Review: The Xotic Effects BB Plus
The pedal that doesn’t go wrong!
A few months back, I was checking out the official website for the Xotic Effect Pedals and stumbled across a red stomp box “BB+” engraved with the by-line 1 + 1 = ∞. This claim by the makers of the Xotic Effects made total sense when I actually started using the pedal. I am now a proud owner of the Xotic BB Plus and there are several reasons to why i can’t get enough of it!
First let’s peep into the feature set of the mighty BB Plus:
- The BB+ has two channels, A and B.
- The A channel is based on the classic BB preamp by Xotic effects USA. Only thing it’s simpler to use, but that later.
- We are provided with two big knobs for volume and gain, one small knob in the middle for tone, and a comp switch, with small images on it’s side reading hard and soft for the button’s ON and OFF functions respectively.
- The B channel again has the similar volume and tone knobs as A, three smaller knobs representing bass mid and treble(yes a three band EQ) and the similar comp switch.
- Between both the channels we have a A>B/B>A switch. The stompbox comes in a scarlet red casing which is terribly durable, a red and a blue LED for channels A and B respectively. Runs on a 9V battery and/or a 9V power supply.
The best thing about this little monster is the TONE!
Now understand one thing, “thou shall never sound bad with a BB+”.
This pedal is an utter bad a**. When we usually try out a stompbox, we look for the setting that convinces our ears. Here I was struggling to see if the pedal can ever sound bad and honestly I have given up on that. This pedal is a one big pack for everything a blues/rock/jazz/fusion guitarist can ever ask for from a pedal.
The A channel is as simple as it can be.
If one is used to tube-screamer-like consoles then you’ll soon be best friends with this channel. One just has to adjust the volume, the gain and the tiny tone knob, which attenuates mids and highs. It is simply a super modded tubescreamer. Now, we are also provided with a comp switch which basically provides us with two cut off frequencies, 500hz when on hard and 1khz when on soft. Simply use it to add more bass to your sound which also makes your guitar sound more saturated, It’s best used on high gain, otherwise it just adds that extra butter you might need for your tone.
The B channel is smoother in comparison, with more bass than A.
Sounds fuller even for the cleans, I guess it’s for this reason that this channel is used more as a boost than as an overdrive, although the overdrive here too sounds beautiful. With the three band EQ we are provided with a wide spectrum of tones with bass going as low as 500hz, mids peaking at 1khz and the treble starting from 10khz.Again you are provided with a comp switch which takes the bass frequency to as low and 350hz. Try a high gain setting on this patch and switch on the comp, it sounds like a tube amp at it’s threshold dolling out it’s natural compression on the drive.
You can stack them one after the other.
We are also given a small switch between the channels which reads A>B when ON and B>A when it’s OFF, which simply means that we can stack these two channels the way we want. Overdrive before boost, boost before overdrive, A to B, B to A, with each channels infinite tonal possibilities. What we eventually get is something that is a godsend for a guitarist and so compact. Also, this pedal sounds good in any amp situation. If u don’t like to get in a mess of carrying your amp to your gigs or if u like to travel light but yet dont want to compromise on the tone then beat this, a guy with a sensible ear can make this sound great through a P.A! It is hardwired, with true bypass which is like playing straight through the amp with no disturbances at all.
It all boils down to the price.
In India, the BB+ is priced somewhere close to 22k rupees which is quite expensive. But again, quality doesn’t come cheap and this pedal is built to last a lifetime. It’s tough and compact.