EHX Nano LPB-1 Linear Power Booster

EHX-LPB1-Nano

What is it?
Electro-Harmonix LPB-1 Linear Power Booster from EHX Nano series. Made in US in 00’s.

I’ve been over this units grandfather before in the form of EGO Microphone Booster. In its heart it is still the same simple one-transistor-as-amplifier booster. The base topology remains, even there are a number of modern additions to the box. First off, the bypass method is per modern standard, meaning a 3PDT stomp switch with true bypass. There are power filtering and polarity protection present and chokes for input and output. The tiny, simple circuit can now be powered by modern standard power supply or a battery. Board layout is really ugly and there’s acres of wasteland in there.

EHX-LPB1-Nano-guts1

I had a conversation with one person who was looking for plain volume boost for his setup and asked me what he should do about it. Get a custom build from me or try some commercial solution? Or some other option? I said “i think the best way to see if a simple booster is what you want, is to buy a LPB-1 as used unit”. You know, since you can get one for 25€ post-paid. I also said that if it didn’t suit him, i’d buy it off from him with that price. And here we are. I wasn’t planning on buying one, but i guess it’s good to have one of these too. and now the dude knows that he can’t get pure, clean power amp volume boost out of any pedal. He’ll need an amp that can do that.

How does it sound?
Like a single transistor booster. Clever and nice way to get your vintage-style single coils to light up. Some might even use this as a boos for clean lead sounds. But still i’d recommend this only for single coil pickups with lowish output. Ive been playing around with these circuits over the years, but once i got this unit.. I though it was broken. On any setting over unity level, it started to break up the sound in not so great manner. I checked the unit over and it was (still is) fine. I took another guitar and, yup. The super high output Hagström customs were just too much for it. The distortion created by too high input level isn’t pleasing.

Overall tone? Clean, colorless, tasteless, odorless simple boost. A tool.

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