Colorsound Power Boost-Style Pedals & A 1972 Hiwatt Custom 100 DR103 – That Pedal Show

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Life too short for long YouTube videos? Please see the ‘Interesting bits and go-to sections’ information below.

Today’s show was one of those once-in-a-lifetime lightbulb moments. Especially for me (Mick here). Dan had long been telling me about ‘Power Boost’ pedals… but having never sat down and plugged one in properly, I was none the wiser. A total blank spot of guitar history. We would do a show. One day.
It wasn’t until Dan did an eight-hour round-trip drive to pick up an original 1972 Hiwatt Custom 100 DR103 and a bunch of Colorsound Power Boost-inspired pedals – including an original – that the penny was able to drop. And boy did it drop, for him as much as me.
These are genuinely some of the most inspiring, most moving, most thoroughly rock’n’roll sounds we’ve ever mustered from these four walls.

Massive thanks to Chris at for the loan of the pedals and of course the unbelievable Hiwatt. The morning after filming, we hit and bought one. Life seems unthinkable without one at this point.

Thanks also to our good friend Jacques Butler for the loan of the Royer 121.

Please enjoy the episode…

Pedals in this episode…
None of our OD/boost/fuzz pedals today are available from our exclusive preferred retailers, so we’ve included URLs to the relevant companies.

• TheGigRig Three2One

• D’Addario Pedal Tuner
UK & Europe:

• Analog Man Sun Face BC183

• Colorsound Power Boost (original). For new try…

• Tru-Fi ColorDriver

• ProAnalog Devices Power Driver V2

• Electronic Orange Bananaboost

• ThroBak Overdrive Boost

• VintageFX Colordrive

• Walrus Audio ARP-87 Delay
UK & Europe:

• Empress Reverb
UK & Europe:

• TheGigRig G2

Why do we have preferred retailer links? Find out here:

Interesting bits and go-to sections…
– Intro playing: 0:00
– We finally have a Hiwatt on the show: 1:20
– The original Colorsound Power Boost: 2:55
– Amp and Power Boost: 4:56
– Why no 4×12 cab? 5:50
– Four inputs and the clean tone: 7:50
– And with a bit of drive from the Power Boost: 11:00
– The original PowerBoost: 14:02 (17:02)
– A quick Silver Sky clean moment: 15:03
– Power Boost at minimum: 17:02
– Today’s other pedals: 23:35
– Woah, that’s volume! 25:01
– Tru-Fi Color Driver: 26:56
– ProAnalog Devices Power Driver V2: 29:29
– And some humbuckers? 32:45 (33:04)
– Vintage FX Colordrive: 34:00
– The thing that’s great about normal overdrives… 35:35
– Electric Orange Bananaboost: 37:56
– Bananaboost and Color Drive comparison: 40:15
– ThroBak Overdrive Boost: 41:30
– With Analogman Sun Face BC-183 Fuzz
– Never heard so much dynamic off the guitar volume pot: 51:06
– What about a different amp? Victory V40 Deluxe: 54:45 (57:55)
– The age-old volume problem: 1:02:30

Guitars in this episode:
• Fender Custom Shop 1963 Telecaster – watch Dan’s video at
• PRS Silver Sky:
• Collings 290 DCS – watch Mick’s video at
• Fender 60s Reverse Headstock Stratocaster – watch Mick’s video at
• Fender Custom Shop 1952 Telecaster – watch our video at
• Gibson Memphis 1958 ES-335 – no video yet

Amps in this episode
• 1972 Hiwatt Custom 100 DR103 and Custom 2×12 cabinet with 2 x Electro-Voice EVM12L
• Victory V40 Deluxe:
UK & Europe:

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Please visit our preferred retailers!
UK & Europe: Andertons Music
Australia: Pedal Empire


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40 thoughts on “Colorsound Power Boost-Style Pedals & A 1972 Hiwatt Custom 100 DR103 – That Pedal Show

  1. David Gilmour had a way more complicated system: he used a custom modified Alembic bass preamp as his preamp (shunting the Hiwatt preamp section) and basically always used his Hiwatts as power amps

  2. I just got my new Tru fi Colordriver. I love it! It sounds amazing. Packs a gigantic punch. Makes my fender practice amp blast as if it's a Hiwatt. Perfect if you're trying to nail those Gilmour tones.

