There’s a lot of “buzz & interest” out there regarding my own clone of the original Dallas-Arbiter, Rangemaster Treble-Booster, even as far away as Australia!! Steve, my Webmaster is proud to own one too and loves it to bits……that's his in the photo above!


An original unit (sorry about the camera flash!)


The original unit with what looks like a couple of previously changed components. Also, note the original Mullard “yellow jacket” OC71 Germanium Transistor!


A different original unit in-which I have changed just one cap. This one clearly shows the original Mullard “metal-jacket” Transistor…..this time an OC44.


The first one. Built as a prototype and in an old power supply case I had lying around. Called the “Champ Trebooster+” (which I have since changed simply to “Treboost+”).  The purpose of the “+” in the title is the fact that even from this first prototype, I added a four position filter switch to give more range & tone.


The filter switch. In position 4 the unit is full range. Position 3 gives less bass. Position 2 is identical to an original unit whereas position 1 is even thinner….or should I say “ear-bleeding!!”.


The inners clearly showing the filter switch & the four caps. I used a Mullard metal jacket OC44 in this one.


The inners of the first basic model. There has been some comments about the strength of the case I have chosen. To be honest it is simply an aluminium “project case”. However, with the lid in place it makes it a very secure/sturdy box….you could stand on it… problem! It certainly is just as strong as an original Rangemaster.

The front….not yet labelled, which brings me to another point. Although nobody has commented on the simplicity of my units (as-in a project box and a few stick-on labels) I could of course have some cases professionally made….looking pretty and with nice silk-screen writing but….come on……it’s what it sounds like at the end of the day!


A finished unit. I make these to order & there are four types:


Close up of the “twin version” ready to assemble. I had to laugh when I first took this photo, the layout of the switch & the two transistors remind me of the Subaru “Boxer Engine!”.


A completed Type 4. I doesn’t matter to me whether I build these as an “amp-top” case (as above) or a “stomp box” floor pedal. Hell, I’ll build one in a shoe box if that’s what is required!! I would imagine that now I have put this on my “world-wide” web site, “everybody and his dog” will be making them now with filter switches & twin transistors…….who cares!! In fact, I have already had an enquiry about making a “triple version”…..with three transistors…..OC71, OC44 & an OC45….Mullard, of which I also have. Mmmmm…..interesting!

Check-out four of the many e-mails I have received about this little toy:

From David in Australia - Champ Treboost+.
"Hi John. Hope you are well :-)  Sorry about the late reply.  Well, unfortunately the huge upheaval in the world financial systems has keep me very busy doing anything but music-related stuff.  So, since the pedal arrived I think I have touched my guitar once, which I am still very unhappy about.  However, that was when I plugged in your Champ Treboost+ and I can say I was definitely very, very happy, to say the least :-)  Very nice :-)

Regards, David"

From Graham, UK - Champ Treboost+.

"Hi John. Your "own cloned" treble boost with extras arrived this afternoon - I opened her up and was impressed by the innards - very tidy, not as if I expected anything else from you! I set it up through a little Vox AC4 and tried it out against several other treble boosters I had kicking around - basically I did some side by side comparisons with an original Rangemaster by Dallas - and a rare treble/bass booster face by Arbiter (both from the days before they amalgamated into the better known Dallas-Arbiter of fuzz face fame) and what is considered by many to be one of the best current RM clones the Analogman Beano Boost - Your box of tricks holds up very well indeed - it is very similar in its sound giving a great clarity - particularly noticeable when using chords - it lets all the notes get heard and giving a very nice bit of overdrive when playing lead - I couldn't help myself but started hitting some Rock & Roll riffs on a Fender (you know Johnny B' Goode and all that stuff) - it thickened up the sound very nicely indeed and although I only used it on the small Vox it was bloody good at tilting that EL84 over into a nicely sustained overdriven sound. I found (so far) that I just left the Gain control maxed and used either the second or third tone filter setting. Apart from on the most bass of the four settings I felt that my speaker was safe!
Your Treboost+ pedal sits exactly with it's middle two tone settings as good as any of the others I tried, so I think it will prove to be a very useable bit of kit; particularly when you think that it only runs to about a tenth of the cost of replacing the original Dallas-Arbiter Treble Booster!!
Kind Regards & Many Thanks indeed - Graham."

From Steve, UK - Champ Treboost+

"Hi John. Many thanks for sending me the Treboost. It arrived this morning and I've just spent the last two hours trying it out. What a great little box! I think that the sounds that I am getting out of this thing are going to expand my (currently limited) musical horizons considerably!

All the best,  Steve."

From Tim in Switzerland - Champ Treboost+
"Hi John, I am writing back to follow up on the Treboost+ I purchased from you. To start off, I will tell you my test equipment:

Amplifiers: Marshall 1969 PA20 head & original cabinet, single 12" speaker with a G12H30 greenback. 1957 Fender Tweed Deluxe, Weber Alnico speaker. 1957 Fender Champ. 1969-70 Park 2x12 combo. Guitar: Fender Stratocaster, equipped with Lindy Fralin H/SRV pickups (special wind with extended bass response).

I started off running the Treboost+ through the Fender Champ running a 5Y3, a 6V6GT, and a 12AU7. This is one of my all time favorite amps as it can go from clean to distorted at reasonable volume levels. Running the Treboost+ through this really hit the front end of the amp hard and I got a very aggressive distorted sound, reminiscent of P90's with a nice sustaining quality. At extreme settings on the range dial the bass either got too loose or the tone sounded too constricted. I opted for positions 2, and 3 as my favorites throughout all the tests. In position 3, the bass held together nicely, while delivering a pleasing tone. As an experiment, I cranked the gain and volume on '10' and ran it through the paces. For the first few seconds it sounded very lively, then it sounded as if there was a lot of gating going on. I wasn't sure if the transistor bias was off or the rectifier was overloaded?

Through the Deluxe, the tone was equally pleasing and aggressive, however, no gating at the extreme settings.

With the Marshall the unit really shines. I had a bright cap placed across the input of channel 1 and this, combined with the extended bass response of the pickups makes for a nice combination. The Treboost+ enhanced what was already there and sent the amp into a very nice over driven, distortion. The output on the unit seems to be quite high and it really gave me a searing lead tone. The settings on the range switch usually gravitated between positions 2 and 3.

Similar results through the Park combo and the unit really came to life at higher volumes. I didn't have any gating effects with the larger amps, which leads me to believe there was some sort of overload placed on the Champ.

There you have it! I like the unit a lot and find it very usable. Thanks for a great product and let me know if you have any questions.

Regards, Tim."