Price paid: € 140
Purchased from: Blake Hickey
Ease of Use: Hi, my name is Tim and I review boutique pedals. Two weeks ago I purchased the Blakemore Effects Bi-Polar Octadrive, which is a Blakemore Effects Mustang Overdrive with an added octave effect. It is handbuilt by BlAke Hickey in Michigan, USA, and is a real candy for the eye and ear. It's fairly easy to get a good sound out of it if you are an experienced pedal user and if you know what tones you are persuing. I would not recommend it to a starter, since it can be confusing from time to time and you really ought to sit down with it and try out all the setting - it really can do a lot of sounds! It does come with a manual and I personally found it way more than enough to understand what each knob does, but it could be more extend explaining the mid knob, as it does way more than just 'add mids'.
My unit is not stock - I had a battery snap added inside (stock models comes without; this is due to very little space inside of the pedal and because Blake fear that a battery rushing around inside might damage something) but it's faulty. With a battery the pedal is always 'ON' and eats a battery a day, more or less. It also acts funny if there's a battery in the pedal, so I recommend you run it on a external power supply. // 8
Sound: I'm using it with my Gibson SG Standard, all stock, and my JCM800 100Watt SuperBass from 1982. It's a completely clean amp, hard to break up and I like it that way - I can plug my pedals into any amp and have my sound only slightly coloured by the amp and cabinet. It's considerably less noisy than a EHX Muff, but a tad more noisy than a Pharaoh Fuzz for instance, which I believe is one of the most quiet Fuzz pedals around. The effects are great! The Overdrive can really get crunchy and if you give it gain past 12 o'clock it almost go fuzz, but stays grainy and tight if you add more gain from the gain knob. The EQ section is definitely the big time consuming part of the pedal, but is also the most satisfying, if you deal in the right tone that is.
I am currently playing a lot of music in the vein of Baroness, Russian Circles, Mastodon, but also a lot of Stoner and Sludge, and it nails some of the overdriven sounds of the latest Baroness album, like the song titled "Board Up The House". The Octaver is very pleasant, but I never use octaver effects, but I thought I would get this pedal and use it for some solos, to add flavour - it's very gentle and works great if you roll back some of the volume on your guitar and use the bridge pickup. // 9
Reliability & Durability: It looks very study and I doubt I'd ever need to replace it for faulty, except the forementioned problem with the battery snap it is a class A workmanship. // 9
Overall Impression: I play anything from Progresive Rock to Doom, passing through Stoner, Sludge and some Indie. I own a Pharaoh Fuzz which I use as my other main Distortion/Fuzz sound on the board, and a Tonerider AO-1 to push my clean sound into a most gritty clean. I wish I had asked about the import fees from USA to Spain... It cost me another 30 besides the 30 of shipping! So 30% of what I paid to get the pedal in my hands was in import taxes and shipping... If it was stolen or lost, if I hadn't found another better replacement, I would definitely buy one again.
What I love the most about the pedal is the gain and the EQ, and what I dislike the most is probably that the extreme cool design is easily scratched if you are not careful. I compared it to some Dr. No effects and Analog Man, but settled for this one for 'unique' reasons... I like having things that most people don't have! Mine's number #16, so I guess I'm one in #16 to own it, for now... I'd wish it had a trim pot for the octave effect. It barely raises above the volume of the pedal and I'd like to use it to boost me into soloing without an additional pedal. // 8