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Played with a blackstone tonight...could not connect

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by jamminoutloud1, May 19, 2011.

  1. jamminoutloud1

    jamminoutloud1 Supporting Member

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    Hey guys,
    I played through a fender deville amp tonight at a gig with a blackstone pedal tonight.
    I felt like there was very little sustain or dynamics, and a bit fizzy at times...it was the first time I used it on a gig.
    I really wanted to love it, but could not get it right. On the red channel I had the gain at about 5:00 or 4:30, and the volume at around 8:00. On the brown channel I had the gain at around 4:00 and the volume at around 9:00.

    I just was not getting those juicy leads that I was expecting. I played with a highway one telecaster w/ dimarzio noiseless in the bridge and 52' reiusse in the neck. I also had a tubescreamer, which I tried stacking and it did not seem to really work. I had the blackstone first in the chain as well.
    Any advice? I would prefer not to open this thing up if it can be avoided.
     
  2. jnepo1

    jnepo1 Silver Supporting Member

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    How low have you had the Blackstone? The Blackstone is not fizzy whatsoever. At low settings it is extremely smooth, and at higher gains the mids really shine, especially w/ single coils.

    I play thru clean amps (Twin Reverb and JC120) that are really loud, so I use the Blackstone for amp-like break-up/overdrive. I have never stacked it w/ a Tubescreamer, but I do use it w/ a TC Electronic BLD which gets a very 80's distortion together to get a Supa Fuzz tone and metal sound as well.

    I understand some people don't get the Blackstone, but it's worth tinkering w/ the controls internally and externally to find their sweet spot. Opening it up, there are actually only 2 trimpots to play w/, there are also the 2 capacitors that you can swap out, and one can be even left out.

    I usually set the pots at certain settings and then use the volume knob of the guitar for dynamic control. Yes, it took me a little time to get the Blackstone to my liking, but once I found my preference, it's been the same setting since. I noticed your volume settings on both drives are relatively low, 8 and 9 o'clock settings are very low, being that the pots go from 7 to 5 o'clock. You may want to adjust that and also check your EQ setting on the Blackstone. The EQ pot, a little adjustment goes a long way.
     
  3. jamminoutloud1

    jamminoutloud1 Supporting Member

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    Maybe it was the way I had my voume set on the pedal and amp?
    The problem is that if I turn up the amp loud, then I HAVE to keep the blackstone lower in volume or else it becomes too loud.
    Any recommendations on how to set the volume, mids, treble, bass, etc. to get the most out of the pedal and amp?
     
  4. jnepo1

    jnepo1 Silver Supporting Member

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    I'm not sure how anyone else sets up their rig, but I always set up my amp first. I play thru clean amps that are very loud, so I'm not reliant on the amps for my dirt. Even-though the Fender Twin Reverb is more than capable of a great overdriven tube sound, it is too loud before it gets to that sweet spot. I have used an attenuator in the past, but currently choose to be reliant on effects pedals.

    Once I set up my amp to my liking, I then set each dirt pedal individually. In the case of the Blackstone, I use it for both a Les Paul and a Strat. I normally use the Brown drive for the LP and the Red drive for the Strat. I usually set the level at unity and then find the gain/drive that suits the music I am playing. The EQ setting comes last.

    With regards to the Blackstone becoming too loud when you turn up the amp's volume, that's where I suggest you adjust the level of the Blackstone to unity to match the amp level. Once you do that, you can literally just adjust the amps volume to the proper output level that you want w/o having to reset the Blackstone. You can use the 2 drives on the Blackstone for a rhythm/lead setting if you like, I use it for different guitar outputs.

    There are also the 2 internal trimpots you can adjust for treble setting and higher gain. The internal gain trimpot works slightly different from the external gain pots. I would suggest working w/ the external pots before experimenting w/ the internal ones and go from there.
     
  5. jamminoutloud1

    jamminoutloud1 Supporting Member

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    Maybe a stupid question, buy what does unity mean?
     
  6. sketches

    sketches Member

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    This pedal needs to be dialed in properly. I had one and traded it to a friend who found a better use for it. I still really, really dug it though and will buy another one in the future. It is a set and forget pedal and has been designed aesthetically as such. The internal trimpots should be first honed in then setup the rest of the pedal. However having said all this, for ME, it's more a pedal that works with solid state or EL84 type amps. Anything Fendery or with more bass than usual (as long as you utilise the bass, if you don't then you needn't worry) I find it does fart or fizz on the sweet spots. You can dial this out but you'll lose the charm of the breakup and general sound of distortion.
     
  7. Zero G

    Zero G Member

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    It means that when you kick a pedal on, the volume of the effect matches the volume of your signal with the pedal off. For example, some players like to set their OD pedals a touch above unity so that they have a slight volume spike when they switch on their pedal for a solo.
     
  8. jnepo1

    jnepo1 Silver Supporting Member

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    Unity is setting the pedal to match the volume level of the amp when the pedal is bypassed. In other words, the pedal volume is not greater than the amp volume.
     
  9. jnepo1

    jnepo1 Silver Supporting Member

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    Fetch, why do you prefer to adjust the internal trimpot first? The Blackstone out of the box is great for boosting the midrange as you are increasing the gain. If you prefer to have less of a midboost at higher settings, then the internal trimpots are there for adjusting. There are also the capacitors that can be switched out for a lower capacitance. To me, adjusting the external pots first makes more sense, before the internal pots. Playing w/ the internal pots before getting familiar w/ the traits of the pedal doesn't seem logical. The internal trimpots are far more sensitive, and extreme adjustments can cause oscillations, etc...
     
  10. JUSTJOB

    JUSTJOB Member

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    yes, I agree, you need to adjust your Blackstone. When adjusted properly it will be very touch sensitive with great dynamics.
    Here is some good adjustment advice to get you started in the right direction courtesy of Jumblefingers;
    http://www.thegearpage.net/board/showthread.php?p=2312983
     
  11. goodgodsey

    goodgodsey Supporting Member

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    As others have stated, you MUST tweak the Blackstone's internal trimmers. It is a great OD, once calibrated to match your rig. Don't give up on it yet!
     
  12. jnepo1

    jnepo1 Silver Supporting Member

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    Also check to see if the Blackstone is in buffered or unbuffered mode. If you have it first in chain, unbuffered mode is best to get the most dynamic sound.
     
  13. jamminoutloud1

    jamminoutloud1 Supporting Member

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    I guess my main problem is finding the balance between a loud clean sound, and getting enough juice out of the pedal without it being insanely loud.

    How do you guys set your blackstone and amp, to get amazing sustain and fullness out of it?
     

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