Volume and tone are to musicians what hydrogen and helium are to scientists. They are the two most basic, alchemical ingredients from which we come to know our world, the alpha and beta of our language and the Adam and Eve to our grand story of ourselves. It’s not often in the course of reviewing gear that you come across something that uses those two things alone in an attempt to eek out a place for itself in the grand scheme of things. Few builders dare to distill their craft back down to its very essence, so when they do it becomes quite a sight for sore eyes – or ears as the case may be.
Carl Martin is the name scrawled across the majority of East Sound Research’s 44-product strong catalogue. His is the name that so many pedal-obsessed players look to when trying desperately to wire up their Octaswitch for the first time, and is the inspiration behind the new Vintage series of stompboxes to come out of the Danish manufacturer. Starting out life as a PA hire company in the early ‘90s, their rubric is one of simplicity, ruggedness and zero tonal compromise, of which the Dual Injector Twin Boost is a prime example.
Simply put, it’s a box of options. Separate volume pots control two individual boost channels, between which sits a switch to toggle between running these in series or parallel. In series, as you would expect, signal from our guitar hits Boost 1 and sails through Boost 2 en route to the input of your amp. In a lot of ways, this setting does what so many other offerings do, albeit with a much tighter grip on emitting no signal loss or wayward distortion. In parallel you have the ingenious option of running either a) one signal through two different outputs with their own dedicated boost ratios or b) two different inputs boosted into different destinations. It sounds much more complicated than it is, but essentially it means that in a real world application you can boost the signal going into the next pedal in a chain at the same time as you push your effects send/return to new heights.
As a straight boost it has all the crispness, crackle and nudge of the reissued Supro amps; loud as you like without any ugly signal degradation whatsoever. You can push one channel into the other in series and squeeze out every last drop of headroom in your amp without immediately bloodying your ears. The parallel setting is one of the more succinct acts of cleverly applied kindness I’ve come across in a while. I can see the Dual Injector replacing the need for extra buffers on boards that are one or two pedals away from becoming self-aware.
While there may be any number of boosts, buffers and similar beasts on the market, this is the first time I’ve seen a simple pedal that so succinctly nails the series versus parallel argument with such attention to real world application. Even aside from pushing your drive pedals out of their comfort zone, the Dual Injector has the potential to completely rewire the way you interact with your amp and your pedals. The housing is rugged enough to take a tour’s worth of torture, the switching and signal paths are as invisible as can be, and I haven’t even begun to discover the amount of tricks you could pull off with this thing in your rig.
Hits and Misses
Absolute transparency and a Pandora’s box of tricks
The pea green paint job