To call Legendary Tones’ Time Machine Boost “…a distortion pedal” would be to sell it
Designed for use with high-quality tube amps, the Time Machine’s purpose is to boost certain tonal frequencies in your setup, giving you a variety of sounds with the tap of a single footswitch. That makes it unique, and quite cool!
Superficially speaking, the Time Machine is sturdy and elegant, with its heavy duty metal housing, sturdy stompswitches, and powder blue baked enamel finish.
Functionally, the unit features two channels – Vintage and Modern – with three types of boost; the Vintage channel has two modes, dubbed “1966” and “1973.”
The face of the unit is laid out simply. There are two stompswitches; a true-bypass on/off, and the channel selector. The Vintage channel also uses a toggle switch to go between the “1966” and “1973” modes. The channels also have separate volumes, and the Vintage channel features an intensity control that adjusts high frequencies and harmonic content.
To ensure ease of operation under stage lights, the Time Machine has three bright LEDs; the power indicator is red, the “Vintage” channel is blue, and the “Modern” channel is white. And they all rest in chrome bevels.
We plugged the Time Machine in line between a Fender Esquire and a clean-sounding tube amp. The “Modern” setting gave us a nicely boosted signal with transparent harmonics that made the amp come alive, sort of like how a compressor livens up the signal, but without affecting the dynamics of the signal like a compressor would. It sounded really nice.
The “1966” mode offered up some of EC’s famous treble-boost “Bluesbreakers tone” that serves as the mode’s inspiration, while the “1973” mode gave us a more midsy tone, with increased low-end response.
Next, we plugged the Time Machine in-line with a late-’70s Gibson SG going into an all-tube half-stack set at moderate distortion. We then kicked in the “Modern” boost mode, and our immediate reaction was “Wow!” The unit boosted the amp’s natural distortion to a sweet, singing, harmonically complex sound that would please any pro. At the max volume setting, it also boosted the volume for soloing. Through this setup, the “1966” mode dramatically brightened the tone, while the “1973” mode gave us a much more midsy low-end tone reminiscent of the early ’70s. Very sweet, and nice and fat!
Overall, this pedal does an outstanding job in all modes, and is one of the most usable pedals we’ve tried. The trick is to experiment, but essentially, the Time Machine Boost will make any good amp sound great.
Legendary Tones Time Machine Boost
Type of Effect Tri-Mode Signal Booster.
Features Point-to-point hand wiring, NOS military-spec components, dual JFET circuit design, premium 3DPT switches, Switchcraft jacks, rugged die-cast aluminum housing, 22-gauge solid-cored Teflon wire, common 9-volt power supply.
Price $289 (list).
Contact LegendaryTones, 17595 Vierra Canyon Rd., Box #110, Prunedale, CA 93907, www.timemachineboost.com.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s March ’03 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.