The Kinky Boost

The first distortion block in helix is the  Exotic Effects EP boosterEPBooster-large

It is a recreation of the gain circuit of Echoplex delay units from the 1960’s.  Many famous musicians from that era used echoplexes, most notably Jimi Hendrix.  Many of them found that when the unit was off their guitar sounded different, and they liked their sound better with it on.  So even when they weren’t using any delay they tended to leave the gain on to get that sound.  Its probably the earliest use of boost on guitar amps.  Exotic has recreated this gain circuit in this boost pedal.   As it was a level control to adjust the level of the output  going in to an amp, or a board, or wherever they were sending the signal, the designers were looking to create a clean boost with a flat response.  They achieved that (mostly) with only a slight roll off in the very low frequencies, and a gentle roll off above 1khz.  Here’s the output of the Line 6 Helix model called the Kinky Boost.

Kinky factory

As we can see we have about an 11 db boost at Helix’ factory settings a roll off of the subs below 20hz, and a gentle roll of of the highs above approximately 1khz.

Exotic gave us 3 options to control this pedal. a level knob and 2 switches labeled boost and Bright

The following graph is the Kinky with the level set to 5 and…

Purple  > both switches off

Yellow  > boost switch on

Blue      > Boost and Bright on

 

kinky level 5

 

This graph has the Kinky with the level set to zero, and the same combinations of switches.

Turquoise > Switches off

Green        > Boost on

Blue .        > both on

kinky level 0

 

This graph has the same combo of switches with the level dimed.

kinky dimed

 

The Kinky boost is for the most part unremarkable in its EQ curve.  It exhibits no variance due to the position of the level control.  and consistently rolls off a little of the lows and highs however you have it set.

 

It is also unremarkable in its waveform output.  it exhibits Very little if any distortion, and relies on hitting the front of the next gain stage with a bigger ( albeit slightly eq’d ) input signal to do what it does.  Here’s the waveform graphs.  They exhibited no changes in waveform shape no matter how the controls were set, Indicating that the pedal has plenty of clean headroom.

Kinky at 200hz .

kinky 200hz

Kinky at 500hz

kinky500hz

Kinky at 1khz

kinky 1khz

…And kinky at 2.5khz

kinky2.5khz

 

As we can see the waveforms remain unchanged.

And if you’d prefer here’s a quick video run through.

 

Yep…  This one is boring

Thats all for today.

 

 

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