Xotic BB/Fulltone Bassdrive: Head to Head

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Adam Barkley, Oct 18, 2006.

  1. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS
    My two gain pedals came in and were ABed against my holy grail, the BJF Blueberry.

    Sound: While the Fulltone and the Xotic are based on the Tubescreamer circuit, the Blueberry is based on the sound of a B15 amp. Both the Fulltone (w/ the Boost) and the Xotic have more gain than the Blueberry. I have no idea what the comp-cut mode is supposed to do other than suck entirely, so if anyone can inform me, I'd appreciate it. Alas, I don't have a band currently so I can't compare how the two tubescreamers compete with heavily distorted guitar. Of the two, the Xotic has the option to add lows and highs to your original signal. The Bassdrive doesn't really boost any frequencies with the Boost disengaged. The boost adds mids, treble, and noise. Both do a fair job of overdriving "your" tone and not totally changing it like a pedal like the ODB3 does.

    Versatility: The BB preamp wins hands down. It can almost cop a Blueberry vibe to the Paul D'Amour thing to some "stoner" style sounds. The Fulltone does about one trick that I find pleasing.

    Noise: The Fulltone isn't very noisy in the regular mode, but higher settings with the boost are pretty noisy. Similarly, the Xotic with the treble cranked adds noise, albeit less than the Fulltone. Think the "Sober" tone.

    Impressions: The Fulltone doesn't really do it for me. It seems designed for a lighter drive. If the boost had a level control, I'd consider keeping it, but it doesn't. My purpose for these purchases was to give a tone that is more heavily overdriven than what the Blueberry can do. The BB doesn't this better for me, with less noise and a smaller footprint.

    Before the Bassdrive masses jump on me, I've played through it for about 2 hours. I hope to have a band audition within the week and I'll put both through their paces and see which work best in a band. I'm 90% sure it'll be the Xotic, but many people rant and rave over this thing so I'll try to give it another chance.

  2. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    I know this was just a first-impressions review, but I did want to note a couple of things:
    The TS circuit is an actual circuit design that was copied. The "sound of an amp" is not a concrete thing, so it's not sensible to compare. The TS circuit was designed to sound like "a tube amp being overdriven", FWIW.
    The comp-cut mode is a higher gain clean boost; almost the same tone, but louder and less distorted.
    I don't think anybody has advertised the Fulltone as a "heavy" overdrive. Many reviews make a point of how it is not a suitable replacement for a heavy-type distortion, but rather provides "loud grit". Have you tried sending the Fulltone into the Blueberry?
  3. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS
    True on all accounts. That blurb about the Blueberry being modeled after an overdriven B15 is on the few bits of info I have on it. But yeah, I've played several B15s in various states and none of them were identical.

    The comp cut seemed to me just a clean boost. Again not something I need.

    I had read several reviews of the Fulltone that billed it as the end-all, beat-all overdrive. I remember reading stuff that stated the Fulltone could be get extremely overdriven, but I guess that is what I get for going by someone else's word. :D If I had an amp that needed a little grit, the Fulltone would excel at that. But I had to max out the gain and engage the boost to get a tone approaching what I was searching for.

    No worries.
  4. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Oh, I forgot to say, thanks for doing a comparison! I haven't tried the BJF or the Xotic yet, and I've wanted to hear more of both. Any chance you could post some soundclips A/Bing them?
  5. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS
    When my last band recorded our ep, I used the Blueberry on every track but Easy and Regret. Addiction Device. The guitar solo on Model Me showcases what type of sound I get with the Blueberry.

    Sorry, I don't have any way to record currently.
  6. Cool review. I ONLY use the CompCut with my all-tube amp and it sounds very stunning. On a solid-state amp its useless imho.
  7. How powerful is the bass-knob on the Xotic pedals?
  8. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS
    Fairly powerful. It can add a fair amount lows. Like I said, I'm not in a band currently, but I am willing to bet it can add enough lows to make a heavy band mix muddy.
  9. monkeyfinger

    monkeyfinger Moderator Staff Member

    The tone controls are really nice. Very musical sounding and powerful.
  10. I´d like to hear some sound samples of the Xotic BB bass.
    They don´t have nothing about the BB on the website.

  11. Willem


    Dec 26, 2005
    lowmid posted them some time ago.
    search for them!
  12. Thanks for the review/comparison. I picked up a barely-used Xotic off of eBay this week at a good deal off the new price based solely on the samples posted lowmid as well as a very high recommendation from a "pro" friend with who added it to his set-up. While the auction gives me 7 days to try and return, everything I've heard and read pointed me to the Xotic. :D

    ...and no, this doesn't mean I'm not using the Overdrive on my Mini Mo' anymore - I'd simply like to a) have a small pedalboard for direct and recording purposes, b) to be able to set the Xotic as an Overdrive and the Mo' as a heavier distortion, and c) to simply have more options.
  13. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Sep 19, 2021

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