I understand that both booster and compressor pedals can make your amp louder without affecting the gain.

However, I do not completely understand the difference between them when it comes to making my clean settings go really loud. Which one should I use to make my rig louder without affecting the gain?
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A Booster pedal is as far as I know, an overdrive pedal that you use to give your tone a little more kick (for solo's and stuff most commonly). Something like a Tube screamer is quite decent for this use (I've read that on here a few times).

A compressor (dosent have to be pedal form, I'm just talking basic compressor function) reduces the dynamic range of a sound. They work by ratios and thresholds. Such as, say your threshold was -12db (I'm talking more in terms of studio/recording here, but it's the same pronciple), and your ratio was 3:1. For ever 3db over -12db, you would get 1db over the threshold, rather than 3. So if it was 6db over, you would get 2db. I probably could explain that better, but descriptions aren't what I'm good at. It would make the rig a little quieter (Well, a more even sound atleast, there would not be such a different between soft playing and louder playing in terms of volume), unless it has something like 'Make up Gain', which would increase the compressed signal in volume.

To me, a decent compressor would be better for you. A booster pedal just boosts your gain a little, just to give it a bit of a kick up the ass, but that might be what you're after so I can't say 100%. Although I'm not an expert on set-ups and rigs, so maybe I'm not the best person to answer this...
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Last edited by Carl6661 at Jul 24, 2009,
A compressor evens things out. You hit a note harder it cuts it back you play quieter it boosts it. You can turn the volume up but things are still even in volume. A boosters just amplifies. Hit it hard or soft it boosts each the same.