• TGP is giving away a Strat, Tele, and Jazzmaster. Click Here for full details.
    Click Here to upgrade your account and enter today!

Tell me about your BOSS BD-2 Blues Blues Driver

jrockbridge

Member
Messages
4,497
What amp(s) and guitar(s) do you favor using with your BD-2?

I can get just about any overdrive pedal to work for me. For me the BD-2 has a small sweet spot. Also, I find it to be heavily compressed. I’m guessing it must be similar to a TS circuit which I also find heavily compressed.

The BD-2 gets great reviews. I want to like it but, so far, find it to be a bit meh through my Hayseed and Fender amps.

If the circuit had a clean mix knob added, I wonder if I’d like it better. Some modified TS circuits include a clean mix knob (examples: Sparkle Drive, Sparkle Drive Mod). I find the mix knob helps me to back off the high compression to get the feel and sound I seek.

Thoughts?
 

Matt Dillon

Member
Messages
862
Stock, I like it as an almost clean boost or adding grit to a rhythm pickup. It can also do a pretty good fuzz with the gain up all the way.
It is voiced very bright.
The Blues Driver is a popular pedal to mod, if yours is before they changed the circuit board a few years back.
 

ED_P

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,053
It used to be my favorite pedal, but then I started noticing a small artifact at the tail end of each note if it was set to the "just breaking up" zone. Other people complain about it as well.

I sent it to Analogman since it was the last year BOSS was still making them with the big boards, just to see if something coincidentally would fix the artifact with the component changes they did. While it made the pedal have a more usable range, the artifact is still there.

So now, I like it in the more overdriven zone, but waffle on selling it, as I have other pedals like the BOSS OD-3 and Timmy that don't have this artifact sound.
 

Big in Japan

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,283
I loved the Blues Driver until I started using blackface amps. The way the pedal breaks up sounds really artificial and cheap through a blackface circuit set clean.

I got a Monte Allums adapter so I could swap in some common opamps. A pair of 4558 chips made the pedal a little warmer with a more natural breakup. But it still couldn’t hang with other things that I was using, like the Snouse Blackbox or the Prince of Tone. I ended up selling the Blues Driver.

I liked the pedal a lot more through a JTM 45-style amp that was already breaking up a bit. But at the end of the day, transistor-based boosts rule through that amp. The lowly Blues Driver wasn’t getting any love.
 

Gilwater

Member
Messages
743
You need to run the "tone" around 9 o'clock on a stock BD-2, that will help you evaluate it better. It reduces the undesirable tail end artifacts.

With that said, my BD-2w is the pedal for which I measure all other overdrives. Its a pretty decent sounding, very versatile, well built, and affordable. This makes it a benchmark in my opinion. But its just that to me....a bench mark. I have better overdrives that I like more. My BD-2 doesn't live on my board, but its not going anywhere either. Its a staple of the pedal industry like the TS-9 and RAT, and I like using it as a reference when comparing other overdrives.
 

Brian Gilmour

Member
Messages
1,143
I had the stock version 10-11 years ago when I had my Strat and a Vox AC 15. With the gain below 12:00 and the tone between 10-11:00, its absolutely one of the best OD’s around. It that makes you happy then there’s no need to modify or get rid of it. Anywhere past 12:00 on tone and gain is indeed that “metallic artifact” sound everyone complains about. Full gain is ok for a faux fuzz.

Had a Boss OD-3 as well and the 2 absolutely complement each other. The OD-3 is a standout OD in its own and some people think it’s close enough to the BD-2 that it could have been named the BD-3. Myself included. I used the OD-3 to warm out the BD-2 and those two were one of the best pairings I’ve ever had. If you don’t want to mod your BD-2, I would snag the OD-3. Very affordable new and used.

Fast forward to today. Keeley modded BD-2 with the Phat switch is my desert island pedal. I have the Fender Blues Deluxe IV now and another Strat.
 

PatrickE_FenderADV

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
26,824
Keeley BD2 is a great pedal. Probably the best low gainer/boost out there for my needs. It works with every guitar and amp combination I have owned.

(it’s not a TS pedal)
 

Digitalshrub

Member
Messages
301
Personally I don’t find my BD-2 even remotely similar to my TS. TS circuits sound more compressed to my ears...the BD-2 sounds far less compressed and more “open”.

I had never heard the “artifact” others on here mention until I repeatedly read about it on other threads. Gotta admit I hear it now, too. It’s not a dealbreaker for me but I do wish that “fizzle” sound towards the tail end of notes wasn’t there. I typically run it as a low gain drive, with the drive control below noon, so it isn’t super noticeable.
 

deepcove17

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
813
I own a stock and Keeley modded. I prefer Keeley for low gain boosting and stock is great for base rhythm tone. I do not run them together, 2 pedalboards for 2 different applications.
 

