Xotic brings back a pedalboard classic with the 20th Anniversary RC Booster

Xotic Effects RC Booster
(Image credit: Xotic Effects)

Xotic Effects has brought back one of the great always-on guitar effects pedals of all time, the RC Booster. This limited edition run of 1000 units celebrates 20 years of the boost pedal, and comes in special packaging, with a dozen artist signature guitar picks, and assorted ephemera.

This is potentially big news for the front end of your guitar amp, where the compact but powerful RC Booster makes its presence felt, providing up to 20dB of clean, transparent gain that will push your guitar amp into overdrive, and also give some of the drive pedals in your signal chain something to think about.

While the EP Booster takes the cake as Xotic’s most compact booster – an evergreen pedalboard choice for the discerning tonesmith – the RC Booster offers more options for shaping your sound. Its active EQ offers 15dB of boost or cut for Bass and Treble, giving players options. 

You can run the pedal as a mids boost with both Bass and Treble controls at 11 o’clock, or to dial in Black Panel Fender amp sounds with Treble at noon and Bass at 11. Or just use it to push what you've got.

There are knobs for Volume and Gain, and you can run the pedal at a standard 9V or at 18V for more clean headroom. 

As Kirk Fletcher explains in the demo video, it was Josh Smith who turned him onto the RC Booster, and it has remained a part of his rig for nigh on 20 years. 

While the unit can be tweaked to flatter different types of electric guitar, single-coils or humbuckers, once you find a sweet spot it is more than likely that this will be one of those set-and-forget pedals that are left on all the time, subtly enhancing your sound without doing anything transformative to it.

“It just adds presence,” says Fletcher. “When you turn it on, it just makes your sound just sound like this beautiful shimmer without being too bright. The EQ is really set in a spot where it is really useful, and not too much treble and not too much bass – real guitar-friendly.”

Inside the special 20th Anniversary packaging there is a silicon wristbands, lanyard, and picks from RC Booster superfans such as Andy Timmons, Fletcher himself, Oz Noy, Michael Thompson, and Scott Henderson.

The 20th Anniversary edition of the RC Booster is available now, priced $172. For more details, head over to Xotic.

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.