Simplify w/ a Blackstone?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by eru, Feb 14, 2008.

  1. eru

    eru Member

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    I'm a Student. I have something of a budget, but can't shell out for a top-end amp for another few years (Bachelor's soon and then straight on to a PhD program).

    I've also not been playing too long. What I try to do is figure out where cost/benefit is greatest and spend what I have to when I can. I'm actually taking lessons now and I'm fairly sure I know what I'm going to buy when it's time to actually start playing out, but I'm still searching for that illusive bedroom tone.

    This has lead me to an interesting solution. Guitars are an '06 G&L Legacy and a '66 RI Epiphone SG-400 (when I fix it). I'm running: RC Booster -> Epiphone Valve Junior Head (ECC31 in preamp, set to break up) -> Hot Plate (as dummy load) -> MXR Super Comp (slight compression, slower attack) -> Hughes & Kettner Edition Blue 15R (master wide open, using clean channel gain for level).

    I'm liking what it does. I can go from a nice but not stellar clean to just a bit more distorted than I'd ever actually want by just turning the guitar volume knob from 5-10. And what's cool about it is that the combination of the attenuation and compression means that the volume doesn't change that much between them, but the touch response is still there - dig in a bit harder and it gets a tiny bit louder with more harmonics. It's really cool, but seems way too complicated, and when I do start performing with a larger amp (the second one), it's not exactly the kind of "pedal board" I'd actually like to carry around.

    I'm wondering if using the Blackstone Mosfet OD instead of the VJ->HP stage would work as well. I'd have to move the RC to get touch response from the Blackstone similar to this, but that's fine. I got it not too long ago to fix problems with the VJ's clean tone (separate from the H&K), which it does remarkably well, and I have no problem using it as a clean boost after the main gain stage and the compressor.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. 6789

    6789 Member

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  3. eru

    eru Member

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    I actually saw that, and it's one of the threads that is suggesting it to me. I actually got both the order right and liked the Blackstone best out of those tones but not until you'd announced it.
     
  4. yZe

    yZe Senior Member

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    The Blackstone, for me excelled at that semi-gritty rhythm tone like a cranked bassman

    You could not tell there was a pedal at all when it was engaged

    However, for crunchier stuff like say, KingsX, or for a good sustainy lead tone, you would either need to find some OD's that stack well w/it - or just look for another pedal
     
  5. eru

    eru Member

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    I should clarify that this will not end up being my only pedal in this vein. I plan on getting an analogman sundial eventually, and I have the RC. I'm just trying to simplify. It doesn't need to do "everything," it just needs to replace an overly complicated (and way too expensive for what it is) gain stage. In all honesty, the VJ cranked is more distorted than I want, but not by much. With the RC set as a light OD and the VJ cranked, it's what I consider ridiculous.

    The non-fuzz tone I'm looking for is no more distorted than heavy blues or early hard rock. Based on numerous recordings, the dream would probably be a non-hot-rodded NMV 50w JCM800 set to definitively breaking up with the guitar on 10, but not at the about to explode tone.

    The closest I've gotten to this IRL is a Friend's Vox Valvetronix/ToneLab stuff that I've used, but I really don't want to go this route. I realized I've spent more money than it would be to just buy one, but as good as they sound, I think there's still something not quite right about them.

    I tried a BB Preamp today, and while there are things I like about it I just don't think it's what I'm looking for. I'm not sure why, it could have been the amp I tried it out with.
     
  6. eru

    eru Member

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    there are downsides to such an active forum...
     
  7. PremiumPlus

    PremiumPlus Member

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    I have a Blackstone and it sounds great running the brown channel for slight breakup, into a Crunch Box for the hi gain mode. Bedroom tone on steroids, and it works great live too.
     
  8. eru

    eru Member

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    What kind of amp are you using, Prem+?
     
  9. M I K E D.

    M I K E D. Supporting Member

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    I have a blackstone as well.. sweet marshallesque driveand nothing cleans up w/ yer gtr vol better-

    if you want an alternative you might look at a Jetter Gain Stage Blue- does all the marshall tones - top notch gear albeit designed for stage volumes and not BR- still it can be dialed in.
     
  10. JUSTJOB

    JUSTJOB Member

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    The Blackstone, a fuzz, and delay will certainly cover a lot of ground and offer a lot of dynamics in your playing. I think you would be very pleased with the Blackstone for what you describe. I keep one on my small grab-n-go board consisting of a Fulltone 70>Blackstone>AD9, and it travels with me wherever needed. Definately one of the greatest pedals ever designed for amp like respose. It most certainly is the pedal that plays like an amp.
     

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