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

Opinions on the Bluesbreaker mk1

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by Hendrixlvr, Sep 24, 2017.

  1. Hendrixlvr

    Hendrixlvr Tele-Holic

    hi my never ending search for tone, I've recently been turned on to the old Marshall Bluesbreaker pedal and was wondering if any folks on here have one or have had one in the past and could offer me some insight, as I will more than likely have to buy one online without being able to try it first. I'm not looking for a gain monster so I think this might be right up my ally, but was curious how the experts here thought.

  2. Endless Mike

    Endless Mike Friend of Leo's

    Nov 2, 2016
    Arlington, Texas
    Had one. Loved it. Regret selling it still after all these years. Bought a clone, and I can't tell the difference, so it doesn't hurt too bad.
    viccortes285 and Hendrixlvr like this.

  3. CK Dexter Haven

    CK Dexter Haven Friend of Leo's

    Jun 7, 2017
    Had one don't miss it, can be brittle sounding. Works best w/ a signal chain that can roll of a bit of high end w/o getting flubby or muddy
    IMHO current price is driven more by hype and collector value i.e. "made in UK while Jim was still in charge " than any real uniqueness. Try a Boss 59 Bassman w/ just a hint of gain for a much better result if you are trying to fatten your sound w/ just a hint of breakup. It's a misunderstood pedal, and often used as a OD which it is not ; this gives poor results so it's avalable cheap.
    Hendrixlvr likes this.

  4. Hendrixlvr

    Hendrixlvr Tele-Holic

    Oh I've not thought about that. I tried one in the store years ago, but hated it...of course, like you say, I was trying to use it as an overdrive....hmmmm

  5. Hendrixlvr

    Hendrixlvr Tele-Holic

    I see so many overdrive pedals being compared to the analogman king of tone...maybe I should consider this pedal too haha

  6. noname_dragon

    noname_dragon Tele-Meister

    Jan 13, 2010
    North east coast
    I built a clone and I really like it more than dozens of other OD/distortions I have. I use it with clean Fender amps and it is just right for me.
    Hendrixlvr likes this.

  7. Mad Kiwi

    Mad Kiwi Tele-Afflicted

    Whats the difference between an original and the bluesbreaker 2?

    I really like that pedal, often works well with a Ts9 as well.

  8. Endless Mike

    Endless Mike Friend of Leo's

    Nov 2, 2016
    Arlington, Texas
    To say someone isn't using a drive pedal correctly because they are using it as an overdrive seems like nothing more than personal bias.
    To say it gives poor results is entirely subjective. I used one for years, and LOVED those poor results. One person's poor result is
    another person's delight and joy.
    cousinpaul and Hendrixlvr like this.

  9. fakeocaster

    fakeocaster Tele-Afflicted

    You need to turn the gain almost all the way up to get a good sound, but it's worth getting

  10. Hendrixlvr

    Hendrixlvr Tele-Holic

    This guy makes that boss pedal sound pretty

  11. CK Dexter Haven

    CK Dexter Haven Friend of Leo's

    Jun 7, 2017
    Please re read I'm speaking of the Bassman.Boss is very clear that both the Bassman & DR pedals are character modeling pedals, and that the gain control is primarily for evening out response between a variety of guitars and amps, there are literally 100s of reviews on line that criticize these pedals when used as a overdrive, which is true.. they sound bad, because that is not their intended purpose. They do have the ability to impart a full singing sustain to even a low cost rig at a wide range of volumes. I found the BB to work best in a limited application and even then it really doesn't sound much like Clapton on the BB album because well he didnt use such a thing, it also doesn't provide the fat full od of a '45 at all levels. Marshal needed a name for the low gain pedal of the three & latched on to that. For the original price of $50 if you like it fine if harm no foul but $300 +is a lot to pay for a pedal based on name association, when there are less expensive alternatives that are closer in tone & provide more flexibility in sound shaping.

  12. Endless Mike

    Endless Mike Friend of Leo's

    Nov 2, 2016
    Arlington, Texas
    Ah, my mistake. I see what I missed now.

  13. uriah1

    uriah1 Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Feb 12, 2011
    I think the snouse #1 fits the need.

  14. wildschwein

    wildschwein Tele-Afflicted

    They were okay -- quite low output. Sounded better with a Fender sort of amp. The footswitches wore out on them quickly.

  15. MilwMark

    MilwMark Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Apr 29, 2013
    near Arnold's
    The BBV1, mk 1 is the warmest. After that they get progressively more harsh and thin to my ear. I think that's where the reputation as an overly bright pedal comes from.

  16. Iago

    Iago Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 18, 2006
    I like to think of the Bluesbreaker as a boost pedal to be used it into an already overdriven amp or into another OD pedal. It seems to highlight another part of the midrange than a TS does... If you are getting it for gain you gonna be let down, especially if you think that "Bluesbreaker" means it's gonna make you sound like early Clapton or that the thing was modeled after a JTM45 I've seen some claim - It was not! It's a "goosing" pedal, just like a TS.
    Hendrixlvr likes this.

  17. Andy B

    Andy B Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Mar 16, 2003
    I've recently discovered the Bluesbreaker pedal. For me it is the best OD pedal I've tried except for the Prince of Tone. I took a Bluesbreaker clone and modded it to the King of Tone specs. When paired with the POT I have a KOT which is truely amazing. Unity gain on both pedals gives me an overdrive sound that I've never been able to get before: compression, sustain and breakup. I'm on the waiting list for a KOT at this point.

  18. ICTRock

    ICTRock Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 31, 2014
    I like the bluesbreaker mk1 ... it has shortcomings like a lack of volume but otherwise a really nice lower gain overdrive
    Hendrixlvr likes this.

  19. cousinpaul

    cousinpaul Friend of Leo's

    Jun 19, 2009
    Nashville TN
    It's not generally known that there were two versions of the original BB. The '92 version has a warmer sound. Around 1994 Marshall changed the value of two resistors and a small cap, making the pedal a little louder and much brighter. The KOT and POT are based on the warmer variant. Not sure about the Snouse. I've been playing a GGG clone with the '92 specs for years and have recently added a Chicago Stompworks clone of the brighter '94 pedal to my stable. It's a nice through-hole build in a MXR size enclosure and cost me $59. I like both pedals a lot.

    If you're going to be using a strat or tele with low-output, vintage style pickups, I'd seek out a BB with the '92 specs. If you've got hot pickups, p-90's or humbuckers, the '94 might be a better choice. Either way, the changes are easy and can be made by any competent tech, providing you buy a pedal with a through-hole build. PM me if you want particulars about the differences.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2017
    Hendrixlvr likes this.

  20. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 2, 2010
    If the OP is thinking of buying a vintage BB for $300, IMO it's a bad idea, mostly because they are big, heavy, old, expensive, poorly built and hard to repair when the parts break off the board.

    Lots of clones available though, and they are uniquely able to make an amp sound like itself but louder IME.
    Course, IDK what the OP wants it to do?
    There's always the PoT as well, which I believe can be operated like a BB1, though technically it's a little different even on the OD setting.
    Hendrixlvr likes this.

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