The Blessed Mother is by far one of the best clean/transparent boosts and overdrives I’ve heard – blending and affecting other gear exceptionally well without altering the original tone too much (unless you want it to). The EQ section is fantastic, as it affects the Drive of the pedal specifically, which then enhances your amp modestly – no excessive shrill or boom coming from the treble or bass. Overall, you can achieve a more aggressive tone from your amp and with added note definition and overtones (obviously this is what any good drive pedal can and should do). But The Blessed Mother goes one step further with its Immaculator knob, which blends the drive effect with your amp.
Full all-out assault of this moderate gain overdrive involves maximum blend with maximum drive, for a fairly intense, wooly and thick tone on a clean amp channel. It has a fuzz pedal quality, but smoother and more full-bodied in its delivery (since it’s an overdrive pedal foremost). But reduce The Blessed Mother’s participation by turning the blend all the way down (so that it’s minimal in the mix) then even full Drive plays well with dirty amps (drive only quarter-way with high-gain amps). In essence, you can adjust the Drive from low to high and the Immaculator (blend) from high to low for varying degrees of tone enhancement and quality. High blend with low drive versus low blend with high drive (and anything between) does produce different results, and I demonstrate some of those settings on the demo accompanying this review. As well, this is an unusually quiet pedal – you can crank the gain and blend all the way without any annoying background noise.
Heather Brown wet her feet with both Mike Matthews and Robert Keeley, giving her the experience to develop The Blessed Mother. Although it comes with a boutique price of $220, this pedal sounds fantastic, with both bite and warmth (via its silicon and germanium diodes), but does far more to supercharge your amp’s characteristics, rather than change them. The EQ shapes the Drive for that perfect sound, but it’s the Immaculator (blend knob) that really sets this pedal apart from other drives. Imagine cranking the Gain, but only adding a touch of The Blessed Mother in the mix, or for a completely different outcome and response you could add low to moderate Drive with a lot of The Blessed Mother in the mix. Of course, you could adjust the blend and drive in any other combination for different outcomes, which makes The Blessed Mother one of the most diverse overdrives on the market. A true bypass pedal, The Blessed Mother works with either 9v or 18v power supplies, depending if you want your tone tight and punchy or with extra headroom. And the halo and heart LEDs certainly add to the aura of this heavenly pedal.
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