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Broughton Audio - Band Pass Pedal

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by sevenyearsdown, Feb 9, 2016.


  1. sevenyearsdown

    sevenyearsdown Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    I'm sure some of you may be aware of Broughton Audio stuff because of the threads that have popped up on the BG side. He makes small batches of high quality effects pedals, preamps, etc. I guess you could it boutique stuff. The build quality is second to none.

    Anyway - he makes LPFs, HPFs, and a combination pedal with both. You can specify the input impedance. I ordered the combo pedal that has a LPF, HPF, and Gain adjustment with a 10Mohm input to use with my RSII pickup. So in effect it's a variable band pass with a good impedance for piezo buffering. It's all put together very nicely in a stomp box that is switchable, and powered either by battery or power supply (9V). I got the chance to mess around with it in my practice room this weekend. I ran it straight into my amp, and DI'd via countryman to a small PA. My initial impressions are listed below. I attached a link that discusses more of the specs. There are several threads about his gear.

    HPF
    This seemed to work very much like the fdeck. I don't know if the specs are the same. To my ears the audible difference when sweeping through the full range of the pot sounded very similar to the way my amps behaved with the fdeck series 1.

    LPF
    This is where I think mileage my vary for some with this pedal depending on what strings, genres you play. I found there was a real sweet spot with it whereas I was able to get rid of some of the shrill, punchy, scratchy stuff that I don't want to hear from piezos. It gave me a more warmer, rounded tone - closer to gut projection than I have been able to find through various preamps/cabs/etc. In the practice room, it made a positive difference.

    Gain
    There wasn't much noise if any introduced by gain increases. It was nice and quiet.

    Later this month I'll have a chance to gig with it on a full PA in a club. I'll report back after that.


    variable HPF and LPF in a pedal?


    20160210_203248.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2016
    Marial, the_Ryan and karla684 like this.
  2. The Diaper Geni

    The Diaper Geni Submissive. And loving it. Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2005
    Central Ohio
    I've got one of these pedals with the 10 Mohm input. Love it!
     
  3. Adienn7

    Adienn7

    Jan 26, 2007
    I want one when I get some cash.. how much do they cost? I hate to bug the guy just for a price..
     
  4. sevenyearsdown

    sevenyearsdown Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    PM @Azure Skies (Josh Broughton) for what you want. He makes just about everything per order.
     
  5. sevenyearsdown

    sevenyearsdown Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    Thought I'd give an update on this after 6 months. It was in and out of my rig, but I think it's a permanent part of my setup now. There was some experimentation with it as far as how best to use it, and where in the chain to put it. It would probably work well as a straight buffer for some people like an fdeck, but it wasn't my thing for that purpose (I also never dug the fdeck as a stand alone pre). It was run straight into my head that way a couple of times, but I didn't find it practical out on gigs used this way. I couldn't replicate my practice room results at the gig.

    Now I'm using the pedal as the last component in my signal chain. The string goes: pickup/tuner-mute (boss tu2)/preamp/HPF/Ampeg. I stick a countryman DI in there when needed. Because I've never been an effects guy, I made the mistake of thinking I had to use the gain on the pedal. This was giving me all kinds of fits. I finally came to the genius conclusion that I could just run the pedal gain at zero, and adjust the filter settings as needed. The results have been what i was looking for - a bandpass filter, dead quiet, in a stomp box form.

    I used the low pass filter the other night a little bit. It seems to be most applicable for me in higher volume scenarios where you begin to hear all of that scratchy nonsense from piezos that rears it's ugly head the louder your rig gets. I was able to subtly dial some of that junk out without squashing higher notes.

    I was also using the gain knob on the pedal as more/less volume. My head volume was running at probably 7 out of 10, and I would feather the gain on the pedal to increase volume. This has always been how I've run my upright rigs, but now I was using the pedal gain knob instead of the head's.
     
  6. bigshiny

    bigshiny Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2010
    St Louis MO
    Great update and review!
     
  7. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri


    This sounds like the ideal pedal for piezo pickups, like you I absolutely hate that "midrange honk" that piezo's produce, it's annoying and makes it difficult to use a pickup i.e. the Realist (Copper Foil) at higher volumes,
    which sounds perfectly fine at a lower volume level. I'd have to try it to see if it worked with my particular strings though. I noticed you're using a PF-350, to my ears that's the most B-15 sounding amp in the PF line.
    Just my preference though. This is a very simple solution to the issues that come up when using piezo pickups. Just for the record, I don't think FDeck, ever intended the HPF/Buffer Pre. to be used as a standalone preamp.
    It was designed to deal phase, input impedance, and low frequency issues, it only boost the signal enough to account for it's place in the signal chain. Nice review.

