"The end-all, be-all of Bee modules"
The Bee All is a collection of amp sim rack effect module configurations that share a common circuit design. That design includes a number of BJFE, Bearfoot, and Mad Professor pedals that provide a wide selection of tones designed to capture the sound of several well-known amp styles.
This may seem a little complicated at first, but it really isn't. Let's begin with some context information.
The Bee All module comes in a large number of configurations that compare to several models of several brands of pedals that all share a very similar circuit design, a circuit designed by Swedish builder Bjorn Juhl.
At GT, we are not experts on the complicated product offerings that have appeared over the years from these product lines. But we offer this little bit of info based on what we have found. Undoubtedly there are some mistakes in our simplified view, so use this only as a guideline.
Bjorn Juhl hand-builds his pedals and sells them under the BJFE brand from Sweden. There are numerous models of pedals, with changes and improvements as he builds those different models over time. There are also numerous custom and one-off builds. Typically all these models are in very limited quantities and fetch high prices. If you want a pedal built by him, you need to track down or order it from BJFE.
Bjorn has some arrangements with other companies to build pedals from his designs. One of those companies is Bearfoot FX in the USA. The Bearfoot versions of his designs often differ slightly from the BJFE versions. Sometimes the variations are different parts and sometimes the circuits have slight alterations. The Bearfoot versions are hand-built and sound very similar to their BJFE counterparts, or at least some version of their BJFE counterparts. The Bearfoot versions are much more available and affordable than the BJFE versions, but still of limited availability and older models can be difficult to find.
Bjorn also has an arrangement with the Mad Professor brand. Mad Professor versions of the designs may vary considerably from the original BJFE and Bearfoot designs. These are mass-produced, generally affordable and available. They may sound more different from the BJFE design than the Bearfoot version.
Bjorn also has an arrangement with One Component pedals. These are smaller form-factor versions of his designs built using surface mount technology. We haven't spent time researching these versions of the circuits and probably won't. There are enough versions as it is!
Generally, the differences in sound between the BJFE and Bearfoot pedals are minor. As a result, our module configurations will compare more directly to those brands. We do have some configurations that compare to the Mad Professor versions, but the circuit differences are often big enough that we would have to build them as completely different modules.
All of these brands have a large number of different pedal models, but only a few of those models share this similar circuit. Many of the others are completely unrelated. Below is the base list of configurations that our Bee All module supports and the pedals they compare to. Nearly all of these pedals are low to medium gain overdrives, some getting into the high-gain space. They have great dynamics and respond to guitar controls and picking nicely. Most are also meant to sound like particular styles of amps, so we list those as well. A few more common points among the many configurations:
- all use about the same amount of power
- the differences between minor version changes are small and often focus on tweaks to the levels of mids or highs
- all are pretty quiet and noise-free
- the exact FET transistors used makes little difference within the group of transistors that are used in these configurations
- some of our options have only minor impacts to the tone (more details below).
- most, but not all, are in the low to medium levels of gain, which reflects the nature of many of the amps they simulate
Note that we don't cover all the possible brand/model/version combinations of all those pedals. We will likely add new configurations over time. We think our numerous current choices provide options that compare to a wide variety of these popular pedals and should cover most needs. In addition, we have a few options to let you further refine your configuration.
Since all of these configurations share a common circuit and are built on the same board, they share some of the properties mentioned above. They are also in the same ballpark for sound, sort of like all tube amps have some similarity in sound. But they all differ, too. The configurations are grouped below. The sound is more different between groups than it is between members of the same group. Each group has a design intended to sound like a specific type(s) of amp. Within the groups, the versions are slight variations on that style. The differences between members of the same group are often most noticeable in how they handle highs and upper mids. Some of the differences are so slight that it takes some time to figure it out and hear it.
Some configurations allow you to select between different versions. They cost a smidge more, but if you think you may want those slight versions differences, that may be a better way to cover your bases than buying multiple modules. You may find the differences between the versions so small that you wouldn't want to buy them as separate modules since that would cost more, take up more enclosure space, and use more footswitches than a single module supporting two versions.
There appear to be variations in actual parts used in these circuits. Mostly we've found those variations cause little, if any, significant impact on the sound. But they could. Because of those variations, we can't absolutely guarantee a close match between our modules and original pedals. We know that we do compare very closely to originals we've tested with, and believe most part variations make little difference, but there is a chance of some difference due to variations.
