Benson Amps unveils the self-biasing, tone-enhancing Germanium Boost

Benson Germanium Boost
(Image credit: Benson Amps)

Drawing inspiration from the development of its Germanium Fuzz, Benson Amps has released a germanium-based clean boost with a self-biasing circuit that ensures a consistent performance no matter the conditions.

The evocatively titled Germanium Boost – hey, the name might lack poetry but it’s functional – skirts around the notoriously temperamental nature of NOS germanium transistors by using a voltage-controlled error correction circuit. 

As a result, Benson’s Germanium boost won’t be affected against component drift, leakage and changes in temperature. In order to make this the sort of secret always-on pedalboard stalwart that great tone-sweetening boosts can be, Benson has increased the input headroom and input impedance.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Once you power up the pedal, it'll take 10 seconds to self-bias the germanium transistor and then it's ready for take-off. And there you have it: a consistent Ge boost for juicing other overdrive and fuzz pedals, hitting the front end of your tube amp with some gain, and generally doing some of the heavy lifting in your signal path.

It’ll work with a bass guitar, too, and Benson even says that its pseudo-compression tone gussying will work gangbusters on your acoustic guitar pickups, too. But most of us will use it to give our guitar amp something to think about.

The Germanium Boost has a low-profile enclosure, one single over-sized dial, and can be run on 9V DC power or a battery. Priced $199, it’s available now from Benson Amps.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.