Bluesbuster

"Broad Range of Classic Marshall Sounds"

 

   

 

The BluesBuster amp sim rack effect module compares to the Marshall Bluesbreaker family of pedals, along with many pedals that are based on the same circuit, including the JHS Andy Timmons, Angry Charlie, and Morning Glory, the Suhr Riot, the MI Audio Crunch Box and Super Crunch Box, Analogman Prince of Tone, and Marshall Shredmaster, DriveMaster, Bluesbreaker, and Guvnor.  Many mods are available and the base configs cover everything from low drive to high gain.

 

Description

Marshall originally released the Bluesbreaker pedal to emulate their amp of the same name, which had recently been made famous by Eric Clapton.  It was a relatively low gain pedal designed to push a cleanish tube amp just to the point where it starts breaking up and sounding awesome.  Since that amp is a little dark, they brightened the pedal a bit.  If you use it with a bright setup (perhaps single coils), it can be very bright.  If you use it with a solid state amp, you may miss the point of trying to push tube amps.

Shortly after the Bluesbreaker, they introduced the Drive Master.  It is a very similar circuit, with a bit more gain.  Also, instead of a single Tone control, it had Bass, Treble, and Contour (for mids).  It was meant to sound more like a JCM800 cranked up.

A third pedal based on the same circuit, the Shred Master, was introduced to cover high gain Marshall territory, but not the super-high gain of other "more metal" pedals.  Used by Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood and My Bloody Valentine's Kevin Shields.

The Bluesbreaker circuit became one of the most modified, cloned, and copied pedals of all time.  We offer several popular variants.

 

Configurations

  • Bluesbuster V1 - We know of two early versions of the Bluesbreaker circuit.  V1 is the "original" version.

  • Bluesbuster V2 - V2 is an alternate form of the V1 circuit that appears to have been produced in the same timeframe.  It is nearly identical to V1, but you may notice a very slight decrease in drive and very subtle increase in treble as compared to V1.
  • Bluesbuster AA - Compares to JHS @ Andy Timmons

  • Bluesbuster AC - Compares to JHS Angry Charlie
  • Bluesbuster CB - Compares to MI Audio Crunch Box, Super Crunch Box

  • Bluesbuster DM - There may have been a couple of versions of the Drive Master.  A possible early version may have had some small differences in the tone stack and frequency filtering from the later versions.  The later versions appear to be sonically the same circuit that became The Guv'nor when the Drive Master was retired.  The possible early version sounds pretty good - a smidge less volume, a small amount less treble available, and maybe a little bit more low end, thus a smidge smoother sounding.  Not a big difference, but it is definitely there.  Whether it existed or not, it is a nice variation. Our DM configuration captures this version of the Drive Master.

  • Bluesbuster MG - Compares to JHS Morning Glory
  • Bluesbuster POT - Compares to Analogman Prince Of Tone ("half" of a King Of Tone)

  • Bluesbuster SR - Compares to Suhr Riot

  • Prime Minister - Compares to Marshall Guv'nor

  • Prime Minister Bass - Compares to Marshall Guv'nor modified for more bass
  • Ripper - Compares to Marshall Shred Master

 

