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The Hartman Vintage Germanium Boost is a very musical and faithful clone of the original Dallas Rangemaster Treble Booster with added modern amenities of true-bypass switching, on/off LED indicator, external 9VDC (ground-positive) input jack, and switchable frequency response to shift the range of boost downward toward the midrange. The VGB Pedal is currently available using gain-selected original black-glass N.O.S. OC44 PNP Germanium Transistors.
Like the original Rangemaster, the Hartman VGB functions as clean boost at lower levels of its adjustable boost knob, with more boost applied to the treble region than to the bass. The higher the note played, the more gain is applied (approx. 24 dB at the upper end of the neck and dial). The boost gently clips and compresses even when no audible fuzz/distortion is present. At higher settings of the boost knob, Germanium soft-clipping is introduced. The unit's breakup-point can be set by its own Boost knob, the volume control on the guitar, and articulated by playing dynamics/pick-attack.
As with old fuzz pedals, the VGB is intended to be used directly after a guitar and plugged directly into an amplifier. Placing pedals, particularly buffered pedals, between the guitar and the VGB is not recommend. Placing pedals after the VGB is possible. Distortions and overdrive pedals that react well to being overdriven by their input signals may respond well to the output of the VGB. Unlike old fuzz pedals, the VGB is bias- and temperature-stabilized. Because of its extremely low output impedance (akin to that of modern-day Tube Screamers), the VGB does a very good job of overdriving the input stage of a tube amplifier. The pedal retains the transparency and dynamics of being plugged straight-in even while adding its own tonal coloration to the signal.
The frequency selection toggle switch allows the pedal's boost-region to be shifted down into the mid-range. This setting is useful for instruments and amplifiers that are already treble-prominent. In the HI position, the unit functions as a stock Rangemaster.
|Model||Vintage Germanium Boost|