Tell Me About the Blackstone OD

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by smilefan, Feb 23, 2005.


  1. smilefan

    smilefan Member

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    What does the Blacksotne OD do performance-wise?
    What are its strenghts? What applications does it suit?
    Do former owners feel it is a good value new?

    Appreciate any info/insight.
     
  2. mattmccloskey

    mattmccloskey Supporting Member

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    I just got one but returned it. It sounds very amp-like and fat at low to medium gain levels. However, it did not have as much gain as I expected, less than many other pedals. I am not a real high gain player, but I use single coils and lower output pickups in general, and at the highest gain settings it suddenly loses the realistic tone it has at lower settings. It took on an odd midrange that reminds me of rolling back the tone knob on the guitar. I would say for a guy who uses humbuckers all the time, it sounds pretty darn great through most of its range. I didn't like it much for higher gain sounds with single coils.
     
  3. Scumback Speakers

    Scumback Speakers Gold Supporting Member

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    Hmm, I have one I use all the time. I dial up two different OD and output levels with my LP. It also worked great with my Strat loaded with WCR SR pickups.

    While it's no high gain shred type with a Strat, if you have an amp that has some natural gain/OD of it's own, it's a terrific pedal for adding "flavors" of OD, and has a setting to allow modification of the tone inside, or you can swap out a chip, too, for other flavors to suit your needs.

    I also use a Marshall Bluesbreaker II pedal in "boost" mode for a clean boost, plus a Marshall Guv'nor to simulate the "raw hard rock crunch" of a dimed stack, for that type tone.
     
  4. Phil M

    Phil M Supporting Member

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    Loved the lower gain channel, but could not fall in love with the higher gain one. It was coolest little fetish object I've owned though...

    I used it with a BF Bandmaster setup for a short time before selling it. The best things about it were the fact that it was extremely quiet and it cleaned up better with the guitar's volume knob than most other pedals.
     
  5. Tweeker

    Tweeker Supporting Member

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    I agree with Phil on this point. The Blackstone when placed first in line in the "no buffer" mode (internal switch) is one of most touch sensitive pedals I've found. There is minimal pick noise which also makes it different.
    Most folks who don't keep the pedal, don't experiment enough to really figure out what it's capable of. There are two internal trim pots that help to customize the sound to your rig (treble and gain). There are also user replaceable resistors for further tweaking.
    Blackstone offers an undocumented mod to the tone control - allowing it to control only the red channel, leaving the brown channel flat.
    There are some very thoughtful user reviews on HC - you can get a feel for what it might offer to you...
    http://www.harmony-central.com/Effe...iances/Blackstone_Mosfet_Overdrive_2S-01.html

    You can also contact Mr. Blackstone - he's been good at responding to my emails
     
  6. zenfreud

    zenfreud Member

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    Overall, I really liked the Blackstone I owned. I play a Strat & Tele through a Vibrolux Reverb and wanted a pedal that would help the amp with creating semi-crunchy chords as well as more liquid-like note attack for solos. Hands down this is the best crunch I've gotten with my rig, but the higher-gain channel just wasn't what I was looking for at the time. (Still haven't found it, btw). The eq for the higher-gain sound is somewhat dependent on the crunch setting, and the I just couldn't dial in two different settings that worked (for me). Some of the settings are on trimpots that, while preventing accidental mis-adjustments, are not practical for re-adjustment during a gig. But this thing reeks of quality, really appealed to my sense of design.

    There is another thread running that seems applicable about justifying the cost of the more boutique-level gear in comparison to the more workman-like tools. I felt at the time that the Blackstone was a bit pricey for the utility and sold it. Flash forward to the present: I just got a Bad Monkey and, while undoubtedly a good value, do not feel it is in the same league as the Blackstone. The Monkey is an interesting low to medium gain pedal, can certainly add more tones to a rig, but I can't help but feel that it is a compromise product compared to the Blackstone. At some point I will probably buy another Blackstone.
     
  7. Guinness Lad

    Guinness Lad Silver Supporting Member

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    I have owned the blackstone for at least 3 years now and find it to be the best all around overdrive I have ever demoed or owned. The key to this pedal is the internal trimmers. Set too high the midrange at the highest settings will start to sound a little off. I prefer mine set with the mid trimmer at 10 o'clock and the treble just barely past 12 o'clock. These are the controls inside the pedal. I have never played a single overdrive pedal that does high gain well, IMHO that's what a fuzz box is for. This pedal can do light to heavy overdrive but I do agree there will be some compromise in the tone. The best sound to my ears is the medium gain, sounds like a Marshall. The red channel to my ears sounds the better of the two at higher gain settings. I cannot recommend this pedal more highly, but some folks here probably don't spend the time tweaking it, hense their displeasure. :)
     
  8. mattmccloskey

    mattmccloskey Supporting Member

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    why is it when person A dislikes something, everyone who does like it says person A must not have spent enough time tweaking? I saw this response when I didn't mesh with the MI audio BB overdrive and with this pedal, and see it on various threads. Maybe it is simply that person A just does not like it.
     
