Digitech Screamin' Blues - Legit?

StormJH1

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I'm obviously way late to this game, but I came across an awesome mom-and-pop record store in this area, and they had a great assortment of used guitars and pedals. Among those pedals were a lot of DigiTech's, including the Bad Monkey (which I have), and other modeling pedals like the Tone Driver and Clapton Crossroads. But they also had a Screamin' Blues, which I had mostly overlooked.

My understanding (largely from the excellent technical discussions on TDPRI) is that the analog DigiTech stuff from the 2000's lines up like this:

Hot Head: DS-1 circuitry
Bad Monkey: TS-9 circuitry
Screamin' Blues: BD-2 Blues Driver circuitry

Basically, the Screamin' Blues is a Blues Driver, but with an adjustable bass control (and cheaper). I had the Blues Driver, briefly, but flipped it because I thought it got a bit harsh. At the time, however, I had a 15 watt amp, so I'm rethinking a lot of those pedals I "discarded". The Screamin' Blues demos sounded great, and it seems to be pretty well received across the board.

Can anyone vouch for the Screamin' Blues (or trash it if you didn't like it?). I understand the appeal behind the Bad Monkey, but find it to be too muddy compared to my other TS-like pedals. Blues playing is pretty integral to what I like to play (even when I play rock, it's still kinda blues), so I'm thinking this could be a good be a good fit in my arsenal (and much more versatile as a stacking pedal, too).
 

Tobacco Worm

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Yes sir, I had the Boss BD and found it to be a might too hard clipping for what it was designed to be I think. Didn't feel like doing any mods to it so it went away. A buddy of mine in Ft. Worth had one of the Digitech SB pedals. I got to mess with it some, but it was years ago. As I recall it had more depth than the BD and with the two tone pots opposed to the one on the BD, it had a broader range of tone to offer. It appeared to me that it had more range in the distortion as well. Much easier to dial in. He let me run it through my rig at the time (original '66 Twin) and it did give some good deep drive with that amp. I liked the pedal. I was using an old RAT at the time and I was real fond of it so I never got a SB pedal as the RAT suited all my dirt needs then.

My bud across the road has the EC Crossroads pedal Digitech makes and I find it to be a mess. Too many things going on in it to be of any use to my thinking. I like Digitech pedals, but not their Multi type ones like the Distortion Factory, Crossroads, and the like. Their dedicated single purpose units like the SB and the BM are fine as to what I hear in them. Hope that gives you some insight on the unit you're looking at. Again, I'm basing this on memory of some years back but also when my hearing was better too.:cool:

Wade
 

StormJH1

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Yes sir, I had the Boss BD and found it to be a might too hard clipping for what it was designed to be I think. Didn't feel like doing any mods to it so it went away. A buddy of mine in Ft. Worth had one of the Digitech SB pedals. I got to mess with it some, but it was years ago. As I recall it had more depth than the BD and with the two tone pots opposed to the one on the BD, it had a broader range of tone to offer. It appeared to me that it had more range in the distortion as well. Much easier to dial in. He let me run it through my rig at the time (original '66 Twin) and it did give some good deep drive with that amp. I liked the pedal. I was using an old RAT at the time and I was real fond of it so I never got a SB pedal as the RAT suited all my dirt needs then.

My bud across the road has the EC Crossroads pedal Digitech makes and I find it to be a mess. Too many things going on in it to be of any use to my thinking. I like Digitech pedals, but not their Multi type ones like the Distortion Factory, Crossroads, and the like. Their dedicated single purpose units like the SB and the BM are fine as to what I hear in them. Hope that gives you some insight on the unit you're looking at. Again, I'm basing this on memory of some years back but also when my hearing was better too.:cool:

Wade
Thanks for the response! I did pick up the Screamin' Blues (it was on sale used), and it is pretty much exactly what I had hoped it would be. There are people who understand circuitry that will tell you the Screamin' Blues' circuit is virtually identical to the Boss BD-2 Blues Driver, except that they give you a bass control. In my opinion, that's a huge "except"! I really feel that the single tone control is the weak link of so many early Boss pedals that would otherwise be viewed as great affordable classics. The DS-1 is an obvious one that comes to mind, though I did try and flip the DigiTech Hot Head, which wasn't notably better. (Probably just because the type of Distortion offered by the DS-1 isn't my favorite).

You hear people on message boards ALL THE TIME saying that they wish they could have a Tubescreamer with either: (a) more gain; or (b) more treble so it really cuts through when stacking. I think the Screamin' Blues (and the BD-2, to a less degree) does exactly that. I turned it on with everything at Noon it it was a bit thin. Putting the Bass at 2 o'clock and varying the treble based on Gain solved that issue immediately. I was playing this on a Strat with only moderate output pickups and into a completely CLEAN amp. Wanted to see what the pedal itself could bring out, and if you crank the gain, it gets pretty raucous and sustained! I can imagine that's even more true with a slightly dirty amp, or higher output pickups!

Also agree with you on the DigiTech "multi-tone" pedals. I think people assume this is what ALL DigiTech pedals are. Really, it's only a few of the recent ones (The Tone Driver, Hot Rod, and Distortion Factory come to mind, along with the Clapton and others) that do the digital modeling. And even there, the tones aren't "bad", they just feel a little artificial, and I fundamentally don't like a one-size-fits-all distortion pedal. I want it to have a particular sound or character so I always know what it does, but then give me a wide range of customization within that tone character. The SB is a nice pedal and a good value!
 


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