Moog Music has taken yet another giant step into the world of guitarists. For decades Moog has been a pioneer and innovator in the world of keyboards and synthesizers. Now guitarist get the benefit of Moog’s years of knowledge. For you guitarists not familiar with Moog the company’s name is typically coupled with the terms fat and analog.
Moog has designed some of the most classic earthshaking devices known to man. This legacy of fat, analog sound has been passed down to Moog’s new generation of guitar processing tools. The new line of MiniFooger pedals includes a MF Boost, MF Drive, MF Trem, MF Delay and MF Ring. We are going to delve into all of these pedals individually but let’s first look at the commonalities.
Visually the pedals look like a Moog, what do I mean by that? Moog has a classic design that links back to their earliest devices. The pedal has a black finish with throwback black and silver knobs. The form factor of these pedals is very board friendly, they don’t take up a lot of real estate. Each pedal is powered by a 9 volt battery or standard adaptor. This makes them very easy to pop into your current pedal board configuration.
These pedals are built by hand in Ashville, NC in the good ole USA. Each pedal box is numbered by hand letting you know your device has been built and tested with exacting care. Typically for this type of boutique design and manufacturing we are paying premium prices. I don’t know how but Moog has managed to keep all of the MiniFoogers at a more than reasonable price point.
As I said earlier we are going to look at all of the MiniFoogers during the next couple of weeks. Today we are going to look at what I would consider the first pedal in the signal chain, the MF Boost.
Boost pedals have many characteristics. Some give a clean boost while others give a bit of gain. Some boost pedals will boost a frequency giving you tone a new life and a bit of sparkle. Moog has managed to fit all of these features in one box. One aspect of boost pedals a lot of new guitarist don’t grasp is a boost pedal is not designed to make you sound louder, it is used to make your tone more focused.
The MF Boost like all MiniFoogers has a fairly simple interface. There is a GAIN, LEVEL and TONE knob on the face of the unit with a small switch labeled BOOST. There is also an on/off footswitch on the front of the unit. The back of the unit has jacks for IN, OUT, POWER and EXP. Yes, the MF Boost like all of the MiniFoogers has expression pedal control.
The expression pedal when used with the MF Boost controls the GAIN function of the pedal. With the GAIN set at full and the BOOST switch in the down position the expression pedal works as a volume pedal allowing you to dial in the amount of gain needed to drive your amp and fill out your tone. I noticed a lot of heft in my tone more bottom and focused midrange without sacrificing the sparkle of my high end. The tone know lest you further define your tone making it full without getting muddy. Fat, analog awesomeness!
Flipping the BOOST switch from the down position to the up moves you from the MF Drives subtle 6 db of boost to a hefty 12 db of boost. With the BOOST in the up position my 13 watt Fender Excelsior started to roar. Quite frankly I have never heard this amp sound so good. I was able to completely control my tone stack making the little Excelsior sound like a boutique combo. Also, worth noting is that the expression pedal adds gain past the panel value, so when the Boost switch is up and the expression pedal is forward, it’s more like 15dB
The dynamics and overtones were fantastic with increased sensitivity and a bite.
Cranking up the GAIN with the BOOST in the 12 db position my amp started to break up very nicely. My Les Paul was delivering a fat, chunky rhythm that pasted a smile on my face.
Like I previously stated the MiniFoogers are smartly priced, the MF Boost has a street price of $139. Boutique sound and quality at more than reasonable prices. Stay tuned for reviews of the rest of the MniFoogers the MF Drive is next on the list as we head down the signal chain. You can find more information on the MF Boost and all of the MiniFoogers on MoogMusic.com