Bearfoot Silver Bee vs Walrus 385

derpsnerf

Member
Messages
378
I'm looking to get a more natural sounding overdrive from my '68 Bassman. I've pretty much narrowed it down to these two pedals. Leaning toward the Silver Bee since it is supposed to be a silverface style overdrive but the 385 has got me interested. Playing a Jazzmaster and music like Built to Spill, MMJ, War on Drugs. What are your thoughts?
 

strawberries

Member
Messages
1,289
The Silver Bee would be great for that type of music. Will keep all the qualities that make a jazzmaster so beautiful.
 

e-flat

Member
Messages
1,739
I'm looking to get a more natural sounding overdrive from my '68 Bassman. I've pretty much narrowed it down to these two pedals. Leaning toward the Silver Bee since it is supposed to be a silverface style overdrive but the 385 has got me interested. Playing a Jazzmaster and music like Built to Spill, MMJ, War on Drugs. What are your thoughts?
I was seriously impressed by the Silver Bee when I tried it in a Bearfoot Tourbox. IMO, it's the best Honey Bee "variant" that Bearfoot has released. Great snarl & growl, lots of clarity available, the gain isn't over-the-top but it's got a wide range available. I haven't had the opportunity to play the Walrus 385 (looks super cool though), but I think you'd probably be delighted with the Silver Bee if you are into BTS / MMJ / WOD sorts of rootsy, authentic drive sounds.
 

StormJH1

Member
Messages
1,247
I'm absolutely in love with the demos I've heard of the Walrus 385, but I've read/seen a few references to it as a "transparent" overdrive, and I don't hear that at all. It's based on a old 50's era film project that could apparently be re-purposed as a guitar amp. I had zero prior knowledge of that and have never even seen a video of what a real one sounds like. But when I hear the 385, it sounds almost like a Tweed-like, tube-y breakup. It does sound like it's capable of lower gain sounds, but lower gain is different than "transparent".
 

derpsnerf

Member
Messages
378
That's what peaked my interest in the Silver Bee - the Honey bee like qualities but without the congested mids (to my ears). Would still like to hear more about the 385. There hasn't been a lot of info about either of these pedals.
 

derpsnerf

Member
Messages
378
Anyone else? After watching a few more videos I wonder how the two of them would pair? Use the SB as a more edge of breakup/low gain then use the 385 as the cranked up amp sound.
 

Flatscan

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
8,027
Film projector amps are basically tweed-style amps - middy and raw. I would guess the 385 channels this vibe.
 

e-flat

Member
Messages
1,739
Anyone else? After watching a few more videos I wonder how the two of them would pair? Use the SB as a more edge of breakup/low gain then use the 385 as the cranked up amp sound.
NOW you're talking.
For me, the answer to "Which one?" is almost always "BOTH!"
Joking aside, it'd be best to try them both. If you do, jump back over here with your thoughts.
I'd like to hear more about the 385.
 

Flatscan

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
8,027
I'm not familiar enough with the bands that you mention to advise you.

The pedals are likely very, very different though. You should be able to get a sense from the demos.

Basically, do you want a Silverface or Tweed-style pedal appreciating your gear and musical goals?

Both pedals are likely very good and you could flip either one relatively easily at moderate loss/rental charge.

[I use both styles of pedals with my Fender rig.]

The only things that I can confidently advise you to do given your uncertain preference would be to buy used and shop carefully (including watch lots of demos) =).
 

Raghoister

Member
Messages
105
I really dig The War On Drugs as well! I recommend you try a Pettyjohn Iron, before you decide anything final.
 

derpsnerf

Member
Messages
378
I'm not familiar enough with the bands that you mention to advise you.

The pedals are likely very, very different though. You should be able to get a sense from the demos.

Basically, do you want a Silverface or Tweed-style pedal appreciating your gear and musical goals?

Both pedals are likely very good and you could flip either one relatively easily at moderate loss/rental charge.

[I use both styles of pedals with my Fender rig.]

The only things that I can confidently advise you to do given your uncertain preference would be to buy used and shop carefully (including watch lots of demos) =).
I love the Tweedy sounds for stuff like Neil Young or when I want that exploding amp sound. I always try to get my amps at breakup but they are usually too loud. The Fender sound is what my ears are used to. I'm thinking going the Silverface Natural amp breakup sound with the tweedy ripping amp sound for higher gain. The more I type this the more I'm liking the idea of just having both pedals. Used market is for sure where I'll look first.
 

Raghoister

Member
Messages
105
Classic fender crancked. Sounds absolutely amazing. Most natural, responsive drive, I have played. I stack it with my Honey Bee, when I want more of small-exploding-amp sound.
 

EastHastings

Member
Messages
226
I don't own the Silver Bee, but I have the regular HB and 385. They both fill a similar role (I have them on separate boards) but the 385 is more raw and ballsy, and has a lot more gain on tap. The Honey Bee is a bit more tame by comparison. However both have that tweed-ish breakup with lots of complex midrange character. So in that aspect, you can probably get a good comparison between the HB and SB.
 

blue62

Member
Messages
538
I play a Fender DRRI always have 2 overdrives on my board which fall into the 2 areas your talking about, 1 for clean natural amp breakup and one for amp in a box. My favourite combo at the moment is a Fairfield Barbershop for natural and Bearfoot Model G for the amp exploding sound. The Model G is based on old 60's Gibson combos apparently. Its a nice primitive sounding distortion with a bright, articulate top end which suits my ears and goes particularly nicely with the DRRI. I dig using the N knob on the CCW end to dial in heavy bass.
Sometimes I use a Honey Bee instead of the G and a Skreddy Screwdriver on lower gain settings as the boost/breakup.
Tonight I was playing a Vox amp & used the pre-amp in a Spaceman Voyager for the cleans and a sparkling yellow v2 for amp-ish dirt and it sounded spectacular.
One of my go to tones is a Mojohand Huckleberry fuzz into an EP boost which is huge.
I guess the point (for me at least) is beyond a certain level of quality almost all overdrives sound good its just a matter of finding the ones that work for your amp and guitar for the sound you want. Most of the stuff I really dig into my Fender amp doesn't work the same into the Vox and if I put my Strat down and pick up my Maton CS or Jazzmaster the whole game resets again.

Short version. Get both :) you can't got much wrong pairing 2 drives that fall into these 2 different camps. I use the amp style drive first and shape it with the cleaner one but others do it the other way.
 
Last edited:




Trending Topics

Top Bottom