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Love my Blues Driver

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by tuddy24, Jun 5, 2013.

  1. tuddy24

    tuddy24 Former Member

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    Just sayin' that I love the versatility and almost sad breakup tone I get with the gain at 3 o'clock and the Tele's volume down a bit. This is the only drive pedal I've kept btw. Just sayin' :). Throw in a TR-2 and I'm in heaven!
     

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  2. StormJH1

    StormJH1 Tele-Holic

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    It's a great pedal. I actually really like the OD-3 Overdrive, which was released a few years later and has a fuller bottom end, but they are very similar pedals. The nice thing about the BD-2 is that it has the grit to be a standalone OD, but a lot of people still love it as a booster.
     
  3. tuddy24

    tuddy24 Former Member

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    Yes that's a great way to use it too. The manual has 8 presets and they're all pretty unique.
     
  4. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

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    With my Blues Jr. amp (clean), I basically turn all BD-2 controls to NOON, leave it ON and just control clean> moderate breakup with my guitar volume. Great for R&R/R&B/country/blues NOT requiring too much distortion or crunch.

    This is the most dynamic OD pedal I have ever owned as far as guitar cleanup. I stack with a TS clone (as a boost to the BD-2) for the more 'singing lead' stuff. Had my BD-2 since they came out. love it!
     
  5. Leep Dog

    Leep Dog Tele-Afflicted

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    I messed around with a Blues Driver during a recent GC visit and I really liked it a lot. It's hard to describe; it just had a rich sound to it. I've thought about picking one up although I have so many damn overdrive pedals already. At some point I need to waste my money on some other kinds of pedals instead of just getting more dirt. ha ha.
     
  6. Coldacre

    Coldacre Tele-Meister

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    its still the best light gain pedal I've ever used. I tried the Timmy, thought it was overrated and found myself missing the BD-2. once it was back on my board it felt 'right' again.

    I use it in 2 ways - giving my AC30 an almost clean boost - dialing the gain out and boosting the volume. sounds great for an early Edge tone. the other is adding some light gain to my already cooking AC15. it kicks that Greenback speaker into serious crunch. harmonic overtones, feedback.... all with separate note clarity. best value pedal on the market.
     
  7. Donelson

    Donelson Tele-Afflicted

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    Timmy can function as a totally pure sparkly clean sound, where you can gradually add some grit; not the BD-2. BD-2 with "gain" on "0" still adds lots of grit. So they are very different. I have had both for a long time.
     
  8. tedro

    tedro Tele-Afflicted

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    dude...send it to analogmike. UNBELIEVABLE. wow, what a GREAT difference on my bd-2.
    the pedal was ok before, now it's great.
     
  9. Coldacre

    Coldacre Tele-Meister

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    I didn't like the flavour of the Timmy. although its touted as "more of your amp", it sounded nothing like more of my AC30.... it just added some lose, farty gain that wasn't particularly pleasing.

    the BD-2 actually sounds more "more of my amp" than the Timmy does. I'm tempted to buy another BD-2 and send it to Analogman, see how it compares to stock.
     
  10. tuddy24

    tuddy24 Former Member

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    That's what I really love about this pedal, i can make it sound like my blues junior when it's cranked at lower volumes. It can be bright so I keep the gain up pn the pedal and roll the guitar volume down which darkens the tone. No treble bleed caps on my Tele! !
     
  11. ' burn 08

    ' burn 08 Tele-Afflicted

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    I love mine. A lot of folks use it on the lower gain settings. The pedal actually has a lot of gain. There is an old thread around here where 11guage breaks down the pedal pretty well. From my understanding, one of the reasons the pedal sounds like your amp when you use it in the lower gain settings is because it actually is your amp you are hearing. You are just using the pedal to push the front end of your amp and aren't actually getting much of your distortion from the pedal. Someone correct me if I'm wrong. Like I said, there is a good thread somewhere where 11guage explains the pedal very well.
     
  12. ' burn 08

    ' burn 08 Tele-Afflicted

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    Oh, yeah, and sometimes I will run a ts-style pedal before it, but running one after it is cool too. It def changes the eq curve when run after.
     
  13. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I actually bought, hated and sold two modded Blues Drivers before I came around and bought the stock one. And love it. I'm still tempted to mod it (don't know why; must resist). Probably puts me in the minority but for my applications in my rig (dark old compressor and dark old amp with tons of mids) stock it's a perfect "always on" preamp/master volume, for GIGS. Like others on the thread, roll back the guitar vol pot for basic sounds, roll up for emphasis/leads, good to go! At home, a bit harsh, a bit weird decay, but that seems to disappear behind the symbols and accordian in my band. Different strokes, as they say.
     
  14. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    Actually, the BD-2 sounds more like an amp because the circuit structures are more amp-like.

    Most traditional OD pedals use an op amp in conjunction with diode clipping to approximate an amp-like sound.

