There are literally hundreds of overdrive pedals on the market. Many are great and have their own distinct qualities and strengths. Some claim to be truly transparent. That is, they overdrive the sound of the guitar without changing the characteristics of your guitar’s tone. Whether they do or don’t doesn’t matter nearly as much as the sonic quality of the end result.
Xotic Effects BB Preamp is an overdrive pedal with a great sound and flexible options. It can be used as a clean boost with the gain all the way down. This effectively “preamps” your guitar, adds volume and sparkle. With the ±15dB two-band active EQ, you can dial in just the right sound.
If the gain is pushed up a bit, the overdrive is clean and clear. At higher gain levels the overdrive is tight, compressed and has a Marshall overdrive-type quality. The compressed high gain levels are great for solo lead lines or crunchy chord tones.
I’ve had this pedal on my pedal board for a few years now, and it won’t be leaving anytime soon. I go back to it again and again in the studio for guitar solo tracking. Pick one of these up. You won’t be disappointed.
• True Bypass
• Treble and Bass Knobs (±15dB two-band active EQ)
• Can act as a 30dB+ clean boost
RATING: 5 Stars
Jason Ahlbrandt is a guitar soloist and session musician. He currently travels with Guy Penrod and has two solo acoustic guitar albums. He lives in Nashville, Tenn., with his wife, Martina, and daughter, Alianna.