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Guyatone BB-X FLIP Series Bass Driver on Musicians Friend

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by thejohnkim, Sep 18, 2005.


  1. thejohnkim

    thejohnkim

    Sep 30, 2003
    NYC
    just a heads up, MS is selling one of these rare pedals for $79.99 shipped, i ran into it randomly while i was checking out the jacques tubeblower sale. I think it must be some sort of NOS because they dont have the stock picture of it, just the item name, and its listed as a new product listing. the ones on ebay have been trying to sell for $110-ish i think, so someone who's been curious could jump on this,


    i kept it in my cart for about 15 mins before idecided against it.
     
  2. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private residence...man Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    How would you compare it, tone-wise and flexibility-wise to other similar pedals?
     
  3. thejohnkim

    thejohnkim

    Sep 30, 2003
    NYC
    sorry planet B., i posted it because i'm curious about teh pedal myself, but too broke to justify me buying it even at that price, i posted this in case anyone else wants to give it a go and tell us about it.

    i tried doing TB and google searches, no one on TB seems to have any exerience with it, only curiousity, and most of my google searches ended up being from east asia. bah!
     
  4. CopperheadLXXIX

    CopperheadLXXIX

    Aug 9, 2003
    Jax, FL
    GAHHH I COULDN'T STOP MYSELF!!
    I'll let you guys know how it is when it shows up...
     
  5. thejohnkim

    thejohnkim

    Sep 30, 2003
    NYC
    sweet! i'll be looking forward to your impressions
     
  6. xan

    xan

    Sep 10, 2004
    Perth, Australia
    ive been looking at one of those for a while.. pity mf dont ship to australia!

    when i saw them on ebay i tried searching for some more info on them, and found basically nothing, except in japanese..

    looks good though..
     
  7. wingnutkj

    wingnutkj

    Mar 27, 2003
    Scotland
    I picked it up on eBay a few years ago. I could never find out much information about it, but it's a distortion for bass with a valve in it. I've not used it in a while, because the cable on wall-wart I was using for it split and I've not got round to getting another one yet.

    I'll have a closer look at it tonight and post some information, but from what I remember, it's quite versatile - sweepable mid and separate clean/dirty volume controls, with plenty of headroom. It's got a valve in it, and uses a 9V wall-wart (I used a standard Zoom one). Tone-wise, as far as I can remember it sounded pretty good for warm distortion, but I'll have a play and see how it compares to my Fulltone and Big Muff. It's not as wild and fuzzy as my Big Muff - I remember that.
     
  8. thejohnkim

    thejohnkim

    Sep 30, 2003
    NYC
    hmm i looked for some specs and found some sources taht said the wall wart is 12v?

    but yeah, definitely hit us up with some impressions as it compares to your bassdrive especially.

    thanks!
     
  9. CopperheadLXXIX

    CopperheadLXXIX

    Aug 9, 2003
    Jax, FL
    I had about a half an hour to play with my new toy, and here are my first impressions. Well, first actually a little background on my rig:
    I run an 8 string (doubled) fretless to a Traynor YBA200 with the sound pumping out of a Avatar 2x12. Between the bass and the amp I've been using a Digitech BP-8 for the last year or two for all my effects needs and as a general EQ/preamp. The BB-X is hopefully the beginning of rounding up a few pedals to compliment my BP-8, which even though I love it and would probably never rid myself of it, it does have a few shortcomings. I do however love the preamp settings on the BP-8, especially the distortions. So why get a separate distortion pedal then? Well, I wanted to be able to mix some distortion with the clean preamp settings instead of being limited to the distorted preamp settings.
    Another thing is that I'm afraid my current setup can't show the BB-X to its full potential because the YBA200 doesn't have an effects loop, so I'm forced to put it either ahead of or behind my BP-8 in the signal chain. Behind and in bypass, it pretty much sucks away all the volume. Before everything it works well, but I don't like having it pre-EQ, preamp and compressor as I don't think it seems to "sit" in the sound as well as it might otherwise in an effects loop. I don't believe this inhibits me from gauging the general sound and use of the BB-X though overall, so on with the review:

    One nice suprise is that the pedal came with a power supply--I'm use to having to either get those separate or buy batteries. It seems to be built pretty solid but is suprisingly light--probably weighs half of your average boss pedal. The knobs are nice and smooth. The controls are gain, frequency/middle, color, normal and drive. "Color" is kind of interesting in that it seems to act like a passive tone control, except in reverse-fully counter clockwise and your sound is left mostly uncolored (sans the distortion of course and the mid control if you choose to use it) but start turning it to the right and the sound gets a bit brighter, but even on full it isn't harsh. That combined with the mid boost can get some pretty convincing quasi-distorted guitar sounds, especially out of my 8er. I think in the end though I prefer both the color and mid off and just letting my bass, amp and BP-8 helm the EQ. It's still nice to have those options their though.
    The BB-X definitely is a straight-up distortion pedal-this isn't for someone looking for a clean, transparent boost (speaking of which, I'm going to be shopping soon for a clean, uber-transparent boost-anyone have suggestions?) though if you turn the gain all the way down and the drive all the way up you do get a very slightly gritty boost. I figured that it would be the opposite with gain all the way up and drive most of the way down, but strangely that setting has almost no effect on the sound. Oh, and the "normal" control is just basically a level control to mix the dry and wet signal. Having it at about 50/50 seems to sound best, with anything much below that making the distortion sound "distant" and anything much over just giving you that too-distorted avalache of diearhea kind of sound. Of course, some people might like those things.
    Anyway, to sum things up, this seems to be a pretty worthy pedal if you are looking for something that does real tube distortion and I think it was a steal at $80 considering the other pedals in Guyatone's flip series seem to cost at least twice that much, and same with the only similiar pedal (at least design wise, I've never actually had a chance to try one) the Budda Phatbass.
    I have some spare 12AX7 tubes just lounging about, so I'll probably try out a few different tubes just to see if it makes any difference for better or worse. And hopefully I can figure out the best way to get my effects arranged in the next few weeks so I can really give the BB-X a try.
     