Joe O

Member
Messages
86
I agree with the others here that the BD-2 sounds nothing like a TS, at least in my experience. It's much less compressed, open, and brighter. Kinda shrill through Fender amps, especially as a clean boost. I used to run a BD-2 with tone at 10:00 and gain low for a while.

Hi-gain/fuzz on it was interesting, but having to tame the tone down made it too muddy. Other pedals do that better (RAT, 108 fuzz, etc).

Nowadays I use the MXR Sugar Drive for the same boost function (gain set low), tone just past noon. Slightly more mids, which is helpful in a band context. Not nearly as shrill.
 
Messages
457
You need to run the "tone" around 9 o'clock on a stock BD-2, that will help you evaluate it better. It reduces the undesirable tail end artifacts.
Just tried it in Katana (has BD2 as it’s default boost/drive) Woah! What a difference!
Turns out those built in drives are not completely useless after all
 

Kevy_Metal

Member
Messages
3,320
I'm currently on my second BD-2. Picked up a post-2017 model over a year ago and didn't really dig what I was hearing, so I sold it. Ended up grabbing another one (this time from 2009) off of CL back in the summer and somehow liked that one better. Could just be my ears, it happens.

With the gain set at a quarter of the way up, I run it into a Fender Bassbreaker and it sounds great with my Strat or Tele.
 

Digitalshrub

Member
Messages
301
I agree with the others here that the BD-2 sounds nothing like a TS, at least in my experience. It's much less compressed, open, and brighter. Kinda shrill through Fender amps, especially as a clean boost. I used to run a BD-2 with tone at 10:00 and gain low for a while.

Hi-gain/fuzz on it was interesting, but having to tame the tone down made it too muddy. Other pedals do that better (RAT, 108 fuzz, etc).

Nowadays I use the MXR Sugar Drive for the same boost function (gain set low), tone just past noon. Slightly more mids, which is helpful in a band context. Not nearly as shrill.
So it seems most of us who like our BD-2 run it with the tone below noon (I tend to keep my tone around 9 or 10:00, as I play into Fender amps, usually with a Telecaster), and the gain similarly at or below noon. Unless you’re going for that faux fuzz sound, which I don’t as I like dedicated muffs or fuzzes for that. I have a Mooer Blues Mood (BD-2 clone) on my mini board, and I keep the settings roughly the same as on my BD-2, though I like the gain a little higher on the Mooer, around noon or even 1:00 sometimes.

On my TS (I have a Maxon OD808), I run the settings differently, with the drive around 2 or 3:00, and the level a little below noon (depending on the band’s volume). Tone around 11:00-noon.
 

Brian Gilmour

Member
Messages
1,143
I'm currently on my second BD-2. Picked up a post-2017 model over a year ago and didn't really dig what I was hearing, so I sold it. Ended up grabbing another one (this time from 2009) off of CL back in the summer and somehow liked that one better. Could just be my ears, it happens.

With the gain set at a quarter of the way up, I run it into a Fender Bassbreaker and it sounds great with my Strat or Tele.
I’m sure there’s a small difference. They changed too much inside the pedal when it went to SMT. I have zero experience with the new one but I imagine the one bad thing about the stock BD-2 (piercing highs) has probably been amplified if nothing else.
 

Windup 43

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,213
Personally I don’t find my BD-2 even remotely similar to my TS. TS circuits sound more compressed to my ears...the BD-2 sounds far less compressed and more “open”.

I had never heard the “artifact” others on here mention until I repeatedly read about it on other threads. Gotta admit I hear it now, too. It’s not a dealbreaker for me but I do wish that “fizzle” sound towards the tail end of notes wasn’t there. I typically run it as a low gain drive, with the drive control below noon, so it isn’t super noticeable.
Totally agree with everything said here, it’s always been considered a very transparent sounding drive. Aside from it sounding great as a dedicated overdrive, it’s also a terrific clean boost. I use it (Keeley Phat mod in my case which IMO is quite a bit nicer than the stock version and love the bass boost mode) to tighten up the flubby bottom end of my Orange amp, I couldn’t live without it with that amp. Sounds great with buckers, but really shines with single coils.
 

oildrops

Member
Messages
2,364
I always run mine with the tone below noon. It's one of my favorite boosts for verge of breakup clean tones when playing at lower volumes. At higher volumes the high end can be too much.
 




Trending Topics

Top