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Barber Burn Unit EQ (or Small Fry) vs. Eternity

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by WailinGuy, Oct 9, 2006.

  1. WailinGuy

    WailinGuy Member

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    Anybody own or have some experience with both these pedals (either of the current Barber Burn Unit models vs. the Lovepedal Eternity)? I'm looking for a medium-to-almost-high gain OD pedal with lots of singing sustain, convincing Dumblish tube amp character, and very good picking sensitivity /dynamics. Of course, the Eternity has been a highly sought after pedal for several years now, and is universally highly regarded. But is is also very expensive and hard to come by these days. Still, I'm very interested in it and I'm willing to spring for one if that is the best OD pedal for my needs. On the other hand, the Barber Burn Unit models are cheaper and more readily available. They've gotten some very positive reviews as well, although certainly not the level of attention the Eternity has garnered here. I'm attracted to the high degree of tweakability the BU models feature.

    I've owned other Barber pedals which I found to be more compressed than I would have liked. So, despite the BU's "dynamics" control, I'm somewhat afraid to try another Barber pedal. I'm wondering if, even with the dynamics control dimed, the Eternity would beat it out in the touch sensitivity department. A friend of mine with ears I trust has said that he very much disliked the first generation Burn Unit Barber used to make (too syrupy and too compressed).

    Please enlighten me on the essentail sonic differences between the current Burn Unit and the Eternity pedals. BTW, usually I play through old blackface Fenders (although I'm thinking about eventually getting a TopHat Club Royale or something similar at some point) . Thanks!
     
  2. Angle Loss

    Angle Loss Member

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    I've had an original BU and a dual channel as well, and currently own a Burst Eternity. I play through a '66 Super and a TopHat Club Deluxe (my favorite!). The original BU (single channel) is terribly dark. I didn't like it at all. The dual BU was much better. I liked it the best out of the Barber stuff, but find those pedals too smooth and not gritty enough to be "amp-like". The dynamics control does not give you extra dynamics, rather it takes away as you turn to the left. It blends in an extra set of diodes which further compresses the signal. Turning it all the way to the right, it functions much like any other IC/diode clipper. It is a good pedal, which I used for about two years, but after recording a bit with it, I found it lacking in texture.

    The Eternity is a great sounding low to mid-gain pedal, which I find more amp-like than the BU. It kills through a BF Fender. It is very sensitive to buffers after it due to the output stage. With no buffers, some find it to be kind of dark and smooth, while putting a buffer (like a boss/ibanez) immediately after drastically increases the high frequency content. I think it excells at mid-gain sounds (though it seems with TGP mid-gain often means high gain :confused: ).

    If you are looking for Dumble type of sounds, I would suggest the Zendrive, followed by the Howie or Rumble Mod. The Zendrive sounds great with leads but really stinks for chords and rhythm work.

    Let me know if you have other specific questions.
    -Chris
     
  3. WailinGuy

    WailinGuy Member

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    Chris,

    Thank you for your response!

    I think the problem is that everyone has a different idea of what a Dumble amp sounds like (partly because they all do sound different, and then you have to factor in the style and touch of the famous guitar player...). Also, Dumble ODS (Overdrive Special) overdrive tones are not necessarily all that smooth. There's plenty of texture in some of those lead tones Robben Ford gets! Anyway, at this point, I've given up chasing the "Dumble tone holy grail" OD pedal. I'm not sure it will ever exist. I'm just looking for something that's fat, singing, touch responsive, and very convincing sounding and feeling. And I don't want anything that sounds overly smooth. (I guess I'm more after "refined grind".)

    Your post definitely supports my feeling that I would be happier with the Eternity. Here's the interesting thing: a couple of Eternity sounclips I've heard come remarkably close to sounding like the sweet 'n snarly dynamic OD tone of a fully cranked old Fender Deluxe Reverb. And I remember reading in the famous early-80's Guitar Player interview, Alexander (known as Howard at the time) Dumble said that that was a benchmark tone he was going for in designing the overdrive stage in his early ODS model amps. He wanted the exact sound of a cranked small 6V6 amp available from a louder, more powerful amp.
     
