Jackson Audio Broken Arrow: First set, first impressions

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by TimH, May 19, 2019.

  1. TimH

    TimH Member

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    I don’t understand this...yes the boost can be independent but that doesn’t negate its ability to act as a device to increase saturation...if you need it as a volume boost it can still do that when stacked behind another drive.

    Btw have you had a chance to try the Arrow?
     
  2. Yoni13

    Yoni13 Member

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    I’ve had the arrow now for a few weeks. It’s a nice pedal for sure. I like the gain on the low side with the orange or blue type of overdrive (and the level almost all the way up). The sound has a compression type sheen that I don’t love but it’s a nice contrast nevertheless to my thicker SOV-2 (Free The Tone) overdrive. It stacks well with the EP Booster (before it).
    I’m going to try the Chase Bliss Brothers when I get it in a few days and compare. It’s really going to be a matter of how each pedal reacts to my current rig (Two Rock or Hamstead with a Strat). I’m sure everyone is getting different sounds and differing levels of satisfaction.


     
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  3. Grant Ferstat

    Grant Ferstat Some guy in obscure bands in a far away place...

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    Once again. Talking about a live scenario. The Arrow boost is configured pre overdrive right?

    I find that with boosts I have to choose a task. If you set a boost to a level PRE overdrive to get saturation and solo volume boost then it's typically going to be set pretty loud to achieve this. If you then try to use that same setting into a cleanish amp with the OD side of the pedal switched off the jump in volume will be massive because, depending on the headroom of the amp it may not compress as much as the overdrive section.

    I actually run two boosts presently due to this. One which is dedicated to my out and out solo sound, the other which is designed for more subtle amp pushing for my clean/on the edge sound.

    No I haven't got to try the Arrow. There isn't one at a store within 3500 klms of me. On tone alone from demos I don't think it sounds better than what I already have at my disposal and the config doesn't really offer any advantages to me, although I thought that maybe it might initially.
     
  4. Yoni13

    Yoni13 Member

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    I have a similar setup in terms of boosts. It serves a different purpose depending on where you put a boost on your board. Right now, I have an EP booster pushing my overdrives (before the overdrive, no pedals are in a loop). The level is a bit high and it adds a bit of volume but more importantly a nice organic sounding push. I recently picked up an Xotic Super Clean boost. This pedal has a few more shaping options. I’ve placed it after my overdrive. The volume it output (in this case it is actually labeled “gain” is set low so I don’t get an unmanageable boost in overall volume. I actually use it mostly as an always on it off depending on my guitar or amp. I’m not sure how this setup will work with the Brothers but we’ll see. It sounded pretty good with the Broken Arrow - and the boost on the Arrow was still very useful with and without the overdrive section activated. No rules! Just try different combinations and see what happens!


     
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  5. Simon

    Simon Supporting Member

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    Sounds like it would be perfect if you could select how many of the gain cycles you wanted to use.
    I'd like it so you could just use 2 of the cycles if you wanted, that way you wouldn't have to do as much tap dancing to get back to verse level gain.
    Sounds like a cool idea to me, I'm going to have to check one out.
     
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  6. Onenotesolo

    Onenotesolo Member

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    A large proportion of pop / rock songs that I play live have a breakdown or quieter part after the second chorus / middle 8 / solo (one the above), before ramping up for the final 1-2 choruses. I rehearsed last night and ramping up AND DOWN via this pedal would therefore have been a pain rather than a help for the majority of the tunes (Tom Petty and Pink Floyd fare). And when I say “a pain”, I mean versus using the guitar’s volume, a normal boost pedal or kicking in a second drive. Hence me wondering a few pages back if the ramping has a particular music style in mind that only has linear build up across each song.

    So i’m as surprised that you’re finding useful as you are that i’m not! Vive le difference.

    That aside, very much enjoying the pedal. Super versatile and stacks with anything before or after, which I find to be a rare quality in a full-fledged drive / distortion. Great stuff.
     
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  7. Onenotesolo

    Onenotesolo Member

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    For my taste, the Arrow has a smoother, warmer more amp-like drive, while the Brothers is a bit harsher and less organic. Brothers is by far the most versatile drive / boost / fuzz I’ve ever used - by a massive margin - but I struggled a bit to get my preferred sounds out of the two drive sections, or when trying to stack it. If you are going to stack, get something VERY ‘organic’ to take the edge off the Chase Bliss drive tone. IIRC, i once stuck a Lightspeed after it on the board and that worked quite well.

    All very subjective I know, but I respond to you specifically because I’m using a Two Rock and strat a lot of the time as well.
     
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  8. Grant Ferstat

    Grant Ferstat Some guy in obscure bands in a far away place...

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    Yep. Herein lies the upgrade/V2 solution.
    Make it so you can select how many gain cycle stages.
     
