What is it?
Boss BD-2 Blues Driver. Made in Taiwan. Unit has nice road worn on the casing. Manufactured in april, 2004.
Although i’m not deeply in love with Boss boxes, there are a few designs that i find interesting and usable at the same time. This is one of those. Discrete opamp and well designed JFET sound in compact box. There are a lot of these milder overdrives available from various manufacturers, but still only couple of really good ones come from big names. Boutiquers and few high end brands offer similar JFET-based vacuum tube analogy, but practically none of the mass producers do it.
For those interested, Gauss Markov has the redrawn schematic up on his site, so check it out. There’s factory schem available at Free Info Society too.
Under the hood shows the reason why most of the Boss boxes give me a severe case of meh. Autorouted, neat and clinical. These are made to last, but not to please the eye of an aesthetic electronics freak like me.
There’s a lot of spare room on the board, even though the discrete opamp stage is at least as complicated as using a standard opamp. That’s the key to the sound.
I really don’t get it why this pedal is listed high on big name modding lists. In my opinion a pedal should not be fixed if it’s not broken. And the Blues Driver is definitely not.
How does it sound?
Like one of the greatest low gain overdrive/distortions. It nearly captures the feel of overdriven old Fender tweed or Gibson amp. Quite edgy, articulate and dynamic. With low gain settings this is shining as one of those always on effects. Reacts quite dynamically to the way you play. It simply sounds great, even for someone who isn’t a fan of Bosses.