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MF MD HG01 Electric Guitar Month 06-21-17
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Tech 21 SansAmp Character Series Blonde V2 Distortion Guitar Effects Pedal 

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Does a two-faced blonde sound like trouble? Tech 21 hopes so, when those faces are silver and black and this Blonde rocks pure American tone to the s...Click To Read More About This Product

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OVERVIEW

American rock tones in a versatile, easily-controlled pedal.

Does a two-faced blonde sound like trouble? Tech 21 hopes so, when those faces are silver and black and this Blonde rocks pure American tone to the stratosphere. Get sparkly, spanky cleans that overdrive with a satisfying low-end rumble that becomes the punchy bark of hard-pushed tweed, maxing out in a fat sizzle of lead-boosted tone. Take the reins and don't spare the emulated Jensens, this Blonde is a wild ride through American rock history.

Each pedal in Tech 21's Character Series is loaded with the tonal DNA for a specific style of guitar amplifier. By simply twisting a few knobs, you can build those sought-after tones or hot rod your own. From rare vintage classics to roaring modern icons, every variation is delivered in the distinctive voicing of that amp style. The intuitive amp-like controls let you get your hands dirty from the get-go to explore decades of blistering tones.

Being a genuine SansAmp, each Character Series pedal is way more than an effect pedal. Each can be used as a stand-alone preamp to drive a power amp, a studio mixer, or a PA system, with the rich SansAmp cabinet emulation that sounds huge-even straight into a computer soundcard. Or plug the Blonde, or any Character Series pedal into your guitar amp to take your tone somewhere extraordinary.

FEATURES
  • Level, Mid, Character, Drive, Low, High controls
  • Cabinet emulation with bypass
  • Standalone preamp can drive a power amp, studio mixer, or PA system

Get the tones you're looking for at a price you can afford. Call or click today to order.

Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
Tech 21SansAmp Character Series Blonde V2 Distortion Guitar Effects Pedal
 
4.7

(based on 15 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (11)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Excellent sound quality (11)
  • Responsive (10)
  • Versatile (9)
  • Compact (6)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Performances (10)
  • Home studio (7)
  • Professional recording (5)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (9), Professional musician (3)

Reviewed by 15 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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(12 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Outstanding

By T. Zimmerman

from Kalamazoo, MI

See all my reviews

Comments about Tech 21 SansAmp Character Series Blonde V2 Distortion Guitar Effects Pedal:

I have some reservation about the box, such as, I wish the DC input werein the back, and an XLR out would have been great, ( Available as a mod.)and the emulation is perhaps about 85% there, compared to the actual amps...
However, the analog signal path creates very responsive tone control and
a richer distortion that is both hard and driving without being overly harsh...
( like most digital emulations seem to suffer from.) I love all the boxes inthis series, they all do one thing extremely well and they fit in your gig bag.
The Blonde pedal has minimal controls, but none of them are wasted.The Low, Mid and High EQ controls are very responsive, the Charactercontrol drastically alters the voicing and the Drive really goes from nothingto massive. The speaker emulation bypass is useful if you are usingthe pedal with an amp, although it works so well as a DI that running itinto am amp is not really needed.
Build quality is very good. Sound quality is excellent.
Basically this box is the best amp emulation going.You do have to learn that subtle changes on the boxmake big changes to your sound, so it is like buyingthree amps in one. A great value.

(6 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Good pedal

By Charles Pirrello

from St. Louis

Comments about Tech 21 SansAmp Character Series Blonde V2 Distortion Guitar Effects Pedal:

I gave it an 8 because I don't think I've yet found everything it can do, but if you're looking for something that will give you some grind, without turning every note you play into a nuclear explosion, this pedal is worth a look. It has a lot of flexibility, a quality lacking in most "distortion" pedals. You can go from just "roughing up the tone" a little, to full blown distortion. Most of them start at full blown distortion and go from there. Check it out.

(5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

How much better can it get?

By Bones

from Akron, Ohio

About Me Professional Musician

See all my reviews

Ask me a question

Pros

  • Compact Design
  • Excellent Sound Quality
  • Responsive
  • Versatile

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Events
    • Home Studio
    • Performances
    • Professional Recording

    Comments about Tech 21 SansAmp Character Series Blonde V2 Distortion Guitar Effects Pedal:

