BFD Tremolo

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by todd richman, Jul 22, 2008.

  1. todd richman

    todd richman Senior Member

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    Has anyone tried the new BFD Tremolo. It is sold by Bad Cat amps now since the original builder and owner of Vintage Technologies is a tech with Bad Cat. I had heard from some L.A. gear techs that it is the best Fender trem in a pedal ever made-I believe it also runs at 15 volts.
     
  2. E Baxter Put

    E Baxter Put Member

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    I had one. I sold it because I use a fender deluxe reverb as my main amp and of course that has real fender tremolo built in. I haven't heard many other trem pedals, but I would have to agree that it totally nails the fender trem sound, and dare I say it even sounded a bit better than my fender trem? It could go slower than my fender trem, and it also didn't tick at all. I highly recommend it.
     
  3. CWFurst

    CWFurst Member

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    Can you purchase these online?
     
  4. DaGlenster

    DaGlenster Member

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    I got mine from Tracy and 1 thing to note is the wall wart is tied directly to each BDF pedal. He had to test the voltage and tweak each BDf to handle the power. I really like Tracy's pedals and have most of them. I'm just waiting on a Soy Bomb. The Orange Sunshine is a great Fuzz and the Scream Dracula Scream is a great Treble Boost. I've also tried one of his amps The White Sands (Tweed deluxe), he is usually at the vintage Guitar Shows in the LA area.
     
  5. jstone

    jstone Member

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    I thought the BJF was quite close to the Demeter tremulator.....
    but then again thats not bad the Demeter trem has always been my favorite.
     
  6. todd richman

    todd richman Senior Member

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    jstone, I am referring to the BFD not the BJF!
     
  7. jstone

    jstone Member

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    Oops SORRY!!!! Clumsy me....
     
  8. flickerbot

    flickerbot Member

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    Just picking up on this thread- I finally found my tremolo with the BFD. I had a hard time locating one- but I found one at diffusion audio in Canada (Andy was very helpful with my many questions). This tremolo is the most amp-like I have ever heard. The insides will make any builders weep- point to point, quality components, beautiful wiring. Cons are no LED or 9v jack- but the battery life is supposed to last quite a while, and I can see why- there isn't much pulling on it. The battery in mine is a 9 volt BTW. It is a very unique circuit to pedals- in that it looks very much like the amp circuits of old.
    This baby sounds very throbby, warm, swampy and sweet. It can cut deep into the throb and can also just give a little without overpowering the mix. It doesn't achieve helicopter craziness that some pedals do- but I never found those sounds to be useful anyway. I have read that some folks say there is a volume level drop- I just don't hear it. What I hear is lovely, lovely tremolo- much more so than the Demeter or the Supa-trem, which I tried to like but always found both a little sterile. Definitely check one out if you can find one. I had to call/ e-mail several places before I landed one in stock.
     
  9. ruger9

    ruger9 Supporting Member

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    BFD is sold by Bad Cat.
     
  10. highfive!

    highfive! Member

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    Congrats, flickerbot. I too have found tremolo heaven with the BFD. Mine's an older Vintage Technologies model, a special "wall wart edition" that uses either a 9v battery or it's proprietary adaptor.

    As far as sound, you nailed it, quite poetically. Someone else called it a compressed yet dynamic bloom that reacts to your playing. I think it sounds better than the Trem on my BFDR. It's definitley quieter. And I mean dead silent. There is a very slight drop in volume (same in both bypass and on mode), but there's definitely magic in that little black box. It replaced my Supa-Trem in a heartbeart, even without all the bells and whistles.

    I just got an Empress Trem - haven't had a chance to really put it through it's paces - but I did A/B with the BFD, and (on the tube setting, dialed in about the same) it couldn't match the BFD mojo. It's very close, WAY closer than anything else I've tried, but there's still that little something special going on in the BFD. Otherwise the Empress is a killer, KILLER pedal with every trem feature I could possibly want in a tiny box, and it sounds pretty phenomenal. I feel like I got the best of both worlds now.

    BTW, there's a trim pot inside the BFD. Mine's sealed in place with wax or something. Any idea what that is? If it were a volume boost...
     
  11. pennylink

    pennylink Member

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    There was a thread on this recently. I since emailed Bad Cat to ask them about the trim pot, but they never bothered to reply!
     
  12. highfive!

    highfive! Member

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    Yep, my thread. I also emailed Bad Cat and the addy on the back of my pedal (theatomicsound_at_webtv_dot_net), but never got a reply from either. :dunno
     
  13. pennylink

    pennylink Member

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    Duh, I just realised that was your thread :)

    I got a different email address from the Bad Cat website (they list the BFD Trem with their pedals). I would have thought a company such as them would have been better about customer service.
     
  14. LocustXReign

    LocustXReign Member

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    They're usually very good about responses, but from experience I'd give em a phone call instead of an Email. James usually answers or calls back with in a few hours of your call.

    -DB
     
  15. DaGlenster

    DaGlenster Member

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    I believe Tracy said that the trim pot was to set the voltage for the 9v adapter. When he first brought them to the guitar show he had to take them all back as he found the adapters flucuated in the voltage and he had set the trim for a specify voltage. He had to test all the adapters and adjust the trim for each adapter to match voltages. Sorry, this is the best my memory can do, it was over a year ago. I see him fromtime to time, I'll try and ask next time I run into him.
     
  16. pennylink

    pennylink Member

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    Thanks for that, DaGlenster. Better not touch the trim pot then :D
     
  17. benjammin

    benjammin Member

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    FWIW, I'm pretty sure WebTV doesn't even exist anymore. I think Microsoft bought it a few years back and migrated all the emails to MSN accounts, so I'd be surprised if that address even exists anymore. I could be wrong, but a heads up!
     
  18. flickerbot

    flickerbot Member

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    I've always had my eye on the Empress- I love the range of options; however, I've just recently begun a new "pedal philosophy" that basically goes like this: functionality and tonality makes happy a reality. I guess I'm just trying to cut down on the frills- though I do love my share of frills...believe you me. Thanks for the feedback on the A/B- very cool to hear. And thanks to DaGlenster for the trimpot info- I have been trying to find out the same...
     
  19. highfive!

    highfive! Member

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    Hey folks, I just got a reply from Tracy to that email I sent months ago... here's what he had to say about the trimpot:

    "BFD's generally have an insertion loss of about 1 db. Easily enough
    compensated for by kicking the amp volume up a half notch. The sonic
    benefit is the natural compression obtained from the fixed voltage drop
    across the FET.

    The trimpot adjusts the bias to the FET and is critical to proper
    operation of the pedal. It should be noted though, that this trimpot is
    adjusted to a specification determined 'by ear'. There is a 'sweetspot'
    discerned while adjusting and it varies from pedal to pedal, hence the
    trimpot. We use only NOS Motorola transistors from the sixties and
    they're literally 'all over the place' as far as tolerance. As a result,
    no two BFD's sound exactly alike. Kinda like Stratocasters."

    So there it is!
     
  20. pennylink

    pennylink Member

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    Thanks for the info ^^^^ :)

    I never received an answer to the email I sent months ago. As much as I liked the sound of the BFD, I personally couldn't handle the volume drop and ended up selling it.
     

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