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  9. TimH

    TimH Member

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    Fair enough...I guess I just turn down the volume knob for a second
     
  10. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    I'm surprised to find that others echo my feelings about the Brothers. I love Chase Bliss stuff, Joel and his work. But I just couldn't dial either side in to get the sounds I'm used to. I could get lots of "different" overdrive/boost/fuzz sounds but if I were to replace one of my overdrives with it, I'd want to be able to get regular TS9 or Klon or even Timmy sounds out of it. Same problem with the Elektron drive.
     
  11. Simon

    Simon Supporting Member

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    Exactly!!
     
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  12. Yoni13

    Yoni13 Member

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    fair enough.. thanks for the response. I'm getting a Brothers today and we'll see how it sits with my gear. I have a trial period with it (would pay shipping one way to send it back which is fair enough). I might end up getting the Broken Arrow again but I do like the switching options (with the faves) of the Brothers. That said, tone is king, so we'll see. I agree that a toggle up/down would be better than a gain cycle that moves up in 4 increments. Midi or a "faves type" of add on small pedal switcher would be great. The Broken Arrow is still priced reasonably for what it offers. I wish I could A/B the two but I had to send one back!


     
  13. TimH

    TimH Member

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    Brad is on record saying that midi isn’t that far off. Maybe that will be the answer?
     
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  14. Onenotesolo

    Onenotesolo Member

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    If you sent the Arrow back then it’s probably not meant to be at this stage. I’m only using it for one gain sound (and level, plus boost if needed) at a time, so I’m more focused on the tone and how it stacks with the other drives on the board.
    I think you’ll also find that the Brothers sounds different enough that you’ll remember the difference. I.e. they aren’t similar enough that you need to A/B together. Hope you like the Brothers; The amount of technology, and ease of use in spite of so much cleverness, in that box is epic.
     
  15. Yoni13

    Yoni13 Member

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    "I’m only using it for one gain sound (and level, plus boost if needed) at a time..."

    Which gain sound are you favoring? Is the Broken Arrow your always one base tone?

    I took out the Chase Bliss Brothers and you are certainly correct - it's quite different from the Broken Arrow... I'm finding it hard to match the volumes of the A and B circuits and I really prefer the A side to the B side (the softer, warmer JFET sounds). I was getting some of those organic tones from the Broken Arrow so I'm not sure that I took a step forward... Maybe I just don't have the patience for the Brothers! I'm leaning towards going back to Jackson Audio - the parameters on the Brothers do not seem all that intuitive and I found the volume matching on the 2 circuits to be a challenge. Cool idea with respect to placing the Greer Lightspeed sfter it (which I don't have and I don't have the room for but I'm curious about it).


     
  16. Onenotesolo

    Onenotesolo Member

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    I
    Agree RE volume matching.

    There most be other pedals that will suit your needs though. It sometimes helps to jot down the criteria in order of priority (e.g., Warm sounding, drive and boost switches, presets, 18V capability etc). I’ve found that four or five specific needs will cut down the huge overdrive universe to a handful of pedals.
     
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  17. williamsnrb

    williamsnrb Member

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    Hi, just wondering what your thoughts were between the Broken Arrow and the Brothers. I have the Brothers on order and I recently bought a Belle Starr. I like the Belle Starr a lot, so now I'm wondering if I should have bought a Broken Arrow instead of the Brothers. Haven't tried it, yet, so not sure. Just curious what your thoughts were.

    Thanks!
     
  18. Yoni13

    Yoni13 Member

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    I ended up liking the Broken Arrow more than the Chase Bliss Brothers pedal. The brothers pedal had a nice, organic low drive sound and boost - but when the gain was turned up (even at a medium drive) it started to sound too harsh/raspy for me. Also, I found it too difficult to consistently get nice levels between the two sides. Each side does not have a volume or input adjustment.

    The broken arrow has several distinct and warm overdrive settings that I really like. The boost is excellent. I typically have the input or volume almost at maximum and the gain quite low. I believe Joey Landreth has it set in this way. As others have mentioned, it stacks well with other pedals.
    I now have an Xotic clean boost (as a buffer) after it and an EP Booster at the very end of my signal chain (at unity and turned all the way down).



     
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  19. williamsnrb

    williamsnrb Member

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    Thanks for the thoughts! I have never had a CBA pedal before (probably the only manufacturer I haven't owned lol), so grabbed a Brothers because I need dirt for a small board build. I also grabbed a Belle Starr to stack with it intending on using the Belle Starr to act as almost a clean boost. However, after messing with the Belle Starr, I realize that I might should have gone with the Broken Arrow. I'm already thinking about selling the Brothers and it hasn't even come in yet. Lol
    Thanks again.
     
  20. Yoni13

    Yoni13 Member

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    Oh man! You might as well hold on to the brothers and do a side by side comparison with the Broken Arrow (if you decide to pick one up). You can probably return the Chase Bliss pedal or exchange it if you bought a new one. Chicago Music Exchange sells both of these and usually is willing to work with the customer. I never tried the Belle Starr but it does seem like you get a lot more from the Broken Arrow for a relatively minor difference in price - especially when you consider the independent boost section and parameters of the BA. Both fit nicely on a small board.

     
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