Good, fast & cheap - MI-Audio Blues Pro

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by drolling, Jan 24, 2006.

  1. drolling

    drolling Member

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    In these days of 400 buck ODs and/or interminable waiting lists, it's kinda nice to get something delivered to my door from halfway around the world in under 2 weeks. At $89, its also got to be about the least expensive 'hand-made' overdrive on the market.

    Just took it for a spin w/a tele & a gretsch thru' an AC15 and a BF vibrochamp. Sounds pretty good to me, if a bit on the dark side. So far I'm liking it best w/the tone almost dimed and the gain around 1:00.

    Haven't really had a chance to turn up, or to combine it w/any other pedals. Is anyone using boosters/EQs before or after the BP? Which ones? How does it *stack* w/other ODs/distortion/fuzz pedals?

    Haven't looked under the hood yet. Does this one have a swapable op-amp like my good buudies Timmy & Mr.E?

    thanks,
    david
     
  2. RickB

    RickB Member

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    It really is a great pedal. Worth a lot more than the $89. I found that running my HellBaby into it is a great combination. Really, any boost before it will get your money's worth out of it.
     
  3. paul14470

    paul14470 Member

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    I just bought one, gigged with it Sat night thru my DrZ Maz jr...awesome. I goosed it at times with my COT 50...really fat! Well worth $89 & more. Had the tone around 2:00. No fizzle either with the gain all the way up. All the guitars tone still shines through.
     
  4. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    I'm still trying to find the best setting for mine. I can't get a bad sound out of it, though I did notice (after 3 band practices, and many hours playing alone with it) it rects a little differently (of course) in different amps. Main amp at home is a Peavey 30, where is is just heaven. There it sounds fantastic, but different, at all settings for the tone control. It isn't "dark" as far as I can hear, but I most often use my neck pickuop in a strat, with a good deal treble and mid in amp settings.

    Main amp at practice is my Hot Rod DeVille, and I think it is the amp settings, that I had to adjust the tone control no the BP up around 2:00 also to get the best sound that also cut through the mix.

    I am waiting on a Zendrive, and thinking about the Tim or Timmy. Up til now my favorite was (and I ought to try stacking these) the Jekyll & Hyde, which I still love the sound of. Just don't currently have room on my board for both BP and J & H. In any case, I'm LOVING this BP. It is really expressive, and the price is incredible.
     
  5. 1968

    1968 Member

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    Anyone able to compare it to a MJM blues devil?.. May even try it out when the new deluxe tube zone is released..
     
  6. DanR

    DanR Member

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    I ordered one from Musictoyz (c'mon, no flames please) last Thursday. I just checked the UPS tracking site and:

    Location..............Date.........Local Time.....Activity
    ROSEVILLE, MI, US 01/25/2006 1:03 A.M. OUT FOR DELIVERY


    Needless to say, I'm anxiously awaiting the delivery :D


    DanR
     
  7. drolling

    drolling Member

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    Very different flavoured overdrive. My beat up old custom BluesDevil's got a bit more gain, mids & highs, too. But I'm really diggin the BluesPro so far. I'll have my first chance to crank it tonight. That's the true acid test for any OD pedal.
     
  8. WailinGuy

    WailinGuy Member

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    Yes, the stock JRC4558D op amp is mounted in a socket and is easily replaced. I've experimented with these op amps, and I think I liked them all better than the stock op amp!

    TL072
    TL082
    OP275
    LM833
    MC1458

    Right now I have the MC1458 in there, and I think it's a major improvement (not that the pedal sounded bad before). It really opens up the tone and I think it addresses your minor complaint about the BP being a bit on the dark side. (My guess is that the LM1458 would give similar results.) In fact. with this chip swap, I'd bet the smooth harmonic character it deliverss would convert a lot of Zendrive devotees to using the BP instead. Yes, you heard it here first - the Blues Pro has the potential to "out-Dumble" the hallowed Zendrive!

    Of course, I'm not content to leave things alone, so I'm planning to order a few Burr-Brown OPA2604AP chips (highly touted in some circles as being the ultimate upgrade to the JRC4558D) and see if I can take the tone even further towards amp-like tone heaven.

    As many others have said, at $89, the BP is a ridiculous steal. Everyone should get one.
     
  9. skiraly017

    skiraly017 Guest

    The Blues Pro knocked the Reverend Drivetrain off my board. The Drivetrain had been there since the day they came out.

    Now as for swapping op-amps, I've built Tube Screamer based OD pedals and experimented with different op-amps. I must be getting old and going deaf because I have never heard any difference. I'm almost jealous of those that say they can. Maybe I'll give it another shot with the BP but I have to say it sounds great the way it is.
     
  10. drolling

    drolling Member

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    Now this is what I'm looking for! Thanks Jim!! Gonna get me a bucket of chips!!!

    I'm also pleased to see you recognized my complaint as 'minor'. More of a comment than a complaint, actually, as I really like this little box. The more I play w/it, the more I wonder if it's just the taper or value of the tone pot that I'm not crazy about.

    And I'm in agreement w/you about the Zendrive, too. I've had one for some time, and while it's not going anywhere, it is, IMO, an over-hyped one-trick-pony. Nice trick, tho', but just not as versatile as the Eternity or the HoneyBee. Probably not a fair comparison, as the Zen's so much cheaper- To put it in better perspective, I prefer my silverLTD to my Zendrive, and those two are at a similar price point.

    With a little tweaking, I could come to love the BluesPro as much as my Timmy...
     
  11. jeak

    jeak Member

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    When I had both the Blues Pro and the Blue Boy, I put the LM1458 that came with the Boy and stuck it in the Pro. I recall that it made the Pro sound a lot like the Boy. If any of you have a Blue Boy, put an LM1458 in there for an idea of this Dumble potential that Jim mentions.

    I must admit, though, that I missed this similarity. I wish I still had the MI Audio pedals so I could listen again. I also had a Zendrive at the time (just sold it), and I don't recall much of a similarity. Like everthing, I guess it depends a lot on your rig.

    In any case, the Blues Pro is my second-favorite OD (after the Timmy). I will buy another one.
     
  12. 1968

    1968 Member

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    More transparent would you say?
     
  13. El Jimbo

    El Jimbo Member

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    I have the BB and wanna try some chips...

    ...which is the best online shop to buy them, and which ones should I get for the smoother more open tones????
     
  14. jeak

    jeak Member

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    Jimbo, I buy them from Small Bear. The LM1458 will smooth out your BB. I run one in my Timmy too.
     
  15. erksin

    erksin Member

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    Try an LM833 too - LOVE it in my BB...
     
  16. El Jimbo

    El Jimbo Member

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    Excellent...I'll grab those two (LM1458, LM833). Any others which would be worth getting?
     
  17. jeak

    jeak Member

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    You might want to grab two or three of each. There can be quality variabilities, so it doesn't hurt to have spares in case you get a dud.
     
  18. rewog

    rewog Member

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    I see on M I Audio's website, they say the Blues Pro can be run at up to 25 volts for more headroom.
    Has anyone here tried running one at higher voltage ?
     
  19. El Jimbo

    El Jimbo Member

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    Really...I didn't know the quality varied so much...thanks for the tip.

    I might as well try to get some of the Burr-Brown ones too given they're coming all the way Down Under...the shipping will probably cost more than the chips if I don't.
     
  20. Marcello

    Marcello Member

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    got one Burr brown IMO it's so so. Gainy but a bit muddy in the low range. OTOH The 1458 kills !!
     

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