Ease of Use: I'm very happy with the recent addition of the Blues Pro to my pedalboard and as a matter of fact, it's now the main OD pedal I use for my dirty tones. This a very easy to use overdrive. It's a pedal you can essentially plug in, take a minute to tweak, and then jam! It did not come with a manual, but unless you're completely new the concept of an Overdrive pedal, you really don't need one. The straightforward controls on the pedal are knobs for volume, tone, and gain, as well as a switch that allows you to select between the standard Overdrive function or the fuzz feature, which we'll talk more about later. (For the record, this is the 3rd version of the pedal)
The Blues Pro, as standard with most all pedals, runs on 9V batteries or a 9V adapter but can be ran at up to 18V to increase headroom. So far, I've only ran mine at standard 9V. As far as features and ease of use go, this is a pretty simple, user-friendly, but effective pedal as well. If it had more tone shaping controls, I might have given it a perfect 10. // 9
Sound: I'll get into my setup in a minute. First, I want to start the sound section with the following. You'll like this pedal if:
- You want an OD without the Tubescreamer-like mid spike
- You want an OD that does not roll off the low end, like a TS
- You want an OD with more gain on tap than a TS
- You you use a brighter sounding amp/guitar setup.
That's not to say you won't like the Blues Pro if those conditions don't apply to you, but it just so happens that all of the above reasons apply to me. My main amp is a Jet City JCA20H going into a 4x12 cab. Guitar-wise, I've mainly been sticking to my Ibanez RG470 and use my Hamer Standard as my backup, both of which are brighter sounding guitars. Sometime in the near future I plan on working my Agile 2900 Chambered Body (Les Paul clone) into the mix as well, but so far I've not used it with my current setup with the Blues Pro.
In case you didn't know, the Jca20 is a single channel amp (something that I actually prefer). The amp itself is set to a slightly dirty base tone and for cleaner sounds (I never really use a "true clean") I roll off the guitars volume a bit. For dirty sounds, I kick in an OD (now the Blues Pro) to take the amp into hard rock territory and to boost for solos, I use my Digitech Bad Monkey, when needed.
The Blues Pro does everything I want an OD pedal to do. The main issue I had with my tone when I was using the Bad Monkey as my main dirty boost is I constantly felt like my tone was too bright. That's not an issue with the Blues Pro. It's voicing is absolutely great for my needs. I run the Blues Pro with the Volume and Gain knobs both around 1-o'clock and the tone is generally set somewhere in the middle, or slightly to either side. This pedal has about double the amount of gain on tap than a standard TS-like pedal, and quite a bit of volume as well. The Blues Pro is fantastic at overdriving an already slightly dirty amp, such as in my setup, easily taking it into hard rock (and metal, depending on your tastes) realm of tone.
I'll note that I've only used the Blues Pro with my setup. However, it sounds great in my current rig and I can see it having a home on my pedalboard for a long time to come. Regarding the fuzz feature, I have to admit I really haven't used it all the much, but that doesn't mean it's bad by any means. I'm no aficionado on fuzz pedals, so I'll leave that to someone who has more experience with fuzzes give their opinions on that. However, I will say I think the fuzz feature would sound great on solos, as it's not too overbearing, and perhaps would suit someone looking for a stoner-rock type tone. // 10
Reliability & Durability: I've not had this pedal long, but it seems well built. Everything seems to be in order. Even though I'll have a backup already on my board with the Bad Monkey, I would use this without one if I had to. Although I don't have the information in front of me, I know the pedal came with a nice warranty as well. // 9
Overall Impression: I currently play in a hard/alternative rock band with a decent variety of influences and with the Blues Pro added to my pedalboard I've been very happy with my tone. If you're looking for a high-quality Overdrive outside of the Tubescreamer mold, then check out this pedal. Should this pedal get stolen from me, I would certainly buy another if hunting down the offending thief and bludgeoning him into a bloody pulp and regaining my beloved Blues Pro wasn't an option. // 9