If you want to turn up the volume on your electric guitar performance, a well-placed distortion pedal is a terrific method to do so. It adds fuzz to your notes and chords without hiding where you’re coming from, and you can dial in as much edge as you like without changing your playing style substantially.
Blues driver pedal, it’s an easy way to add variety without putting in a lot of effort, so get your amps out and plugin. We’ve got two classic distortion pedals that will make you sound like the greats at the touch of a button. Choosing which one provides the sound that best allows you to unleash your beast will be the most difficult aspect. Blues driver pedal or Tube Screamer? Continue reading to find out!
Overview of distortion pedal
You know what you want in a pedal, you must first understand how they work, so we’ll offer you a crash course. There is a lot of diversity beyond the two pedals we’ll be reviewing today, so if you want to learn more, browse around on this or any other guitar playing forum and you’ll find everything you need to know.
First and foremost, we must engage in some science — namely, physics. Any considerable shift in the direct signal of note to noise that comes via the vibrations an the instrument generated is referred to as distortion. Of course, “significant” is a subjective term, but in the case of guitar pedals, the change is more of crushing the audio waves than bending the tone.
Consider how each guitar string pluck creates an up-and-down wave with rounded forms that crest and bottom out in the same ratio. Clipping is the initial step in distortion since these naturally developing waves and troughs exceed the threshold of the instrument that is transmitting them into the air.
This means that the tops and bottoms of the waves are pushed within the device’s threshold zone. Clipping is the process of accomplishing this, and the method of clipping affects the type of distortion.
Soft clipping is a signal suppression technique that preserves the signal’s rounded peaks and valleys. This doesn’t make a significant difference in the sound, especially when played at a low volume.
Hard clipping, on the other hand, removes the tops and bottoms of the sound waves, making the tone’s climbs and drops more abrupt. This is how many distortion pedals get their famous “crunchy” sound, which is created by the distortion device playing the same tone as the instrument at a higher frequency (true bypass). More fiddling with arithmetic and pitches affects the original sound wave even more, resulting in fuzzier original tone in specific ways set into the distortion pedal.
Overdrive is a version of this range of options. You’ve probably heard the term before, and you may have even used it yourself — but what exactly does it mean? One of the most common types of distortion is overdrive. That is, it increases the volume of certain elements of the instrument’s output at mathematical intervals by adding gain to them.
Soft clipping is used, which means the soundwaves’ form is preserved and the overall tone of the notes is maintained as they travel from the instrument to the distortion pedal.
The effect’s name originates from the usage of loudness variation, which “overdrives” the soundwaves in sync, so you’ll need to crank up the volume to hear the full impact. Overdrive pedals are similar to distortion effects, however they have a warmer tone than severe cut effects like grunge and heavy metal.
Overdrive is frequently employed in blues and other music that requires more emphasis without detracting from the note tones itself. When guitarists used tube amplifiers to get their music to the crowd through the drums and horns that were prevalent in popular music at the time, the effect of overdrive was invented.
Guitarists discovered that increasing voltage gain will, as you might expect, overload the original amp-broadcast sound. Players who enjoyed the overdrive sound developed effects pedals that could recreate it through any amp they wanted once most amps stopped using tubes.
What are two common overdrive pedals?
We’re looking at two pedals today: the Ibanez Tube Screamer and the Boss BD-2 Blues Driver. We’ll dive into the specifics of how each pedal handles, sounds, and costs because they’re both well-known manufacturers with solid reputations. We’ll give you our opinion, but don’t be scared to experiment with both to get your ideal sound.
Key specifications of the Ibanez Tube Screamer and the Boss BD-2 Blues Driver pedals?
Key specifications of the Ibanez Tube Screamer and the Boss BD-2 Blues Driver pedals
|Ibanez Tube Screamer||Boss BD-2 Blues Driver|
|Type of pedal||Overdrive/distortion stomp pedal||Overdrive/distortion stomp pedal|
|Input impedance||500 Kohms||1000 Kohms|
|Output impedance||10 Kohms||1 Kohms|
|Maximum output||Level 0dBm||-20dBu|
|Maximum gain||+ 30dB||-20dBu|
|Equivalent input noise||-100dBm (IHF-A)||-118dBu (IHF-A, Typ.)|
|Power supply||9V battery or external 9V AC adapter||9V DC, either a Dry Battery 9V type or an AC adapter|
|Dimensions||4.9 in x 3 in x 2 in||2 ⅞ in x 5 ⅛ in x 2 ⅜ in|
|Weight||1.3 lbs||1 lb|
|Input type||one instrument||One instrument|
|Output type||one ¼ in||One ¼ in|
The Ibanez Tube Screamer
Pros of the Ibanez Tube Screamer
Controls are simple
The controls on this pedal are a paradigm of less is more, with only three knobs (gain knob, tone knob for full tone, etc…). You have your drive, tone, and level, and combining them will give you all the distortion you want without sacrificing your tone.
