Red Rooster Booster (1, 2 and 3)
The Red Rooster Booster adds about 33db of guitar-friendly, unbuffered boost to your signal. That’s about the same as adding a preamp tube stage to your amp. The RRB intentionally adds more gain in the upper mids (your guitar needs it to cut through a mix!) while also adding some presence to keep from turning the sound murky.
This was Ken Fisher’s favorite booster and he even built a Trainwreck amp to work perfectly with it (named Songwriter, the one Brad Paisley records and tours with). Ken likened the Rooster variations to swapping out different brands of preamp tubes.
Rooster number 1 is the current BJFe version – strong, bold and balanced.
Rooster number 2 is a little warmer and rounder with a little less upper mid push, perhaps best for cleaner boosting.
Rooster number 3 is the boldest of all. I like this best for overdriving a dirt pedal or dirty amp.
You could make many analogies such as coffee strengths (mild, strong, espresso) or groups of fruit flavors (strawberry, cherry and raspberry).
While you will probably like any of them, you will also probably have a favorite depending on your application.
Donner (Comparison Vid)
Reviews from TGP BearFoot FX Tourbox Participants
1) GEAR: Strats into my Vox Ac15HW1 and My Vox Pathfinder 15r
“Red Rooster Booster (#1) – …lets talk what makes Bearfoot a new legend in pedals. This booster is a killer machine. I love simplicity and this has the one knob approach for foolproof use. It stays pretty tight and clean in my setup until about 2:30+ on the knob. I’m pretty sure that’s just amp
overdrive and this nails a super fat midrangey overdrive. On the lighter side of the knob its an ever so slightly gritty clean boost that just welds with the amp/gtr thing as a good booster should. I could see having this ready to boost into solo territory, it excels at leaving your tone tight enough to cut like a hot knife. Well done.” (USA, April 2014)
2) GEAR: PRS w/humbuckers (SD Custom in the bridge, SD ’59 in the neck) through a clean Blues Jr. or Blues Deluxe (both stock). Gibson Les Paul Special w/stock P-90s and a Fender American Strat.
“Red Rooster Booster (#3)…I was quite surprised at how much I like this pedal! I think I like it best on its own boosting my very clean amps. Also, I dirtied up my amp ever so slightly and this pedal going into that sounded great! Obviously, it’s not too drastically different from the #1 (same amount of volume…LOTS…and unbuffered), but for me it was like night and day when I first played it a couple of days ago. This one gets a bit raunchy and dirties up the tone very well. I compared it to a couple of other boutique Boosters I’ve got, and I was very impressed at how well it fared. The
simplicity of only one knob was a huge benefit IMO and I love the sound of the #3. The 3 boosters all sounded very different from each other and all have their pluses, but the RRB3 came out on top for me! I never dreamed it would come in 2nd out of the 4 in the Tourbox…and that it’s so good I could almost call it even with my fave (the ÜBOD). It’s probably not for everyone, but it’s absolutely for me!” (USA, April 2014)
3) GEAR: Squier J Mascis Jazzmaster. Amp: Vox AC30CC1 with stock Celestion neo-dog 1×12″ speaker
“Red Rooster Booster #1 and #3…I got RRB1 at the same time as the Uber Bee with the intention of mostly using it as a lead boost. I must admit it was a tough decision originally between 1 and 3 and I decided to go with the 1, because of the description of “strong, bold and balanced.” And I would say that is a very apt one. My 1×12″ AC30 loves being pushed and the RRB1 really does a nice job in doing this, bringing out the beautiful harmonics inherent in the amp. It also functions well as a fairly clean lead/volume boost from 0 to around 11 o’clock. After that we get into the harmonic
overdrive territory, though I’d have to turn my amp way down to get to this point in a band context. I would say the EQ is fairly flat on this. I’ve been pretty happy with it, until I got to try RRB3…
Yes, #3 is maybe more of what I was expecting from #1 — “the boldest of all” says the Bearfoot product page and I totally agree. More upper mids/treble compared to #1, real sparkle which is suitable for leads. And to my ears it gives you a bit of dirt, even under 11 o’clock. After 11 o’clock it’s overdrive time, very similar to RRB1, again maybe there’s a bit more high-end.