    Iv'e been a professional musician for 50 years, (God, been that long!!) and needless to say I have used just about everything. From the old standard Fender's and Marshall's to everything in between. I have a most of the popular preamps and pedals in my modeling arsenal. Of all of them, in my humble opinion, Vox has probably the most realistic sounding models, followed closely by Boss.(Not overly compressed and fairly easy to dial in.) That said I think I just found the best!! My first use of the Sansamp Blonde was in a session with a local vocal group who needed some heavy guitar lines for a few of their tunes. I took my favorites to the studio including the Blonde, I figured what the heck I'll try it first. I dialed in a quick overdrive and switched on the speaker emulated output, plugged in my 335, hooked it to the console and played a few quick licks. Unknown to me the producer had just walked into the room. The first thing he says is, what the heck you using for an amp!! I was a little startled, since I didn't know he was there in the first place. My first impression was he hated it? WRONG!! He thought it was the best thing since sliced bread, and when he saw it he about fell over. He said he had experience using modeling preamps and never liked them much, he could not believe what he was hearing was from that little box?! He played around with it while the band warmed up and was really impressed with the tones, especially the character control. As for me I felt the same way. I really do like the character control, it's like a whole raft of different mods done to the amp just by turning a knob. I have used it since on several live gigs direct to the board, put my pedals in front of it just like a real amp, it handled them no problem. The sound techs swear it sounds as good or better than any amp they've ever had to mic up. Of course you have to take into consideration that even a 30 watt amp cranked adds quite a bit of room ambiance you have to deal with from the mixing board. All the better, makes that house sound so much easier to dial in!! Now I want to try the other character pedals and see what they're like. The only question I have is, how much better can it get, and where does it go from here?

    (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Bang for the buck!

    By PartyRocker22

    from Durant, OK

    About Me Experienced

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Compact Design
    • Excellent Sound Quality
    • Responsive
    • Value

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Events
      • Home Studio
      • Performances
      • Professional Recording

      Comments about Tech 21 SansAmp Character Series Blonde V2 Distortion Guitar Effects Pedal:

      This pedal is definitely worth it's weight! I've never owned such a small pedal hat effectively emulates an amp as well as the Tech 21 Character series does. I was forced to look into options that replaced my Fender Blues Junior on stage, and the Blonde Character series pedal does so with great quality! The EQ and other controls are very responsive and you can get a decent range of tone out of this small stompbox! Bravo Tech 21! Definitely worth[$]!

      (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Amp In A Pedal

      By Canbro28

      from Owensboro, KY

      About Me Experienced

      See all my reviews

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Compact Design
      • Good tone
      • Responsive
      • Versatile

      Cons

      • None

      Best Uses

      • Home Studio
      • Performances

      Comments about Tech 21 SansAmp Character Series Blonde V2 Distortion Guitar Effects Pedal:

      I have owned this unit for about 5 months. I was looking for a direct to PA solution for my electric guitar setup. I frequently play a venue that requires a quiet stage which makes an amp impractical. Sans Amp technology has been around a good long while and serves this niche very well, especially if you are not a fan multi-effect digital processors. Having owned an older Sans Amp Tri-AC pedal, I had previous experience with their technology and had an idea of what to expect. I like the Tri-AC but I find it is limited in its ability to navigate that very important (to me at least) space between clean tone and early breakup. Additionally, I was looking to conserve space on my pedalboard (the Tri-AC is not small), so I wanted a smaller unit. The character series pedals kept coming up in my searches as a good solution, so I thought I'd check it out. The Blonde seemed to be my best choice for the tone I was after. In reading other reviews it was indicated that the Sans Amp technology has improved from the Tri-AC days, at least in the area of controlling the point of breakup in the overdrive tone. The character series pedals include a "character" knob (thus the name of the series) that helps fine tune the breakup and tone characteristics. I have to say that the combination of the bass, mid, treble and character knobs provide for a widely adjustable tone. The level and drive knobs, along with the character knob, are very effective in giving you control over the overdrive tone. There is a lot more control over the early breakup range of the signal compared to the Tri-AC. I think it still requires another overdrive pedal to really fine tune that, but the Blonde is still very effective in giving you that early breakup tone on its own (in fact, I use it that way often). The build quality seems to be good, though not heavy-duty. So far I havent had any problems with this unit and based on the Tri-AC, which is still working great after having it for several years, I expect the Blonde to work fine for years to come. I am not usually a 5 star guy, as I think most of the gear I review has some room for improvement, but I'd rate the Blonde a 4.5 if that were an option. Valve Amp purists might frown, but to my ear the Blonde produces some great tone. I find that it takes a while to get adjusted to the way the knobs effect the tone, but if you spend some time with it you'll be rewarded with some great tone and the flexibilty of a lot of different tones. The Blonde doesn't just give you just one amp tone. It can give you a whole range of amps (all in the Fender family over course). I am not an Amp aficionado, so I can't really tell you if this can produce the exact tone of any particular amp, but I can tell you that you can get some very good tone and it is very easy to carry and hook up. I use it for live performance, but I can also see it being effective in a home studio for recording purposes. If your looking for good amp-like tone in a direct to PA setup, the Blonde is certainly worth checking out.

