Barber Burn Unit EQ vs. Menatone Howie?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by tedjac, Mar 14, 2006.


  1. tedjac

    tedjac Guest

    Hey all,

    Just wondering how these two pedals compare. I know they are both supposed to be built like tanks... but what about the sound? What about that elusive tone? Which one does the RF/LC Dumble thing better? Just interested in opinions and experiences.

    Thanks,
    Ted
     
  2. jazzgitter

    jazzgitter Member

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    Barber BU is smoother and more versatile IMHO. I don't think either come that close to RB/LC live. I do like the BU better though. Having said that I think a Zendrive 2 may get you closer to that sound than any other pedal being made. Robben Ford uses the Zendrive with a Fender amp when he can't bring his Dumble.
     
  3. Mac-P

    Mac-P Member

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    Well, I have two or three Dumbles lying around here and I'd say that both pedals are just as good as all the Dumbles. :D


    Only kidding (obviously). Having never tried a Dumble I cannot attest to the accuracy of the "duplication factor", but I have owned both the new Menatone Howie and Barber Burn Unit EQ.

    I personally did not like the Menatone Howie. I thought that the powerful EQ controls actually did TOO much, and a transparent sound proved impossible for me. Also, I found the gain to be grainy and transistor sounding. I tried for HOURS to dial in a sound that was MY guitar tone, but with smooth gain added. No go. It always sounded like I had a pedal on. I was bummed because I wanted very much to like it.

    The Barber Burn Unit EQ is a fantastic pedal. MUCH more amp like than the Howie IMHO. No fuzz at all and can be made to sound EXTREMELY transparent. Crystal clarity and superb definition - even when really distorted. Does a great Marshall tone with a beautiful "knock". Very smooth indeed, but can unleash an amazing crunch. No lie. The pedal will not cover up your mistakes though. What you put in you get out.

    The only thing about the BUEQ is that there is a LOT of control via the internal trimpots. You can really fine-tune the pedal to your specific needs. Although they are a total pain in the ass to access (you have to remove the back cover), once you set em, you can forget em. It just takes a few tries if you are a tweaker (like me). Also you can adjust the "dynamics" of the pedal going from a totally non-compressed OD to a compressed distortion. Very usable and muscial.

    Although the BUEQ has a huge range of sounds and much EQ posibility, it is much easier to dial in than the Howie. Almost every sound in the BUEQ is good right off the bat. I fought with the Howie to give me anything resembling my original guitar tone.

    The BUEQ is a taller (but narrower) unit than the Menatone pedals. At first I didn't like the added height, but now it actually works for me. I keep the BU on the back row of my board and it's added height lets it "peek" over the other pedals making it very easy to switch without hitting the knobs on my front row. Nice.


    ...throws 2 cents in the bucket.....

    ;)
     
  4. Electric I

    Electric I Member

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    I can't compare it to the Howie, but I just got a BUEQ this week & played with it for about 4 hrs last nite.

    Let me just say that I shoulda had a drool bucket handy. This pedal is the mutt's nuts & is all jazzgitter & Mac-P say it is.

    Man, it even sounded good thru a cheap-o behringer ultra-g into a set of cans.

    Best. Purchase. Ever.

    Thanks Mac!
     
  5. BFC

    BFC Supporting Member

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    Can't wait for the new single channel Burn Unit to come out! I'm on TPN's pre-sold list. Hopefully it won't be too much longer. Should have a Zendrive to compare it to in the near future also.
     
  6. jlagrassa

    jlagrassa Supporting Member

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    I'm waiting for that one to come out as well!:AOK
     
  7. -kk-

    -kk- Member

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    what he said. the only difficulty i had with it was the sheer amount of variability, so finding your own sound can be tricky. but it does dound amp-like, and it rawks:JAM

    :D
     
  8. Mac-P

    Mac-P Member

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    Aw, shucks...... :D

    Hey man, I just call em the way I see em. Love the Burn Unit EQ. I should have bought it first before I bought (and sold) a million other pedals. Absolutely under the radar around here (the TIM, Eternity and Zendrive get all the fan fare). I am frankly, surprised considering how totally amazing sounding amd flexible the BUEQ is. :AOK

    Not for nothing, I waited over FOUR WEEKS for my BUEQ straight from David Barber (the boxes were backordered). You lucked out....

    For the record the Tone Pump is a great pedal also. Less crunch than the BUEQ, but THE most transparent OD I have ever tried (have a Zendrive on order - haven't tried one yet - will see.....). Totally smooth like the BUEQ but different. More an OD than a distortion, but both pedals can cover each other's ground to an extent.

