Effectrode Blue Bottle Inductorized Booster review

A midrange valve boost to fatten up single coils, the Blue Bottle might just be the tone-sweetener you've been looking for

Effectrode Blue Bottle Inductorized Booster review
(Image: © Future / Olly Curtis)

Guitar World Verdict

Offering midrange boost alongside an increase in clarity, the Blue Bottle is one of those pedals that simply improves your tone and would perfectly suit the ‘always on’ role, making an essential permanent contribution.

Pros

  • +

    Classy tone enhancement.

  • +

    Loads of boost on tap.

  • +

    Satisfying midrange fattening.

Cons

  • -

    None, so long as your 'board has room for the 12V DC adaptor.

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Effectrode, the UK company that specialises in valve-based pedals, has come up with a new limited-edition booster (opens in new tab) pedal. 

The Blue Bottle is a signature pedal designed for Argent guitarist John Verity who specifically requested a pedal that could fatten up the tone of the single-coil pickups on his Strat (opens in new tab).

The pedal draws its inspiration from the valve-based Pultec equalisers found in high-end recording studios and, as such, features a real inductor in the circuitry alongside its new-old-stock Sylvania 6021 sub-miniature triode valve. 

The Volume knob delivers up to 18dB of gain, while the mid-boost is dialled in with a separate knob that offers a flat response at its lowest position but can add up to 12dB of midrange boost centred around a frequency of 500Hz.

(Image credit: Future / Olly Curtis)

Without the Mid Boost knob in play, the Volume control seems to hit unity gain at around the 11 o’clock position and from that point will give you a boost, plenty enough to drive a clean amp into gritty break-up in its higher positions.

It’s not just about fattening single coils, though, as we enjoyed using it with a Les Paul, too.

It also brings in a pleasing degree of sweet top-end enhancement, although you do have options to tailor the top-end with a rear-panel switch offering high-frequency cut via a -6dB/octave low-pass filter that rolls off top-end above 6kHz or 3kHz.

The Mid knob progressively turns up the midrange, delivering warmth and thickening – exactly what you need to add girth to a Strat’s pickup per the original design brief, as we found when using it to coax something a little richer from our Strat, Tele and P-90-equipped Gibson. It’s not just about fattening single coils, though, as we enjoyed using it with a Les Paul, too. 

Regardless of what guitar you might be playing, that combination of extra midrange and a fulsome boost in front of an amp on the edge of break-up will get you smoothly singing lead sounds that should appeal to blues players in particular.

Verdict

Offering midrange boost alongside an increase in clarity, the Blue Bottle is one of those pedals that simply improves your tone and would perfectly suit the ‘always on’ role, making an essential permanent contribution.

Specifications

  • PRICE: £259
  • ORIGIN: UK
  • TYPE: Boost pedal
  • FEATURES: True bypass
  • CONTROLS: Mid Boost, Volume, Hi-Cut switch, Bypass footswitch
  • CONNECTIONS: Standard input, standard output
  • POWER: Supplied 12V DC adaptor, 600mA
  • DIMENSIONS: 92 (w) x 125 (d) x 55mm (h)
  • CONTACT: Effectrode (opens in new tab)

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Trevor Curwen has played guitar for several decades – he's also mimed it on the UK's Top of the Pops. Much of his working life, though, has been spent behind the mixing desk, during which time he has built up a solid collection of the guitars, amps and pedals needed to cover just about any studio session. He writes pedal reviews for Guitarist and has contributed to Total Guitar, MusicRadar and Future Music among others.