That's right! Popular demand has struck. To satisfy the wishes of the populace and to silence the constant email inquiries, I decided to bring back the much loved The Lightning Boy tube drive/boost pedal. I'm sure that will satisfy a good number of folks. On Youtube recently, Intheblues channel, demoed the out-of-production pedal. Here's that video if you haven't seen it yet:
So what's different about The Lightning Boy II? Well, I wanted to keep it fairly true to the original, but I had a number of personal issues with the original that I wanted to change with the new version. First off, the LB2 will operate on 12V instead of 9, providing more headroom and more gain. Next, the original version was designed to be as inexpensive as possible, which forced me to make many compromises on components and the circuitry. This time around, no cutting of corners to make a low priced product. Its going to cost a bit more, but you're getting a much cooler pedal. There will be an internal switch that can be accessed by taking off the back plate. The switch will toggle between normal operation and "Turbo," a feature that will be on all new LBA products since the Op-2 Comp. The original had no noise filtering electronics, since that would have increased the cost of the pedal. The LB2 will have a number of features designed to reduce noise. There's going to be a noise filter cap, improved grounding path to eliminate internal ground loop noise, and the tube filaments will be running about 1v under normal, which will not affect performance of the tube, but it will lower the noise created by the heater filaments by about 5dB and it will radically extend the life of the vacuum tube. The tube itself will ship with a tube damper mounted on it, stock, to minimize microphonic noise, which could be heard as an amplified "click" when stepping on the pedal. The tube socket is getting upgraded to the super tight kind used in the Op-2 Comp. The original socket was an el-cheapo. The new sockets are double the price, but they are more than double as good. Super grip means, better transfer of signal (better sound) and reduced risk of the tube ever becoming accidentallly unseated (which I never heard of happening to begin with). The visual look of the pedal will be very similar, with an almost identical top panel decal and single big knob. The knob is getting upgraded to the same one as I'm using for Trinity. This knob is actually 4x's more expensive than the original knob used on The Lightning Boy, but it looks 10x's cooler! The back plate and side are going to be laser engraved instead of hand engraving to save time and reduce the risk of mistakes. Machine work will be done via CNC instead of by hand to reduce cost and improve accuracy.
The original pedal had a 1 year warranty, mostly due to the low quality parts used in it. The new version will have a mighty 5 year warranty because it won't be using anything less than the best of the best parts.
Availability: I'm aiming for a February 2017 release of the pedal. At this point it looks like The Lightning Boy II will sell for right around $200 USD. We're currently accepting pre-orders, which will be for $180 USD. Free shipping on all pre-orders. The pre-orders will ship in late January 2017. There's already people on the waiting list prior to the publishing of this blog post. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you're interested in pre-ordering The Lightning Boy II.
About the Author
Mike Congilosi II, Owner/Designer/Electronics Engineer at Lightning Boy Audio and Owner/Audio Engineer/Music Producer at LBA Studios.