Benson Amps unveils game-changing Germanium Boost pedal

Benson Amps Germanium Boost
(Image credit: Benson Amps)

In recent times, Benson Amps has been at the forefront of germanium transistor-based pedal development, recently unveiling its innovative temperature-controlled Germanium Fuzz pedal.

Now, the brand has returned with another germanium-loaded offering, the Germanium Boost pedal – a self-biasing, one-knob offering that flashes a voltage controlled, error-correction circuit in a bid to offer consistent germanium boost tones.

The concept was initially conceived when the aforementioned fuzz pedal was still in its infancy, though the circuit proved to be unable to control the sensitive transistors in a fuzz unit.

Nevertheless, Benson Amps held on to the promising circuit and soon found a home for it elsewhere in the Germanium Boost pedal, which – like the brand's fuzz pedal – is said to be impervious to component drift, leakage and temperature changes.

Due to the natural sensitivity of germanium transistors, the development is no doubt a serious eye opener, and is the latest success in Benson’s quest to tame unruly, erratic and temperamental germanium transistors for consistent tones.

In terms of the nitty gritty, the pedal features an increased input headroom – due to the fact regular guitar signals have the potential to thrust germanium transistors into unwanted input distortion – and increased input impedance, so as not to thin out the overall tone.

The pedal’s error correction circuit kicks in around 10 seconds after it's switched on, with the overall tone aiming to provide a smoother and more detailed character – “like a compressor but different”, according to Benson.

And, as an added bonus, the pedal is compatible with both bass guitars and pickup-equipped acoustic guitars.

As a further point of interest, Benson’s Germanium Boost must be powered by a 9V DC-style center negative power supply – anything more poses the risk of destroying the pedal.

The Germanium Boost is available now for $199.

For more information, head over to Benson Amps.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.