BSIAB 2 vs MI Audio Crunch Box - need to make a decision very soon

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Bad G.A.S., Aug 20, 2008.

  1. Bad G.A.S.

    Bad G.A.S. Senior Member

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    Canada, eh?
    90% sure I'm taking the Vox Satchurator back tomorrow, so I'm likely gonna order either an MI AUdio Crunch Box or BSIAB 2...The BSIAB is only 60 bucks, and my girlfriend's Dad is gonna help me solder it and put it together (I have no electronics experience)...If I can spend less and get better tone I certainly will, but I'd like to hear some opinions on these two pedals, and see if there is a general consensus of which one is better for delivering a better high gain, amp-like tone. Thanks
     
  2. serviviente7

    serviviente7 Supporting Member

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    no contest here for me. BSIAB all the way...its does the crunch box sound and more.
     
  3. Bad G.A.S.

    Bad G.A.S. Senior Member

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    Did you build it yourself? I've heard there are some mods you can do to make it better than what is outlined in the instructions...
     
  4. FLYING V 83

    FLYING V 83 Pedal Trading Guru Silver Supporting Member

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    Put lower gain MF102 FETs in Q1 & Q2 and you'll have a much more versatile pedal, not as compressed and a more usable gain range. Still plenty of gain on tap but better.
     
  5. Bad G.A.S.

    Bad G.A.S. Senior Member

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    Cool, where do I find those and how much do they cost? (Not sure what FET's are! Sorry!)
     
  6. FLYING V 83

    FLYING V 83 Pedal Trading Guru Silver Supporting Member

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    FETs are the transistors that come with the kit. I believe the BSIAB2 uses all 2N5457s (5 in all) so if you replace Q1 & 2 with the MF102s you'll get slightly lower gain but more highs & less compression.
    Radio Shack should have them, or online like Mouser or Pedal Parts Plus.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2008
  7. Peeb

    Peeb Member

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    Those are EXACTLY the two pedals that have my eye right now. Both sound great to my ear.
     
  8. FLYING V 83

    FLYING V 83 Pedal Trading Guru Silver Supporting Member

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    If you don't want to chance building it yourself, just give Chad at CMATMODS a call
    and get his Brownie with the "fr8_trane" mods.
    It's a BSIAB2 with the MF102s socketed and in place already.

    Here's mine he built in a box I painted & sent to him:
    [​IMG]
     
  9. fr8_trane

    fr8_trane Member

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    Both have a ton of gain on tap but the voicings are totally different. The BSIAB has a flat midrange and a raw texture. The CB has a big midrange hump and a smoother texture.


    As someone else said you can sorta think of the BSIAB as a dimed plexi and the CB as a JCM 800.
     
  10. FLYING V 83

    FLYING V 83 Pedal Trading Guru Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks for chiming in, fr8.

    New Brunswick huh?
    My band's playing Rugs & Riffys in Woodbridge on Sept. 6th if you're in the neighborhood.
     
  11. Bucksears

    Bucksears Silver Supporting Member

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    Get the BSIAB II.
    I've built two so far and about to build a third (traded the first one to a friend for some software because I can build another BSIAB II).
    The stock BSIAB II uses 2N5457's for Q1, Q2 & Q5, J201's for Q3 & Q4.

    Originally, I had mine stock and wasn't crazy about it at all. It was rather dark and didn't have the bite that I was looking for in something that was going for the 'brown sound' (which if you listen to Van Halen I, his sound is rather bright).
    Mods I have done:
    1) Replace the 470pF cap (C5) with a 560pF - this increases the mids a little and opens the sound up (less compression)
    2) Remove the two .0022uF caps at the end (C13 & C14) - this increases the treble in the tone control; makes it MUCH brighter, but still allows you to roll off highs
    3) Replace C13 with a .001uF cap, remove C14 (.0022uF) - this makes the sound a little thicker, a little more 'classic rock'-like; you still have highs if you want them, but not as bright as the #2 mod above
    4) Replace Q3 and Q4 with 2N5457's - this gives a little less gain/less compression, but still has PLENTY on tap for a LOT of styles.

    I'd like to have two BSIAB II's: one with mods 1, 3 & 4, the other with mods 1, 2 & 4.
    Those two, along with a Dr. Boogey, would pretty much cover any style.
     
  12. chrisrbr

    chrisrbr Supporting Member

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    does the CB, with its mid hump, cut through better in a band context, vs the BSIAB???
     
  13. paulgroove82

    paulgroove82 Supporting Member

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  14. jlagrassa

    jlagrassa Supporting Member

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    Go for the Crunch box I found the CB to be much thicker sounding especially for lead lines in the upper registers, When I had the BSIAB it was ok but thin and flat sounding I didn care for it.
    You should by both and then comapre see which one works best for you!
     
  15. gnugear

    gnugear Member

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    I have both and prefer the BSIAB (mine is stock). Both are great pedals!
     

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