    Ric
     
    sevenyearsdown likes this.
  8. shwashwa

    shwashwa

    Aug 30, 2003
    NJ
    I've been using this thing also. When plugging it in with an adapter there is plenty of gain. Could be an issue as the battery gets old as I discovered on a gig. But it's a great two knob solution for a great tone. I always wished that the upright bass could have a passive tone knob like a Fender bass. And this is the closest solution to that
     
  9. sevenyearsdown

    sevenyearsdown Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    My biggest complaint about the fdeck was always the case/form. It's inexpensive, but the input/output and controls on it were not uniform for any pedal setup. The Broughton solves those problems for me.
     
  10. Michael Eisenman

    Michael Eisenman Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2006
    Eugene, Oregon
    I wish I could understand what is meant by piezo "honk" or "quack". I have no idea what it sounds like. I have used a Bass Max, a Full Circle, and currently a Lifeline in big-band situations, and while it's not MBOL, it has never been offensive-sounding.
     
  11. Roger Davis

    Roger Davis

    May 24, 2006
    England
    Yes, I tend to agree with that. I get a rather unpleasant mid harshness when I set up at home and which I dial out by taking the mid eq down a bit. But when I get to the gig I find I need that mid clarity so I turn up the mid again.

    I wonder whether people get hyper critical when setting up at home, without any competing sounds. The nasties soon get lost at the gig.
     
    Michael Karn likes this.
  12. bigshiny

    bigshiny Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2010
    St Louis MO
    Recieved my HPF/LPF from Broughton this last week. Used it today for the first time. Signal chain was my Kay w/ plain gut , bass max, HPF LPF filter, AI Claurus , mas 46. Very simple easy to use. I didn't have to fiddle much after I started playing. And this room is horrible. I was pleasantly surprised. It did what it was supposed to. Nothing more, nothing less. I won't be using it on every gig. But the type I did today it did great.
     
  13. Don Kasper

    Don Kasper Supporting Member

    Agree. This is golden. I no longer make theoretical "living room" evaluations - I need to be on the bandstand, in real conditions, to make any sort of valuable judgement when it comes to sound reproduction.
    Thanks, Roger.
     
    MLysh likes this.
  14. bigshiny

    bigshiny Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2010
    St Louis MO
    I concur. The living room or even recorded isolated tracks of different p/u's and mics I myself don't have much use for. These players have taken a lot of time to record, compare and discuss these different sources and I thank them for that. But until I have that item installed on my bass, with me playing it , with my strings, amp, cab, venue , volume of gig, other players. There is absolutely no way I could make a decision on a piece of gear until I use it on a variety of gigs. And then it will be a decision of which gigs I use it on. That's my .02
     
    Don Kasper likes this.
  15. shwashwa

    shwashwa

    Aug 30, 2003
    NJ
    all of this not withstanding, this is a pedal that sounds great in the living room and on the gig. and you dial in your sound pretty quickly having only 2 knobs
     
    Chris Fitzgerald likes this.
  16. sevenyearsdown

    sevenyearsdown Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    Piezo quack discussion notwithstanding (horse, dead, beat)......

    The pedal isn't really designed to be a preamp, though some might find it to be good enough to do that because of it's buffering capabilities. This is also probably somewhat dependant on what head you use. @neddyrow could add to this. I actually don't use mine as the buffer anymore, but have it last in my signal chain.

    It buffers as well as any preamp, and is uncoloring. It's an ultra-transparent frequency filter, with a clean boost. Oh, and it's hand built like a tank as they say. That's it soup to nuts.

    It's like a continuation of what the fdeck started, but in a more practical package for gigging musicians. They are inexpensive compared to typical upright gear, and "boutique" pedals.
     
  17. sevenyearsdown

    sevenyearsdown Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    Ran the Broughton into my B100R last might on a loud gig with drums and electric guitar. Worked perfectly as I was able to push tons of air with tight lows.
     
    Chris Fitzgerald likes this.
  18. shwashwa

    shwashwa

    Aug 30, 2003
    NJ
    ive noticed this pedal has tons of gain too... you agree? i run mine with the volume down around 1/4, unless im trying to hit the amp with a hot signal, which is nice sometimes with my tube amp. no distortion, just nice tube fullness
     
  19. sevenyearsdown

    sevenyearsdown Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    I run mine with the gain off. When I first started using it I thought I had to have it up, but the filters work regardless off the gain. It can be super hot, but its all clean gain. Sometimes I use the gain knob as more/less a volume control. Depends on situation. I'm really loving this pedal.
     
    Chris Fitzgerald likes this.

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