Option/Feature V1, V2 AA AC CB DM MG POT SR Prime Minister, incl Bass Ripper
Standard Controls Volume, Drive, Tone  Volume, Drive, Tone, Presence  Volume, Drive, Tone, Presence  Volume, Drive, Tone, Presence  Volume, Drive, Bass, Mids, Treble  Volume, Drive, Tone  Volume, Drive, Tone, Presence  Volume, Drive, Tone  Volume, Drive, Bass, Mids, Treble  Volume, Drive, Bass, Contour, Treble
Presence Control  option  included included included  not available  option  included  option  not available  not available
Voltage  9V std - 12V, 15V, 18V optional  9V std - 12V, 15V, 18V optional  9V std - 12V, 15V, 18V optional  9V std - 12V, 15V, 18V optional  9V std - 12V, 15V, 18V optional  9V std - 12V, 15V, 18V optional  9V std - 12V, 15V, 18V optional  9V std - 12V, 15V, 18V optional  9V std - 12V, 15V, 18V optional  9V std - 12V, 15V, 18V optional
More Bass  option  option  option  option  option  option  option  option  option  option
Switchable More Bass  option  option  option  option  option  option  option  option  option  option
Tone Mod  option  option  option  option  not available  option  option  option  not available  not available
Switchable Tone Mod  option  option  option  option  not available  option  option  option  not available  not available
Bass/Mids/Treble Tone Stack  option  option  option  option  included  option  option  option  included  included
More Drive  option  option, not recommended  option, not recommended  option, not recommended  option, not recommended  option  option  option, not recommended  option, not recommended  option, not recommended
More/Less Gain  Lo is std  Hi is std  Hi is std  Hi is std  Med is std  Lo is std  Lo is std  Hi is std  Med is std  Med is std
Switchable Gain  option  option  option  option  option  option  option  option  option  option
Bright Cut  0 is std  100 is std  100 is std  100 is std  220 is std  not available  0 is std  470 is std  330 is std  47 is std
Switchable Bright Cut  option  option  option  option  option  0, 470 switch included  option  option  option  option
Soft Clipping Diodes  std is (4) 1N4148 diodes, not switched  std is none  std is none  std is none  std is none  std is (4) 1N4148 diodes, not switched  std is (4) MA856 diodes or no diodes, switched  std is none  std is none  std is none
Hard Clipping Diodes  std is none  std is (2) red LED, (2) 2N700 plus (1) BAT41, and (2) BAT41, switched  std is (2) red LED, not switched  std is (2) red LED, (2) 1N4148, switched  std is (2) red LED, not switched  std is none  std is (2)1S1588 diodes or no diodes, switched  std is (2) 1N914 plus (1) blue LED, (4) 1N34A, and (2) red LED, switched  std is (2) red LED, not switched  std is (2) 1N4148, not switched
Op Amp  TL072  LM833  LM833  LM833  TL072  LM833  JRC4580D  JRC4580  TL072  TL072
Buffers none none none none none none none output none none

 

Options

  • Presence Control - Add a Presence control to configuration that doesn't have one
  • Voltage - 9V is standard on all configurations, but 12V, 15V, and 18V are available for most configurations.  Higher voltage will give you more clean headroom, reducing distortion
  • More Bass - This circuit cuts bass.  This option allows more bass through the circuit.  You can choose "a bit more", "quite a bit more", or "pretty much all of it".  Depending on your setup and playing, these may range from an inaudible to a noticeable bass response.
  • Switchable More Bass - Same as the More Bass option, but on a switch so it can be turned on/off
  • Tone Mod - Change the range of the Tone control, providing a bit more control of the low end
  • Switchable Tone Mod - Same as Tone Mod, but on a switch so it can be turned on/off
  • Bass/Mids/Treble Tone Stack - Replace Tone control with Bass, Mids, and Treble controls like the Marshall Guv'nor
  • More Drive - Extend the range of the Drive control to provide more Drive.  All of the original range is still available.
  • More/Less Gain - In the circuit there is a limit for the maximum amount of gain available.  This limit is part of what distinguishes between many of the variants of this circuit.  Whatever level is available in some configuration can be changed.  Choices are "Lo", "Med", and "High"
  • Switchable Gain - Same as the More/Less Gain mod, but on a switch so it can be turned on/off
  • Bright Cut - This option adjusts a capacitor that cuts out noise and high frequencies.  May also seem to reduce the gain a bit.  This can be subtle, because those frequencies and noise may not be present.  The configurations have various values for this cap, where lower values mean more treble comes through.  Usual values range from 0 to 1000.  You choose.  Zero lets all the treble through that stage, while 1000 cuts a sizeable hunk out of the treble.
  • Switchable Bright Cut - Same as the Bright Cut option, but on a switch so it can be turned on/off.  Switch between 2 values.  Can have third setting, which must be 0.
  • Soft Clipping Diodes - Some of the configurations use soft clipping in the second gain stage.  You can choose: no soft clipping diodes (no switch), 1 diode config (no switch), 1 diode config plus no diodes (on a switch), 2 diode configs (on a switch), or 2 diode configs plus no diodes (on a switch).  Each diode config is made of 2, 3, or 4 diodes of your choice.
  • Hard Clipping Diodes - Most of the configurations use hard clipping after the second gain stage.  There are several diode config options supported, and you can choose up to 3 configs of diodes.  2 or 3 configs will be switched.  No diodes is also one of the options.
  • Op Amp - Each configuration has a default op amp that is part of that configuration's unique tone.  You can choose an alternate pin-compatible op amp if you have a preference.
  • Components - Resistors are metal film and capacitors are selected to reduce noise and provide good tone.  If you have preferences, let us know.

