BD-2 Blues Driver review by Boss

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  • Ease of Use: 10
  • Sound: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.5 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.9 (126 votes)
Boss: BD-2 Blues Driver

Price paid: C$ 70

Purchased from: Kijiji

Ease of Use — 10
As for ease of use, it has three knobs - volume, tone and drive, but it is how you use these in conjunction with your guitar vol/tone that will make this shine or be a challenge. The manual get a plus one in score, not so much because of the info contained, but they put a group of blank illustrations to write in your own settings - good for them. You can grab the manual online, print screen that page, crop the blank illustration and paste that on the top of your tabs. This will work for a few of the Boss pedals (the one's that I have DS-1, BD-2 and OD-3) so that you can keep the pedal setting with the song. Great for old guys like me that can't remember how I had it last.

Overall, when you get yours plan to sit with it for a time working through the tones and use the cut & paste method above to track the ones that you like - keeping in mind that as with any dist/od pedal that your overall volume also will have a big impact on your tone.

Sound — 9
I bought this pedal because my band plays a lot of blues ("Dust My Broom" through the Stones...) and I was having a time trying to dial in the sound(s) that I wanted. I run through a group of pedals into a pair of Beltone Ap-22 tube amps which gives a great tone, but needed some "grit." The Blues Driver did not disappoint! It does the blues, but it does a whole lot more - you can tweak it into really soulful, high sustain to all out metal if desired. In other words, this pedal is more that just a tone shaper or overdrive, with the gain cranked it is a great distortion as well. After fooling with it for bit, the first song that I played on it was "Midnight Rambler" and I was fan of it. Mine is un-modded and will likely keep it that way because it has what you need on board, the rest is up to you - work the tone by backing off your guitar volume two notches (8) and any harshness is removed and each note sings. If you are up at ten on everything in your rig the pedal can be a "little" harsh and not as smooth as one would expect - tweak a little and you can dial in wonderful tone. 

The pedal itself has three knobs - Level which is the output of the pedal, Tone which has tremendous effect on... Well the tone of your sound and not a set-and-forget as you will use this in conjunction with the drive and finally a drive knob which increases the amount of gain/distortion. Despite what I have read in various reviews, the knobs have a broad array of effect on the sound and tone for this pedal. Downside? It has one tone knob to adjust the eq on the pedal, I like the DigiTech Bad Monkey, Fulltone Catalyst for breaking this function into two knobs to control treble and bass/mids.

Reliability & Durability — 10
It's a Boss pedal...heavy duty metal case, knobs are at a lower point than the switch so that you won't accidentally alter them when turning on or off, battery compartment is easily accessible. While I generally keep this pedal on the boards power, you can grab the old 9v that came out of your smoke detector after six months and run with that dying battery for an old school tone. Anyway, definitely a pedal that will last a long time (same as my 1983 DS-1. I do not have a backup for this pedal and with Boss you shouldn't have to think of that.

Overall Impression — 9
I play classic rock (which is a broad category) for the past thirty plus years, have had this pedal for about three years. This pedal works for the Stones, Hendrix, as an OD for CCR (does the intro to "Fortunate Son" better than Fogery (kidding), right back to jazzing up some older delta/American blues - this list goes on... I play through various guitars: Epiphone SG, Danelectro 56 U2, '80s Vibra Les Paul and an old single pickup Jaguar. My fav to go through this pedal is the Les Paul - it's DiMarzio HB pickups seem to match this pedal well. This all goes through my pedal board into two vintage Beltone AP-22 tube amps. 

I love this pedal because of its range of tones that you can get, it works well as a distortion or as a tone shaper for creamy sustain. The only thing that I would change would be breaking out the tone knob into at least two separate controls in order to tweak out or tweak in some treble side. I do have other drive pedals, an OD3, Bad Monkey as well as some distortion pedals DS-1, Marshall Supa Fuzz (67) and a Fulltone Catalyst - all have their place/use and don't have what the BD-2 has for its purpose. Message me if you are having trouble with this one, because I am sure that I could help!

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