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BBE Blacksmith Distortion With 3-Band EQ Guitar Effects Pedal

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The Blacksmith analog distortion is all about force-feeding your tube amp for a heavier, chunkier distortion. The concept was developed by Paul Gagon...Click To Read More About This Product

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OVERVIEW

A distortion so heavy it sounds like Paul Gagon forged it from melted steel and a pile of Marshall Plexis.

The Blacksmith analog distortion is all about force-feeding your tube amp for a heavier, chunkier distortion. The concept was developed by Paul Gagon in the 1980s when he worked at Jackson Guitars. Back then, Gagon created pickups, amps and electronics for Jackson instruments and routinely worked with an A-list of artists, from Jeff Beck to Steve Vai and many more. What he found was many of the artists loved the sound of their Marshalls, but wanted more grind out of them. Their amps may have gone "to eleven," but these guys often told Gagon they wanted them to "go to fifteen or twenty."

Paul already had created many boost and distortion circuits, but ultimately, what he wanted to make a pedal for artists that would go beyond what a boost pedal could do while maintaining that classic Marshall tonal balance - but on steroids. The solution was brilliant: a distortion generation circuit feeding a 3-band passive EQ derived from a '69 Plexi (a Plexi "Tone Stack"). The EQ allows you dial it in to suit the characteristics of a particular tube amp, a practical feature because some Marshalls were dark while others were bright sounding. Of course, the EQ is also great for style: want a killer shred tone? Scoop those mids and crank the lows and highs.

Blacksmith is inspired by those pedals Gagon handmade back in the ˜80s, delivering all the tone he brought to the rock gods but with greater consistency and durability. Blacksmith features 1% metal-film resistors, big fat signal traces on a mil-spec circuit board, true hardwire bypass to eliminate any pickup loading when disengaged, and a 1mOhm input resistance to welcome your axe's signal with wide open arms - just like the input on a killer Marshall.

The Blacksmith isn't just for Marshalls, however. Gagon's design works beautifully with a variety of other quality tube amps, from Mesa to Fender. When you're looking for a top-shelf distortion pedal that's as musical as your amp, get your hands on a Blacksmith.

FEATURES
  • Gain, volume and passive 3-band PLEX-EQ controls
  • LED-based gain circuit for smooth, high-output distortion
  • 1mOhms input impedance for proper pickup loading
  • 1kOhms output impedance when engaged
  • 1% metal-film resistors for consistency
  • High-voltage poly caps for better tone
  • Military-spec circuit board for reliability
  • Blue status LED for high visibility and low power consumption
  • Easy access battery compartment
  • True hardwire bypass

Why stop at 10? Crank it to 15!

Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
BBEBlacksmith Distortion With 3-Band EQ Guitar Effects Pedal
 
4.0

(based on 24 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (12)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

79%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Excellent sound quality (15)
  • Responsive (15)
  • Versatile (13)
  • Compact (5)
  • Good selection of effects (4)

Cons

  • Limited selection of effects (3)

Best Uses

  • Performances (14)
  • Home studio (12)
  • Amateur recording (8)
  • Outdoor events / games (8)
  • Professional recording (6)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (14), Professional musician (10)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Great Effect

Took a flier on this pedal when it was on sale -- didn't know what to expect other than that my other BBE pedals all have been well built. I love it. For...Read complete review

Took a flier on this pedal when it was on sale -- didn't know what to expect other than that my other BBE pedals all have been well built. I love it. For starters, it's dead silent -- no annoying hiss like most distortion pedals add. And the range of tones you can get by adjusting the drive and EQ is impressive. With the drive at 9:00 or so, the pedal adds just a little grit -- but not fake sounding grit. It's very responsive to how hard you play and, like others have said, sounds exactly like an over-driven tube amp. With the EQ, I was quickly able to sync the tone to my amp so that the only thing I get is grit / crunch / distortion (depending on the gain setting). I prefer this pedal to my Boss DS-2 and every other distortion pedal I have tried. It's going into my pedal board, and probably will replace both my OD and my DS-2.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

NOT TERRIBLE

Yeah i liked it but it seems like it needs another gain stage... at least for me... i want something that says blacksmith on it to char my guts and rip off...Read complete review

Yeah i liked it but it seems like it needs another gain stage... at least for me... i want something that says blacksmith on it to char my guts and rip off my face... thank you, but my face is still here.

