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Opinions on the Bluesbreaker mk1

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

  1. ValDiaz

    ValDiaz Tele-Holic

    721
    Jan 1, 2014
    Glasgow, UK
    Aren't the v1 originals so expensive because John Mayer was using one for a while?

    Regardless, there are plenty of good clones out there without dropping hundreds on an original. The Snouse gets rave reviews & I believe the Mooer Blues Crab is another.
     

  2. Endless Mike

    Endless Mike Friend of Leo's

    Nov 2, 2016
    Arlington, Texas
    Call the police, I use mine incorrectly. I use it as a drive pedal, for low gain, gain turned up maybe just over halfway. I have used it that way for years, and love the way it sounds.
    I don't want to goose my amp with anything for fear of being confused with a proctologist.
     

  3. Lies&Distortion

    Lies&Distortion Tele-Meister

    381
    May 27, 2014
    SE Michigan
    That's how I use my Snouse Black Box. The new model has a few more bells and whistles, and volume. Might be worth checking out.
     
    R_Somerset and Hendrixlvr like this.

  4. Endless Mike

    Endless Mike Friend of Leo's

    Nov 2, 2016
    Arlington, Texas
    I bought a clone kit back in 2010, I'm satisfied with it. The only thing I'd want now is a simple three knob version of the 92 version. My current clone is 94 spec.
     

  5. Hendrixlvr

    Hendrixlvr Tele-Meister

    I kind of want to use it as an 'always on' pedal, set it to crunch and leave it back by my amp, using my guitar volume to go from clean to crunch for rhythm, then using my original '83 ts-9 to boost for leads
     

  6. Hendrixlvr

    Hendrixlvr Tele-Meister

    Sounds like I want to hunt for the older '92 version for my purposes.
     

  7. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    58
    Mar 2, 2010
    Maine
    If you run across a Zvex Distortron it's worth trying out this way.
    On the low gain setting with gain knob (SHO crackle) at noon, it has what I consider a similar natural boost but easier to work with.
    The subs switch is handy for getting the right bass content, and it makes the guitar vol knob work great.
    Odd that the Distortron and BB1 are named after the same amp but neither sounds like it, IMO.
    Not the same pedal by any means but both are on my very short list of pedals that add something good without adding something.
     
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  8. cousinpaul

    cousinpaul Friend of Leo's

    Jun 19, 2009
    Nashville TN
    I wonder if Marshall might have been going for Clapton's Range Master boosted tone on the "Blues Breakers" album rather than just the iconic amp. Might explain the BB's extra helping of presence.
     
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  9. Iago

    Iago Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 18, 2006
    Brazil
    Even more interesting when Clapton didn't use a Rangemaster for that album. Anyways, I get what you mean, the BB does sound slightly "treble boosted" to me, that's what I meant when I said it seemed to highlight another part of the midrange than a TS on my earlier post.
     
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  10. FerruleCat

    FerruleCat Tele-Meister Gold Supporter

    289
    May 2, 2017
    Tulsa, OK
    Check out the Mooer Blues Crab. They say it's a good substitute for the BB. I don't know, but I think it's an excellent pedal.
     
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  11. BB

    BB Friend of Leo's

    May 17, 2003
    Great Pacific NW
    I've had one of the originals since the early 90's. By far my favorite pedal out of that series. As I've posted many times before, the Blues Breaker may be a one trick pony, but it does that trick very, very well. True, the controls don't do much until that later stages of their rotation and it may not have enough gain for many players. For me, it's darn near perfect.

    While a Marshall Blues Breaker combo has been on my dream list for years, I've never had the pleasure of plugging in to one. I've read about it though and from what I gather, players either love em or they don't. I think it would have been a great amp for a player like Roy Buchanan since (from what I've heard, no fact behind it) he pretty much plugged straight in to a Fender Vibrolux, dimed the controls and made use of his guitars volume control to go from clean to mean to scream.

    I don't know if the pedal was designed in that vein or not, but my Blues Breaker (and another BB of the same era I had) is very dynamic. I love the way it responds to my touch. One of the best pedals I've used in how it reacts (and cleans up) with the guitars volume knob.

    I bought a used Blues Crab a few years ago. Pretty good pedal. I just picked up an Aroma Blues Overdrive which is touted as a BB clone. Not quite, but I like it...especially for $24!

    Again, never tried one, but Snouse Black Box pedals come very highly recommended. If I ever retire mine, it will be because I got a Snouse.

