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zVex SHO Boost without an amp


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  • zVex SHO Boost without an amp

    Has anyone ever done this and does it just give you a clean boost? I play at a church at least once a month and I just run my pedalboard straight through the sound system with no amp. At home I obviously use an amp but when I play at church we don't. Would it just be a transparent boost or would it act weird. I mainly would want it to boost my Klon and delay clean tones.

  • #2
    The lord frowns upon super hard ons


    • guitardustin
      guitardustin commented
      Editing a comment
      I think it might just get really distorted and muddy kinda like the overdriven 4-track kinda sound. I could be completely wrong but I think thats a lot more output than a PA would be used to seeing.

  • #3

    I've found the SHO a really useful preamp for acoustic and electric alike when going straight into a desk.

    If you've got the version with volume control, you can set it up in soundcheck to boost, but be within the headroom that the desk input has on offer. 

    But it is indeed risky. Even if your operator is on the money and is mixing well, boosting into a PA will (often/generally) produce a larger volume increase than into an amp, where a bit of clipping will ensue, and act as a kind of inherent limit.


    my 2c...


    • omni
      omni commented
      Editing a comment

      Save your money. Just turn up the volume a bit.

  • #4
    a booster would be ok but I would seriously consider some sort of amp/speaker simulator pedal. Tech 21 makes a handful of pedals with these sort of "compensated" outputs which sound a whole lot better when going direct to PA compared to the raw signal from your pedalboard. I built my own based on this DIY project here:


    I put it last in line after the pedal board and it reacts and sounds like a miced amp going thru the PA to my ears.


    • openwater
      openwater commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks everyone. I wasn't going to buy a new one. I have a friend who build pedals that built an exact replica of the SHO boost (with the knob) that he'd give me for cheap. He built it in one of the small mooer size enclosures so its super small and I as interested. He said he would send it over and if I like it pay him, if not them send it back, he just doesn't use it.