On many pedalboards you can find pedals that stay on all the time and occasionally the question comes to your mind, if you might have chosen the wrong equipment to create the sound you actually long for.
To be honest, I don’t think that there is something wrong about “always on” pedals and here is why I think so.
Basically, you have usually made a good choice
Mostly people chose guitars or amplifiers because their sound get most close to the sound they would like to produce.
But after a while the sound may seem too bright and thin or dull and lifeless.
The first thought that might comes to your mind is, to use pickups with more output in the first case or, in the second, to install single coils into your guitar.
Or your amp sounds marvelous on stage but in your bedroom, considering neighborly coexistence, it is no more the greatest thing since sliced bread.
On the one hand, not everybody is able to buy equipment according to his current whim.
And on the other hand, it might happen that you are unable to find the PERFECT guitar or amplifier to realize your ideas of sound.
But there is a solution for this problem: Always on pedals.
Always on: booster
Especially if you would like to use the equipment you use on stage or in the rehearsal room at home, it might make sense to use a booster as a tone enhancer.
A booster is able to make the sound more vivid without the need for more volume.
At the same time, you can use a booster to alter the tone according to your idea of a perfect sound.
Range master for example are pretty suitable to add some treble to a dull sound while a cor the Dunlop Q -Zone will emphasize the mids.
To me, it makes sense to use a tone enhancer to bring the character of an amplifier to bear.
There are countless booster and of course, you will have to find an appropriate one but in the end the use of such a pedal represents a suitable way to form your sound in a subtle but definitely and to get your own “signature” sound without the need for a new amp or another guitar.
Always on: Buffer, compressors and EQ-pedals
A buffer in front of and at the end of the effect chain is appropriate to enhance the tone.
Compressors are able to emulate the tone sag of a louder amplifier and EQ pedals enable the user to adjust and emphasize certain frequencies.
Conclusion: There is nothing wrong about guitarists (and also bass players) who use “always on”-pedals on their pedalboard. They are smart enough to adjust their current equipment to their momentary idea of a perfect sound. They provide the possibility, to deal in a flexible way with alterations of your own preferences without the need for flogging your setup on ebay to get new stuff.