#1
Hey all,

I'm getting back into the game and I'm trying to figure out what is the best blues pedal to get the best pure crunch/sound.  My current set up is a Mexican Strat with a Fender FM212R amp (360W).  I also connect a Boss V-WAH once in awhile.  I do usually play blues/jazz along with some hard rock.  I was looking at the Boss Blues Driver but I want to see if there are other options...

If anybody can give me some opinions on which ways to go with a blues-approved distortion pedal then that would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks!
#2
The Blues Driver is certainly nice but I personally like Ibanez Tube Screamer modals (especially the TS-10 if you can find one on EBay). Ibanez Tube Screamers  were the choice of both Stevie Ray Vaughn and Gary Moore. The Bad Monkey is a nicely priced alternative or just go with the Blues Driver. 
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#3
The Boss Blues Driver is an industry standard for a reason: nailed that one. It's good, well built, and can be found anywhere in the world. That means you'll probably like it, won't kill it, and if you do, you should be able t find a replacement. All at a decent price.

I personally own and like the Keeley Katana Blues Driver, which I think is discontinued. Great pedal, though.

From across the pond, the Magnetic Effects Satellite (renamed Sandare) is another solid option. And the ThorpyFX Peacekeeper is also a good option.

Getting more into rock, the Visual Sound Jekyll & Hyde V2 OD/ Distortion is 2 good pedals in one, as is their Double Trouble dual OD. Both are discontinued, but readily available on the used market. Also, since Visual Sound became TrueTone, they've started making improved V3 versions of several of their older products. The J&H is one such, and the DT has been greatly modified to become the VS-XO. In the J&H and DT pedals, all of the ODs are based on the Tubescreamer. The VS-XO has one TS side and a Nobels-based design for its dual OD design.

ThorpyFX's Gunshot would be the higher-gain original OD from which the Peacekeeper was designed.
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#4
One pedal I am really liking at the moment is the Joyo Sweet Baby, which I have heard is based on the Mad Professor Sweet Honey pedal. Anyway, its a great low-mid gain pedal and has amazing pick dynamic response which is great for blues, but won't do the hard rock thing IMO. If you are going to tube screamer route there are a ton of them out there. I see the Green Rhino suggested a lot. I personally have a Tribute Audio Design Classy Lady for my TS needs. It has the grit I need but doesn't muddy up the same as some other pedals I have used. Also has a bass boost switch which is great if you are using single coils and find them a bit thin and a clipping switch to choose between a couple of variations.
#6
Boss... BD-2 , OD-3 and SD-1 are all (imo) pretty good flavors. The MXR IL-Torino is also pretty sweet. I like that one..
#7
if you can still find one the digitech screamin blues is a blues driver with an added bass knob. when it was still available it was about one third of the price of the blues driver, but when things get discontinued that can do weird things to used prices. but if you can find one for less than a bd2 (assuming that's the tone you want) it's worth considering.
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#8
have you tried any pedals up front yeat? only asking because you have a solid state amp and might not get the effect you were hoping for. 
#9
 I would start by buying an tube amp before any pedals. Having said that, I find the BD-2 a great blues rhythm overdrive and the TS-9 as a lead overdrive. The Boss has a lot of bass and scooped mids, while the Ibanez is the other way round with pronounced mids and roll off bass. While the 212R is a good amp for practicing with loud instruments, like drums, I find it hard to get a great tone out of it.
#10
Gab_Azz Thanks for the heads up, yeah my amp pumps but it is a little outdated, what would you recommend with new tube amps on the market?
#11
monwobobbo The only pedal I messed around with is the Boss V-WAH, not sure if they even make those yet but the sound is okay. I do like my set up but I am looking for that extra push with my sound
#12
Quote by kmccourt91
Gab_Azz Thanks for the heads up, yeah my amp pumps but it is a little outdated, what would you recommend with new tube amps on the market?

The Fender Hot Rod series have 2 great amps the Hot Rod Deluxe and the Blues JR. The hot rod deluxe has more options but in my opinion are not that important. The only deciding factors separating these 2 amps are: the price, the Blues junior is Very light even compared to competition and the Hot Rod has way more bass. I would get the Tweed blues jr with the Jensen speaker or replace the speaker. My HRD has a Jensen C12K.

Marshall have the DSL40C. I don not like the smaller DSL15 though. The DSL40C has that nice rock tone. With nice cleans and a distorted channel that goes into hard rock territory it is quite versatile. It has the same bad speaker as the Fender so a speaker upgrade would be ideal too.

The third amp that I would recommend would be the VOX AC15 or AC30. The AC30 is really heavy! The AC15 is a nice amp and these come with nice sounding speakers.

Locally these are the ones I tried and liked. I do not feel comfortable suggesting an amp that I haven't played.
#13
I have an SD-1, a Bad Monkey and a BD-2. My choice for smooth is the Bad Monkey, and the SD-1 for gritty. The SD-1 isn't very touch-sensitive, which could be good or bad, depending on what you want.

I also have a Sansamp Character British. This is can be used as a stomp box or as a preamp, and is really my go-to these days, rather than typical stomp boxes. It has a very wide range of Marshall-style tones, something for everyone.
Last edited by Tony Done at Aug 1, 2017,
#14
Quote by kmccourt91
monwobobbo The only pedal I messed around with is the Boss V-WAH, not sure if they even make those yet but the sound is okay. I do like my set up but I am looking for that extra push with my sound

ok. the reason i bring it up is that while overdrives work great with tube amps they don't always yield good results with solid state. you can't really ush the front end with them but rather have to use them for your dirt tone. that edge of breakup tone many blues guys want doesn't really happen. 

as far as tube amps it depends on the budget but a Peavey Classic 30 or on the cheap a used Peavey Vlaveking will get you a good blues tone (as will the amps Gab_Azz recommended) 
#15
One of the best blues tones I've heard live was a pair of tubescreamers (an 808 and a TS9) in front of a Feder Vibroking. Of course it was a vintage Vibroking soooo.... lol
Guitars
- Strandberg OS6, Strandberg CL7, Gibson LP Studio, S570DXQM, RG7421, Mayer Strat, Partscaster

Amps
- TC-50, Mark Five:25, Invective (soon), Vypyr 60
#16
Timmy
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#17
I've had a Boss SD1 for years and has worked well in many setups.  I know a few players who use the Blues Driver and sound great.
#18
kmccourt91 +1 to getting a tube amp before investing in more pedals. Drive pedals typically just do not react as well in front of an SS amp as they do a tube amp. The typical blues sound you hear is a cranked lower-gain tube amp. Maybe with a TS9 or similar pedal in front as well. You can find tube amps that will outplay your FM212r for pretty cheap. Peavey ValveKing MKI, Classic 30, Blues Jr. Look used if you are comfortable.

Also the FM212r is not 360w, it is 100w. It might consume 360, but the output power is 100w.
#20
Quote by Stephen Quinn
I've had a Boss SD1 for years and has worked well in many setups.  I know a few players who use the Blues Driver and sound great.

I find the SD-1 sounds great with Marshall style amps and the BD-2 sounds great with Fender style amps.