Brian May, Eric Clapton, Tony Iommi, and others pioneered the use of the Treble Booster. One thing that made this circuit such an anomaly in effects canon was its lack of foot control; the Treble Booster was an amp-top device with a teeny-tiny toggle switch that was an absolute pain to disengage mid-riff. Of course, back in 1966 when it was invented, “pedals” as we know them today didn’t exist yet. For those players, their rig consisted of amp, Rangemaster and guitar.
All of these players found that the Treble Booster really came to life when it fed an already cranked amp, and indeed, the sound of Treble Booster-into-redlined-amp is instantly recognizable to its devotees.
In today’s modern landscape though, things aren’t always nearly that simple. Some players run any combination of effects into their amp, with some players having multiple “always-on” pedals careening into the treble booster. Now equipped with a foot-operated bypass switch, the humble Treble Booster may still hit a cranked amp but oftentimes it does so with the backing of multiple gain devices feeding it. For some players, this works. For many, this arrangement loses sight of what a Treble Booster actually does and what it adds to a rig.
The newest version of our Naga Viper fixes this problem by adding an attenuator knob. This control acts like a level control for everything in front of the Naga Viper, letting you shave some heat from the incoming signal before it runs through the proverbial gears of the Treble Booster. This leads to less saturation and undesirable effects and more Treble Boosting goodness going into your amp.
The transistor in the Naga Viper has also been replaced and the circuit tastefully reworked to accommodate players of all stripes. Some players will leave the Attenuate control all the way up, and this design choice is for them. By swapping out the transistor, the Naga Viper is even hotter than before, with extended ranges for both Heat and Boost controls. Diming both controls now gives a slight edge compared to V1, opening up the range of the attenuator as well.
Though the actual production number of the Treble Booster is unknown, the general consensus is that not many were ever manufactured. While the majority of those released contained the same value for the boost potentiometer, some much rarer versions purportedly contained a different value that is said to make the tone hotter and a touch "gainier". We agree, and our newest version contains that uncommon value to extract a little "more" from this circuit.
None of the legendary Treble Booster players had many controls to work with, so we’ve reconfigured the circuit with that ethos in mind. The knobs on the Naga Viper aren’t there for constant twiddling, just set it up how it works for you once, then leave it alone and play that thang!
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