    As far as the one channel Burn Unit (it's called the "Small Fry" right?) - the whole two channel thing is what was initially so attractive to me. I can't imagine giving up one of those channels...... :rolleyes:

    Enjoy the pedal bro. ;)
     
  9. Matt Gordon

    Matt Gordon Senior Member

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    Don't have the EQ model, but I've tried like crazy to find a better stompbox than my BU II, but thats not happening. It does too many things too well. For added bass when needed, I run it into a Voodoo-1 set to boost. Its the best Jerry!
     
  10. Electric I

    Electric I Member

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    It sure is. And I really can't find a bad sound in there. That says a lot. So many pedal have that one sweet spot, not so with the BUEQ.

    I sure did. Got one with the 3 loops built in. So with those & the 2 loops in my Loopbone, all possible combinations are covered when the time comes.


    Yup, the Small Fry. And I hear ya on the 2 channels. I can't imagine scaling back.

    I certainly will & thank you again, good sir.

    Cheers
     
  11. Butterfly

    Butterfly Gold Supporting Member

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    My Howie is a noisy pedal. When engaged it is hiss city. I don't know if it is a problem with the particular pedal, placement in the chain or what. In any event, it got swapped out for that reason.
     
  12. Mac-P

    Mac-P Member

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    Three loops? :eek: Wow, I didn't even know he made that. Well, I hear he'll make anything for you. Was that a stock model? And how does three loops work? I can see two (one for each channel), but where do you put the third?




    No problem man. :BEER
     
  13. Electric I

    Electric I Member

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    One for each channel & one for total bypass. I didn't realize there were 3 myself until I got the pedal. From ebay, that is. I know you can order the loops option, but I'm not sure if that price includes 1/2/3 loops. *shrug*


    :BEER
     
  14. Curt

    Curt Member

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  15. Sparky6string

    Sparky6string Member

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    Wow I didn't know he made a BUEQ with 3 loops either. That would have been nice, but at the time I bought my BU I wouldn't have been able to afford all that.

    Anyway, another thrilled owner of a BUEQ here. It is remarkably clear and amp like, I agree. The two channels are awesome too. I like to use them in different ways. Sometimes I'll have one set at lower gain and the other higher, sometimes I'll use one channel as a clean boost, and sometimes I'll have one with the volume totally down so that I can tune up silently.
     
  16. Moat

    Moat Member

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    Does the BUEQ clean up, with the guitar's volume knob? I had a Keeley BD-2 "Phat" that did that well... was thinkin' of picking up either a BUEQ or Tim to take it's place (I didn't bond with the BD-2's overall voicing, by a hair... a bit boomy). I ask because my older Barber DD doesn't clean up well, and is by no means transparent... although it's still my favorite "meat and potatoes" OD. Some of that vibe, with added transparency and dynamic ability, would be killer....

    Thanks!
     
  17. Sparky6string

    Sparky6string Member

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    I just tried this the other day and it did. The BUEQ is not a transparent pedal though. It colors your tone in a beautiful way. For transparency the Tim would be a better choice. The two pedals (Tim and BU) are nothing alike though. Having both would be ideal IMO.
     
  18. Mac-P

    Mac-P Member

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    Actually I find the opposite to be true. The only time the TIM was transparent to me was at very low gain. Otherwise the TIM was always pushing some upper mids and I found myself constantly playing with the treble bass and volume controls to dial it out. Never could quite do it....

    Also getting a good balance between the volume level and gain between the TIMs two channels was very difficult. I never did quit do it. The boost was always too loud and bassy unless I altered the gain. I spend hours trying to get that worked out.

    All those problems don't exist in the BUEQ. With the help of the internal trimmers, you can get the pedal to be pretty damn transparent (your guitar tone but with gain). And there are seperate gain and level controls for each channel. Period. You can set your gain and levels independtantly. Easy.

    Just my 2 cents......


    :D
     
  19. Sparky6string

    Sparky6string Member

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    Aint that strange. Props for getting the BU to be transparent, because Dave Barber himself says the pedal colors the sound significantly.
     
  20. Moat

    Moat Member

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    Thanks for the input, guys. Sounds as if I'll just have to pick up BOTH of the dern things! Smooth I prefer, though, over gritty... so it'll be a BUEQ first at bat. And I DO like the DD - so if the BUEQ is reminiscent... all the better. Smooth and clear... with tweakability... can't beat that!

    Cool. Thanks!! :BEER
     

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