  9. duende

    duende Member

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    Matt,

    It's just that the Blackstone offer alot of internal flexibilty that most people aren't aware of.

    BTW. I think the Blackstone sounds great with super clean amps. I use mine alot for recording, as it translate really well when mic'd.

    Mine's a keeper that's for sure.
     
  10. yZe

    yZe Senior Member

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    I go through either a red Bear MKE 120 or MKE 60 (based on a JCM 800)

    I wish to set one clean and use a pedal to get rhythm crunch comparable to Early EVH (mainly for rhythm)

    Will the blackstone deliver this?
     
  11. gapple88

    gapple88 Member

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    I liked my blackstone more than my timmy....:eek: Does this spur another arguement?:Spank
     
  12. PaulM

    PaulM Member

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    I jammed today with a guy who let me use his. I tried to buy it from him. I'm getting one. I was playing a strat through a bassman, FWIW.
     
  13. Macaroni

    Macaroni Member

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    I've had mine for a few months now, and I've come to really love it. It does clean up exceptionally well. I like having the 2 channels - very versatile. John Blackstone has said that the 2 channels are the same OD, just different ranges. I also tweaked the internal trim pots to increase the gain for the Red channel, as well as increasing the treble - both to suit my tastes.

    I love the design and build quality - unique and functional. The flat external pots don't bother me at all. I can easily & quickly change them with my thumbnail. It works really well with humbuckers as well as single coils, which it does a bit better than many other OD pedals I've tried.

    It has a nice rich, full, round tone to it, which is what is described on the Blackstone site, ie: it includes a lot of harmonics that other pedals are missing, and it closely mirrors the harmonic structure of a tube amp's OD. It feels good and is very responsive.
     
  14. yZe

    yZe Senior Member

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    Cool thanks for the replies, guys


    So if I set a Marshall type Amp clean, Will the blackstone deliver a rhythm crunch comparable to Early EVH (mainly for rhythm)?
     
  15. onemind

    onemind Member

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    It's on my 'untouchable' list, the most amp like OD I own, and certainly the most responsive to the guitar volume knob. Great crunch and rhythm pedal. I've yet to do any internal tweaking. I use it with strats (Fralins) and LP Type guitars.
     
  16. Stressfest

    Stressfest Supporting Member

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    I loved mine...just couldn't get it to co-operate with my wah's. I found it sounded better minus the buffer as a foundation for a great tone, but sucked for wah...real transistory. With buffer on the tone was slightly less impressive but worked with wah better. I hate compromising!! :) Bought a Cot50 and Eternity...almost the same as having a 'brown' and 'red' channel. IMHO Better :AOK
     
  17. sstweed

    sstweed Supporting Member

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    Major Blackstone lover here. Owned one version or another for over 6 years now. Have been through sqillions of other OD's in that time. They are all gone, this one has remained. I now have a germanium fuzz and a Blackstone on my board, and I get just about every sound I would want. BUT, the Blackstone does sort of do its own thing. I guarantee the Blackstone, more so than most, will work for some and not for others. As for me, I hate high gain pedals. They all sound bad to me. I would never look for any more than a low medium gain from a pedal. I never really got along with a high gain amp either, though I certainly haven't played them all. Tweeds are where it is at for me. I do love the cranked germ fuzz sound, even though it doesn't sound truly natural (natural being tube amp natural). Germ Fuzz, Blackstone, tweed, and a tele. I'm slobbering just thinking about it.

    BTW, I have tweeked my Blackstone nine ways too sunday. I replaced the tone cap from the stock 330pf to 250pf, and tweeked the gain and treble until that boxy midrange some notice is all but gone. That boxiness is real and for my rig something to avoid. The feel of the Blackstone is worth the tweeking hassle. No other OD I have tried comes close to the clean up and feel of the Blackstone. Perk: They are selling for more than list on ebay right now, so if it isn't your cup of tea, you are out nothing.
     
  18. Nitefly182

    Nitefly182 Member

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    Has anyone gotten a new one latgely. I tried emailing Jon a few times but he never replied.
     
  19. markom89

    markom89 Senior Member

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    yea, I also e-mailed Jon a few times and never got a reply...Is the carb similar?...
     
  20. thebot

    thebot Member

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    I was considering selling mine until last night, bit of playing soon sorted that stupid idea out. I was just getting GAS for other things and thought I could get rid of that to get other things. However I reminded myself of the touch responsive-ness, amp like qualities and sheer warmth of the pedal and that thought soon went out of my head.

    I think as someone not using either a Marshall or a Fender (or a clone thereof) it's harder to find an overdrive that works with my set up. I'm also playing clean and relying on pedals for dirt as the cleans on my amp are just too good and it's fairly low gain. For this kind of application the Blackstone is a godsend.
     

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