Xotic Effects BB Preamp
Xotic Effects BB Preamp

BB Preamp, Overdrive pedal from Xotic Effects.

All user reviews for the Xotic Effects BB Preamp

  • Like
  • Tweet
  • Submit
Average Score:4.8( 4.8/5 based on 34 reviews )
 28 reviews82 %
 6 reviews18 %
Value For Money : Correct

yoTrakkz's review"easy to get a good tone"

Xotic Effects BB Preamp
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.

nickname009's review

Xotic Effects BB Preamp
# 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.

glassjaw7's review"One of the best ODs I've used"

Xotic Effects BB Preamp
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.

phraseland's review

Xotic Effects BB Preamp
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.


1A pedal – perfect construction and layout!

SmokingBirds's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" Cool but too smooth for me"

Xotic Effects BB Preamp
Xotic BB Preamp pedal boutique 100% analog overdrive, made by Xotic, of course. Here, here I say more, except that it is a pedal plug and play, that all sounds good.


Configuration is very simple, four buttons:
Volume to the volume of the effect, you'll understand.
A gain for the gain of the handle end, and thus more or less saturated. Knowing that the headroom is not bad at all, but it does not grow either in high saturations, but this is not what is asked either, so all is well.
A Treble, to manage acute rather cool and smart as knob
A Bass to handle the bass, and that too is cool and smart as knob.
No need for manual given the ease of use of the beast.


BB as Bluesbreaker, is supposed to be closer to the grain of the Marshall Bluesbreaker pedal. It is true that the grain is Marshallian, but since I play Marshall in the end I do not know if it comes from the pedal.
The grain of this pedal is very good, the saturation is always very clean, very smooth, and very realistic. I was pretty impressed with that side. Its main asset remains in my bass treble eq, which can really find the sound we need.
I use a Les Paul and a Strat US, both with Micros Tornado MS. My amp is a JTM45 RI. With two guitars, bb preamp is doing very well, good grain for me it sounds best in treble booster, or light bluesy crunch. on the other hand, even if it sounds very good, I personally find the missing character.


I used this pedal a few weeks before selling it, because I do not find it quite typical. It was really good, that's a certainty, but for me the grain is too smooth, too precise, it does not bleed enough, and it lacks a bit of gain. The pedal is robust, rather pretty, and not too big. A very good pedal worth its price, especially occasion. I had a lot of pedal overdriave, the jackhammer, the Ibanez TS9, the maxon OD808, Maxon OD9 the bb preamp, and now the riff shooter. The riff shooter remains my favorite for now.
The bb preamp gives me a strange feeling, that of being a great pedal that I'll soon forget.
I will not make that choice, but I orienterais to his cousin bb preamp MD, to see what it gives.
le reverend03/12/2014

le reverend's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" Good saturation"

Xotic Effects BB Preamp
Distortion pedal, 4 buttons! level bass treble gain. Simple


Simple operation: Turn buttons, between major and index. Fingers or any other matter. Or even any part of the body, grip or not. Finally, it is YMMV.
short one turns listening is turned on replay, and play.


Distortion from mild to support.
We will not fall into the hard bigger than AC-DC but it's good enough most of the time.
His big sister (BB + preamp, I also) seemed to me easier to control in low distortion: there is coming fast on the crunch of good quality, it is more difficult to model below.
Otherwise, no systematic bump in the midrange, as some have (follow my eyes), but you can also do it if you want.


I use it for several months. good pedal, well built, like other Xotic I (a brand that I like enough for now)
I like the sound of this pedal, which can help you navigate the waters of a 808 but also on other waters. The sound is Marshallian of course, so it is ideal to give character to an amp that is not a Marshall
I do not like (in comparison) that the lighter loadings are less accessible than its big brother, BB + preamp (which has two channels and is more expensive)
I wanted to try it, it remains for the moment on my pedalboard as it takes its role (light saturation, overdrive actually)

Rauze's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" well"

Xotic Effects BB Preamp
Gain, volume, treble, bass


You turn the knobs and pressing the button


Okay, not hi gain, that is what looking for. The sound seems natural, very nice.


A small pedal that if we appreciate you keep for life

surfy's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" Excellent with a small "but""

Xotic Effects BB Preamp
I will not come back
The race of the buttons is very well
Small size, good


It could not be simpler!


So I'm going to scream appreciative of this pedal.
To me, it sounds very good for analog.
BUT it does not equal my overdrive lamp (Vox Big Ben with lamp changed to a EHX) found much cheaper in time.
On Youtube you will not hear the difference so it's really to quibble.