The size is small
If you’re a fan of effects pedals, this little gem will blend in with the rest of your band without taking up too much room. It has a lot of punch for its size, and because it’s a stompbox, you won’t have to worry about a lack of range of motion while using it with your entire line.
Versatile range of effects
Simple controls may make you think that you’re sacrificing a range of effects, but this overdrive pedal gives you huge variation. You can go from warm, rounded country or blues overdrive to serious metal crunch with just a twist of the knobs, which means you get a lot of value from a small package.
Wide range of editions
As a classic, the Ibanez Tube Screamer has been going since the 1970s, and its builders have created a range of variations in the decades since its beginnings. You can choose whatever fits your fancy without having to dig through vintage effects sales or anywhere more obscure than the internet itself – the older versions remain popular with guitarists of all stripes, so its full history is on working display.
Cons of the Ibanez Tube Screamer
Variations in the plastic are not up to series requirements
A word of caution regarding some modifications, though: keep an eye out for plastic copies that aren’t as good as the original metal cases. You’ll be stomping on this pedal as a matter of course, and you’ll want the strong versions to last as long as possible.
Only three tonal settings are available
We advertise this as a benefit as well, but if you’re seeking for more tweaking than overdrive variations, it could be a disadvantage. If you’re picky about these kinds of details, you might want to search somewhere else. But keep in mind that the Ibanez Tube Screamer’s three controls provide you a lot of flexibility.
A Boss BD-2 Blues Driver pedal is more pricey
A new Tube Screamer will set you back roughly $99 dollars. This is about $25–30 more than the Blues Driver, which may or may not be relevant to your budget, so be mindful.
The Boss BD-2 Blues Driver
Pros of the Boss BD-2 Blues Driver
It’s always changing
The Boss BD-2 Blues Driver is another long-running effects pedal, which has provided a fertile ground for layering improvements on top of each other throughout its lifetime. Enjoy the rewards of all that real-world research in its current version, which is the culmination of decades of exact engineering from both official and fan-based sources.
Modulations are simple to add
In addition to the pedal’s official applications, there is a big online community of users who have made their own versions that are simple to include into your own playing. Anything that hasn’t been reviewed through formal testing channels isn’t guaranteed by us.
Switching between moderate and extreme overdrive is a breeze
The Blues Driver contains a switch that activates the Spinal Tap effect, which amps up your overdrive effect to eleven. With a flick of your toes, you can go from B.B. King to GWAR, and it’s important in this pedal’s great reputation throughout the wide range of music genres that use distortion.
Other pedals and effects can be used with it.
The Blues Driver is a team player; you can plug it into any other effects you like and it’ll blend in, making a distinct and recognizable contribution without overpowering the others. Its input/output connections can also be easily connected to an effects loop without the use of additional wires or equipment.
It’s less expensive than an Ibanez Tube Screamer
The Blues Driver is a terrific pedal for a rookie guitarist who’s just starting out, because it’s such good quality for such a low price. Even a seasoned player who doesn’t have a lot of additional cash but still wants to invest in a decent pedal will find plenty to enjoy and discover here.
Cons of the Boss BD-2 Blues Driver
The inner workings of an analog device
This may or may not be a disadvantage depending on the type of tinker you are. If you’re used to fixing things electrically, you could find this type of electronic board more difficult to work with.
Other overdrive pedals are less responsive than this one
The lesser responsiveness you’ll find in this pedal may frustrate guitarists who have used other distortion pedals in the past. You’ll find a terrific pedal to work with once you get it to catch, but you’ll need to put a lot of power down to ensure this stompbox offers you what you want.
On an effects board, wobbly
Despite its ability to work well with others, the Blues Driver isn’t the right shape or size to fit into an effects board area if that’s how you like to organize your pedals. It’s not unduly huge, being just a quarter-inch larger than the Ibanez Tube Screamer, but its slightly higher height means you’ll have to make sure it’s securely fastened or it’ll jiggle on you.
From a standing position, the LED indicator light is difficult to see
The Blues Driver’s indicator light is a good touch for letting you know when things are on or off, although it appears to be positioned for players who sit down. You won’t be in the sightline of the light unless you hover over it consistently if you move around the stage or like to pace while practicing. If you can hear yourself through the monitor, however, you’ll be able to tell when you’re in overdrive.
Which to choose: Ibanez Tube Screamer or the Boss BD-2 Blues Driver?
When comparing the Ibanez Tube Screamer to the Boss BD-2 Blues Driver, you can’t go wrong with either. Both are traditional overdrive effects pedals that are easy to use for any level of the player while delivering powerful performances worthy of legends like Stevie Ray Vaughan and the Edge. It’s pricier and less compatible with other effects, but it’s the best overdrive sound and playing experience we’ve had the pleasure of testing. But don’t worry if you’re still undecided — they’re both true classics, so the best way to make a final decision is to try them out for yourself.
However, we’re glad to share with you all the information about the Ibanez Tube Screamer or the blues driver pedal. See you soon in some next future post about digital gadgets.