BB-2 Bluesbreaker II review by Marshall

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  • Sound: 7
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Ease of Use: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 8 (54 votes)
Marshall: BB-2 Bluesbreaker II

Price paid: £ 40

Purchased from: Local music store

Sound — 7
I've used this pedal with a few setups (due to having it for a few years now), most recently it's been a Carvin Bolt-T or an Ibanez S470 through a Cornford Roadhouse 30. Though I have also used it through a Laney LC15 and some other amps (when taking it to jams, spontaneous gigs and other such minimal gear situations). So I've heard this through a good range of different products. The pedal sounds overall fairly good. Though it does take a bit of time to get a good sound from it. I've found that often the volume of the pedal is a bit quiet, forcing you to raise the volume knob which may compromise your intended tone. As well as this, there is a bit of muddiness which this pedal brings to the table, but it's fairly easy to get rid of that with a tweak of the tone knob. Other than these slight problems the pedal does sound good. I use this pedal for a more dynamic light overdrive, but it can get quite heavy if the gain is raised. There's also very little noise with the pedal, any noise I've encountered with this pedal has been due to other factors.

Overall Impression — 7
Overall this pedal definitely does a good job. There are probably different alternatives, but for the price of 45-50 it's hard to fault. I play a wide mix of genres, but I use this pedal mainly with a rock and alternative cover band, playing stuff like Foo Fighters, Muse, Arctic Monkeys, The White Stripes, etc, and the Marshall BB-II can definitely get some good tones for this sort of stuff. It's a fairly versatile pedal which is always good. If I was without this pedal I can't see myself buying a new one, purely because I can never stay with one thing for too long! The only problems I have with this pedal is that it can take some work getting a good tone from it, but once you've tweaked it to your liking, it sounds good.

Reliability & Durability — 10
Reliability and durability is probably this pedal's highest point. This was the first guitar effect I bought, about 4 or so years ago and it's holding up better than some of my most recent purchases. The term "built like a tank" is thrown around a bit, but I genuinely believe this pedal fulfills that statement better than most. This pedal has been in many situations, from heavy live use, to being dropped, to being lost in the ether for a while and the only damage seems to be a few scratches in the finish and a slightly bent knob. I have gigged with this pedal and probably will continue to without need for a backup. So no complaints here at all.

Ease of Use — 9
The Marshall BB-II is a rather simplistic pedal. It boasts a very known interface, in knobs labeled "drive", "tone" and "volume", meaning no complications will be met when trying to dial in a good tone. There is also a knob which flicks between two settings "boost" and "blues", the boost setting is a transparent volume boost, which bypasses all knobs except the volume. Where the blues setting activates the entire overdrive pedal. The manual detailed everything which would be needed when using this pedal, including some suggested settings.

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