Boss Blues Driver - Why am I liking this so much?

Anxiety Serum

Active member
First. I don't have much experience with OD pedals, I usually just use the amp for gain as other Pedals added to much.

But I like Ben McCleod of All Them Witches and his crunch (not metal) tone via a Blues Driver pedal into a Fender clean amp.

The Diezel VH2 channel 1 does a nice Crunch with gain turned up, but for $100 I figured I could turn my 2 channel VH2 into a 3 channel amp... clean, clean with the Boss for some classic Crunch, and then Channel 2 for high gain.

But shit, it sounds great on the Clean, boosting a maxed out Channel 1 (for a pretty heavy tone), and even boosting Channel 2 it adds some flavor I like.

I recall hearing something about the Blues Driver being a more flat EQ boost than others OD pedals, or something like that. Can someone help me understand what this pedal is doing vs. other OD pedals? Do most of you use an OD pedal on top of your high gain settings?
 

Anxiety Serum

Active member
i dont know about the pedal but the new all them witches is so bad ass

Shit I didn't know they had a new song out. Just saw them in December at the Cat's Craddle in Chapel Hill. We took my buddy's 12 year old to his first Concert. They went back 2 weeks later and saw them at home in Knoxville.
 

fek

Well-known member
I have owned a few BD's over the years and like them. However I do use OD's to boost an already overdriven amp so I prefer a bit of bass cut to tighten things up. Of course using the standard settings of volume up and gain low to get there.
 

gtrwun

Well-known member
First. I don't have much experience with OD pedals, I usually just use the amp for gain as other Pedals added to much.

But I like Ben McCleod of All Them Witches and his crunch (not metal) tone via a Blues Driver pedal into a Fender clean amp.

The Diezel VH2 channel 1 does a nice Crunch with gain turned up, but for $100 I figured I could turn my 2 channel VH2 into a 3 channel amp... clean, clean with the Boss for some classic Crunch, and then Channel 2 for high gain.

But shit, it sounds great on the Clean, boosting a maxed out Channel 1 (for a pretty heavy tone), and even boosting Channel 2 it adds some flavor I like.

I recall hearing something about the Blues Driver being a more flat EQ boost than others OD pedals, or something like that. Can someone help me understand what this pedal is doing vs. other OD pedals? Do most of you use an OD pedal on top of your high gain settings?
I built a hand wired Blues Driver based pedal years ago and it’s one of my favorites. I don’t use it with an already distorted amp. It’s sounds great with a semi clean/overdrive type tone in my opinion. Great pedal.
 

Anxiety Serum

Active member
I have owned a few BD's over the years and like them. However I do use OD's to boost an already overdriven amp so I prefer a bit of bass cut to tighten things up. Of course using the standard settings of volume up and gain low to get there.
So what's the point of OD into overdriven amp? A bit of a technical question I know.

I've heard people mention "tighten things up" before. Just seems counter intuitive (adding OD gain to amp gain). Turning amp from 8-10 doesn't seem to do the same, even though you are adding more gain.

I've tried a Plumes (Tube screamer variant) and it just added too much fizz for my tastes.. So also trying to understand what the BD is doing different from a Tube Scream like circuit, vs what you mention in a bass cut.
 

Racerxrated

Well-known member
I never boosted anything until I bought an SLO back in 14. I was floored by how much better that amp sounded, on the lead channel no less. Not crunch like most guys. For me I learned to dial the gain back a bit then hit it with the boost. Now, I boost everything including all the high gain C+ I've owned.
As far as your BD pedal goes, whatever works man....it doesn't have to be the unobtanium vintage pedal that costs a shit ton, to make it work...case in point, my 72 Tremolo...I bought the amp to have a cool vintage Marshall but I started double boosting it, and loved the tone, just a huge tight sonic footprint. Funny thing though, I've owned/tried some nice spendy pedals like VFE, Airis, Wizard, Thorpy and while they all were very cool the best combination ended up being a used 75$ Boss OD1X and better yet, a cheap Chinese OCD clone that I paid 25 bucks for back in 2008, a Joyo Ultimate Drive. These 2 just work, and far better than the others.
 

Racerxrated

Well-known member
So what's the point of OD into overdriven amp? A bit of a technical question I know.

I've heard people mention "tighten things up" before. Just seems counter intuitive (adding OD gain to amp gain). Turning amp from 8-10 doesn't seem to do the same, even though you are adding more gain.

I've tried a Plumes (Tube screamer variant) and it just added too much fizz for my tastes.. So also trying to understand what the BD is doing different from a Tube Scream like circuit, vs what you mention in a bass cut.
Sometimes, like in my case with the C+ the boost was mostly to add in some upper mids that the Mesa just didn't provide. Other times it's to tighten up the amp, like a Recto..or in the case of a JCM 800 or other Marshall to add more gain.
 

Anxiety Serum

Active member
As far as your BD pedal goes, whatever works man....it doesn't have to be the unobtanium vintage pedal that costs a shit ton, to make it work
Well said.

I always shied away from Boss, too old school in its basic, utility-only look, not enough art work like on some high end boutiques.

Shame on me.

Not only is the sound nice, but the big pedal action is so much smoother than the stomp buttons on so many pedals.
 

PurityS.L.G

Well-known member
I think the magic lies in the brightness it has which adds aggression to your base tone. I like the firmness in feel it adds too. Not your typical TS style squishy attack, which I like and appreciate as well.
 

VH4_BigRig

Member
Because it works :) I'm kind of jealous of my friend and former bandmate, who heard a BD through a Princeton at a live show once and said "that's my sound!", he went out and got both, and has used them for over 15 years as the core of his setup. I wish I had found my core tone that long ago, and saved myself tons of cash and time tone chasing :doh:
 

Anxiety Serum

Active member

This was a great explanation of why I like the BD so much compared to TS variant like the Plumes.

I tend to like warmer tones, and more 90s grunge than modern metal (though I like both).

Plus I play at home so don't need to cut threw as much.
 

Shask

Well-known member
The BD-2 is a JFET based pedal, instead of an Op-Amp based pedal like most Tubescreamers. This gives it a different sound and feel.

IMO, JFET based drive pedals tend to sound better when used alone into a clean sound than Op-Amp only pedals. I don't know why, but after building many, I tend to prefer them for that use.
 
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