I tried both #1 and #3 in front of and behind the Uber Bee. In front, both drove the Uber beautifully, giving the pedal more gain, harmonics and crunch and maintaining the pedal’s greasy character. All-in-all, I prefer #1 in front of the Uber and #3 behind it as a sparkly and edgy lead boost. After this comparison I just might have to get #3 as well!” (Canada, June 2014)
4) GEAR: Les Paul Traditional Pro (SD Alnico Pro II in bridge; 57 Classic in neck)…Marshall YJM100
“RED ROOSER BOOSTER #1 & RED ROOSTER BOOSTER #3 (“RRB1″ & “RRB3″): I didn’t know anything about these 2 pedals going in but my assumption was that the Boosters would probably get the least amount of playing time between all the pedals in the tourbox. How much could there be to a 1 knob booster pedal, right? As it turns out, more than you could ever imagine! The Red Rooster Boosters are absolutely brilliant! There are so many different tones, harmonics and characteristics hidden in that one knob that I probably spent 70% of the tourbox tweaking the Boosters.
Both Boosters share a similar tonal footprint, in that they add a certain “hugeness” and added a bit of warmth and deliciousness to my tone, while maintaining transparency. Both RRBs have a great, full bodied tone. I could just feel the tubes blowing up in my amp and it felt glorious. My amp sounded and felt cranked, even though, I was playing at home level volume. I didn’t notice a huge difference between RRB1 & RRB3 when used to push an already dirty amp. The differences are better observed on a clean amp or an amp on the verge of breakup. To my ears, RRB3 has a more gain on tap, and its gain gets a little “softer” past, say, 4 o’clock, kind of like a fuzz would. #1 has a little bit less gain, but stays more defined throughout the range of the knob. I also got some amazing tones by lowering the volume on the LP.
If I had to pick one, I’d probably pick RRB1, because I liked the definition it gave to chords and had enough gain for my taste. If I had an amp that ran clean most of the time, I’d go with RRB3. Let me just be very clear – I cannot overstate how much fun the RRBs were. Every sweep of the knob
reveals a new aspect of the pedal. One of the best boosters, and in fact, best sounding pedals, I’ve ever played. These two were my favorite pedals in the TB. I cannot recommend these pedals enough.” (USA, July 2014)
5) GEAR: Les Paul (with humbuckers 490r and 498t) and a 62 AVRI Tele through a Fender Champ 600 and a Silverface Twin Reverb
“RRB 3 – This one was definitely my favorite pedal of the tour box. It is similar to the RRB1 but just gave me more of the things I wanted to hear. It’s a bit dirtier, with more emphasis on the mids and treble. To me this one brings the ‘sparkle’ or ‘shimmer’ than I look for in a boost. Again, this pedal just has a tremendous amount of volume on tap which is awesome. I got some amazing ‘classic Kinks’ type tones by turning the volume all the way up on the RRB 3 and running it through my Champ 600 at full volume (this one goes to 12!!). It made the amp sound like it was going to explode but in the most pleasing way possible if that makes sense. I also let me band mate try this with his setup during band practice (Les Paul with Burstbuckers > AC 30) and we were all floored by how good it made his amp sound. It was so good in fact that he put his overdrive (Barber Gain Changer) for sale and is purchasing the RRB3 instead. This pedal reminds me a bit of the Keeley Katana for those familiar with that pedal. I would classify it as a “more” pedal in that it just gives you more of everything that is pleasing in your tone.” (USA, July 2014)
6) GEAR: Les Paul Studio with Sheptone Javelinas (slightly hotter than PAF-style pickups), ’50s wiring, into Blackstar HT-1R
“RRB #1 & #3: I had never been a big fan of clean boosters and I don’t have any experience with treble boosters either. But, from what I get from demos, these 2 little gems seem to sit sonically somewhere in the middle of the 2 categories, right?
