A boost with a built in limiter that…ummmm…limits its boost? Yep, leave it to Mike Fuller to come up with something as wacky (and frankly, as useful) as that. Even with only two controls, this problem solving pedal offers a surprisingly large amount of tones.It seems to be fairly popular these days to use compressors as a boost…some say it simulates the overdriving of the amp’s tubes to the brink of compression and some say it is an Aural effect that simply makes your Brain sense that something seems louder. Either way if you have been considering this route for a boost, the Fulltone 2B is worth…a look. It’s described by Fulltone as “a tiny, transparent, and amazing boost pedal” that includes a JFET Buffer along with a Germanium Limiter. Who is to argue with Mike Fuller?
As far as it’s physical design, the 2B should get an award for efficiency. With only two knobs, a limiter/boost likely can’t get much more simple than this. “Gain” adds a little grit to the signal but it’s main function is to control the huge amount of output available. “Dynamics” controls the amount of subtle compression/limiting on offer. Its footprint is easily comparable with that of a mini tuner pedal…yet it still has room for a 9V battery! Other than the usual Input and Output Jacks and power supply connecter, THAT’S IT.
As far as boosts go the amount of tones available is quite staggering. This pedal offers 3 main tone shaping options:
- It acts as a signal buffer, and being a Fulltone, it does this quite well. Crisp, clear and well defined. As with most buffers, you notice it much more when it is not in the signal chain. A lot.
- It’s main function is as a Boost, and again, it does this amazingly well. Boosts, though often essential, can come off as boring, but this particular pedal seems to have a reactive character about it as soon as it is turned on that others simply don’t have. It comes off as a “clean” Boost…but much like a tube-based HiFi Audio system, it doesn’t come across as too clinical and cold, just warm and responsive. It can also be operated at 18V for extra headroom. 20dB baby!
- It has a Limiter function that though subtle, can really add just the right amount of “clamp” to the signal. Again, it is responsive and warm. It likely is the Germanium Diode that is responsible for this, but technical aspects aside this is some pretty fierce competition to the excessively knob-happy compressors on offer today. Much like the included buffer, trying zeroing out the “Dynamics” knob and marvel at how important this subtle effect became to your tone. Very “2B“.
Let’s keep this as straightforward as the pedal itself: It’s simple, small and crazy LOUD. And it just ROCKS.