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View Full Version : BSIAB 2 vs. Crunch Box


it's been said
03-28-2008, 03:12 AM
I want this to be my high gain distortion pedal, but then again i have a fulldrive 2 mosfet so either one would be nice as change of pace from a tubescreamer type pedal.

will i be able to cop van halen tones with either one is i guess the major question(considering one is half the price)

alteredsounds
03-28-2008, 03:15 AM
I built a bsiab years ago, I remember that is def more the EVH sound, specially with a nice loud amp. Crunch Box is a great pedal, use one lots, more tweaking all round to get the evh sound than the bsiab though.

gang twanger
03-28-2008, 04:24 AM
You might want to check out the CMAT Brownie. It's the Ed Guidry BSIAB design, but I actually like the sound of it better, as far as the sound clips for either are concerned. And plus it has gotten some serious raves around here. And supposedly someone on here got a further modded one that apparently kills all the other "Marshall in a box" pedals, especially in the bottom end response. And the best part is that it's only $130.

Unabender
03-28-2008, 06:22 AM
In my opinion,

Crunch Box = AC/DC's Back in Black album.

BSIAB = early Van Halen.

There's no winner, both pedals are very good for what they do.

But they still lose BIG TIME to actual real amps that can produce those tones.

gang twanger
03-28-2008, 06:43 AM
In my opinion,

Crunch Box = AC/DC's Back in Black album.

BSIAB = early Van Halen.

There's no winner, both pedals are very good for what they do.

But they still lose BIG TIME to actual real amps that can produce those tones.


Crunch Box-- $129.95
Marshall reissue series head--$2039.00

Hmmmm.......let me think about this...............ummmmmmmmmmm...no!

I wish I could though. That Vintage Modern head, IMO, nails the brown sound. Love that amp.

fr8_trane
03-28-2008, 07:28 AM
The crunch box has a mid hump very much like a TS and is good for high gain leads that are reminiscent of a JCM 800 marshall. I didn't like it for rhythm. I don't hear AC/DC at all from this pedal - too much gain, compression and thick midrange- more 80's metal to my ears. There are studio quality clips of this pedal on TGP if you do a search. These clips make the crunchbox sound better than it really is IMO but it will give you the general idea.

The BSIAB or Brownie has just as much gain as the crunchbox but the bass is bigger without being muddy. The treble is sharper and runs a fine line of being almost too much but it has that edge in the upper mids that is very reminiscent of the cranked PLEXI/ early VH tone.Compared to the crunchbox the mids are scooped and (if you get one with lower gain transistors like I did) it is a much more open sounding and touch sensitive pedal with a wider and more useful gain range. I also find that the brownie has a more amplike quality and sounds less like a pedal than the crunchbox especially on the decay where the crunchbox displays a transistorized sputtering effect which drives me nuts. The brownie stacked with a timmy is now my goto dirt sound for everything.

The closest thing to a BSIAB that you might be familiar with is the ZVEX BOR. Although its not really accurate (the circuits are different), you could think of the BSIAB as a high gain pedal in the vein of the BOR with a big but tight bass response.

Unabender
03-28-2008, 08:05 AM
Crunch Box-- $129.95
Marshall reissue series head--$2039.00

Hmmmm.......let me think about this...............ummmmmmmmmmm...no!

"No!" what? Sure the amp is more expensive, I didn't say it wasn't. I would still buy the Marshall head, IF I wanted the Marshall sound. IMHO No pedal with a IC chip pushing 2 red LEDs is going to beat a good Marshall tube amp no matter what.

Ok, no I wouldn't. I would build it myself for a lot cheaper, or take the Ceriatone route :)

Bucksears
03-28-2008, 08:23 AM
Sorry if I sound like a broken record here on the BSIAB II, but here goes:

If you clip the two .0022uF caps at the end of the circuit, it will enhance the treble through the tone control. Otherwise, stock, it's too dark. This is just my opinion, but others have felt the same way at diystompboxes.com.
It hits that early VH tone nicely, IMO. Mine has the stock transistor config (2N5457's and J201's; Brownie uses all 5457's, I think) and it goes from a great low-gain OD (if you roll back the gain, turn up the vol and tone) to hot-rodded Marshall with tons of harmonics lately. I'm using lower/vintage output pickups (DiMarzio Virtual PAFs) in my Ibanez Artist and it is a hell of a sound. I very much prefer the sound of cascading FET gain stages to clipping diodes. Yes, the BSIAB II kills all the other 'Marshall in a box' pedals for the hot-rodded sound, but I'm eyeing the Jetter GS Purple for the lower gain side of things.
I can't compare the Crunch Box, but the descriptions above match what I've been hearing from others.

gearboy
03-28-2008, 09:33 AM
I thought the Brownie was smoother than the CB, but too dark...same goes for the Kaden Brown Creeper. I'm liking the Jetter Black right now pushed by a V2 OCD. Have a Timmy in the mail....can't wait to throw that into the equation.

fr8_trane
03-28-2008, 09:38 AM
Sorry if I sound like a broken record here on the BSIAB II, but here goes:

If you clip the two .0022uF caps at the end of the circuit, it will enhance the treble through the tone control. Otherwise, stock, it's too dark.

We should just make a broken record of the BSIAB in action.

Eventually I will get around to making some clips of the brownie + Timmy because I really think it will surprise people how good it sounds.

Its interesting that there seem to be 2 incongruous camps when it comes to the BSIAB - too bright and too dark. I can't for the life of me figure out how the same pedal can inspire absolutely opposite reactions. I use it with a strat, tele or humbucker guitar and it sounds great with all of them. My amp is a heritage victory which is a clean fendery style amp. IMO the circuit is on the border of being too bright - however the edgy tone never sounds shrill and its one of the few bright pedals that doesn't annoy me - in fact that edge is precisely what I love about the pedal. That said I can't conceive of ever wanting to "enhance" the treble on this pedal. I will say that the crunchbox is definitely a darker and smoother pedal (except on the decay) than my Brownie. So if you think the BSIAB is dark you should avoid the Crunchbox like a bucket o mud.

lauridag
03-28-2008, 10:24 AM
is the wampler pinnacle also BSIAB?

fr8_trane
03-28-2008, 11:35 AM
is the wampler pinnacle also BSIAB?

I don't know.

The description sounds like it COULD be a heavily tricked out version of the BSIABII in the same fashion that the OKKO Diablo pedal is a tricked out BSIAB I according to the gurus over at DIYstompboxes.

Shoot Mr Wampler an email and see what he has to say about it. He has been fairly open about what his desgns are based on. I'd love to know myself.