  10. CopperheadLXXIX

    CopperheadLXXIX

    Aug 9, 2003
    Jax, FL
    Just wanted to amend my review by saying that I got the BB-X working properly in the signal chain behind the BP-8 (Not sure what the problem was the first time, maybe a bad cable, or maybe I'm just a tard.) and now it sounds ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. Again, this pedal seems very much geared towards very heavy distortion. Layering it ontop of a distortion patch on the BP-8 just sounds unbelievably huge. Certainly the best distortion pedal I've ever tried out on bass, much better than the Boss ODB-3 I have collecting dust which was always nosiy and only seemed to work OK as a fuzz or maybe a slight clean boost.
     
  11. xan

    xan

    Sep 10, 2004
    Perth, Australia
    Cool, thanks for the review. Sounds like a pretty decent pedal.
     
  12. Sako

    Sako

    Nov 4, 2004
    Charlotte, NC
    What about a subtle to medium OD? I'm always looking for ways to add a layer or two of grit to my amp's sound.
     
  13. thejohnkim

    thejohnkim

    Sep 30, 2003
    NYC
    hey guys, i ordered one too, i returned a Tubeblower to finance this since i really like teh Sansamp for overdrive, so i could do without teh tubeblower which was really quality as well, but I just ahve a weak spot for the Sansamp-type breakup because its so different from my tube preamp breaking up (which the tubeblower was similar to)
     
  14. Sako

    Sako

    Nov 4, 2004
    Charlotte, NC
    well, i ordered one too (sigh, what will i have to sell off now...).
     
  15. CopperheadLXXIX

    CopperheadLXXIX

    Aug 9, 2003
    Jax, FL
    I find you can get just a touch of grit in your tone if you turn the gain way down, but the drive way up; but I still think the pedal's strength is mainly with heavy tube-saturated distortion. The pedal does have a fair amount of knobs though(6 total)-more than most pedals I would say-and I've only had a few hours of play time with it, so I imagine with some playing time with all those knobs you could coax most forms of distortion/overdrive sounds from it. And this is just all my opinion of course, as your mileage may vary depending on your setup and to your own ears what constitutes "subtle". Either way, I think it's a really great distortion pedal.

    Just curious if anyone knows the history of BB-X? I've never seen it on Guyatone's US website, so I'm having trouble figuring out if this is a really new pedal or a really old one that has been discontinued that maybe MF stumbled upon a stock of.
     
  16. thejohnkim

    thejohnkim

    Sep 30, 2003
    NYC
    i'll ahve a complete review of it i na week but here are some initial impressions:

    overall construction is maybe a 7/10. the going price for these in asia seem tobe teh equivalent of $175 US. This is a medium weight pedal, all metal casing. the knobs are so-so. they don't seem like they'll slip or slide, but they're not as nice as the ones i really like on most modern pedals, like the digitech x-series knobs. the stacked pot knobs are especially annoying because the center knob oushes the bottom/outer nob when you turn it.

    i cant say im confident enough to make a judgment on hte bypass until im on stage and switching the effect in and out of my effects loop at full volume, so i'll do a better test by next week for the bypass, but so far so good.

    drive quality:

    controls are named poorly IMO, there is a gain knob(controls drive), mid control and mid freq sweep knob stacked, color (like a passive tone control), normal (un effected signal level) and drive (effected signal level)

    the drive sweep is pretty large. if you crank the gain, the overdrive gets very heavy and raunchy without 'fuzzing out or getting distortion-y' its an all out overdrive that gets very messy in a good way.

    the gain can be dialed in for taste, yo ucan do things like crank teh gain, and mix it in slightly for a hairy edge, or mix in the effect fully with less gain. This is it's biggest weakness, so far I havent gotten a slight touch-sensitive grit/edge/crunch setting with my 30 mins of testing, and that'll be the key factor in me keeping this or not, since i rarely use all out overdrive, and the bddi does a great slight grit.

    i'm going to see if i can find a 12au7 to see if i can smooth it out some since i dont need all that extra gain.
     
  17. thejohnkim

    thejohnkim

    Sep 30, 2003
    NYC
    just had a short rehearsal today, and it's going back to MF. I don't like it since it doesn't really do the slight grit/edge very well, only the muff-y overdrive. just wanted to update this
     
  18. Sako

    Sako

    Nov 4, 2004
    Charlotte, NC
    ahh, sorry to hear that. i should be getting mine from MF and a Hao Rust Ride, thanks to abark000, before my next practice. i'll be comparing the two to a DOD250.
     
  19. Sako

    Sako

    Nov 4, 2004
    Charlotte, NC
    Mine came in last night. Although I could only give it a short, low volume test, my thoughts are pretty much in keeping with those above. I really want it to do a good subtle OD grit, and it just might, but I'll definitely need more volume to be sure.

    What really impressed me was the distortion -- there's a lot of it to dial in. But it's different from the bass distortion I've used before. I'll attribute that to the tube in the pedal. Being a first time tube user, this might just be a cool little pedal for me. My band's next practice is a little over a week away, so I'll know for sure then.
     
  20. thejohnkim

    thejohnkim

    Sep 30, 2003
    NYC
    hey sako, and other BB-X owners i sent an e-mail to guyatone asking about the mid control circuit if it was a cut/boost or a boost-only deal. the Mid control is a boost only. so rolling it back all teh way counter-clockwise is the "flat" setting. hope it helps!

    the unit is also a buffered FET bypass, for those who care.