Xotic Effects BB+ Review

This week it is turn of one of my all time favourite gain based pedals.

The BB+ was actually my second choice of pedal, I originally went for the Brent Mason signature pedal from Wampler. An awesome pedal  but I had a few problems with it so took it back and got the BB+ instead. It has remained on a pedal board ever since.

IT is based on the BB pre amp, and adds a really nice richness to the sound of the guitar and amp. It also isn’t one of those gimmick pedals, it is a genuine, excellent pedal that does all the things you want and expect it to do.

At the time I bought it I already had a MudHoney II which I love, but i wanted something that was a bit more based on valve amp gain. This pedal is perfect for this and does it extremely well. The 2 channels are fairly similar but can be totally different depending on how you have them set. I normally have Channel A set to a bluesy crunch and Channel B set to a higher gain setting. This just simply allows for a wide variety of tones and gain levels with a basic and quick set up.

The 2 channels whilst similar have different controls however. Channel A is more of a simple, easy to use patch with Volume, Gain and a tone dial, along with Hard or soft compression button (I’ll talk more about that in a min). Channel B has Level, Gain, compression button along with a full 3 band EQ, giving you much more control. All the controls however are very easy to use, and make perfect sense.

There is one more function to this pedal that really is awesome! The button in the middle allows you to stack the 2 channels in either order. You can have A cascade into B or B cascade into A. This means you can have channel A set for boost and the other set for gain rhythm and still have headroom for that solo!

So the compression button……. This is a really nice touch and heard best with more gain. With the button pushed in it gives you a hard compression, raising the bass response and giving a richer sound. With the button up it gives a softer sustain making it very transparent and giving a tighter, brighter sustain. This is the same on both channels. I have channel A set the soft and channel B set to the harder setting. The frequencies in the compression are slightly different for each channel however. The exact frequencies are all on the web if you really need them. Just know they all sound amazing!

If there is anything I would change it is that I would love to add one further foot switch to allow total bypass of the pedal so that you could have both channels on and then go straight to bypass. But with a bit of a squiffy foot you can do this by hitting both buttons at the same time.

I have now run this with loads of amps, mainly a Fender Twin, Hotrod and Mesa Boogie Electradyne and it works brilliantly with all of them.

For me this is one pedal that I will never get rid of and one that will be a bit part of most of my boards and like every single one of Exotic Effects pedals it is almost flawless! Of course for everyone it is different and my views are totally subjective, but if you are after a good natural sounding gain/boost pedal, try this and tell me I am wrong!

Pros: Great size / Best amp sound gain pedal out there? / Nice bright LEDS (blue and red) / Good price / Excellent compressions / Tonal variation / Brilliant build quality

Cons: Errrr…….No!

Overall Rating: 10/10

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