Barber Burn Unit incoming

Bluewail

Tone curmudgeon
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,879
From Barber's Facebook page:
"As promised an update on the CBU (compact Burn Unit): The price is $189.95, the new Burn Unit has some NOS parts (germanium) that take an extra effort to keep stocked. We are still $10 below the average that many other builder charge for a 3 knob overdrive. The Burn Unit continues with classic thru hole construction and hand building beginning to end."

Toggles: "3-way, midrange and dynamics with an internal bass adjustment."
 

Coheed

Member
Messages
383
Sent him an email to order one of these...really looking forward to it.
DB is the best builder!!! Glad to see him back it.
 

rockymtnhigh

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
17
Mine arrived on Saturday. It is fantastic. I love the Small Fry, but this provides so much versatility. I think it is quickly becoming my favorite Barber pedal, and that is saying a lot. David's suggested "Fat Single coils with sustain" is really incredible. The new mid-range switch (enhanced mids, thick mids, neutral) adds so much. I had it on my board next to an old TS-9 and dialed in the exact tone on the BU, using the thick mids. I was so pleased, I removed the TS-9 to put in something else. :)
 

Daytona57

Member
Messages
2,139
I was fortunate, to pick up an older Burn Unit EQ, a few years ago. Has anyone, compared the old vs the new?
 

Bluewail

Tone curmudgeon
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,879
Well first impressions are very positive. My experience with a bunch of D-style pedals is a mixed bag. To get that juicy, chirpy of tone it was often at the cost of articulation. Neck pickups could get muddy. Dial out the mud and you’d risk introducing some fizz. The CBU’s dynamics and mid toggles, along with a well voiced tone control, do a great job at balancing both extremes and work equally well with HB’s and single coils. It excels at mid to higher gain leads tones but even at high gain settings remains articulate enough for chord work. So far, all good.
 

David B

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,897
Well first impressions are very positive. My experience with a bunch of D-style pedals is a mixed bag. To get that juicy, chirpy of tone it was often at the cost of articulation. Neck pickups could get muddy. Dial out the mud and you’d risk introducing some fizz. The CBU’s dynamics and mid toggles, along with a well voiced tone control, do a great job at balancing both extremes and work equally well with HB’s and single coils. It excels at mid to higher gain leads tones but even at high gain settings remains articulate enough for chord work. So far, all good.
Pretty much a spot on observation of what can happen with OD pedals that sound fat on the bridge, but lose it on the neck pickup. I'd add that the current massive crop of "PAF" voiced neck pickups does not help, as most are over-ripe sounding even though they measure 7.xK, it really helps to take the cover off, and sometimes A2 is not a perfect neck solution with a cover on. That said, neck PU clarity with D-style pedals can be assisted with a treble bleed on the guitar's volume (220k parallel with 680p) and backing off the volume a bit when on the neck. I bet I spent an extra couple of weeks voicing every day to try to get as much fatness out of the bridge, while still having clarity from the neck. Covered Seth lover bridge is great, but I'd much rather have a Antiquity neck, or Alnico II Pro uncovered to match it in the neck, single coil split sounds are usually better from an uncovered PU. All those early Ford tomes seem to be uncovered alnico 5.

I liked the Duncan 59 bridge to get a great RF Talk to your Daughter tone, PRS Starla bridge pu (S2) works well as it sounds like PAF meets Filtertron (more PAF), Burstbuckers work well, with a 57 neck. V-MOD, Fat 50, Pure 65, Texas Specials all works great, especially with high dynamics settings and lower gain, rivaling GC SR sounds. I loaded a set of 2000 McCarty pickups in a S2 standard and they sounded excellent, even the neck was reasonably clear with the treble bleed, and the McCarty neck is known for being a bit "flutey". I could go on, but having your guitar's electronics in a neutral place, and being able to dial down some output, while increasing clarity from the volume pot is crucial with vintage amps and cool OD pedals, along with having the tone pot dialed in on the guitar so you can roll it back to fatten things up like Larry Carlton did on Royal Scam, he says it was rolled all the way back to 3! I end up setting the BU slightly brighter than I'll need from the bridge, then doing the rest from the guitar, this feels like I have an extra 2 pedals worth of sounds all controlled from the guitar's knobs and selector switch.
 
Last edited:

lv

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,996
Looking forward to checking the new Burn Unit out.
 

fuzz_factor

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,073
Which of the three new Barber ODs would you recommend (DD, GC or BU) for someone wanting a little different sound.

I've had LTDs and Direct Drives in the past, but it's been a while. I liked both. My current ODs are a TS-style (MJM Phantom OD - good with Strats), a Rat clone (good w/335 styles), Skeddy Screwdriver (good w/P-90s), Timmy v3 and a Catalinbread DLS (version 1.2). The DLS is probably my all time favorite, but I mostly use it for lower gain stuff - general rock rhythm w/humbuckers and P-90s and to warm & juicy up single coils (so even thought the DD is a MiaB, I wouldn't rule it out for higher gains).

I play lots of different stuff - from 80s rock and alternative to more experimental jazz and lots of stuff in between. Never too high gain and I'm not chasing any particular sounds - just want something unique (from what I already have) that sounds good. I tend to not like overly 'transparent' ODs. The Timmy is not my favorite, for example. Too crunchy and fizzy w/my Fender amps unless I keep the gain real low.

