Nemphasis Silver Box review

A signature boost box

  • £149
  • €189
Dial in the boost with a combination of the level and gain controls

MusicRadar Verdict

A versatile boost with useful tonal shifts.

Pros

  • +

    Subtle variations on useful boost tones. Boutique build.

Cons

  • -

    Plenty of other options available at this price point.

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No, we've never heard of Marco Tafelli either, but the Silver Box from Italian boutique brand Nemphasis is his signature booster and it offers a four-knob control surface and up to 22dB of boost.

"It adds the sort of better-on-than-off tone conditioning certain preamp pedals are lauded for"

The boost is dialled in with a combination of level and gain knobs. Gain down and level up, with the bass and treble knobs set fairly neutrally, gives you a useful incremental jump in your normal sound.

Those tone knobs, if set to add treble and/or bass, also add a touch more perceived volume and the sort of better-on-than-off tone conditioning certain preamp pedals are lauded for.

Gain and level maxed gives the most boost, of course - plenty for coaxing a clean valve amp into overdrive - but with the gain knob seemingly delivering a little more dirt than the level, juxtapositions of the two offer subtle variations at different boost levels.

A useful little box for instant volume and/or tonal adjustment and a viable substitute for an overdrive pedal if you have a drivable valve amp.

Trevor Curwen has played guitar for several decades – he's also mimed it on the UK's Top of the Pops. Much of his working life, though, has been spent behind the mixing desk, during which time he has built up a solid collection of the guitars, amps and pedals needed to cover just about any studio session. He writes pedal reviews for Guitarist and has contributed to Total Guitar, MusicRadar and Future Music among others.