The controls differ a little from one circuit to another, but are much more similar than they are different. They all have a Volume control. It controls the volume at the end of the circuit and has little impact on the overall tone beyond just that associated with changing the level. They all have some sort of Drive control that controls the gain. Most/All also have a "Nature" control, although on some models it has a different name. It's a little difficult to describe this control generally, as it is "tuned" to work in slightly different ways in different variants of the circuit. A simple way to think of it is that it is a Tone control. But it impacts more than just the tone. It can also affect compression and saturation. Those are the three "standard" controls on most 3-knob versions of the circuit. The fourth control differs depending on the circuit, but most commonly it is a Treble or Presence type of control for the highs. On other models it controls Compression or pre-gain Boost. The controls usually interact with each other, perhaps making it take a little longer to find your favorite settings. It isn't always a linear process of setting one control, then the next, then the next. Changing one may lead you to change another.
Technically, there are 3 active stages in the circuit. There is a pre-gain input/boost FET transistor section (used only in a small number of configs), an op-amp gain/soft clipping stage (the same op amp and soft clipping is used in all configs), and a FET transistor output stage. Between the last two stages is where most of the circuit variations occur. There is a set of feedback and filter sub-circuits, along with hard clipping. These are different (or missing) between all the groups and between versions in the same group. Many of these differences are the sort of options we would offer as customizations for a circuit that is as flexible and adaptable as this one. We do offer customizations, but the many standard configurations capture most of what we might consider "good custom configurations" for the circuit. As such, we recommend you pick a standard configuration and not customize it unless you are very familiar with some version and have a specific goal in mind with your choice of customizations.
A final note on controls and customizations... Bearfoot introduced "Deluxe" or "Plus" or "+" versions of some of these configurations. These provide a clever, but limited, way to make it seem like the circuit was emulating a two-channel amplifier. An extra footswitch gives you the ability to switch between two settings of two control sets. One of the controls is Volume, the other usually the Nature or another tone control, such as Treble. The footswitch lets you switch between the two pairs of settings for those controls. But the Drive and other controls remain the same. This is nice for switching to a lead or solo, like you might switch channels on an amp. But this is not great for getting a second entirely different sound like you might get in switching between a clean and dirty channel on an amp, since some controls are shared between the "channels". We offer a set of "Deluxe" options so that you can build a config that lets you do that with any of the configurations, for any of the controls, and for more than two controls. There is a confusing limit on this, though. Technically, we can only switch up to four connections in the circuit at the same time. Some controls only require switching one connection, but some require switching two connections. What's complicated is that it varies from version to version. Some controls require only one connection in one version, or two connections in another version. Since there are usually 3 or 4 controls, depending on the version you might only be able to switch 2, 3, or 4 of the controls together. That may be enough, or it may be "almost enough, but not quite". Give it a think before you order it to decide what you really need to switch together. We'll help with the tech details of what is and isn't possible. But if it works, it's kinda cool to get that second channel capability. There's extra wiring, boards, and work to build it, so we have to charge extra for that, but it may still be worth it if it keeps you from needing another whole module.
You won't see "Bee All" in the names of the module configurations. Instead, we have names for the different major versions. Our minor version indicators are like "V1" and "AV1". When there is an "A" at the beginning, that means "American" (Bearfoot). Without the "A" means the original (BJFE). Mad Professor versions have different names, as seen in the "berry" group below.
- Cloudberry - BJFE Blueberry Bass Overdrive
- Huckleberry - Bearfoot Blueberry Bass Overdrive
- Elderberry - Mad Professor Blueberry Bass Overdrive
The "berry" configurations compare to different versions of the Blueberry Bass Overdrive. As the name suggests, the Blueberry is an overdrive designed specifically for bass, but it also sounds great with guitar. It is meant to channel your inner Lemmy or John Paul Jones thundering away with an Ampeg or Acoustic stack. Focused more on low to medium levels of gain, like a warmed up tube amp, but not pushing into major breakup and distortion. The Blueberry versions of this circuit were the first. All the others (the Honey Bee, other "Bees", Model G, Model H, etc) are variations, to greater or lesser degrees, on the general circuit design first used in the Blueberry Bass Overdrive.
Controls: Volume, Drive, Nature.
- Bee's Knees V1 - BJFE Honey Bee Overdrive (3-knob)
- Bee's Knees AV1 - Bearfoot Honey Bee Overdrive (3-knob)
- Bee's Knees V2 - BJFE Honey Bee Overdrive (4-knob)
- Bee's Knees AV2 - Bearfoot Honey Bee Overdrive (4-knob), including "Honey Bair", "Sunshine Girl", and several other models that differ only in appearance
- Bee's Knees Deluxe - Bearfoot Honey Bee Overdrive Plus (6-knob, 2 channels)
The Bee's Knees configurations compare to different versions of the Honey Bee Overdrive. With the possible exception of the Blueberry, the Honey Bee is probably the most popular of these circuits. They are meant to capture the sound of a class of small, vintage combo amps, small Tweed or Supro combos. It is a low to medium gain circuit, sort of a Blueberry changed up from bass to guitar. The 3-knob versions were sometimes considered a bit dark. The 4-knob versions address that nicely with a Treble control.