      (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Solid purchase

      By JK

      from Malibu, CA

      About Me Professional Musician

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Excellent Sound Quality
      • Good Selection Of Effects
      • Responsive
      • Versatile
      • Very Useable Sounds

      Cons

      • The Pedal Looks Ugly

      Best Uses

      • Performances

      Comments about Tech 21 SansAmp Character Series Blonde V2 Distortion Guitar Effects Pedal:

      I wanted to include my electric guitar set-up along with my acoustic guitar set-up when travelling but didn't want to have to lug a heavy Fender amp along. Voila, this thing does the trick. I actually run it through my Baggs Venue (which is a tuner/eq/boost/DI box I use for my acoustic guitar). If you don't have something like that, you will need a DI box to get the signal to FOH.

      Yes, it is ugly. The paint job looks cheap, like a 90's dot matrix printer. Yes, it is a fake amp. BUT, that doesn't change the more important fact that I enjoy playing through it with my Gibson 335. I'm guessing this pedal likes warm humbuckers. I'm sad to say that I keep forgetting I don't have my real amp there when I'm playing live (a vintage 66 Deluxe Reverb), which is scary. Granted, I use verb and delay most of the time and that hides the fake amp issue. I use it mostly for a clean amp sound and use an OCD for break-up sounds.

      (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Get this thing. Have no regrets.

      By dbb

      from Hudson Valley, NY

      About Me Experienced

      See all my reviews

      Ask me a question

      Pros

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

      Cons

      • Dc On The Side Not Top

      Best Uses

      • Amateur Recording
      • Home Studio
      • Performances
      • Professional Recording

      Comments about Tech 21 SansAmp Character Series Blonde V2 Distortion Guitar Effects Pedal:

      I am really digging this pedal. Tone is awesome and it definitely gives you a wide range of control. You know how when you play through a Fender Deville and you have that perfect spot dialed in where you can play soft and everything sounds sweet and crystal clear, but when you jump on the strings you get that beautiful growl? This pedal does that. Which is extra cool, since I don't have a Deville.

      My one gripe is the location of the DC in, which makes tying it into my effects chain a bit of a hassle. But not enough of a negative to take off a star. Highly recommended.

      (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Forget the tubes, get this!!!!

      By LTC C

      from Houston, TX

      About Me Experienced

      See all my reviews

      Ask me a question

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Compact Design
      • Excellent Sound Quality
      • Responsive
      • Versatile

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about Tech 21 SansAmp Character Series Blonde V2 Distortion Guitar Effects Pedal:

          Needed Fender tube tone without the Fender tube price or issues. This does it in spades. Amazing how versatile this is. With certain settings, you won't even need an overdrive pedal. This has it all. I run mine from the guitar to the Boss 63 Reverb pedal and into the Behringer powered PA speaker. AWESOME!!

          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          A best buy!

          By Chief

          from Oklahoma City, OK

          About Me Experienced

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Compact Design
          • Excellent Sound Quality
          • Versatile

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Performances

            Comments about Tech 21 SansAmp Character Series Blonde V2 Distortion Guitar Effects Pedal:

            It's the tone I have been looking for. I have been playing lead guitar at church direct to the PA with no amps on the stage. Now it sounds like I am playing thru a Fender Twin amp without the amp.

            (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            4.0

            Great amp simulator......

            By Buzz

            from San Diego,CA

            About Me Professional Musician

            See all my reviews

            Ask me a question

            Pros

            • Compact Design
            • Compression
            • Excellent Sound Quality
            • Overdrive
            • Responsive
            • Tones

            Cons

            • Limited Selection Of Effects
            • No Xlr Out

            Best Uses

            • Amateur Recording
            • Home Studio
            • Performances
            • Professional Recording

            Comments about Tech 21 SansAmp Character Series Blonde V2 Distortion Guitar Effects Pedal:

            I bought this product because I wanted something simpler for my casino gigs. Many of my casino gigs have gone to using Line 6 amp sims, V, drums, direct bass, and in ear monitors. I was using my own line 6 floor 300 HD but also was using my foot-pedals that I normally use with my regular amp. I wanted something simpler instead of the bulky pod. After tweaking with the pedal with my guitar to a basic powered monitor, I couldn't believe the range of tones The compression is also fantastic and very easily controlled. The overdrive is very sweet sounding and there's a lot of harmonics. I love the simplicity of this pedal, it's compact size, but also the range of tones. The button for speaker simulation works outstanding. Not only will this pedal work well for playing live without an amp, But I am positive that I will be able to get great recordings with it as well. Well done tech 21/sans amp

            It would have been nice for them to make an XLR out and maybe a little reverb. However, still great product!!!

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