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Classic British Blues tone...on the cheap


Lord Summerisle

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I have a small project going on with a friend, and for one or two tracks we are currently writing/rehearsing I am aiming for some kind of approximation of that sort of famous British blues tone of the late '60s. I can't describe it exactly, but when I close my eyes and think about it, I hear Clapton's lead work on While my guitar gently weeps playing in my head. It isn't a tone I normally aim for... My amp is a Fender Blues Jr, and I started off by using my Hagstrom Viking - but that sounds too much like what it is - that airy semi-hollow tone. Now I'm using my St Blues Mississippi Bluesmaster, which has some of the plangent Les Paul tone, but is still lighter and twangier (even with the tone rolled off on the neck p'up).

 

Basically, I was looking around for a pedal to beef up the tone a bit.

 

These two caught my eye, and I might be interested - does anyone have any experience of either? The demos I have seen on Youtube don't seem to show off what these can really do to the best of their ability (in terms of playing blues.)

 

boss-bd-2-460-80.jpg

 

49204_p.jpg

 

The Boss Blues Driver is a pretty well-known pedal, I know - but I've never actually played through one, to be honest.

 

Might see if I can demo either of these pedals at Guitar Center, and then (if I like one or the other) see if I can afford to buy one...(or perhaps look around for a used one).

 

It's at times like this that I regret selling my G-400 :-k

 

And no, I'm not in the market for a new Les Paul and Marshall valve amp...(!)

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Any good?

 

Well, I like mine, but that doesn't necessarily mean a whole lot. You did, however, say you were looking for that English Blues Tone, and that's pretty much what it was designed to emulate. It's not an extreme overdrive, but it is quite nice for Blues.

 

There are two versions of this pedal: The one I posted a picture of and a newer model. I haven't compared them, but here are the reviews of the older series, which I have: http://reviews.harmony-central.com/reviews/Effects/product/Marshall/Blues+Breaker/10/1 You'll notice that some of the reviews are for the Bluesbreaker II, although there is a separate section for this newer version.

 

You also said you wanted it "on the cheap". Mine cost 30 EUR.

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I own both the Marshall Bluesbreaker II, and the Boss Blues Driver. I seem to go back

and forth, with them. Use the BBII, for awhile, then back to the BD. Maybe I'm just fickle?! ;>)

 

Lately though, I've been using both...with the BBII for the actual "overdrive/distortion" and the BD

as a Boost...(volume @ 3/4 to flat out, tone at about 9'oclock, and drive at O!) I sometimes just use

the BD at those settings, just to boost the natural tube breakup, on my amp....a Blues Jr., also...

for the smaller venues, and a Hot Rod Deluxe, or Twin Reverb, for larger or outdoor venues.

Works equally well, with my Strat, Tele, LP or SG...given their obvious tonal differences.

 

The Marshall Guv'nor Plus, is a nice pedal, too. A bit more "bottom" end sculpting possible, IF

that's of any interest. But not as "Heavy" or "Metal" as the "Jackhammer!"

 

CB

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Lord S, I'm wondering whether you might need a Les Paul for that. I've had both Marshall Bluesbreaker pedals, and even though I'm about to sell a Mk.1 I wouldn't claim that it could do what you're after. I like the Mk1, I'm selling a spare (new baby forces sale!), but I didn't get on with the Mk2.

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Thanks for all the great suggestions, guys. I think I might go along to GC one night after work, see if they have any of your suggestions in stock, and hopefully give one or two of them a try.

 

Lord S' date=' I'm wondering whether you might need a Les Paul for that. I've had both Marshall Bluesbreaker pedals, and even though I'm about to sell a Mk.1 I wouldn't claim that it could do what you're after. I like the Mk1, I'm selling a spare (new baby forces sale!), but I didn't get on with the Mk2.[/quote']

 

Thanks for the advice Vomer. However, luckily it's only for one or two tracks, and it's not the be-all-and-end-all. Much as I might like a Les Paul, I've spent far too much money on gear in the last year or two..!

 

Besides, my new baby - my St Blues, has a fair few Les Paul attributes....

 

st_blues_1.jpg

 

I'm hoping that a suitable pedal will fill out the tone and curb her more Telecastery tendencies (at least for the tracks I have in mind).

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I'm afraid you've all got it wrong.

c13332image0.jpg

This is what you're after if you want that classic british CREAM tone, have the tone knob a bit past the half way mark, the volume half way and just the tiniest bit of sustain and you're good to go! Blows the blues driver out of the water, I know because I have both pedals. And I have two ears.

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I've ordered some stuff under a 100 bucks in the past and had free shipping on it....can't remember with who though (MF?). Guess sometimes it just depends on how you hold your mouth at the time of ordering.

 

Anyhow that's a pretty good pedal....excellent mild trebele boost I think. I like mine a lot just don't care for the gain side at all. The way I use it, when I do, I don't bother with the gain so it works great for me.

 

Lots of mods out there for it and a lot of good reviews on the pedal after these mods as far as the gain goes. Some are as simple as just clipping a couple of diodes.

 

Definitely will need a second type to get you that British sound you want I be thinking.

 

Congrats!

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