Cave Passive Pedal: B-Drive Mk.2

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by caeman, May 2, 2012.


  1. caeman

    caeman The Root Master Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2008
    Location:
    Ohio
    New Pedal Day! Have I mentioned recently how much fun I am having as an 'endorsing artist'? :D

    The B-Drive Mk.2 is a revised offering from Cave Passive Pedals. One of the changes is the option to buy it in 1590A size.

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    I have recently been on the hunt for an overdrive pedal to add a little grunt to my signal, but stay on a small budget. Well, it doesn't get any smaller than free from my endorsee, but at $69 AUD, it slots in between the Bad Monkey and ODB-3. This pedal, like the other offerings from Cave is passive. "So is their signal loss?" Well, yes, a little, but the LVL knobs can turned up and add it back. It's magic. The higher the drive, there is signal loss, so turn the turn level up to counter it.

    I wouldn't suggest using this by itself straight to PA, there is too much signal loss with weird impedance matches. But, between the bass and the amp and you are okay, or an EQ or other powered pedal before it to keep the impedances correct. When I record the sound samples, I will be putting my trusty Behringer BEQ700 in front of it and then to a DI box to my mixer.

    Gretsch -> BEQ700 -> B-Drive -> DI -> Mixer

    On the face of it, I would describe the sound of it be similar to what my Gretsch sounds like through my Joyo Ultimate Drive. There is no EQ control, so you cannot change the treble or bass like you might with a Boss ODB-3.

    I am experimenting with different configurations of the two knobs and will get some samples recorded in the next day or three, so you can judge with your own ears whether this is a good pedal, or not a good pedal.

    I like the minimalism of the pedal's appearance. And that round ball thing next to the foot-switch is petty nifty. You see it when the pedal is on. You don't when the pedal is on.
  2. caeman

    caeman The Root Master Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2008
    Location:
    Ohio
    Note: Cave Passive Pedals knobs work in reverse. Minimum is 5:00, max is 7:00.

    My first task was to find the unity point. With a passive pedal, yes, there supposed to be a loss, right? With the drive at minimum, the unity volume is at 11:00. From there, I was able to increased the drive up to max without perceive level loss. My ears may not be sensitive enough to detect the loss amongst the distortion as the signal gets compressed. With the level at max, there is an obvious boost in the signal. I am guessing the perceive boost is in the +2 to +3 db range. It could just be an EQ trick I am hearing.

    The passive nature of this pedal seems to work well with my high output bass.

    Note 2: I tested this as Bass -> B-Drive -> GK Amp that requires God to lift
  3. alec

    alec

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2000
    Location:
    Perth, Australia
    Is this a single channel version of the G4 or have there been changes?
    I tried the G4 on its tour of duty and I liked the creamy overdrive but couldn't get it anywhere near unity gain. I didn't try any other basses (and I'm only 90% sure I had the reverse controls fully sussed out) but other people were finding big differences in how it responded in their signal chains too. Nobody seemed to have as low a level as me though, and that was in my amp fx loop. Straight in and I could hardly hear it. Maybe I didn't know what I was doing.
  4. caeman

    caeman The Root Master Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2008
    Location:
    Ohio
    This is a drive pedal, I wouldn' put it in an amp's FX loop.

    As I understand it, the B-Drive is what Heath learned from the G4 Pedal Tour. Somehow related to the Grunt, but I never had one of those, and I am unsure of the details.
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  6. caeman

    caeman The Root Master Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2008
    Location:
    Ohio
    Heath posted a response in another forum that normal production B-Drives will not look like this. They will be the normal white finish.
  7. alec

    alec

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2000
    Location:
    Perth, Australia
    I reckon the metal finish looks great.
  8. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    Bummer, you missed out :p On my passive P bass the grunt gives a mild volume gain.
  9. Aussie Mark

    Aussie Mark I come from a land down under Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2002
    Location:
    Sydney, Oz
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: O'Neill Amps; Cave Passive Pedals
    My understanding is that the B-Drive is essentially the drive circuit from the "Super" Grunt pedal in a smaller enclosure.

    In simple terms, the G4 is 3 B-Drives in one enclosure.
  10. caeman

    caeman The Root Master Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2008
    Location:
    Ohio
    And I have been lazy about getting a sample of just the B-Drive Mk.2. I've been busy preparing for a band tryout and managed to at least squeak in the G4 demo recording. Which, since it is three B-Drives, should suffice, right? :)
  11. cnltb

    cnltb

    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
    How would those in the know( if there is anyone:) ) compare this cave distortion pedal to the sfx micro red dragon or any of the other 1590A format drive pedals?
    How does it stack up?
  12. caeman

    caeman The Root Master Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2008
    Location:
    Ohio
    As it is passive, it will not be as high of gain. That is the most noticeable difference. On the B-Drive, there as you up the drive, you will lose volume. The powered distortion pedals won't have this problem. Due to the passiveness, I think it compliments high outputs basses really well.

    I'm not sure how to describe the clipping of the B-Drive.
  13. dannybuoy

    dannybuoy

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2005
    Location:
    London, England
    I'd say the clipping is soft and tubey. My B-Drive is similar in tone to the Catalinbread SFT.
  14. CnB77

    CnB77

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2011
    Location:
    NJ
    Any sound samples on this?
  15. caeman

    caeman The Root Master Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2008
    Location:
    Ohio
    Oops, I forgot to record samples before shipping it out in the tour box.

    Here is a YouTube video of the larger case version of the B-Drive.

  16. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Don't just TalkBass - PlayBass! Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2006
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    A B-Drive showed up at my door this evening as it wings (by truck) across the great US of A on it tours to many Rick wielding bassist! In my short test so far, I am tickled pink as to how great this no battery unit does it's magic. :bassist:

    Images © Jeffrey P. Scott 2013 All rights reserved.
  17. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Don't just TalkBass - PlayBass! Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2006
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    I have been trying the pedal with a few different basses and amps/preamps and find some interesting things, here. For one, running it into preamps with high input impedances (1MΩ-3.9MΩ) I can get a huge boost in volume, like up to around 10dB or so in "gain"! Amazing.

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