  3. High gain sounds
    27:51 Tru-Fi ColorDriver (on PRS)
    31:52 ProAnalog Devices Power Driver V2 (on PRS)
    35:04 VintageFX Colordrive (on tele)
    38:33 Electronic Orange Bananaboost (on tele)
    42:01 ThroBak Overdrive Boost (on PRS)

  4. I run my “Prescription Overdriver clone” thru Brownface Deluxe, Marshall JTM45, and vintage Supro 1606 with equal effectiveness. Of course It takes on the amps timbre but does it’s thing well, for each amp..It’s been my main overdrive/fuzz/boost for years.. Love it!

  5. Get a 50 Watt Sound City and crank the shit out of it! This will probably still be too loud, but not as insane as the 100 Watt. By the way they don't cost as much an sound just alike!

  6. The funny thing is according to Phil Taylor, Gilmour apparently still has great hearing despite playing at monumental volume

  7. Why not just run the HIWATT with an attenuation if it's that loud?I run my Super Lead 100 with an Ironman II and the tone doesn't suffer in any real way from a reactive loadbox/Attenuator like that. Heck do an episode on Loadboxes/Attenuators!

  8. Also, that powerboost sounds like the 9v version….. The 18v powerboost (which is the one Gilmour used) doesn't break up into distortion until you the get the volume knob on around 75%. The 9v breaks up into distortion a lot earlier.

  9. Gilmour also disabled the pre-amp section of the Hi-Watt… he used a Alembic F2B pre-amp instead.

  10. Great sounds. At 30:33 Mick comments on the bloom of that note. It seems to be typical of a well tuned transistor style overdrive, I have built a few and they are great.

  11. i have to come back to this episode every couple months to sate my appetite, so i can put off spending way too much money for a little while longer.

  12. 21:27 My favourite TPS moment, ever!!! That despaired revelation look on Mick's face… I can watch it again and again!

  13. There are modern things that are great . I use the front of an amp but do love the fx loop. A lota things were better then. Not all , but the things u jus talked about , dam , thats when i grew up, and they were the good ole days .

  14. I built a clone of the 18V version with the master volume control. Without the master volume pot, you will always have a noticeable jump in volume when you engage the pedal. However, Gilmour used a Volume pedal which he could have used to compensate for the jump in volume. In addition, he often used the Colorsound PB with a fuzz face. Like the fuzz face, one can control both the both the amount of fuzz and the volume gain using the volume control on the guitar. Just my 2 cents …. but the master volume control adds a lot of flexibility. It is a passive control meaning it only attenuates the guitar signal and does not amplify it. So if you add a master gain pot to your Colorsound PB, you can easily recreate the sound of an un-modified pedal by turning the pot all the way up.

  15. So the infatuation with the Colorsound seemed pretty brief. Re-watching this you guys seemed to think it was the second coming, but I don't think either of you still use it a year on.

  16. Hi Mick, Graham here again. I'm finding this episode fascinating and am collating some facts because as you know I need to analyse the stats. Now I have a Boss OD-2 (I think it's like a Tubescreamer but different clipping) and a DOD250 which is of course hard-clipping. I am supposing (because the stats I currently have are only about hard and soft-clipping overdrive pedals) that the Colorsound is hard-clipping? My computer is currently doing a search of online infos but it would be great to get an inside line from you as you are quite an authority on these things having produced two overdrive pedals yourself. I trust this message finds you well and in fine fettle. Graham.

  17. Jeff beck used the Overdriver which was just 9v, as opposed to the Power Boosts 18v. The Power Boost has more headroom due to its 18v power stage, so consequently doesn't go into overdrive until you dial the volume up to around 75%, by that time your ears are bleeding due to the volume. The Overdriver was a "watered" down powerboost made for the US market due to the fact they didn't like the 60's psychedelic livery and orange case of the Powerboost they also wanted it to run on 9v, this had an effect on the effect… The overdriver goes into overdrive much much earlier on the dial than the Powerboost.

    My guess is, (and this is only s guess, and happy to be corrected) your powerboost is on its lowest setting and is going into saturation… I suspect this is a 9v version which was brought out in the early to mid 70's, the 18v doesn't saturate at its lowest setting, the 9v does. I've made 121 clones of the Powerboost and honestly until you get to around 75% on the volume they are just loud and glassy but brilliant. can you clarify what version you are using there….. 9v or 18v?

  18. If I used a tru fi colour driver in my fender hot rod. Would it crap out or would the modern design of the pedal mean the lower headroom amp (compared to hiwatt 100w) manages that kind of fuzz better?

  19. To my ear, the ProAnalog is the clear, CLEAR winner here, and the v2 is impossible to find anywhere. What a bummer.

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