If you’re wondering about LPB 1 Mods and how you can modify this pedal’s sound, you’ve come to the right post!
Electro-Harmonix LPB-1 Explained: Not Just Your Ordinary Clean Boost
Sure, we all know Electro-Harmonix for their legendary Big Muff. But there’s way more to the company than that. One of their pedals worth mentioning is the LPB-1 Nano Linear Power Booster.
The pedal is a recreation of the old original LPB-1 circuitry. As some say, this is the pedal that started it all. The whole philosophy here is very simple. You have a full-range clean booster.
However, it’s not quite that simple. It’s not like you have a pedal that would just boost your volume. I mean, it can do that as well. But it does more and performs best with a tube-driven amp.
Think of it as an additional gain stage. It can even add some of its own characteristics to the tone. Some also refer to it as a preamp, although it’s not technically that. But it does help you get some tasty saturation with a tube amp.
In particular, I love how it works with old-school Fender amps. It helps them break up nicely, getting that crunchy tone in the process. But it also works great for those high-gain metal-oriented amps.
Overall, it’s very subtle, but it somehow makes the world of difference. I refrain from calling any piece of gear, magic. And, of course, there’s no such thing as a silver bullet, especially not with guitar gear. But this pedal can really help you get the most out of your tube amp(s).
Electro-Harmonix LPB-1 Mods: What Can You Do With This Pedal?
Over the years, a lot of pedal enthusiasts have found LPB-1 to be a great platform for mods. After all, it’s simple and cheap. Now, let’s take a closer look at the pedal and see what you can do with it.
Of course, this pedal is pretty clean-sounding. But it could get even cleaner. Some of the mods out there include keeping the tone pristine. You essentially minimize all the additional dirt that may come as you push the pedal’s knob up high.
The pedal’s circuitry, of course, comes with some capacitors. When you open the pedal, you can notice two capacitors labeled C4 and C5. And if you remove them from the circuitry, you’ll get a cleaner tone.
This is a pretty simple mod. And you can always solder them back if you don’t like the results.
However, I’m a bit skeptical about this mod. While it can potentially achieve some decent results, I’m not sure if it’s always a good idea to completely remove these capacitors.
Playing Around with Capacitors for a Different Frequency Response
Capacitors are seemingly very simple components. However, they impact your tone more than you could imagine.
Replacing some of the circuit’s capacitors can change the EQ curve of the tone. Right next to the input, we have a .22 µF capacitor. Replacing it with a higher-value capacitor will get more bass into the mix.
Meanwhile, if you use one with a smaller value, you’ll practically filter out some of the bottom-ends. It’s the sub 100 Hz territories that we’re talking about.
This is yet another pretty simple mod. It only requires basic soldering skills. As far as the values go, .22 µF makes it pretty balanced and flat.
In my opinion, adding higher value to it makes it sound just a bit more vintage-oriented. You get that slightly muffled tone. In particular, I think such a mod would work great with a traditional British-style amp. It will add a subtle boost to the bottom-ends. They’ll still sound tight and not so boomy as you’d hear with Fender-style amps.
Replacing the Transistor
The pedal comes with a 2N5088 transistor. You can always replace this one for different results. It’s a relatively high-gain capacitor.
Either way, playing around with different transistors is a whole new game. It’s hard for me to say what exactly would happen if you replace it since I haven’t done it. After all, there are so many options that you could do.
In the end, putting a different transistor can add some clipping. Practically, this can turn the pedal into an overdrive. But, as I said, this is a whole new game, and there are so many different results that you can achieve here.
Should You Do It?
Now, my stance on gear modification is a bit specific. So it’s hard for me not to share my opinion. Overall, I’m not that keen on modifying pedals. The only reason to do it, in my opinion, is if you really feel like experimenting.
But as far as the tone goes, you have so many options on the market these days. Whether we’re talking about clean boosts or overdrives, you can find whatever you need. So if you ask me, it’s best that you just get a pedal that works for you.
But that’s just me. That absolutely doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t experiment. After all, it’s not an expensive pedal so it’s a low-risk endeavor.
I’d just rather look at it as an educational enthusiast project. Don’t have super-high expectations that you’ll create some sort of a Holy Grail of clean boost pedals.
In case you want to get into this, make sure to get familiar with the circuitry. Here’s one great video that explains it pretty well:
LPB 1 Mods: Conclusion
I hope this article has helped you think through some of the modifications you could make to this pedal!
And if you want to read more about gear modifications on this blog, check out:
Lastly, feel free to drop a message in the comments below if you have more questions about this or another guitar-related topic!