Reviewed by 24 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great Effect

By Purple Haze 02

from Indianapolis, IN

About Me Experienced

Pros

  • Excellent Sound Quality
  • Responsive

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Amateur Recording
    • Home Studio
    • Performances

    Comments about BBE Blacksmith Distortion With 3-Band EQ Guitar Effects Pedal:

    Took a flier on this pedal when it was on sale -- didn't know what to expect other than that my other BBE pedals all have been well built. I love it. For starters, it's dead silent -- no annoying hiss like most distortion pedals add. And the range of tones you can get by adjusting the drive and EQ is impressive. With the drive at 9:00 or so, the pedal adds just a little grit -- but not fake sounding grit. It's very responsive to how hard you play and, like others have said, sounds exactly like an over-driven tube amp. With the EQ, I was quickly able to sync the tone to my amp so that the only thing I get is grit / crunch / distortion (depending on the gain setting). I prefer this pedal to my Boss DS-2 and every other distortion pedal I have tried. It's going into my pedal board, and probably will replace both my OD and my DS-2.

    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    3.0

    NOT TERRIBLE

    By NICHOLASHAPPENS

    from Kansas City

    About Me Professional Musician

    See all my reviews

    Ask me a question

    Pros

    • Responsive
    • Versatile

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Whatever you want

      Comments about BBE Blacksmith Distortion With 3-Band EQ Guitar Effects Pedal:

      Yeah i liked it but it seems like it needs another gain stage... at least for me... i want something that says blacksmith on it to char my guts and rip off my face... thank you, but my face is still here.

      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Excellent Quality

      By Hankstir

      from Denver, CO.

      About Me Professional Musician

      See all my reviews

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      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Compact Design
      • Excellent Sound Quality
      • Responsive
      • Versatile

      Cons

      • None

      Best Uses

      • Any Studio Or Live Gig

      Comments about BBE Blacksmith Distortion With 3-Band EQ Guitar Effects Pedal:

      Well Made, Easy To Use And Nails That Sound Of The 80's Marshall's!!

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      very well made good tone,u will love it

      By silent killer

      from no ones business.

      About Me Experienced

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Compact Design
      • Eq Settings Versatile
      • Excellent Sound Quality
      • Responsive
      • Versatile

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Amateur Recording
        • Events
        • Performances
        • Professional Recording

        Comments about BBE Blacksmith Distortion With 3-Band EQ Guitar Effects Pedal:

        I love this pedal,if your like me who loves a really good distortion sound you would love this 3 band eq distortion pedal.and if you like too tweek your pedals for different tones this is the one.the treble sounds amazin mixed with alittle bass,adjust the mids,volume and of course the gain,and ur on ur way.i truly can get so many different tones from it. What more do you need,this pedal has it all. If your in the market for a truebyass distortion pedal,look know further.good luck,i really hope you enjoy it as much as i do.

        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Perfect Block of Metal

        By Diddyman

        from New Iberia, Louisiana

        About Me Experienced

        See all my reviews

        Ask me a question

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Excellent Sound Quality
        • Responsive

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Events
          • Guitar
          • Performances

          Comments about BBE Blacksmith Distortion With 3-Band EQ Guitar Effects Pedal:

          Pedal sounds great alone or in a chain. EQ allows for a wide variety of sounds. Volume response is comparable to the plexi drive for a tube amp sound played through a solid state amp. Run this first in your chain with low gain for tube response and then plexi drive with high gain, that way you get the EQ all the time. Just one of many options!

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          Blacksmith not just for metal

          By Lightnin' Joe

          from Eugene Oregon

          About Me Experienced

          See all my reviews

          Ask me a question

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Better Than Expected
          • Compact Design
          • Excellent Sound Quality
          • Good Selection Of Effects
          • Responsive
          • Versatile

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Amateur Recording
            • Events
            • Home Studio
            • Performances

            Comments about BBE Blacksmith Distortion With 3-Band EQ Guitar Effects Pedal:

            This pedal works quite well. You can dial in different sounds easily. The range on the knobs is very good.

            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            2.0

            Not what i was expecting

            By Tim

            from Pittsburgh

            About Me Professional Musician

            See all my reviews

            Ask me a question

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • 9 Volt Power
            • Well Built Solid

            Cons

            • Poor Sound Quality
            • Thin Sounding

            Best Uses

            • Events
            • Performances

            Comments about BBE Blacksmith Distortion With 3-Band EQ Guitar Effects Pedal:

            I was looking for another distortion pedal to just get a little dirt to my clean sound. This unit tended to thin out the sound too much and I would need to use a separate EQ to make it sound better.