  4. valen

    valen Member

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    You should do yourself a favor and don't put the Barber Small Fry BU in the same bucket as a stock BU. It has BU type sounds of course but has a lot more. I would not call it too compressed when the dynamics knob is full up. I have been enjoying mine for a few months now and keep getting comments on my tone. People often do not believe that I am using a pedal at all.
     
  5. Dendog

    Dendog Member

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    I agree. I have been using the Small Fry for about 3 months now. In my opinion, most great distortion/ overdrive units have one great sound. The Small Fry has at least several. Plus, in large part due to the dynamics control, it is better than anything I have ever used at achieving great tone in low volume situations. At $150 it's a ridiculous value.
     
  6. Blues Wail

    Blues Wail Member

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    i own an eternity. I also own a barber DD, and a LTD, love em both, however having used the barber small fry on several occasions I never was able to dial in one sound I liked. no knock n barber's stuff but between the E and the small fry........... no contest, lovepedal by a mile!
     
  7. WailinGuy

    WailinGuy Member

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    Thank you all for your input!!

    Jim
     
  8. roknfnrol

    roknfnrol Silver Supporting Member

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    judging by the feedback and posts here on TGP, the Eternity has more gain that a Small Fry right? I'm sure they are very different pedals anyway. Anyone out there owned both?
     
  9. Festus

    Festus Supporting Member

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    The Burn Unit EQ and the Small Fry end up being different animals even though the Small Fry is supposed to basically be a "single channel BU" with tweaks. I have both, and like both, but they really do behave differently. As mentioned in other posts, there are similarities in terms of tone, but the Small Fry will go places the BUEQ won't. If I had to choose between the BUEQ and SF, I'd probably go with the SF. Ya just gotta try one.
     
  10. Ed Alvarado

    Ed Alvarado Member

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  11. jpagey

    jpagey Supporting Member

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    I like the Burn Unit EQ for Dumble tones. I prefer it to the Small Fry. The internal trimmers of the BU EQ solve a lot of the darkenss/co pression of the earlier BU's. Trying a different op amopin the BU EQ such as a tl072 might be cool for less compression and more "openness". For all other od tones, I feel the E can't be beat--unless you have a CoT or any of its relatives (Balance, PP, Deux, etc.).

    The Zen Drive is also very cool and has nice Dumble tones, but it has less gain than a BU EQ.
     
  12. roknfnrol

    roknfnrol Silver Supporting Member

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  13. teal

    teal Member

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    The Eternity is a great sounding low to mid-gain pedal, which I find more amp-like than the BU. It kills through a BF Fender. It is very sensitive to buffers after it due to the output stage. With no buffers, some find it to be kind of dark and smooth, while putting a buffer (like a boss/ibanez) immediately after drastically increases the high frequency content. I think it excells at mid-gain sounds (though it seems with TGP mid-gain often means high gain :confused: ).


    Let me know if you have other specific questions.
    -Chris[/QUOTE]

    What's up with the output stage on this pedal? Why does it benefit from a buffered pedal after it? I have had great luck with a good buffer in front of true bypass pedals and that seems to do the trick.

    Thanks,
    Brian
     
  14. Angle Loss

    Angle Loss Member

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    Having a buffer in your TB signal chains helps [keep] your signal bright by converting the siganl to low impedence, which does not suffer the loss by running cables between effects/long distances. To make clear, the Eternity is TB and this has nothing to do with what I was saying. When the Eternity is engaged it does not have an output buffer in the overdrive circuit thus losses highs very fast if there is any amount of cable between the E and your amp. Putting a buffer or buffered pedal immediately after allows the buffered pedals bypass to help push the signal to the amp (again, converting to low impedence). Therefore more highs are kept from the E.

    I actually liked it better without any buffered pedal too close-it was smoother sounding. Just to make clear, it nothing to do with the bypassed signal, but everything to do with it on and outputing signal. Let me know if you need more clarification. I hope this helps!
    -Chris
     
  15. teal

    teal Member

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    Gotcha. Thanks very much for the explanation.

    Brianhttp://www.thegearpage.net/board/images/icons/icon12.gif
     

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