Controls: Volume, Drive, Nature. 4-knob versions add a Treble control. The Deluxe version has two controls each for Volume, Drive, and Nature - two independent channel settings, along with an extra footswitch input to select between them. Note that our Deluxe is not the same as the original Honey Bee Deluxe. The original Deluxe added a Boost control instead of the second channel controls. That config with the Boost control can be found as our Killer Bee, which compares to the Honey Beest.
- Queen Bee - Bearfoot Uber Bee
- Queen Bee Deluxe - Bearfoot Uber Bee Plus
The Queen Bee configurations compare to different versions of the Uber Bee Overdrive. The Uber Bee is an "extended range" Honey Bee. It has more gain available, as well as a wider range of low to high tone control. But even with the extended ranges, it is still mostly a low to medium gain overdrive, perhaps a bit hotter on the top settings. For higher gain, look to the Killer Bee and Wasp configurations.
You might ask why someone might want a Bee's Knees config when a Queen Bee covers the same range and then some. Good question, deserving a good answer. The 3-knob Bee's Knees can have all 3 controls switched at once, giving you the ability to have two completely separate control settings. The 4-knob Queen Bee cannot have all the controls switched together. At least one control must remain unswitched, limiting how different the two channel settings can be. Another reason isn't really particular to these two configs, but applies to many effects and many of the options we offer for some of our modules. We'll use a Gain control as an example. Suppose you have a low to medium gain control on a circuit like the Bee's Knees. That spreads your available settings across the whole distance you can turn the knob. Now change that Gain control to have a much larger range. Again, all your possible settings are spread across the full range of motion of the control. But if you don't use the extended part of the range that much, you may find yourself looking for the sweet spot in a small range of the movement of the knob. It becomes more difficult to make those tiny adjustments that have a bigger impact. By all means, if you use the extended range, that may still be a good trade-off. But if you expect you'll only use the smaller range, you get better control of your tone without the extended range taking up half the control.
Controls: Volume, Drive, Nature, Treble. Deluxe version has two controls each for Volume and Drive, along with an extra footswitch input to select between them. Other Deluxe configs are options, but no more than three of the controls can be switched together.
- Killer Bee - Bearfoot Honey Beest
- Killer Bee Deluxe - Bearfoot Honey Beest Plus
The Killer Bee configurations compare to the Honey Beest Overdrive. The Honey Beest is like a boosted Honey Bee. It adds a pre-gain boost stage that you control with the Boost control. The Boost, Drive, and Nature controls all affect the gain as well as the tone, providing a range of great options. It can be a little tricky to dial in when you have so many interactive controls, so it may take a few minutes extra to find your settings. The Boost and Gain together give you an extended gain range that will get further into high gain territory than either the Bee's Knees or Queen Bee.
Controls: Volume, Drive, Boost, Nature. Deluxe version has two controls each for Volume and Boost, along with an extra footswitch input to select between them. Other Deluxe configs are options, but no more than three of the controls can be switched together.
- Worker Bee - Bearfoot Silver Bee
- Worker Bee Deluxe - Bearfoot Silver Bee Plus
The Worker Bee configurations compare to the Silver Bee Overdrive. The Silver Bee is designed to emulate two classic amps, Silvertone and Silverface, and let you create your own mix of the two. Of course, Silverface amps are Fender amps, while Silverface amps were made by Danelectro and most notably sold in Sears catalogs many years ago. The Worker Bee has a Snarl control to adjust the "grunt and gristle" of Silvertone amps. The Spit control adjusts the fuzzier driven sound of a cranked Silverface. This is a low to medium gain drive.
Controls: Volume, Drive, Snarl, Spit. Deluxe version has two controls each for Volume and Drive, along with an extra footswitch input to select between them. Other Deluxe configs are options, allowing up to all four controls to be switched together.
- Hornet V1 - BJFE Model G
- Hornet AV1 - Bearfoot Model G
The Hornet configurations compare to the Model G. The Model G is designed to sound like early Gibson amps, which were best at clean tones with some upper mids growl when pushed. This is a low to medium gain drive.