Thanks!
 

erikzen

Member
Messages
1,631
I got mine today and spent a couple of hours with it before I got shut down for the night by my wife. I'm impressed with the versatility. There are so many tone shaping options and they all sound good. I am generally a low gain player but I had some settings where the burn was up high and it sounded great. Played loud and overdriven for about 20 minutes straight and just got lost. I have it dialed in for a more edge of breakup tone right now.
 
Last edited:

erikzen

Member
Messages
1,631
Which of the three new Barber ODs would you recommend (DD, GC or BU) for someone wanting a little different sound.
I think for the music you describe the GC is your best bet. However this new Burn Unit seems a bit more unique and covers a lot of ground. It's definitely a different flavor compared to the other two.
 

earthmud

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,060
Any more reviews out there? Clips? I'm on the list and really looking forward to this one.
 

rockymtnhigh

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
17
Which of the three new Barber ODs would you recommend (DD, GC or BU) for someone wanting a little different sound.

I've had LTDs and Direct Drives in the past, but it's been a while. I liked both. My current ODs are a TS-style (MJM Phantom OD - good with Strats), a Rat clone (good w/335 styles), Skeddy Screwdriver (good w/P-90s), Timmy v3 and a Catalinbread DLS (version 1.2). The DLS is probably my all time favorite, but I mostly use it for lower gain stuff - general rock rhythm w/humbuckers and P-90s and to warm & juicy up single coils (so even thought the DD is a MiaB, I wouldn't rule it out for higher gains).

I play lots of different stuff - from 80s rock and alternative to more experimental jazz and lots of stuff in between. Never too high gain and I'm not chasing any particular sounds - just want something unique (from what I already have) that sounds good. I tend to not like overly 'transparent' ODs. The Timmy is not my favorite, for example. Too crunchy and fizzy w/my Fender amps unless I keep the gain real low.

Thanks!
I have CBU, GC SR, and DD v3. Right now I have all three on the board, and am trying to do a lot fo comparisons to see the overlap and differences. Space doesn't permit all three to stay on the board at the same time.

My first thought is that I can get a lot of the GC tones on the CBU, especially with gain below noon. The GC feels the brightest to me -- and clearly the most transparent, but the differences are minor. There is a great clarity with the GC for me, but that is true with the DD on the low-gain side, just a bit more colored. YET equally good.

I am trying to decide which of the two pedals (DD or GC) keeps a spot on the board right now with the CBU. My gut says it is the DD, in that it its'a bit different, but I suspect it will be a constant swapping, as I love all of the pedals.

I think the CBU might be the most versatile in terms of a LOT of options -David has always called the Burn Unit an analog amp modeler. And I think that's pretty spot on. AND the tweed tones are just awesome. As are the dumble (although like many, I don't truly know what Dumble sounds like to compare. :) . I really like the edge of breakup blackface and thick singles coils with sustain settings.

If you have a Dirty Little Secret already, I'd say the CBU also provides something different from the Direct Drive. My son has the DLS, and when I've compared the Marshall tones, I feel like I can get the DLS on the DD.

DAVID B: If you could put two of your pedals on a board (CBU, DD, GC) and the CBU was one of them, what would provide the most variety? (Asking, thinking about classic rock and blues for music styles).
 

David B

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,897
David has always called the Burn Unit an analog amp modeler. And I think that's pretty spot on. AND the tweed tones are just awesome. As are the dumble (although like many, I don't truly know what Dumble sounds like to compare. :) . I really like the edge of breakup blackface and thick singles coils with sustain settings.

DAVID B: If you could put two of your pedals on a board (CBU, DD, GC) and the CBU was one of them, what would provide the most variety? (Asking, thinking about classic rock and blues for music styles).
First, thank you! That last question is sooo loaded! It is completely gig and guitar dependent. I don't feel like I can get GC SR tones from a DDv4, and vice versa, but the CBU can tread a bit in each pedal's territory. The GC as you mentioned, can get clearer than nearly anything, that was the goal there, the DDv4 can get meaner and toothier than the GC or CBU, for some in would be splitting hairs though, but it's overt to me. If I had a humbucker guitar in my hand, and needed power chords and classic rock, the DDv4 would go well, Give me a strat or Tele and the need to get some polished sustain, and clanging chords, I'd grab a GC SR. When I get some time away from building to keep up with the ever mounting CBU wait list, I need to make video showing all the directions you can go with a CBU, and how to get there in a hurry. Once a set of controls for an audio device is set, the phycology of how to use them becomes another character of the device. After playing the CBU every days for months now, I feel like the midrange toggle has become a "clarity vs thickness" switch, more so than I ever thought the internal trim was anything but a "mid trim", once you start thinking of it that way, you plug a guitar in, and you get there quicker. Having 3-way midrange toggles on 3 knobber overdrives really improves their usability, now all three of ours have that. Good luck choosing the second drive, my shop floor is somewhat capacious, so it's all three drives, Tone Press, DD500, a Ventura Vibe, and a Flint for me. :)
 




Trending Topics

Top