The one that stole my heart was the little brighter, with more top end harmonics No. 1. My Les Paul is a dark sounding guitar and that booster added the necessary “spark” to my clean tone. But it was not the slight EQ shift that won me over. What completely took me by surprise was the fact that instead of compressing my signal, on the contrary it enhanced the dynamics between my picking and my guitar! It added so much responsiveness,
especially when strumming chords that it took this part of my playing to the next level! Wow…” (Cyprus, July 2014)
7) GEAR: Les Paul Goldtop w/ Lollar P90s…Mesa Mini Rec
“RRB #3…DAMN. It made my little Mini Rec / Gold setup sound just huge, even at ~ 9:00. Kinda like a SBEQ: your tone was just imbiggened LOL. It’s kind of like pulling a pair of speakers more widely apart.
Turning up the gain just pushed out more badass, too. That BIGness forced more and more harmonic content as it saturated without heavy
compression until up past 3:00. The guitar volume remained the throttle too. Just killer!
I wanted to see what madness the RRB #3 could conjure through Ch 2. I set it to “modern” and turned the gain up about halfway to 90’s radio metal zone…The RRB #3 at 9-10:00 had the same effect; making things bigger and more harmonically rich without squashing the feel. The Ch. 2 on the Mini Rec already has a ton of harmonic content so the RRB #3 made things seriously go to 11. I was having a blast and kept inching up the gain on the RRB #3. The compression got pretty intense but it was still sounding cool in a hyper-saturated fuzz kinda way.
Then it happened: a whiff of hot something and the volume dropped suddenly. A few moments later, Ch 2 was dead! The v2 12AX7 plates were a bit red like a red plating output tube. The Mesa cascading gain stage architecture had been blown up in a quantum leap of RRB #3 badassery! A quick tube swap assured me that it was just a failed 12AX7, not anything worse. Ch 1 still worked normally too. It was almost 10PM so I hung it up.
SO, not nearly as in depth a review as others have shared but at least I can say: The RRB #3 blew up my amp and it was awesome!” (USA, August 2014)
8) GEAR: Tele…amp(s) unknown
“RRB1-3: These boost pedals are really special. Somehow when you plug into them you feel more connected with the notes you are playing. The little stuff comes to the surface a bit more in a way that is very noticeable to me as a player. Will the listener hear it? I don’t know and I don’t care! All I can say is that these boosters do something special in getting your tone “out of your way” and you just focus that much more on what you are
playing. It’s almost as if they instantly give you a fatness and strength in your tone similar to increasing your string gauge.
So how do they compare? To sum it up simply, #1 is an even boost, #3 is a more aggressive boost, and #2 is more mellow.
My favorite? #2. I found this one to be tamer and easier to turn up without the volume getting all out of control. #1 and #3 are a lot louder. I liked the softer high end of this one. It was just great with my Tele, which of course has high end to spare. In contrast #1 could be a bit harsh. And #3 was more aggressive then I needed. To be fair, as ____ said, the differences are actually quite subtle and I would be happy with any of them.
The coolest thing about these boosters is how they interact with your volume control. It puts a ton of tonal control at your fingertips. I mentioned it before but I’ll say it again for all who are on this tourbox – play around with turning the pedal up to various levels and then roll back the volume on the guitar to match unity level. It’s really cool how the pedal just supercharges your volume control.
And when you stack these guys, just forget it. It’s just awesome how they can take a medium gain type of tone and elevate it to another level. I used it in front of my Model G and Black Plague. It’s brilliant how the boosters just integrated into these od pedals perfectly.” (USA, August 2014)
9) GEAR: Telebration Cabronita Tele and SRV strat into 1974 Fender Twin Reverb and a Gabriel V18 2×12 combo
“Red Rooster 1 and 3…The RRBs were my favorite of this tour. I found the v1 to be nice and the EQ cuts well. There was way more volume in the boost than I would ever use. I would never go past 9 oclock. I prefered the v3 because it added a little warmth to the tone that was great at the end of the chain as a lead boost. If fact I used the V3 on Sunday for worship. This is a sound and pedal that I have been missing. I have several dirt pedals, but to have a dedicated boost is a pedal that I need. It was great to have a more me pedal for lead lines that didn’t add a lot of dirt but added volume and depth to the tone. I will be buying one a V3 RRB. In a perfect world where I could run my Gabriel loud, all I would need is two or three RRBs for pedals.” (USA, August 2014)