    The parts of the BD-2 circuit that actually clip are not op amps - they are called "differentials," and use a pair of back-to-back jFET transistors.

    The idea is to configure transistors to be sort of like an op amp, but without the large amplitude gain capabilities. This has the nice side effect of producing asymmetrical clipping as well. Op amps are typically "too efficient" to do that.

    Your "typical amp emulator" pedal will have single jFET stages in a "discrete class A" configuration, which typically makes it impossible for them to have the gains of a differential, so the BD-2 uses what is probably the best compromise between the two ends of the spectrum, so to speak.

    The funny part is that the differential has much more circuit complexity than a discrete single jFET. But the latter has to be individually biased. Since the BD-2 is mass produced, "auto biasing" is necessary. The differential allows for that.

    Not only does the BD-2 have two differential circuits in it, but both have their gains adjusted simultaneously, because Boss uses a dual-ganged pot. The OD-2's turbo mode uses a pair of differentials, but the first has a 250K pot, and the second has a fixed negative feedback resistor at 270K.

    jFET's are a PITA to work with, but they have the advantage of a higher input impedance. Besides potentially having a distortion and harmonic characteristic that is similar to tubes, the input impedance seems to really be a positive, performance-wise.

    My big criticism with the BD-2 is that in stock form, it works best with the controls set conservatively - it doesn't sound best when it's really cranked up. There is so much foundational potential there. You can even get "the right subsonic EQ structure" that mimics a tube amp - it actually modulates the other frequencies in a positive way, and it's something we tend to love about cranked tube amps, but it's the kind of thing you indirectly sense - you feel it more than you hear it. A stock BD-2 won't do that, even though the foundational stuff is there. It gets too strident and fuzzy at higher gain settings IMO, and the tone circuit is "ill equipped" to compensate for it.

    But if just using the BD-2 with the controls conservatively set, it's fine in stock form. It could actually be simplified quite a bit since a lot of the potential never comes into play.
     
  15. Mr_Mer

    Mr_Mer Tele-Holic

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    I love both of my BD-2's... stock and Analogman modded
     
  16. brtele

    brtele Tele-Meister

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    Have had the Blues Driver on my board for 3-4 years and use it to get a lot of different gain structures into a 60's Bassman that already has medium breakup dialed at full guitar volume. That and a Bluesbreaker for very light gain get me through all my gigs. Guitar volume/tone for majority control of gain after everythings set up. Sounds good with a Tele or a LP with JB/Jazz.
     
  17. ' burn 08

    ' burn 08 Tele-Afflicted

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    Well that explains it. I remember reading the earlier thread a while back, but apparently didn't remember what it said.
     
  18. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    It's easy to forget all this quasi-verbose stuff, and I apologize for that.

    Suffice it to say that the handful of Boss pedals that use these different structures really have some great advantages over almost all other drive boxes out there.

    IOW, "just transistors" have limitations. "Just op amps & clipping diodes" have limitations. Boss went to the trouble to build a structure with specific types of transistors. It's kind of what IMO makes Orman's minibooster so good - it "stacks" a pair of jFET's. It was good enough to serve as the foundation for the Fulltone Fat Boost, and it was a great modular unit that was employed in the DIY Brown Sound in a Box II, which has now been "lifted" by a few boutique companies for some pricey high end amp emulators that some of these designers actually call "their own ideas."

    I understand the whole nothing new under the sun thing all too well. So it's not really the circuits themselves - it's how it's all put together. And other than the Univox Superfuzz, I haven't seen a differential used for a drive box. Remember - the Superfuzz is a hard core FUZZ. The Seymour Duncan Pickup Booster uses a differential, but it just uses bipolar transistors - no jFET's. And it's not meant to clip or add tube amp'ish harmonics or any of that stuff.

    ...Although it would be cool to retrofit it with jFET's and drive it hard enough to clip. :) But it's SMT construction, so it would be a bit of work. :mad:
     
  19. ccwhwy61

    ccwhwy61 TDPRI Member

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    Analogman modded BD 2, Fantastic piece of work! Much better than stock pedal!
     
  20. parademe

    parademe Tele-Meister

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    Loved the sound of the BD-2, wanted to marry it with the Monte Allums H²O Plus Mod. Of course I wanted the analogman mod, too. But I love doing mods on my own - and Monte Allums had a DIY kit. Sounds more open now and more clear in the lower eq spectrum (and tamed the decay).
    Like my Tele, the BD-2 was nothing I chose - it was just there from the beginning. Handed to me with the fatherly advice to play an instrument. 15 years, a few guitars and a lot of stomp boxes later the BD-2 and the Tele were still there. And even nowadays, when looking for the sweet spot, I find myself in a candy shop when playing with both.
    Gain always around 9 o'clock, level at 3 (I call it the cross eyed setting) and going in and out the gritty zone with the guitar's volume pot gives me a downright sincere overdrive from a pedal I never found in another metal housing since.
    Very subjective, of course. But, hey - wasn't that the topic?
     
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