Xotic Effects BB Plus
Xotic Effects BB Plus

BB Plus, Overdrive pedal from Xotic Effects.

glassjaw7 03/16/2011

Xotic Effects BB Plus : glassjaw7's user review

« If I could only have one pedal »

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The Xotic BB+ preamp is based on the popular BB preamp which is one of the best overdrive pedals on the market. The "plus" is basically two pedals in one housing, adding a second footswitch and circuit. The term "preamp" is used loosely here, as this is merely a stomp box, but a great one!

The pedal is organized into two "sides" or channels; A (red) which is based on the original BB, and B (blue) which has a three band eq section and a wider range of gain. This channel acts as a transparent clean boost with the gain rolled down and has a barky plexi character with the gain turned up.

These two sounds can be selected separately, or stacked together for many different tonal options. Also included is a switch that reverses the flow of the signal, so A can be run into B, or vice versa.

Each channel also has its own compression switch, which cuts a predetermined amount of your frequency.

I rated this section a '9' because the ONLY thing I could think of to make this a perfect unit would be a second footswitchable gain control, because it can be difficult deciding where to keep the gain on each channel as it sounds great no matter where it's set!


The BB+ has so many tonal options and settings, that the only way to get fully acquainted with it is to spend a lot of time dialing it in with your own amp/rig. As with any pedal, results will vary drastically based on your guitar, pickup, amp and speaker selection.

I can say that it's very easy to dial in a good tone with this unit. This pedal sounds great on almost any setting. A very musical pedal! Just listen to Andy Timmons:)


Many players use overdrive units to "boost" their overdriven tube amps into high gain territory or to add a tighter low end response (due to the od cutting the low end) After using many overdrive units for this purpose, I can say that I haven't found a better boost than the BB+. It beats out the TS9, 808, OCD, Lovepedal Eternity, and many others that I've tried. Of course this is based on my preference and your tastes may vary, but I can say I haven't heard a boost that keeps the amp's tone intact better than the BB. It doesn't change the amp's gain structure, it just adds more punch to it!
This pedal sounds great boosting most amps' dirty channels, and sounds equally great with its own gain through a nice clean channel. I especially like it through Bogners and Boogies.

Because it is difficult to review the effect a boost has on an already distorted amp, I will review the BB+ as a stand alone pedal through a clean amp:

The right side of the pedal, or Channel A is your standard BB pedal with a single tone control and a compression button. When this button is engaged, the compression becomes hard and the bass response becomes a little different. The low end is more "full" with it engaged.

When the button is up or off, there is still some compression present, but it is soft with less low end, and a touch more "open" sounding. This is not a high gain sound, but can get into mid-gain bluesy breakup. It sounds sweet and 'bouncy', with just the slightest bit of grit to give it a somewhat amp-like feel and tone. It doesn't sound or feel as amp-like as say, a Fulltone OCD, but more like a cross between that pedal and a Tube Screamer.(a REALLY good one at that) It's hard to get a bad sound out of this thing, and only with the tone knob set very high does it show any hint of sounding harsh.

The left side or channel B with its own compression button and 3 band eq is a clean boost and a drive. It is punchy and has a bit more gain on tap than ch A. This side is very sparkly and with the gain set low to mid and the level up, it provides gorgeous semi-clean and in-between gain tones. This could be used for pop or country, or to give rawkers a very shimmering "almost clean" tone. With the gain dimed on this side, you can get some nice plexi-ish tones.
I actually prefer to use this channel as a boost for high gain amps as it softens the feel nicely without taking away the 'balls'.
I like this channel in itself more than channel A and more than the regular BB pedal. It has a huge range of tones with the eq and comp button, and a wider range of gain.

Experimenting with the routing button that I mentioned earlier can get a large variety of sounds. For example, if you have channel A set up as your "distortion" channel, and B as your clean boost, you will get a hot-rodded lead tone running B into A, similar to boosting a gained up amp with an overdrive pedal with the gain rolled down and the level maxed. Reverse the flow so A feeds B, and you've got a compressed and loud Gilmour-esque type of sound that is very mid heavy and compressed.


I've been through many big-production stomps (MXR, TC, Boss etc.) as well as many boutique drives over the past few years. Many have gone and few have stayed, but the BB+ is one of those few.

No matter if I'm playing a multi-amp rig with rack gear, or just plugging into a Deluxe Reverb, this pedal is always on my board.
I can't recommend it highly enough!

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