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Would there be much difference between say an MXR Microamp and turning the level up on a Tubescreamer?

Probably going to be GASSing for a bit so I apologize in advance.
 

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In theory the Microamp will just be your signal, but louder, where a tube screamer with the volume up and the gain down would still colour your tone with it's characteristics.

So yes, you can do it. How much a difference, and whether or not you like it is going to be up to you. Personally I have no time for clean boosts, but that's just me.
 

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For what it's worth @Guncho the dual gang drive pot on Klon style circuits is actually a blend control, which lets them be really, really great boosts.
 

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An EQ pedal makes a really good boost. I have the Source Audio Programmable EQ and it is great. 4 different settings and a master volume. I use the EQ after my gains and before my time pedals (delay, chorus etc.). So if you want an exact boost, then either bump up all the faders or just increase the volume. It is also controllable with a midi.

But the Boss or MXR eq pedals etc will also make excellent boosts. With or without eq flavouring.

I like to remove the high end white noise fizz from my overdrive and fuzz pedals. Also bump up the mids and perhaps remove some bass if it's not needed in a band setting.
 

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If you mean clean boost some OD pedals could function as that. My Kingsley page can easily work as a clean boost. However my BD-2w, although could boost it wouldn't be clean. I use it for light OD and I've got the gain turned almost off.
 

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IIRC the micro amp boosts everything but the TS only boosts highs and mid-range. I could be wrong though.
 

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Finally back in town after a 3500km trip out to Halifax and back. Here's the deal....

If the goal is to get a momentary volume boost for a solo, or simply optimize S/N ratio, the Micro-Amp does a decent job, and simply mimics a basic gain stage. It does NO toneshaping.

If the goal is to use a boost to push an amp into overdrive, then some sort of toneshaping is normally required, since amp breakup is always a function of input signal. At the very least, a boost used for this purpose should have a treble-cut control.. The original Micro-Amp dates from the '70s. Most boosters from the past 20 years will have some means to shape the tone of their output, although there are some, like the Rangemaster and workalikes, whose tone is largely preset.

Tube Screamers produce a pretty strong bass rolloff, starting around 720hz. The purpose is to have the lowest strings/notes pushing the clipping section less hard, in order to provide roughly equivalent clipping across the entire fretboard. The complementary treble cut increases as gain is increased, so turning the gain down all the way removes some of that treble cut. But it does NOT remove the bass rolloff.

Having said that, the usefulness of a TS as a cleanish booster depends on what you're aiming for. Didn't hurt SRV. Myself, I wouldn't use it as a booster. I find it too shrill for my tastes. But then, some guitars need a bit of peakiness. The Timmy makes a better booster than a TS, having less bass rolloff and a higher clipping threshold. Pretty much any TS can be modded to be a Timmy.
 

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You can also get a micro amp + which has some EQ. Ive used and enjoyed both.
 

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You can also get a micro amp + which has some EQ. Ive used and enjoyed both.
Yep, MXR/Dunlop saw which way the wind was blowing and adapted the pedal. Of course it didn't hurt that pots, switches, and many other components got smaller over the intervening 4 decades, allowing them to stuff in many things they couldn't fit in 1980.

Now that I've had a decent night's sleep for a change, let me just add that the minimum drive on most overdrive pedals can vary. Some can get quite clean, while others will assume that if you wanted a clean boost you would have bought/used a different pedal. So their lowest gain/drive setting, while still much less gritty than higher gain settings in that pedal, is still not very clean at all. One would need to try the pedal out at lowest gain, or at least the most scruffy settings you could tolerate as a boost, and see what the output level could be. Some, like the MXR Distortion+, appear to have been designed to cover both clean boost AND distortion zones. Turning the drive to 7:00 will provide a fairly clean sound (though never entirely clean), but the output volume is not enough to push an amp hard (though they may have redesigned it since the 1980s). I think that's a big part of whatyou want to look for: how loud can it be with the drive down low enough to be close to clean?
 
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