The Xotic Effects BB Preamp is an analog overdrive pedal designed for use with electric guitar. It has both a 1/4 inch input and output and is powered by either a nine volt battery or power supply. It isn't rackable as it is a foot pedal.
The configuration of the Xotic Effects BB Preamp is extremely easy to follow as it simply has 4 knobs for controlling the sound of the effect. The pedal has parameters for drive, tone, and level, each of which will change your sound pretty drastically if you move it the full distance that it can go either way. Even if you don't have any experience with distortion pedals, this one is a good place to start as it is easy to use and is a classic. I don't have the manual for this pedal, but one isn't needed as the pedal is easy enough to use without one.
The sound quality of the Xotic Effects BB Preamp is overall pretty awesome. This pedal has made a name for itself for a reason because it has its own unique tone. To me it has the perfect amount of crunch and drive as it isn't too heavy for my taste and is really great for rhythm guitar as well as lead. The small amount of parameters makes it easy to dial in a good tone and even though there are only three parameters you can still get a good amount of differing sounds from this pedal. Every guitar player should experience the Xotic Effects BB Preamp by at least trying it out!
I've been using the Xotic Effects BB Preamp every since I started playing guitar about eight years ago. It is the quintessential overdrive pedal and definitely lives up to its name and hype. It isn't all that expensive and is really a great deal considering how great this pedal sounds and how easy it is to use. If you are playing any type of music and need a great overdrive pedal, the Xotic Effects BB Preamp is a great place to start looking for one and chances are you will stop at this.
# The BB Preamp offers awide variety of sounds. It's capable of a 30dB+ clean boost with an adjustable ±15dB two band active EQ which adds a wide range of harmonic content to your ideal sound.
# The BB also utilizes a pre-gain stage which allows the Pedal to go from a very pristine clean to a very smooth,compressed, overdriven sound.
# True bypass for eliminating any signal interference when switched off
Controls: Gain, Volume, Treble, Bass.
This is basically an overdrive pedal, a versatile one that can be used as a clean boost or as a dirty overdrive pedal.
Very simple to use with the added feature of treble and bass knobs unlike the universal tone knob that most overdrive pedals have to offer.
Set the gain and volume according to how you want to use the overdrive whether it be for a mild bluesy sound or a high gain boost.
The BB preamp has become one of my favorite pedals of all time. It is true bypass and sounds REALLY good with nearly anything. Does this mean that it's transparent? I wouldn't say so. I'd say it's more like, the BB preamp has a specific sound that seems to capture everything good about what an overdrive should sound like and implements that onto your existing rig.
I can pretty much declare that this pedal sounds good with nearly every guitar and amp config. There is just no way that the BB can't be tweaked to suit every rig. It's almost as if it was made to be on everybody's board. Though it's strength does lie in more low gain/medium gain applications, you can use the BB as a high gain overdrive, with the gain know low and the volume knob maxed out, tweak the treble and bass accordingly. But the sound will definitely NOT be the same as let's say, a TS-9. It doesn't sound the same as a TS-9 and although it does saturate the signal the same way it will be a different sound, and to my ears, it sounds great! It's THICK and raunchy! And the mids aren't boosted as much vs a tubescreamer. Rather they're slightly more scooped sounding.
Overall, great overdrive pedal for almost all applications. Though as a high gain overdive like I stated earlier, it sounds different and doesn't saturate the same way a tubescreamer does and so might disappoint some players that play that style. In my opinion, I actually like the sound it produces in that situation as it's different, thicker and raunchier and not the same as every other player.
However, the BB is great as it's versatile; it can be used as a clean boost, with or without a bit of an EQ, a low-gain overdrive for bluesy stuff, or offers enough gain on tap to be a classic rock-like distortion pedal too! And when paired up with an amp that has enough gain on tap, it can be used as a high-gain overdrive! And yes I'm aware that 99% of overdrive can actually be used the same ways but when I say this about the BB I actually mean that they technically can be used in all these sorts of ways and actually SOUND GOOD.
Xotic's BB preamp is a dirt box capable of providing compressed, fluid gain for elegant leads, crunchy blues style distortion or for pushing a good tube amp into saturated high gain bliss!
I previously reviewed the BB+, and after having spent time with the BB, realized that it is different enough to deserve its own review.
As with the + the term "preamp" is used lightly (or perhaps incorrectly), since this unit is nothing more than a dirt box. But it does sound phenomenal!
The BB runs on the standard 9volt battery or adapter. This unit is very easy to use.
Xotic created a unique gain pedal with the BB. It has qualities reminiscent of some other pedals (tube screamers, blues driver, etc) but it has its own unique voicing that shines through with most amps.
What really makes this thing a blast to play is the bouncy, compressed nature of the attack and sustain. Crank this up through a nice clean channel and just try not to wank for extended periods of time!
The voicing of the original BB has a slightly different flavor than the BB+. The + (on Channel A, which is supposed to be the regular BB channel) has gain and output controls, a compression cut switch and only a tone control for eq.
In comparison the BB has gain and output, as well as active treble and bass controls for finer adjustment to your tone and low end response. Perhaps this is what gives the BB circuit a slightly more hi-fi and smooth tone (at least in my opinion).
As a boost, the BB is one of the better units I've used. The original character of the amp is able to shine through, and it is pushed in all the right places resulting in more of what you love about your amp. This is where the BB+ has the advantage however, as its "blue" channel is even more transparent and sparkly, and is what makes the + version worth buying over the original in my opinion.
If you're looking for an overdrive/clean boost pedal that doesn't squash your tone or have an exaggerated mid-hump, check out the Xotic BB. The simple yet versatile active eq, addictive feel and great clean boost capabilities make this one of the best choices in the saturated pedal market.
The BB is not just an overdrive pedal. It is much more a booster, compressor and overdrive pedal (Tubescreamer-like) in one.
As with most pedals this one is not very difficult to set up. Just pay attention to where you put it in your FX chain and make sure to balance the levels.
You don't really need a manual because if you bought this pedal you know what to do with it.
The sounds reminds me a bit of the MXR Zack Wylde. If you are looking for bluesy, jazzy then the BB is in my opinion currently one of the best on the market. A Twin, a BB – that’s it. The BB has a lot of dynamics and doesn’t change the basic character of the guitar sound.