SFX-01 Pickup Booster Review

manufacturer: Seymour Duncan date: 03/22/2015 category: Guitar Effects
Seymour Duncan: SFX-01 Pickup Booster
The first effects pedal designed specifically to work together with the pickups in a guitar to achieve optimum gain and resonance for all tonal applications. Works with all musical styles.
 Ease of Use: 10
 Sound: 9.7
 Reliability & Durability: 10
 Overall Impression: 10
 Overall rating:
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 Users rating:
reviews (3) pictures (2) 7 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 10
SFX-01 Pickup Booster Reviewed by: AJ6stringsting, on march 22, 2015
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Ease of Use: What I love about this pedal, you can make a powerful passive humbucker (14k ohms to 17.7K ohms) have the drive of an EMG active pickup with out the over compression or killing of dynamics. This pedal could probably make cheap pickups sound better too. I run DiMarzio, Seymour Duncan, Bare Knuckle, GFS, DragonFire, Tone Riders, Bill Lawrences and Carvin pickups... And the Pickup Booster makes those pickups more versatile. And another good thing about this pedal is when you have it switched off, it stays out of the signal path, leaving your tone intact. // 10

Sound: This a very clean signal booster that can make a single coil (in mode 1) sound like a evil humbucker or you can mellow out a high gain humbucker (mode 2) to sound like a medium powered humbucker. In mode zero, you only get a boost function. I have two: the first as a tone modifier/boost before going into a Boss GE 7 band EQ (used for distortion dynamics), then to a VHT Valvulator, a DigiTech RP-12, a DigiTech RP-1, another VHT Valvulator, then to Rack #1 with BBE 462 Sonic Maximizers, Hush/Rocktron Noise Reduction units, two DOD 32 band EQ's and a Behringer 1124 Feedback Destroyer Pro (for parametric EQ'ing) and finally my DigiTech 2112 SGS rack unit. Having one here gives me the option of boosting the signal when I lower the volume knob on the guitar to get certain tonal voicing while keeping my noise gate open. // 10

Reliability & Durability: The second S.D. Pickup Booster is in the effects loop of my old DigiTech RP-1. In the effects loops ( in order) a MXR 10 band EQ, a BBE Stomp Sonic, the S.D. Pickup Booster and a Hush pedal for noise reduction. Here, I have the Pickup Booster in mode zero with a 6db boost to drive my tone with more gain. Sometimes, I'll go down and hit the resonance switch to give my single coils more punch. I got both Pickup Boosters when they first came out and it was easy to figure it out, how to apply it and know where to put these pedals in the signal chain. // 10

Overall Impression: Playing guitar since 1978, teaching since 1986, toured the U.S.A. and Canada. Owned many different guitars, amps, effects pedals and other guitar products. I play 1980's metal, neoclassical metal, blues, thrash, speed metal, classic rock ('60s, '70s, '80s) and instrumental music.

This is, as stated earlier, is a breeze to operate, in the studio and on stage. I love this unit, it not only boosts the signal, it also sculpts the tones you can get from every type of guitar or style you play. In many ways, the Pickup Booster is a class all it's own because it does more than the average booster pedal out there. // 10

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overall: 10
SFX-01 Pickup Booster Reviewed by: V_mike, on november 14, 2007
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 45

Purchased from: eBay

Ease of Use: This pedal is an absolute no-brainer. Just has a chicken head knob controlling the amount of boost, an on/off switch, and a 3-way resonance toggle. The boost goes from 6db to 25db. I wouldn't worry about the resonance switch, it doesn't really do much. There is a manual, and it is available on the Seymour Duncan website. // 10

Sound: I use this with my Gibson Les Paul Vintage mahogany and Fender Standard Strat H/S/S through an Epiphone Valve Junior Head and the matching extension cabinet. It is a bit noisy, but not unbearably so. The noise is really a factor of the boost itself. This pedal doesn't sound good when run into other pedals too much, but sounds great alone. The effect is really strong if you turn the knob past the 16db marker. It makes my Les Paul purr and my Strat quack. // 10

Reliability & Durability: It hasn't given me any problems yet, and it is very sturdy. Whole chassis is metal, only plastic is the knobs and the inputs. All the parts seem to be firmly secured onto the chassis. The sound is very consistent, however it can be a bit too loud at times. No real complaints with this pedal. I would gig it without a backup, but I don't gig, I just play with friends sometimes. // 10

Overall Impression: I play blues/rock and some other stuff, but the bottom line is this pedal sounds great for any style. It just adds flavor to the guitar's sound, adding only to the tone you already had. I really love how it sounds through a tube amp with a strat on the neck pickup with the volume on 3 or 4. Just plain awesome. If this were lost/stolen, I would replace it without a thought. // 10

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overall: 9.8
SFX-01 Pickup Booster Reviewed by: TokyoPartyboy, on may 22, 2008
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 107.1

Purchased from: thomann.de

Ease of Use: Not much to say here. there's a on/off Switch, one knob to control the amount of boost (=>more volume in clean channel, more Overdrive in lead channel)and the resonance Switch that is intended to change the sound of your single coils to the sound of a humbucker. Everything is also in the manual. // 10

Sound: I use a Fender Standard Tele and a Peavey Classic 50 212. As Telecasters are pretty noisy, you'll get more noise when the Booster is active, becuase it amplifies the noise of yout guitar, so I recomment a Noise Surpressor in front of the pedal. The effect is quite good when I'm using the lead channel. The distortion becomes stronger and harsher until I turn the gain knob past 2 o'clock, then, nothing happens anymore; the amP's just saturated. Clean, the pedal makes everything louder, but it eats a bit of transparency and brilliance, so I don't use it often when I'm playing clean. The resonance Switch works good, but It really just changes the resonance, it doesn't make your guitar singlecoild sound like a high output humbucker... the sound stays crispy like Telecasters normally sound. The Switch is still nice as the normal Tele-hum is less noticable when it's lower, so I often use the Switch when I'm in lead channel. I bought the pedal because I wanted to have more Overdrive without affecting my tone, and it does that very well, but I give only 9 points here because it eats brilliance when you play clean. // 9

Reliability & Durability: It's a tank. I have it for 5 month now and gigged with it several times and I never had a problem with it. I trust this pedal, I don't even bring a backup. Batteries last quite long (about 3-4 month), but I use the power adaptor of my pedal board. The pedal takes 9-12V adaptors. // 10

Overall Impression: If it would break, I's replace it immediately, because other boosters (e.g. MRX Micro Amp) sound far too messy, this one sounds nearly as good as the original signal. I know that there are much cheaper boosters, but I'd still buy this one. It would be great if it had tone controls, but you can't have everything. // 10

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