    It's funny when someone famous uses a long discontinued pedal. Suddenly the value skyrockets.
     
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  12. BB

    BB Friend of Leo's

    May 17, 2003
    Great Pacific NW
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    The Aroma clone is below the 72 Degrees. It's the least expensive option I've found for a BB type pedal. I need to spend more time with it, but so far it seems to do a nice job.

    The 72 Degrees is another low/med gain pedal. I fell in love with the 72 the moment my foot clicked the switch. It's a great pedal on it's own and perhaps the most unique overdrive I've used. The dynamics of this pedal are stunning. It excels in responding to your touch and cleans up with the guitars vol control. A different animal than the BB for sure, but It plays well with other pedals and a perfect compliment to the BB. If these two were my only pedals, I'd be a happy man.

    Also different, but with many of the same dynamics, the Tone City Bad Horsie is among the best I've used
     
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  13. cousinpaul

    cousinpaul Friend of Leo's

    Jun 19, 2009
    Nashville TN
    Iago, just spent a few minutes reading about the Clapton/Rangemaster controversy. Interesting. Thanks for pointing it out.
     
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  14. Endless Mike

    Endless Mike Friend of Leo's

    Nov 2, 2016
    Arlington, Texas
    I owned an original black box V1 during the 90's. Sold it in 2001 when we had to move to out of state. A few years later (2006) I went to see about replacing it. they were going for 200.00 or more. So I found a kit from Tone Clone and it's the same sound, although more gain/od. I just keep the gain knob down.

    Ordered a V1 clone from Chicago Stompworks yesterday. I'll be interested to see how it compares to the original and the clone I've had all these years.

    People who say the original was designed to push an amp have never used one. I remember I had to turn the volume control on that thing almost all the way up just to get to unity.
    Didn't have much gain either. You had to max the gain, and even then, it wasn't really obvious until you played two or more notes
     

  15. Jakeboy

    Jakeboy Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 26, 2008
    Sedalia, MO
    I also have the Chicago Stompworks clone of the 94 version. Yes it is bright, but keep the tone knob low and all is well. Sounds incredibly good.
     
    BB likes this.

  16. cousinpaul

    cousinpaul Friend of Leo's

    Jun 19, 2009
    Nashville TN
    I bought a Chicago Stompworks BB clone a couple of months ago. Also have their Red Llama clone. I'm really impressed with the quality of their builds. Check out the heat shrink over the lugs on the pots where the wires attach. It's something you rarely see, even on high-end pedals. Also like the chassis mounted pots, jacks and switch. They're easily serviced if anything should ever fail and, with a through-hole board, easily modded to '92 specs if desired.

    As mentioned above, they also sound very good.
     
    Jakeboy likes this.

  17. Endless Mike

    Endless Mike Friend of Leo's

    Nov 2, 2016
    Arlington, Texas
    Dang it. They don't say if theirs is 92 or 94. All it says is original version 1 in the ad. I really wanted 92 spec, I already have a 94 clone.
     

  18. cousinpaul

    cousinpaul Friend of Leo's

    Jun 19, 2009
    Nashville TN
    Mike, don't have time now but I'll take a look at the board on mine tonight and see if I can locate the two resistors and cap that need to be swapped out.
     

  19. Endless Mike

    Endless Mike Friend of Leo's

    Nov 2, 2016
    Arlington, Texas
    Hey Paul, thanks for that. I really appreciate it. Think there's a way I can translate that info over to my other clone. I'd feel better leaving the CSW pedal stock, just in case.
    I can get into the clone I put together easier, since I'm the one who made the mess in the first place!
     

  20. cousinpaul

    cousinpaul Friend of Leo's

    Jun 19, 2009
    Nashville TN
    Mike, if you go to the General Guitar Gadgets projects page there's a schematic and layout for the MBB. The alternate values are listed to the right of the schematic in blue. Those are the ones you want. The part numbers will probably be different from your board since it's not a GGG but the 3k3 resistor and the 47pf cap (probably a small ceramic) should be easy because there's only one of each. Finding the right 4k7 resistor to replace might take some detective work because there are three of them. Try to match up the components to either side of it with the schematic.

    Also, the 27k resistor you'll need is not a common value. If you don't have one, a 22k in series with a 4k7 will get you close enough. Best of luck and give us a review when you get it sorted.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2017

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