 

Front Panel

(see table above for availability in different configurations)

  • Volume
  • Drive
  • Tone
  • Presence
  • Bass
  • Mids / Contour
  • Treble
  • Voltage Switch
  • More Bass Switch
  • Tone Mod Switch
  • Gain Switch
  • Bright Cut Switch
  • Soft Clipping Switch
  • Hard Clipping Switch

 

Rear Panel

  • Audio In
  • Audio Out
  • On/Off Footswitch
  • On/Off Override
  • DC Power
  • DC Power LED

 

Module Width

  • 1.5" available for some (3-4) control configurations
  • 2" common with optional controls
  • 2" left wing available for (3-4) control configurations
  • 1.5" right wing available for (3-4) control configurations

 

Power Consumption (aprox)

10 - 20mA most common, some configurations up to 35mA

 

Base Configurations

Part # Description List Price
MOD-BBUST-V1 Bluesbuster V1 module $199
MOD-BBUST-V2 Bluesbuster V2 module $199
MOD-BBUST-AA Bluesbuster AA module $199
MOD-BBUST-AC Bluesbuster AC module $199
MOD-BBUST-CB Bluesbuster CB module $199
MOD-BBUST-DM Bluesbuster DM module $209
MOD-BBUST-MG Bluesbuster MG module $199
MOD-BBUST-POT Bluesbuster POT module $219
MOD-BBUST-SR Bluesbuster SR module $199
MOD-BBUST-PM Prime Minister module $209
MOD-BBUST-PMB Prime Minister Bass module $209
MOD-BBUST-RIP Ripper module $209

 

Options

Part # Description List Price
MOPT-BBUST-PRES Presence Control $19
MOPT-BBUST-VOLT Change Voltage $5
MOPT-BBUST-BASS More Bass $0
MOPT-BBUST-BASSW More Bass Switch $19
MOPT-BBUST-TM Tone Mod $0
MOPT-BBUST-TMSW Tone Mod Switch $19
MOPT-BBUST-BMT Bass/Mids/Treble Tone Stack $35
MOPT-BBUST-DRV More Drive $0
MOPT-BBUST-GN More/Less Gain $0
MOPT-BBUST-GNSW Gain Switch $19
MOPT-BBUST-BC Bright Cut $0
MOPT-BBUST-BCSW Bright Cut Switch $19
MOPT-BBUST-SOFT Custom Soft Clipping* TBD
MOPT-BBUST-HARD Custom Hard Clipping* TBD
MOPT-BBUST-CC Component Changes TBD

 

Parts

Part # Description List Price
MPT-BBUST-CA Replacement pot, switch, jack, LED cable assembly $19
MPT-BBUST-KNB Replacement control knob $2
MPT-BBUST-PB Replacement power board $29
MPT-BBUST-SB Replacement switching board $29