            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Versatile little D-Pedal

            By StudioDTK5

            from USA

            About Me Experienced

            See all my reviews

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Excellent Sound Quality
            • Responsive
            • Versatile

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Home Studio

              Comments about BBE Blacksmith Distortion With 3-Band EQ Guitar Effects Pedal:

              The distortion is good quality. The tone controls makes this pedal shine. You can shape the distortion to your liking.

              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              2.0

              wanted to like this pedal, but....

              By Drockets

              from LA La Land

              About Me Professional Musician

              Verified Buyer

              Comments about BBE Blacksmith Distortion With 3-Band EQ Guitar Effects Pedal:

              it just sounded like a ratty solid-state distortion. Nothing organic or warm about it. I'm a Marshall guy and have been for 20+ years, and this didn't sound like Plexi on steroids. The EQ knobs were faily useful but I still couldn't get rid of that solid state "blatty" distorted tone.

              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              1.0

              Don't bother

              By Arod

              from Nor Cal

              About Me Professional Musician

              See all my reviews

              Ask me a question

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • None

              Cons

              • No Marshall Plexi Sound
              • Poor Sound Quality

              Best Uses

                Comments about BBE Blacksmith Distortion With 3-Band EQ Guitar Effects Pedal:

                This pedal does not deliver the sound it claims. Made my guitar sound like a a transistor radio. No useable tones at any settings. Even at a special price as a stupid deal of the day its not worth it. It is going back.

                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Great Distortion Pedal, Best Tube Sound

                By tbear47x

                from Oak Hills Ca.

                About Me Professional Musician

                See all my reviews

                Ask me a question

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Excellent Sound Quality
                • Great Tube Sound
                • Responsive
                • Versatile

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Home Studio
                  • Performances
                  • Professional Recording

                  Comments about BBE Blacksmith Distortion With 3-Band EQ Guitar Effects Pedal:

                  Best Authentic Tube Sound From Any Overdrive Or Distortion Pedal I've Tried Ever, And That's Over 30 Years! Built Like A Tank, And I Have To Say It Sounds As Good Or Better Than My Rectifier Head! That Means I Can Take It Anywhere I Need To If THey Have A Backline Already There And Then I Just Pop This Little Beast In Front Of A Clean Amp And I Get MY Tone! This Thing Rochks!

                  (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  4.0

                  stomp away

                  By mandomike

                  from Phoenix, AZ

                  About Me Experienced

                  See all my reviews

                  Ask me a question

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Compact Design
                  • Excellent Sound Quality
                  • Solid construction

                  Cons

                  • Limited Effects
                  • Rubber Base Smells

                  Best Uses

                  • Performances

                  Comments about BBE Blacksmith Distortion With 3-Band EQ Guitar Effects Pedal:

                  For what it is, a basic distortion stomp box, it does a good job. It has a gain control to vary the amount of distortion and some tone controls to further tweak the sound. My only complaint is the rubber anti skid surface on the bottom smells bad. Time will tell if it fades away. Overall, I am happy with it.

                  (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Versitaly, quality, It's BBE

                  By cool ed

                  from Youngstown Ohio

                  About Me Professional Musician

                  See all my reviews

                  Verified Buyer

                  Comments about BBE Blacksmith Distortion With 3-Band EQ Guitar Effects Pedal:

                  Great addition to gear

                   
                  4.0

                  Good Cheap Dirt

                  By Jimy The Walrus

                  from United States

                  About Me Experienced

                  See all my reviews

                  Verified Reviewer

                  Pros

                  • Excellent Sound Quality
                  • Versatile

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Amateur Recording
                    • Home Studio
                    • Performances

                    Comments about BBE Blacksmith Distortion With 3-Band EQ Guitar Effects Pedal:

                    This is a fantastic distortion pedal, it has a decent amount of boost available to get some overdrive mixed with the dirt. Saying that the dirt is not super fuzzy but has some gravel to it. seems to be a pretty focused tone. My favorite thing about the pedal is the 3 band eq that is incorporated instead of a simple tone knob.

                    Overall a nice alternative to some higher end distortion pedals, worth the money.

                    (0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    3.0

                    Decent pedal, not worth the price.

                    By Event Horizon

                    from Sacramento CA

                    About Me Professional Musician

                    See all my reviews

                    Comments about BBE Blacksmith Distortion With 3-Band EQ Guitar Effects Pedal:

                    This pedal does exactly what it says it does, just not as well as it says it does. Pushes a maxed out Marshall tonal flavor to your amp.
                    On it's own, it won't give you a metal sound, but if your amp is voiced for metal, it can work well with that built in tone and push it over the cliff.

