Blackbox Cobalt

Pictures

Controls

  • Volume
  • Bias
  • Drive
  • Gain

Various

Blackbox Music Electronics (2001)

The Cobalt is a warm, flexible and highly customizable clean boost/overdrive designed for guitar and bass. The Cobalt is designed to be very responsive to your playing dynamics and is highly adaptable to many different instruments and uses. The Cobalt features a very high impedance input to preserve your instrument's tone and to avoid loading down your pickups and uses hand selected and tweaked components to acheive superior sound quality. The Cobalt can be used for everything from a transparent clean boost to that "amp right on the edge of breaking up sound" to a very open, high gain tube overdrive sound (even at unity gain settings!) with many subtle shades in between. Besides having a large amount of gain available, the Cobalt is designed to be very quiet in operation and adds virtually no noise to the signal chain even when used at higher gain settings. The Cobalt adds some serious punch to your sound without compromising the tone and feel of your instrument and amp.

Controls

  • Gain - Controls the amount of input gain. Use the Gain knob to pad down the input signal to prevent the Cobalt from overdriving and adding dirt into the signal. Alternately, the Gain knob may be used to overdrive subsequent stages, providing a nice tube amp overdrive sound at unity gain levels in conjunction with the Drive and Bias knobs.
  • Drive - Controls the secondary boost gain and amount of overdrive. Use the Drive knob to fine tune the amount of overdrive or clean boost.
  • Bias - Controls the signal bias which effects the amount of signal headroom, compression, waveform symmetry and "crunch". Counterclockwise provides more headroom and less signal distortion, clockwise provides more compression, overdrive and assymetry of the waveform. Use in conjuction with the gain and drive knobs to tailor your sound.
  • Volume - Controls the amount of overall output volume and gain.

Suggested Uses
Here are some suggested uses of your Cobalt to get you started. Experimentation with the Cobalt is key to finding settings that work well for you and enhance the sound of your instrument. Because the Cobalt has a very high impedance input, you will generally achieve the best results by putting the Cobalt first in the signal chain (connected directly to the guitar).

  • For clean boost: Set the bias control between 7:00 and 11:00. Set the Gain knob to around 10:00-12:00 and then adjust the Drive knob counterclockwise until the sound cleans up. Use the Volume to determine the overall amount of clean boost.
  • For a small amount of crunch/breakup: To get just a small amount of break up (that "turned up the amp just a little bit too loud) Set the Gain at around 12:00-1:00, set the Bias knob to about 12:00-2:00 and then use the Drive knob to control the amount of "crunch" in the signal. Set the Volume knob to control the overall amount of signal gain.
  • For a high gain overdrive sound: turn the Bias knob to 2:00-5:00, set the Gain knob to around 3:00 and then use the Drive knob to dial in the amount of crunch and gain in the signal. Use the Volume knob to determine the overall amount of output gain.

Oohlala Manufacturing

What would happen if you married a high fidelity guitar preamp to a killer overdrive? We asked ourselves the same question and came up with the Cobalt. The Cobalt is a warm, flexible and highly customizable clean boost/overdrive designed for guitar and bass. The Cobalt is designed to be very responsive to your playing dynamics and is highly adaptable to many different instruments and amps. The Cobalt can be used for everything from a transparent clean boost to that "amp on the edge of breaking up" sound, to a very open, high gain tube overdrive sound (even at unity gain settings!) with many subtle shades in between. The Cobalt adds some serious punch to your sound without compromising the tone and feel of your instrument and amp.

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