BB is better on compression, headroom and even the roundness of the notes.
But for me the BIG BEN is better dynamics.


So I use boost rather what it does well, but suddenly it is expensive for this use.
The advantage of this beast is its headroom that allows the use of mild overdrive therefore a high degree it is really versatile.

AceLeppard's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" I have not found better!"

Xotic Effects BB Preamp
Booster / Overdrive / Preamp in analog pedal format.

In one entry, Out output Jack format.

A knob "Volume" (+ 30dB)
A knob "Gain"
A knob "Bass" (+ 15dB)
A knob "Treble" (+ 15dB)

True-Bypass Switch.
9v power jack, the pedal can also operate through a 9v battery.

One might regret a knob "Middle", as output Xotic has a Custom Shop version of "MB" (for Mid-boost).


The general configuration, although simple, requires an understanding of the relationship between the gain knobs and volume pedal. These are quite interactive, and this also applies to the two EQ knobs.

Once this is understood, the sound editing is easy.

I have no recollection of any manual, which would in any case not especially useful.


The sound quality of this pedal is just bluffing. The bypass is excellent, and it can be used in different ways, always with a warm and musical result.

I personally use it to boost the crunch of my amp. After setting a relatively small but aggressive crunch (Scorpions, AC / DC), I use the pedal to get a big sound more chubby and saturated (Van Halen, The Darkness ...).

The interaction between the knobs Gain and Volume can refine the side is nervous and live either more compressed opposite effect. The equalizer is very effective, including in front of an already distorted amp. "Treble" provides a sound more or less sharp, and allows out of an already dense mix. As the knob "Bass", it gives my 1X12 combo sitting in a serious impressive.

The arch efficient equalization pedal bypasses most classic overdrive usual defects of others (Ibanez TS, Maxon, Boss ...) as the loss of serious or too compressed character. Here we can choose to keep the grain base of the amp or otherwise tamper with the very efficiently. Sometimes it would almost added as an additional channel lead to the amp so the effect is natural.

A friend uses it on the clean channel of the Fender 4X10 heated and draws a much warmer sound, solid and defined with its old Tube Screamer. The headroom, sometimes too much when one boosts its already saturated, in this case its usefulness.
Beware though, the pedal is in my opinion an overdrive, the amp should already be pushed hard enough that the record is natural.

Another great quality of the pedal is that it cleared very effectively: you can get an almost clean sound by lowering the knobs, even on very saturated gain channel is quite impressive for an overdrive.

Finally, the pedal fully complies with the character of my various guitars: Fender Stratocaster, Gibson Flying V. ..


I use it for more than 6 months and I'm thrilled.

I owned bulk Marshall Bluesbreaker, Boss Od-1, Boss Sd-1, Ibanez TS808, Mxr Micro Amp, Vox Satchurator, Boss DS-1 and DS-2 ... No other overdrive / distortion is as convinced me that Xotic, and she never left my pedalboard.

She is assisted there by Ep Booster Xotic also from home, which complements perfectly.

Some would say that the price of this BB Preamp is high, it is for me amply justified considering the quality of the product.
I would do this choice certainly it was a remake.

thierry5351's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" Uu excellent choice"

Xotic Effects BB Preamp
Boost Overdrive.
4 pots, gain, volume, bass, treble. True bypass. Analog. Damage battery compartment requires unscrewing four screws. Standard 9 volt external power supply (type boss)


Extremely simple, requires no manual.


Gain "zero" was an extremely clean boost, which adds a bit of warmth and sustain.
Until 9am, very soft and subtle light OD. Above, lots of sustain and character.
The pots Tone very, very effective. And the top:. Above the distortion of the amp or pedal, the distortion becomes huge and juicy (leaving the gain of the low BB or below 10:00) It must be placed between the guitar and the amp. Beware, the sound is kind of sweet if you know what I mean, you're not in the OD or distortion rocky with gravel. It is smooth.
I played on lamps amps (Vibrolux, Laney VC15, Mesa Express 5:25, and CP60 Strat guitars and LAG Roxane RF1000 in P90) or transistor (Frontmann 65R yuck) In all cases, irreplaceable.


5 years.
I had plenty of OD / DS (OCD TS7, Zvex distortron, Jekyll and Hyde, Tech 21, Rats, DS1, OS2, etc. ...)
I have kept the latter over time.
I love everything about it except the price.
AND I would have preferred a blue LED, but hey, it's detail.
I guess another preamp with Xotic suit me because I use the BB with a low gain (9:00). IF it was not the money, I would buy the other 2 (yellow and white) just by addiction and to try.