Fulltone Fat Boost 3 Overdrive Pedal Review
- Pros: The Fat-Boost 3 is well built and has some extra features not found on similar pedals.
- Cons: Fairly expensive, and design quirks may not appeal to some users.
- Overall: A great boost pedal with advanced features.
The Fulltone Fat-Boost 3 is a good quality boost pedal with a two tone controls and some light on-board overdrive. This pedal has a few idiosyncratic design features, some of which are more endearing than others. The Fat-Boost 3’s thick metal chassis is held shut by four thumbscrews, allowing easy access to the battery compartment and circuit board. Overdrive is accessible using a knob with eleven detents. Also, the bass and treble controls are miniature pots with itty-bitty knobs.
With the drive knob turned all the way down, the Fulltone Fat-Boost 3 can put out a moderate amount of clean boost. Turning up the drive knob can add a lot of gain, as well as a little grit. This distortion is very subtle and transparent, even at high drive levels. While this isn’t truly clean boost, it will be functionally similar for many users, especially when the Fat-Boost 3 is placed in front of a tube amp. The on-board distortion mixes well with tube distortion, of which there is much to be had from this powerful boost pedal.
The Fulltone Fat-Boost 3’s drive knob makes a noticeable crackling sound between detents. In its documentation for the Fat-Boost 3, Fulltone claims that this is a non-issue, but some users may disagree. The miniature treble and bass controls are a little more difficult to use than full sized knobs, but they save space and are durable enough. This pedal is very well made on the whole. The jacks and switch are separated from the circuit board, and good components are used throughout.
It is nice to have a few extra features on a boost pedal, and the Fulltone Fat-Boost 3 goes above and beyond many of its competitors by offering two bands of EQ and light distortion. Some of the engineering solutions in this pedal’s design are a little off the beaten path, but it is certainly functional and sturdy, and it fits easily into a compact enclosure. This pedal would be an excellent choice for someone looking for a feature-rich boost pedal with high-end build quality.