Just got a crunch box!

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by drfrankencopter, Sep 25, 2006.

  1. drfrankencopter

    drfrankencopter Member

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    I just took delivery of a custom painted crunch box from MI Audio. It looks incredible, with a lion face hand painted on it...even the back is painted in the same theme. I'll add pics later...I promise!

    But, the coolest part is that as incredible as it looks, it sounds even better. I'm not typically one for pedal distortion, but wow, this pedal sounds great.

    I was a little concerned when I popped the battery into it and saw a very tiny circuit board with a couple leds and an op-amp....I was thinking Tubescreamer. But I was wrong. Wiring and layout inside was neat and slick...nice work!

    I plugged my Anderson classic into my Carr Slant 6V (1X12 combo) on the clean channel at practice volume (kids are sleeping). The CB is capable of tons of gain, in fact 12:00 is more than enough for my needs. It's voiced a little bright, and can get a little fizzy, but it's a single gain stage pedal. At the low volumes I played at I was running it with the tone knob around 9:00. It sounded comparable to the drive channel on my Slant 6V (a good thing IMO), maybe not as complex, but pretty damn impressive for a pedal. I'm looking forward to trying it out at jam volumes.

    For comprison's sake I pulled out my VoodooLabs Sparkle drive. I had to put the gain up on full to match the CB at 12:00. Clean was set to zero, and tone was 10:00 for the best approximation I could get. There was no comparison, the Sparkle drive sounded like a pedal, and reacted a little odd to sharp attacks (like as if there was still signal going through the clean path...a little odd to play with that dynamic going on when any real saturated amp will distort even more on transients).

    Yeah, I'm happy....I can't believe these sell for only $109 (well mine was a little more with the custom paint).

    Now, an Eternity should be headed my way in a week or so....maybe I'll be converteed to pedal based overdrive/distortion after all!

    Cheers,

    Kris
     
  2. Ben C.

    Ben C. Member

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    Soooo... like this?

    [​IMG]

    :D

    -Ben
     
  3. bluesdoc

    bluesdoc Gold Supporting Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Don't forget that there's a presence trimmer inside - more cut more clockwise. I like mine at about 1:30 or so. It's my #1 lead pedal. Also be aware that gain at 9:00 is still gnarly powerful :)

    jon
     
  4. drolling

    drolling Member

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    Doc, I may have missed a thread or two, but IIRC, you're the original DIY guy who swapped out a pot on CB ver 1.0 - Did you also add your own presence trimmer too, or are you using the new model now? If you do have both, did you ever A/B the two?

    I had considered sending mine on that long trip for the upgrade, but from what I've read, I'm not entirely convinced it would be worthwhile..

    What's your take on this pressing question??
     
  5. bluesdoc

    bluesdoc Gold Supporting Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Yeah, that was me. I have both the one I modded, no presence trimmer and a new one. There's something about the old one (I modded by changing the vol pot only) that I almost like better. A bit sweeter but if I roll the presence off the new one, I can get it close. But if I really need more high end, the new one provides much more.

    jon
     
  6. drolling

    drolling Member

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    Thanks Jon- What you say's pretty much in line w/some other players who's opinions I also value.

    As a longtime tele player, treble's something I got plenty of right under my fingertips!

    You just saved my CrunchBox a couple of trips around the world..

    Really appreciate it!!
     
  7. VictoriluxEL84

    VictoriluxEL84 Supporting Member

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    Hi all,

    Did I read somewhere here about a Burr Brown chip replacement which makes the Crunch Box even more amp-like?

    Thanks
     
  8. afterburner

    afterburner Supporting Member

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    That's very interesting since most people claim the CB is very dark-sounding, and that's why ver2 has more high end.

    also, the MI Audio website says the CB has multiple gain stages IIRC.
     
  9. Deaj

    Deaj Silver Supporting Member

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    I found the presence trimmer so useful I moved it to a standard pot on the side of the pedal:
    [​IMG]
     
  10. drfrankencopter

    drfrankencopter Member

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    Again, I only tested at low volumes, so I expect things to change a little at realistic jam volume levels. I wouldn't charaterize the pedal as dark though. I do tend to prefer a mid emphasis in my crunch tones though, hence my preference for rolling off the hi end.

    I will likely adjust the presence pot to suit my tone tastes at a higher volume.

    Maybe the pedal does have multiple gain stages, but I only seem to recall seeing two LEDs inside it...maybe there's some other diodes as well (I was in a rush to get it reassembled and to start playing with it). There's only one dual op-amp inside, so I can't really imagine more than one clipping stage, and a buffer stage...but maybe the buffer does some clipping too.

    At any rate, its a nice pedal...I'd recommend to anyone sitting on the fence regarding this pedal to give it a try.

    Cheers,

    Kris
     
  11. drolling

    drolling Member

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    With my strat/tele & fender bf/VOX amps, the old CB's voicing is perfect - I could see a potential for muddiness using 'buckers & hi-gain amps, but w/single coils & cleanish nonmaster amps the CrunchBox is not dark sounding at all..
     
  12. therhodeo

    therhodeo Member

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    Agreed.
     
  13. samtheman

    samtheman Member

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    Yes, that´s true indeed. I´m very happy w/ Burr-Brown !

    /sam
     
  14. jezzzz2003

    jezzzz2003 Member

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    The Crunch Box has 3 clipping stages,
    Im loving mine.
    Its Gary Moore in a box.
    Whilst not usually one for Distortion boxes either this is the best drive pedal I've ever come across.:AOK
    I too tried out a Sparkle drive for the first time just the other day
    and was also unimpressed.
     
  15. Blueser

    Blueser Member

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    Which Burr Brown chip??
     

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