Sitek Guitar Electronics makes 3 different Boost pedals - the Nursie Transparent Booster, Vixen Germanium Booster, and this updated V2 Caffeine Booster which kind of sits in between the Clean Boost of the Nursie, and the more Harmonic Gritty Boost of the Vixen.
The V1 edition of the Caffeine simply just had Level and Gain controls, while there are some new innovations on the V2 version. You can obviously see that 2 x toggle-switches have been added. The left-hand toggle-switch allows you to go from Boost Mode to Drive Mode (Up) - which introduces two further Blue LED clipping Diodes into the mix - and gives you an even more impressive boost or mid-gain overdrive even.
The right-hand 3-way EQ toggle-switch is rather more complex in what it does - as this boost pedal is a multi-stage circuit, and as you move the switch from Thin, to Normal, and Fat - you’re actually bringing into play different capacitors, as well as different perts of the circuit - in order to render that tonality and profile.
This is specifically a Textured Gain Boost - where the Gain knob adds in some slight grit and saturation - but can provide actually a relatively clean boost fully CCW. The key carry-over from the V1 Caffeine is the DualMode footswitch which can dynamically switch from Latching to Momentary - depending on how quickly or how long you press down on the footswitch - so if you need a quick burst of solo boost you just hold down the switch for that brief duration.
This for me serves best as a pre-gain boost, and while it’s pretty good in front of other gain pedals - it really excels in front of a cooking amp as such. With my rig / chain in Clean Pedal Platform mode the Caffeine doesn’t impact the signal too much beyond the jump in volume and saturation, while it really sings in front of an at least slightly driven amp.
Andy developed this pedal initially as a sort of ’Bridging Booster’ for when he swapped over to different guitars and different pickup combinations mid-set - where some fine-tuning was needed for that guitar/pickup combination to bring it in at the perfect level and consistency with its predecessor. So the ’conditioning’ angle here is very pertinent, and in fact several players use this right at the front of their signal chain to better balance the guitar input into the signal.
The Caffeine V2 is launched at a similar time to the excellent Fuzzie Germanium Fuzz - and both benefit from superb new matt enclosure finishes - with the graphics slightly raised on the surface - and just a really luxurious feel to them. They are hand-made in Gdynia, Poland from the highest quality components - which you can immediately feel in the turn of the potentiometers and clicks of the switches.
I said for the Fuzzie that the standard of finish took these pedals a further notch higher up in quality - which was already superb. For the Caffeine and Fuzzie in particular the suitability of the artworks and the colourways - with Caffeine’s coffee bean brown and Fuzzie’s sparkling champagne hue being simply just inspired.
The Caffeine is available right now on the Sitek Webstore for the very reasonable price of €140 plus delivery. If you’re looking for a dynamic playback boost which you can elegantly manipulate on the fly and mid-solo, then the Caffeine V2 should certainly be among your top considered candidates.
For further proof of this pedal’s prowess - please refer to Alberto’s superb demo below :