Originally devoted to producing customized quality bass guitars, Xotic began offering effects pedals in 1999. Though the company still offers custom guitars and basses, it is Xotic effects that have made the company popular with musicians and music gear devotees all over the world.
The “big three” in the Xotic effects pedal lineup are the RC Booster, AC Booster, and BB Preamp, all sharing the same housing dimensions and sporting four knobs for effects control. The RC (“Rig Conductor”) Booster is the most transparent pedal of the three, offering up to a 20dB+ clean boost as well as a +-15dB 2 band active EQ. Like all Xotic pedals, it is true bypass and may be powered with either 9-volt battery or an external power supply. The pedal is most useful for powering long cable runs or providing a clean boost for solos. The AC Booster (named after a famous British amp from the 60’s) offers quite a bit more gain than the RC Booster, so much so that it is often used as a smooth overdrive or distortion pedal when cranked. It has been compared to an Ibanez Tube Screamer, though the AC Booster is far more versatile. Finally, the BB Preamp (named after the “Blues Breakers”) offers the most gain of the bunch, and has been compared to everything from a Dumble to a boosted Tube Screamer.
While Xotic is known primarily for the trinity of pedals above, they also make “Plus” versions of the above with additional controls as well as unique designs such as the X-Blender (which allows you to patch in effects and mix the wet/dry signal as needed). Regardless of which pedal you choose, you can’t go wrong with Xotic effects pedals.