LAB Effects TB-S1 Review
Ease of Use: 10
There really is nothing to it! Plug your guitar in the input and run the output to your amp! It’s as easy as that!
Sound Quality: 10
Brian May? Mick Ronsen? David Gilmore? It's hard to describe really. I've played through a few pedals the TB-S1 is just amazing!
I use either my RS Classic Guitar or my Gibson Lespaul through the TB-S1 and into a Line 6 Vetta II 2X12 combo.
With the Brian May guitar plugged into it and a set of slightly over driven AC30’s on the Vetta at full volume on the guitar that singing guitar tone just jumps out at you and you really realize how much better you solos cut through the rest of the band sound using this booster. Great tone and amazing sustain! Rolling the volume down cleans the sound up to a wonderfully choppy and clear overdrive sound. Dropping the volume on the guitar down to about one third the overdrive rolls off leaving a sparkling clean sound with an wonderful attack for pushing the volume up on the guitar just a bit and giving an amazing clean soloing sound.
The sound from the pedal is just great, its straight no nonsense treble boost. I have played a few treble boost boxes in the past and this is by far the quietest I have played. All treble boosters do inherently make some hiss appear at the top end of the sound when they are turned on just because of how they work and what they do, however the amount this one puts out compares to the volume it boosts at is quite amazing. Quiet in terms of the amount of top end hiss it generates, it is by no means quiet in the volume it kicks out! This box rocks!. The sound from this unit is an easy rival to the Pete Cornish TB38 or the Fryer boosters and at well below the cost.
Couldn’t as for a more sturdy construction, it’s in a hard as nails metal box! No knobs or switches to break off or get snagged on things! Inside the input and out put jacks are mounted direct to the circuit board so there is no chance of it waggling around. And while we are talking circuit board its worth mentioning that this unit is all hand made and hand soldered. The assembly has been done with great care and attention to detail. The booster also comes with a full year’s warranty.
Customer Support: 10
Never had a problem with my TB but Liam is always quick to respond to emails and is always happy to help with anything that he can
Overall Rating: 10
What do I love about it?...If it got lost or stolen I would be banging on Liam’s door the next day to get another one! Since I have had it I wouldn’t be parted from it and wouldn’t want to see anything else in between my guitar and my amp. Of cause the major selling point of this pedal is that it only costs £70 that’s WELL under a Cornish TB83 or any of the Fryer boosters and for my money its every bit as good.
I play not just queen stuff but a wide range of pop/rock/blues and it is a real bonus in my guitar rig for any and all of those styles, either on my Brian May guitar or no Les Paul. If your guitar sound is missing that certain special something in its tone then give this box a try, you wont be disappointed!
LAB EFFECTS TB-S1 REVIEW
by Filipe Sousa
Ease of use: 10
Well what could be more simple? All you need is to plug your guitar to input and output to the amp! Easy!
Sound Quality: 10
I tested this pedal using my homemade Red Special that features Adesons 7K pickups. I also used a Vox Valvetronix AD30 full up. The result was Brian May all the way!! Amazing tone and sustain: all that you can expect from a top Treble Booster. Rolling the volume down a bit on the guitar you obtain that amazing overdrive and rolling even more down it cleans beautifully! Just amazing!
I also tested the same setup but using a Gibson Les Paul USA Standard 50’s neck with Burstbucker Pro pickups…also outstanding sound!
Another amazing feature is the quietness. I tried several boosters and this one was one of the more noiseless I’ve ever seen. The nature of the "beast" is to make some hiss but this treble booster is amazing on its quietness. I couldn’t really expect more from a TB and the price is also fair: a plus!
A very compact, hard metal box. Will last for years I’m sure! No fragile parts to break on this baby!
Costumer Support: 10
I doubt I will need this but when I talk to Liam he’s all always there to answer any doubts and provide great advices.
