By Matt G of Boogie on Alice and Captain Chet
Something I couldn't live without is some form of a boost pedal for my guitar! It's tough watching a show where a guitarist takes a solo & it's at the same level as their rhythm. If everything is mixed perfectly and maybe if it's a 3-piece, you can pull it off. But if there's too much going on in the background, you owe it to your solo to boost that sucker a bit & let it cut through the mix.
Cher doesn't hide behind her dancers when she hits a peak, so why should you? Consider relying on a pedal specifically calibrated to boost your signal rather than manually turning up your volume (either via guitar or amp knob). This can work, but at the end of a solo when your heart is pumping & your ego is jumping out of your chest, can you really say with certainty that you will remember to not only turn your signal down, but to do so to the original level? Chances are, your ear will be turned-on by the volume, and you're going to make your new rhythm level a bit louder than it was previously, and that's going to keep adding up & up & up...
So get a pedal that allows you to set the level of the boost, where all you need to do it stomp on a switch after a solo & your level will be right back to normal! Personally, I enjoy having 2 boost options in my rig: I use the Fulldrive 2 for subtle overdrive, and the unit has a separate boost channel that you can fine-tune. If I want a lot more crunch I use my old TS-9 with the drive cranked. Whatever you do, make sure you sound check your boosts before your show so the first notes of your solo are only subtly higher than your rhythm!
Cheap but does the trick-