Controls: Volume, Drive, Nature, Compression
- Wasp V1 - BJFE Dyna Red Distortion (3-knob)
- Wasp AV1 - Bearfoot Dyna Red Distortion (3-knob)
- Wasp AV2 - Bearfoot Dyna Red Distortion (4-knob)
- Red Wasp - Bearfoot Dyna Hot Red Distortion
The Wasp configurations compare to several versions of the Dyna Red Distortion. The Dyna Red Distortion is designed to capture the tone of Orange and Marshall amps. In the 3-knob version, the mids were controlled by the Distortion control (in addition to the gain), and the third knob handled Treble. The 4-knob version provided a control for the low mids, separate from the Distortion control. Both will go from clean-ish into high gain ranges. The Dyna Red Hot Distortion changes up the tone controls a bit and provides a bit more gain while still maintaining good clarity. These configurations provide the highest gain of any of the Bee All configs. You can definitely get into easy feedback with nice touch sensitivity when you run these wide open. But you probably won't get the highest gain, verging on out-of-control squealing. We have other Amp Sim modules that will give that maximum gain Marshall sound. However, if you don't live on the outside edge of high gain, these configs may meet your cranked Marshall needs. And, yes, with high gain comes a bit of noise, but it doesn't get out of hand - about like you'd expect with a cranked Marshall amp.
Controls: Volume, Distortion, Treble. AV2 adds Lo Mids control.
- Yellow Jacket V1 - BJFE Sparkling Yellow Overdrive OD1
- Yellow Jacket AV1 - Bearfoot Sparkling Yellow Overdrive OD1
- Yellow Jacket V2 - BJFE Sparkling Yellow Overdrive OD2
- Yellow Jacket AV2 - Bearfoot Sparkling Yellow Overdrive OD2
- Yellow Jacket AV3 - Bearfoot Sparkling Yellow Overdrive OD3
The Yellow Jacket configurations compare to several versions of the Sparkling Yellow Overdrive. These are designed to capture the tone of early Fender amps, and early Marshall amps that were based on nearly identical circuits. The OD1 is a bit cleaner with a little more high end than the OD2. The OD2 has slightly more compression. But the two versions are much more similar than they are different. The OD3 is a "twofer", with an extra switch that lets you select between the OD1 and OD2 tones.
Controls: Volume, Drive, Mids, and Treble. The AV3 adds a switch for AV1 vs AV2 tones. The V1 doesn't have the Mids control.
- Bumble Bee AV1 - Bearfoot Model H v1
- Bumble Bee AV2 - Bearfoot Model H v2
- Bumble Bee AV3 - Bearfoot Model HS
The Bumble Bee configurations compare to the different verisons of the Bearfoot Model H. The Model H is designed to capture the tone of Hiwatt and Dumble amps. Most of us will probably never get the chance to play a Dumble, or perhaps even hear one live. But we all know the famous roar of a cranked Hiwatt. If you need a reminder, pull out your copy of one of the best-captured live sounds of all time - The Who, Live at Leeds. If you can't hear, feel, and even smell the rock and roll in that, then dial 911 quickly, as you are in need of urgent care! Youll get big, powerful, sparkly clean tones edging into a smooth, brawny overdrive. Again, like other groups these versions are more alike than different, with the most notable differences being mostly in how they handle the high end presence. V1 is a little darker. V2 has a little wider range of tones. V3 offers V1 and V2 on a switch, with a bit more presence. The "V1" and "V2" tone choices on the AV3 configuration are slightly different from the original V1 and V2 pedals, as the V3 circuit is implemented differently than its predecessors. None of these are wildly different from each other, but the highs and drive vary a bit between the models.
Controls: Volume, Drive, Tone (3-knob AV1). AV2 adds Treble control. AV3 adds Treble control and Mode switch.
- Custom Voltage - By default all configurations run at 9V, just like the original pedals. But also like the originals, they can be run at higher (and lower) voltages. Choices range from 5V to 15V. We don't recommend lower than 9V, nor do we generally see much need for other than 9V. However, if you need to tweak up your headroom and level, then 12V or 15V may be good choices. We could also add in a Voltage Sag control if you want the option of a higher voltage that you can also dial back down.
- Custom Clipping - All configurations have LED soft clipping in the op amp gain stage. It is a core part of this circuit's sound and design. Almost all configurations also have hard clipping after the op amp gain stage. But the hard clipping varies depending on the configuration. Most of the hard clipping is done with silicon diodes, although a few use FET transistors as diodes. With this module we introduced a separate clipping board add-on that has many configuration possibilities for both the hard and soft clipping. If you are interested, we can discuss the many possibilities. When there are two clipping sections, there are lots of possible configurations, but many of them won't really sound very different and as a result aren't really useful. If you want to keep the core tone intact, we recommend you stick with the LED soft clipping diodes. We use red in almost every config, but green was also used sometimes. There is an overlap in the specs of red and green LEDs, so changing from one to the other probably won't have as much impact as you might expect. We've also experimented with various hard clipping configurations. These can provide some slight variations in tone, although unless you select germanium diodes, the differences are not that large. But those small differences are part of what give the different configurations their different sounds, so you might find this a worthwhile option. As usual with our clipping options, we recommend making one choice of configurations the same as the original circuit.
