Hello Gearheads! Today I’d like to bring to your attention a very cool and supremely useful pedal from the fine folks at XTS, Xact Tone Solutions, in Nashville. The Shapecharger is in part Boost, EQ and an all around Tone Shaper/Enhancer capable of getting your tones right where they need to be.
Built off the topology of their extremely toneful Pegasus Boost circuitry, the Shapecharger morphs the line between utility type pedals such as EQ and various types of boost pedals and sweeteners. Rather than trying to define the Shapecharger, I like to look at it like a sort of utility belt of tone… capable of solving various needs in each particular rig or session. Do you need a straight up clean boost? Would you rather have a thick Midrange boost for your already overdriven amplifier? Do you wish you could really dial in that boosted solo tone? Do you love the nature and feel of the gain in your amplifier’s tone but wish it was a little less woofy? Do you wish you could do all of these things in one pedal that’s easy to dial in and use? See where I’m going here? The Shapecharger is one of those great pieces of gear that shines in so many ways that it’s just simply useful.
Some of the things I found incredibly useful on the Shapecharger had to do with how the Midrange frequencies are handled in the boosting portion. You can really dial in the amount of Midrange, where it sits in the curvature of the sonic spectrum and by using the “Range” control you are able to adjust for the perfect amount of low end contour of that Midrange. It’s like having a clean boost, EQ and a Dallas Rangemaster all built into one easy to use pedal!
As if all of these attributes weren’t enough, the Shapecharger is SMART! Rather, it uses XTS’s “S.M.R.T. Switch”, a brilliant dual mode latching footswitch function that allows you to cycle through the pedal’s Clean Boost mode and Mid Boost mode. These modes are signaled by different color LED’s for this dual function of the Shapecharger. Again, while a reoccurring theme… the usefulness is abound here for us gearheads. As XTS remarks, “This dual function mode makes the Shapecharger two pedals in one and is great for players with compact rigs and anyone looking for a variety of gain-stage options for their guitar rig.”
In the demo below, I used the Shapecharger on every single instrument including bass guitar. I chose to use 3 different amplifiers to really showcase how well the pedal works to bring out the best in each circuit. Even though you can take something like a sweet tone to a crushing tone, the inherent voice of the amplifier and instrument is left intact. Some could call it transparent.. organic… (insert any other internet guitar forum buzz word) I simply call it TRUE. It’s in that purity that the usefulness of the Shapecharger really shines, allowing us gearheads the chance to dig deeper in our tonal adventures and aim for the cheap seats…
Learn more about the Shapecharger from XTS here: https://www.xacttone.com/products/winford-drive-24.html