                    With a tube amp, I tried it through the front and in the fx loop, and unless the amp was set to clean it just made it muddy. With the amp on clean though, it did give it a nice roar.

                    This is a pretty nice pedal for solid state amps. I used it with my Cube and no matter what gain mode it's in, the Blacksmith will perform.

                    The one thing that is a pretty big flaw is that while the EQ knobs are very powerful for shaping your sound, the Treble knob seems to bring out all the harsh frequencies that you didn't even know were there. You can get around it for the most part but it takes a bit of work with your amp and guitar tone knobs.

                    True bypass always a great feature, it's definietly built to last, and it even smells like an anvil, no joke.

                    I got it for huge discount via Stupid Deal Of The Day so I'm keeping it because it gives me a good metal tone to practice on my cube so I don't fry my ENGL sooner than I need to, but if I had payed full price I would have been angry at how underachieving it was and returned it immediately. Definitely doesn't live up to all the hype.

                    (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    4.0

                    Easy to sound great

                    By Marshall Advovate

                    from Charleston SC

                    About Me Experienced

                    See all my reviews

                    Ask me a question

                    Pros

                    • Excellent Sound Quality
                    • Responsive
                    • Versatile

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Any situation

                      Comments about BBE Blacksmith Distortion With 3-Band EQ Guitar Effects Pedal:

                      This pedal comes pretty darn close to sounding like my JCM-800 Marshall half stack, even with a combo amp, so I am very happy with it. The 3 band EQ actually works, and with some tweaking you can achieve a variety of amplifier sounds. It can produce a light clip all the way to full shred. A good pedal. It did not come with a power supply, while not the end of the world it would have made it a much better deal because now I have to buy something else.

                      (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      Boost Pedal and Equalizer Pedal in 1

                      By Riders7

                      from NYC

                      About Me Experienced

                      See all my reviews

                      Ask me a question

                      Verified Reviewer

                      Pros

                      • Compact Design
                      • Excellent Sound Quality
                      • Good Selection Of Effects
                      • Responsive
                      • Versatile

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Amateur Recording
                        • Home Studio
                        • Performances

                        Comments about BBE Blacksmith Distortion With 3-Band EQ Guitar Effects Pedal:

                        First, as an Equalizer Pedal: adjust bass, mid & treble to your preference without/with adding any boost or distortion. Secondly, as a Boost Pedal: for solos or other, preset the volume without/with adding any distortion or equalization. Thirdly, as a Distortion Pedal: add the amount of distortion you want without/with adding volume or equalization. And Lastly (infinite possibilities): blend all three, equalization, volume/boost, & distortion, for a custom sound. You can eliminate the need for a separate Boost Pedal and an Equalizer Pedal with this one Distortion pedal.

                        (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        4.0

                        Great for 80's,90's and 00's Metal

                        By 665.....Almost Evil!

                        from North Hollywood California

                        About Me Experienced

                        See all my reviews

                        Ask me a question

                        Pros

                        • Clarity
                        • Excellent Sound Quality
                        • Responsive
                        • Versatile

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Events
                          • Performances
                          • Professional Recording

                          Comments about BBE Blacksmith Distortion With 3-Band EQ Guitar Effects Pedal:

                          The only downside of this pedal is that it needs a tube screamer type pedal in front of it to tighten up the bass response.

                          (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          3.0

                          Great deal of the day

                          By Tbone

                          from Abilene, texas

                          About Me Experienced

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Price

                          Cons

                          • Limited Selection Of Effects

                          Best Uses

                          • Home Studio

                          Comments about BBE Blacksmith Distortion With 3-Band EQ Guitar Effects Pedal:

                          Simple, ok sound, for entry level amp use

                          (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          5.0

                          Nice pedal, nice price

                          By Frank B

                          from Huntington, NY

                          About Me Experienced

                          See all my reviews

                          Ask me a question

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Easy To Use Wide Range
                          • Good Selection Of Effects
                          • Responsive
                          • Versatile

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                            • Amateur Recording
                            • Events
                            • Home Studio
                            • Performances

                            Comments about BBE Blacksmith Distortion With 3-Band EQ Guitar Effects Pedal:

                            Got this pedal as one of MF's deals of the day...great price for a pedal that is easy to use and has a wide range of sounds.

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