NPD: BD-2 again!

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by Bob Arbogast, Jul 5, 2019.

  1. Bob Arbogast

    Bob Arbogast Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    For the better part of the last 17 years, my playing has been at blues jams--and at home. And I have fussed and fussed over gear. Along the way, I have bought and sold, or bought and modified and sold, probably 4 or 5 Boss Blues-Driver pedals.

    As of this afternoon, I have a BD-2 again. (This one is fairly old--no SMD, thank you very much!--but in mint condition.) And I have better hopes this time. Why? Because for the better part of a year now, I have been gigging, playing mostly Chicago-style blues. And I have figured out that all the fussing has been much ado about nothing--or at least much ado about insignificant increments of tonal variation.

    The main things these days are playing in tune, playing in time, and playing with rhythmic, harmonic, and melodic interest. Add that up, and it's plenty to focus on. Not that gear doesn't matter. It certainly does. But at a certain point a "rig" is good enough and all the attention belongs on the music.

    I have a gig tomorrow. I'm ready to try Tele-->BD-2-->Deluxe Reverb. I expect it to be a good rig for the job.
     
    Jim W, teletimetx, kevsonic and 3 others like this.
  2. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Friend of Leo's

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    I really like the BD-2...in fact, I’ve recommended it to guys who were building a pedalboard or amassing good/reasonably priced pedals several times, including guys in my band(s).

    I don’t know why I’ve never bought one, except to further differentiate my rig from my band-mates, especially when we were both playing Strats into Fender reissue amps...I’ve continually had a Tube Screamer in the line, and often had a Danelectro DO-1 Daddy-O or a MXR M-66 Classic Overdrive added on at various times. Just wanted to have some variety in the sound.
     
  3. bftfender

    bftfender Friend of Leo's

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    i found my best tone lead ever the other day...Super Reverb(just got 1, main amps plexi's) I dimed it,...holy molly...ran that guitar vol on 5 then more for leads...from breakup to creamy sustain..all 5 strat positions had so much character, I got it on a Mon & Tues was in studio with it, had bumper it with OD side of Jekyll & Hyde,,wont have to now,,was floored...those amps begin at 5,,so much tone exploration from their up
     
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  4. fatcat

    fatcat Friend of Leo's

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    But you got to have delay... You just got to.. :lol:
     
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  5. RetroTeleRod

    RetroTeleRod Poster Extraordinaire

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    So what you're saying is that being in tune and practicing is more important than buying stuff? No way! You're not going to get me to go down that rabbit hole! :lol::lol::lol:
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2019
  6. nixpix

    nixpix Tele-Meister

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    I recently bought the BD-2 again myself. I’ve owned a bunch of OD pedals over the past 15 years, a Keeley Phat mod being my introduction to boutique pedals. As my playing has changed I’ve found that I’m adjusting gain with the guitar’s volume knob instead of by stepping on a pedal, so one OD pedal is enough for me at this point. The Blues Driver is great for this. Plus it’s simple with 3 knobs, and the Gain knob has a wide range. Another plus is the extra presence the pedal adds at low gain settings without altering the tone. It tightens up the bass just a little, which I embrace.

    I wanted to purchase the BD-2 brand new with the warranty, so I had no choice but the current SMD circuit board. I have a friend’s 20 year old BD-2 with the thru-hole circuit board and I did a side-by-side comparison. I prefer the sound of the new one - that was a surprise to me. I attribute the sound difference to component tolerances, but it would be fun to try a few of each type of circuit board to verify.
     
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  7. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Currently my BD-2 is the absolute perfect boost. With the same settings it will boost the clean channel into just ‘hair’ and the crunch channel into lead gain and it adds unicorns to both. Couldn’t play without it now. Very underrated pedal.
     
  8. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Nice.
    I use my BD-2 to switch into "big solo" mode when into my already crunchy Vox AC30 and DRRi combined. Whoooosh! :)
     
  9. Bob Arbogast

    Bob Arbogast Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Gig report: The BD-2 was just the trick today!

    Yes, it adds some extra presence when the guitar volume is backed off. That's a welcome feature.

    For the rest, I had everything I wanted by rolling the tone and volume controls on the guitar and selecting pickups.

    I tweaked the BD-2 a bit as the gig went on, but there wasn't a harsh tone to be heard over the course of four hours. I'd call that a win.
     
  10. scottser

    scottser Tele-Afflicted

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    I chop and change between an od3 and a bd2 and while they are all the drive pedal I'll ever need, the bd2 is pretty much always on these days. It begs you to ride the volume control - it really adds detail to your core tone. And while it digs single coils it just loooooves p90s.
    A second hand bd2 is the best 50bucks you'll spend on guitar gear.
     
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  11. sclitheroe

    sclitheroe Tele-Meister Ad Free + Supporter

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    The BD-2 seems so ideally suited to Chicago blues, and I think it's what Boss had in mind when they designed it - the more brittle, trebly tones people often associate with the BD-2 when they are criticizing it are pretty much exactly what early Chicago blues sounded like. The OD-3, by comparison, is the exactly opposite of what I would consider an early or classic Chicago blues tone.

    Then you add the range of tones it can do, and the touch sensitivity and volume cleanup that few pedals can touch, and the BD-2 is a standout pedal in my books.

    -Scott
     
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  12. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Poster Extraordinaire

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    I sold a 2012ish BD-2 a year or so ago and I regret it. I was going to buy an Analogman modded version but sadly their site states the Boss BD-2 "have gone to a cheap disposable surface mount circuit, which we can no longer modify."

    I have no idea whether the newer models have the same mojo.
     
  13. Keefsdad

    Keefsdad Tele-Holic

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    I have an OD3 and like it quite a bit, but it's a bit too smooth and transperent for some of the stuff I play. Now i'm getting curious about the BD-2
     
  14. twangjeff

    twangjeff Tele-Afflicted

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    I think one of the reasons that most people don't embrace the Blues Driver is that with the amount of mods out there, people assume that there is something wrong with the original circuit. I bought a BD-2 years ago, loved it and sent it off to be modded and was way underwhelmed by the modded version. Turns out that I liked it the way it was all along!

    If you have a Blues Driver and a Tubescreamer you have 90% of any gain needs covered.
     
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  15. jamesepowell

    jamesepowell Tele-Meister

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    I love the Blues Driver, but I get why some people don't. All taste is taste.
     
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  16. Bob Arbogast

    Bob Arbogast Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Would it be fair to say a BD-2 is a bare-bones, basic overdrive with all sorts of goodness waiting to be found in a way not so different from a Tele?
     
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  17. Qstick

    Qstick TDPRI Member

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    When I’m practicing at home and can’t get very loud I use a BD2 modded by analogman into a clean amp at super low volume and love it. For added fun, put a bad bob boost in front of it and ride the volume knob of your guitar.

    If I could get it in true bypass it would be on my main board....I’m a snob about that lol
     
    4pickupguy likes this.
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