Today I’ve been playing around with a few simple pedals and my trusty Strat to coax some cool moderate gain sounds out of a Blues Jr.
For the purpose of highlighting what these pedals do, I’m going to work backwards from the amp to the guitar. As I mentioned, I’m using a Fender Blues Jr. 1×10 combo with a Celestion Speaker. The last pedal in the today’s chain is a Malekko Ekko 616 Analog delay. I’ve went on and on about what a great pedal this is to anyone who will listen, so I won’t beat you down with all that here. What I will say is that this is currently my favorite delay pedal and the only reason it isn’t on my personal board is the lack of tap tempo. Its a got a great little buffer built in and the sounds are aboslutely what you would expect from a well built delay circuit; clean, warm, and defined without sounding overly bright.
Again working backwards, we move to the Boss BD-2 Blues Driver that has been modified by the good people at Robert Keeley Electronics. I’ve owned 2 BD’s in my time. The first one was purchased in my formative pedal-phile years and after the new gear shine wore off, I couldn’t stand the thing. It was flat, thin, and just sounded small. When the opportunity to get my hands on a Keeley modified unit came about, I was pretty skeptical to say the least. After plugging Keeley’s BD-2, I’ve never looked back. What he did woke this circuit up! The pedal came alive with a fullness and clarity that the stock model just couldn’t replicate. Keeley also added a “fat switch” toggle and increased the gain while somehow improving the pedal’s responsiveness. An impressive feat to say the least. I can only imagine Boss’ sole reason for continuing to make this pedal to keep Keeley in stock.
Lastly, (er..firstly..you got the idea right?) is the EP Booster by Xotic Effects USA. This pedal is supossed to replicate the preamp section of an old school EchoPlex which was used by many guitar legends in the 70s. It features a single clear acrylic knob and a few internal DIP switches for added flexibility. What this pedals does for any chain is both simple and complex. It makes every thing “more”. That’s not to say that it just makes everything louder. It makes every part of your signal path fuller, crisper, warmer, rounder etc. It’s the kind of pedal that you only notice when it’s turned off. I’ve never compared the EP Booster to a true EchoPlex preamp section so I can’t say how accurately it compares but I know why I love it so much.
Because I’m the kinda guy that tells you like it is, you should know that you can find these pedals at Station Guitars. Except the Keeley, that’s mine and you can’t have it. 🙂