- Custom Deluxe Configurations - Our "Deluxe" configurations mimic having a second channel that you can switch to with a footswitch. As mentioned in the discussion above, depending on the specific configuration, we can switch 2, 3, or 4 controls with the added footswitch. Our Deluxe configurations come with a standard set of switched controls, but you can change up the controls that are switched in most cases. Of course, adding the extra channel controls creates a wider module and uses another footswitch.
- More Gain - In most configs, we can change out the Drive control pot for a different one that will provide a wider range of gain. You'll have the same level of minimum gain, but an extended range of more gain. This generally won't provide a massive change in gain available, but it will definitely provide more. The original range of gain is still there to be dialed in, but it will be in a smaller section of the control, perhaps a little more difficult to find exactly.
- Custom Components - All configs use the CA3130 op amp and various diodes and FET transistors used in the original circuits. We haven't found much advantage to changing them, but if you have a specific goal or idea in mind, we can certainly change them up.
Various configurations, noted above. Deluxe models have an extra front panel LED to indicate which channel is selected.
- Audio In
- Audio Out
- On/Off Footswitch
- On/Off Override
- DC Power
- DC Power LED
Deluxe models will have an addition On/Off Footswitch jack and On/Off Override switch for the second channel
- 1.5" or 2", depending on configuration
- At present, left and right wing configurations are available for some module configurations, but not all
Power Consumption (aprox)
9 - 13mA
|Part #||Description||List Price|
|MOD-BEESKNEES-V1||Bee's Knees V1 module||$179|
|MOD-BEESKNEES-AV1||Bee's Knees AV1 module||$179|
|MOD-BEESKNEES-V2||Bee's Knees V2 module||$189|
|MOD-BEESKNEES-AV2||Bee's Knees AV2 module||$189|
|MOD-BEESKNEES-DLX||Bee's Knees Deluxe module||$239|
|MOD-QUEENBEE||Queen Bee module||$189|
|MOD-QUEENBEE-DLX||Queen Bee Deluxe module||$239|
|MOD-KILLERBEE||Killer Bee module||$189|
|MOD-KILLERBEE-DLX||Killer Bee Deluxe module||$239|
|MOD-WORKERBEE||Worker Bee module||$189|
|MOD-WORKERBEE-DLX||Worker Bee Deluxe module||$239|
|MOD-HORNET-V1||Hornet V1 module||$189|
|MOD-HORNET-AV1||Hornet AV1 module||$189|
|MOD-WASP-V1||Wasp V1 module||$179|
|MOD-WASP-AV1||Wasp AV1 module||$179|
|MOD-WASP-AV2||Wasp AV2 module||$189|
|MOD-REDWASP||Red Wasp module||$179|
|MOD-YELLOWJACKET-V1||Yellow Jacket V1 module||$179|
|MOD-YELLOWJACKET-AV1||Yellow Jacket AV1 module||$189|
|MOD-YELLOWJACKET-V2||Yellow Jacket V2 module||$189|
|MOD-YELLOWJACKET-AV2||Yellow Jacket AV2 module||$189|
|MOD-YELLOWJACKET-AV3||Yellow Jacket AV3 module||$199|
|MOD-BUMBLEBEE-AV1||Bumble Bee AV1 module||$179|
|MOD-BUMBLEBEE-AV2||Bumble Bee AV2 module||$189|
|MOD-BUMBLEBEE-AV3||Bumble Bee AV3 module||$199|
|Part #||Description||List Price|
|MOPT-BEEALL-VOLTS||Custom voltage options||$TBD|
|MOPT-BEEALL-CLIP||Custom clipping options||$TBD|
|MOPT-BEEALL-DLX||Custom Deluxe configuration||$TBD|
|MOPT-BEEALL-GAIN||More Gain option||$0|
|Part #||Description||List Price|
|MPT-BEEALL-CA||Replacement pot, switch, jack, LED cable assembly||$19|
|MPT-BEEALL-KNB||Replacement control knob||$2|
|MPT-BEEALL-PB||Replacement power board||$29|
|MPT-BEEALL-SB||Replacement switching board||$29|