhancer/optimizer” and sweet-sounding booster in a single pedal to take your tone to an entirely new level.

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Chris Gill, Video by Paul Riario

Chris is the co-author of Eruption - Conversations with Eddie Van Halen. He is a 40-year music industry veteran who started at Boardwalk Entertainment (Joan Jett, Night Ranger) and Roland US before becoming a guitar journalist in 1991. He has interviewed more than 600 artists, written more than 1,400 product reviews and contributed to Jeff Beck’s Beck 01: Hot Rods and Rock & Roll and Eric Clapton’s Six String Stories.