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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Any love for the BOSS BD-2 (Blues Driver)?

Discussion in 'Pedal/Effects Owners Clubs' started by joejoe, Mar 31, 2014.

  1. RockerDuck

    RockerDuck Friend of Leo's

    Jan 29, 2010
    I have one for my Telecaster, I set the knobs at noon. Great boost that cleans up with the volume knob of your guitar.

  2. leonard d rock

    leonard d rock Tele-Afflicted

    let my cousin borrow it when his ds1 failed. he liked it so much i traded it for his ds1 which i was able to fix. but im planning to get one used for mods

  3. adamlovesgin

    adamlovesgin Tele-Holic

    Mar 3, 2016
    North Shields
    Quite recently, I went for a clean amp setup (Blues Junior) and auditioned a load of OD/Distortion pedals, TS types (EH east River Drive), Marshall in a box (Joyo Crunch Distortion), OCD (Joyo ultimate Drive, Dano Coolcat Drive).

    I was after an organic, natural sounding OD with balls, but also transparency and the ability to clean up on the guitar volume.

    They all failed.....

    ....until I tried out the BD-2, which beat the lot hands down.

    It's an outstanding main OD pedal in a clean amp, brilliant build quality and not too expansive either.

  4. Gatordad

    Gatordad TDPRI Member

    Sep 18, 2003
    1,000 miles from nowhere
    I've had the standard BD-2 but ended up giving it to my youngest son. Been missing that certain tone/sound lately, so I just bought a BD-2w and really am glad I did. The custom setting on the toggle really increases the depth of the sound. BD-2/BD-2w - highly underrated OD pedal, IMHO.

  5. joebloggs13

    joebloggs13 Tele-Meister

    Jun 14, 2017
    Lots of love for the BD-2!

  6. 5ofeight

    5ofeight Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

    Oct 17, 2016
    I have a BD-2, bought mine used for £40. It is all you need along with an amp IMHO.

  7. archiemax

    archiemax TDPRI Member

    Oct 11, 2016
    Phoenix AZ
    +1 for the Monte Allums mod.

  8. StormJH1

    StormJH1 Tele-Holic

    When I was a teenager (mid-90's), the Blues Driver was the pedal I lusted after and could never have. I probably didn't even know how it sounded - it's not like there were YouTube videos back then, and the only place to buy it was Guitar Center for $100+. I had no money at the time, and it would've sounded like garbage through whatever solid state amp I was playing then anyway, but that blue and gold paint job called to me for some reason.

    As an adult, I picked one up briefly, but this was after I'd been exposed to any number of other overdrives (including the TS-9 and OCD). Compared to those, I thought the BD-2 was a bit harsh and abrasive. In fact, I feel the same way about the Klon - I understand why it appeals to so many people, but it really isn't a good match with my style and preferences.

    I sold the BD-2, but later got a Digitech Screamin' Blues, which is that circuit but with independent bass/treble controls. It was cheap, but I like that pedal well enough. More notably, I've been a fan of the BOSS OD-3, which came out about 5 years after the BD-2, and is similar in a lot of ways except that it has less bass drop. I prefer the OD-3 in pretty much every way over the BD-2, but as with any pedal it's more about how it's used than what it does by itself.

  9. sliberty

    sliberty Tele-Holic

    Mar 19, 2007
    East Brunswick, NJ
    I've owned 3 of them over the years. I always found that the BD-2 was harsh, overly bright, thin, and often exhibited weird artifacts (I know, so why did I keep buying them?). I sent the last one I bought to be modified with a Monte Allums mod, and that mod was pretty cool. But, it draws boatloads of current. That forced me to buy an isolated power supply. I eventually moved away from the BD-2, and have been unsuccessful in selling it. Noone seems to want to pay for the mods I've had done, even though they made a huge difference. I might have to drop the price really low just to move it, and take a big loss. But for now, it is gathering dust. Well, not literally, since it is in its plastic bag and box :)

    If you like the general tone of a BD-2, I hear that the Mooer Blues Crab is a better choice. But there are so many better pedals that the BD-2, I'd look elsewhere.

  10. hrstrat57

    hrstrat57 Tele-Holic

    Nov 21, 2016
    Rhode Island
    I've had 3 / first 2 were MEH, current bought on CL so unsure of vintage is ridiculously good.

    So I guess like most music related stuff ya gotta get your hands and ears on it. This one stays!

  11. sliberty

    sliberty Tele-Holic

    Mar 19, 2007
    East Brunswick, NJ
    One thing to consider is that the BD-2 (like many overdrives) is very amp dependent. The gain structure and overall tonal quality of the amp (scooped, bright, boomy, whatever) will make a big difference in whether or not a BD-2 sounds good. Awful with some amps, great with others.

  12. 65 Champ Amp

    65 Champ Amp Tele-Holic

    Just like Night Of The Living Dead, old BD2 threads never die.

  13. joebloggs13

    joebloggs13 Tele-Meister

    Jun 14, 2017
    ;) lol! The BD-2 was the first pedal I ever bought. Still using it stock. It's got such a classic sound. Never goes out of style.

  14. teleman1

    teleman1 TDPRI Member

    May 16, 2003
    I am making my friend return his to GC. Man they like to sell folk. BUt here is my reason. He has other very cool pedals and for the kicker, his lil Katana amp has the bd-2 built in. It is a very cool usable pedal, needs the right amp as mentioned, but really needs the Monte alum or Keeley or? to smooth it out. When I first was getting back into tube amps, I was confused why they would build a pedal that tries to emulate a tube amp. Why not just, use your tube amp?

  15. raysachs

    raysachs Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    May 21, 2017
    Near Philly
    I have the one internal to the Katana 50 and have been liking it a lot. But I also wanted an external version for use with a looper (since there’s no FX loop with the 50). I got a Mooer Blues Mood mini pedal which is a BD-2 clone but with a fat switch. Which I like even more. And aside from use with a looper, the amps takes pedals so well that having the external pedal is like adding a couple extra presets to the amp.


  16. StormJH1

    StormJH1 Tele-Holic

    Agreed on both points. The Katana's built-in BD-2 is a nice drive option to have. I think they even mapped it to the first factory OD slot on the amp, which makes sense since it's their original design.

    I looked at the Keeley Super Phat Mod, which I think is their production version of old BD-2 mods they used to do, but couldn't justify $150 (or thereabouts) for a modded version of a pedal I was just lukewarm on.

    As has been said above, it's just a bit harsh, though I could totally see it working great with certain amps...almost like how a treble booster works great with a driven British-sound, but would be icepicky garbage in other contexts.

  17. MilwMark

    MilwMark Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Apr 29, 2013
    near Arnold's
    I will say, the Blues Driver sounds particularly good into:

    - Marshall amps
    - Ampeg GVT series

    Neither is particularly dark. But they do something really "nice" with pedal bass that can be a bit boomy. And pedal treble (upper mids?) that can be a bit "harsh" and "fizzy". I never minded those characteristics in other circuits, but in those I note above (with humbuckers in my case) you get all of the great and none of the meh.

  18. Veltek

    Veltek Tele-Meister

    Sep 17, 2016
    Blues country

    It's a love hate relationship for me. I love the BD at like... just a bit under half gain, or as a clean boost.

    But the gain (with my gear, and to my ears) starts sounding shrill when you start breaching 1:30 on the dial.

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