Overall Rating: 10
Well if it was lost or stolen I will get another one in the same day! I recommend this booster to anyone. The price is also a major factor in this TB: not only is a amazing piece of gear it also haves a fair price when compared to other boosters. I can’t hear that difference is sound in fact I don’t hear any difference at all compared to more expensive booster. Long live Lab Effects!
LAB-Effects TB-S2 (extended) Review
LAB Treble Booster (Extended Version)
True bypass. LED indicator. Gain control. Input and output jacks.
The circuitry is secure and housed in a sturdy die cast aluminium box. No paint to scratch, so you can kick it around the floor! Totally gig ready. The parts look of high quality so it would appear to stand regular gigging with no problems. These are hand-made pedals.
Ease of use:
There isn’t much to setting this pedal up. I tried this pedal through a Vox AC30 and also a Vox Pathfinder 15. Basically you plug your guitar into the pedal and then into the amp. The control knob regulates the amount of gain you require. Simple!
For these tests I used a KZ Pro fitted with Adeson Tri-Sonics.
With the Vox, I used the normal channel up full (as per the Brian May method) and with the Pathfinder 15, I pressed the boost button to “on”, Bass off, Treble off, Volume to suit and the Gain control to about 12 o’clock.
Starting with the AC30 and with the LAB pedal on full gain, there was hiss present but this is normal with any kind of treble booster. It did not seem to have any more hiss than any other pedal I had tried, except a Rangemaster which is well known for its noise due to the use of Germanium transistors.
Starting with the guitar very low (quarter turn) I found a rich clear tone with no hint of distortion, unless I played the strings harder. This would create a slight distortion, which is expected. This is always useful when building up to a more powerful level in a song. By turning up to approximately half way the guitar gradually moves into a rhythm type distortion, again limited by how hard you play. This gave a fine balance of clarity and overdrive giving the “twang” effect to the strings even though the guitar is beefed up by this volume level. This is a great setting for regular rhythm work. Controlling your right hand technique offers many variations in this rhythm level. One thing that appears quite common in a distortion pedal is that the strings sound mushy but with a treble booster you have a more cleaner edged tone where you can identify the individual strings. This pedal does just that. Up full the guitar pushes over into a creamy smooth distortion. This pedal adds a little bite to that, therefore not making the tone too mushy or thick. The pick attack is obvious but not enough to be overbearing. There was no unwanted noise from the pedal at this level and the guitar lifted off into a rich feedback for long sustained notes. It was easily controllable (It pays to have well waxed pick-ups at this level!!). The pedal is certainly powerful with more than enough boost for that heavy rock feel that I personally love.
Using the Pathfinder 15 (which I personally use for working out songs in the house, keeps the neighbours happy!) I tried the same guitar volume settings.
The Pathfinder is a transistor amp and does not work in the same was as a valve amp. I have found it especially good to use a treble booster with, so I thought it might be interesting to add this to this review for people who use smaller practice type amps.
With low guitar volume I still get a clean tone but because of the nature of the transistor amp it has a very slight distortion behind it. This is not really a problem because the amount depends on how hard you hit the strings. With the LAB, I found it to be no different from any other booster. It worked great and the tone was sweet for sure. Turning up to about half way I got a medium heavy rhythm tone with the twang. It was a little grittier but again, not down to the pedal but with the nature of a transistor amp. It was great for the usual picking and strumming rhythm playing. Up full the amp is pushed to a very powerful lead level. Depending on the volume level you have set you can easily obtain feedback if required. I did not find it to be any kind of problem. Although the tone was quite smooth it did have that gritty edge, like I explained earlier. The LAB is a great pedal to use with the Pathfinder and I have no doubts it would work with any kind of similar amp. I got the tones I wanted and expected with this pedal.
I first heard this pedal at the Red Special meet up in Aylesbury in July this year. I demoed a number of treble boosters with an AC30 at full volume. Considering this pedal is only £85, it was well received by the people who attended the meeting. Treble boosters vary and it is down to personal taste. For those who cannot afford the higher priced models this is certainly a pedal worth considering.