MI Audio (2006-2008)
The Blues Pro has an interesting story. When I first started work on the Blue Boy overdrive, I worked on the design till i got to a point where I was happy with it. So I went out and had a whole bunch of PCBs made up. What I didn't count on was changing my mind,... which I did. I was then not able to use the PCBs. So, what I decided to try to recoup some of the money I'd pumped into the PCBs by making these pedals up, putting them in a bare aluminium case, and selling them at cost. I called this pedal the 'Blues Prototype'. What I didn't count on was just how popular these pedal were. They are still on the second hand market today, in most cases getting considerably more than what was paid for them.
The Blues Prototype is so popular that I get at least a few emails per week asking about the pedal, and the availability of the pedal. So I've taken the plunge, and there you have it,... the Blues Protoype is now reincarnated as the Blues Pro.
Why 'Pro'? Because unlike its predecessor, it features truly professional specs:
- Heavy duty die-cast, professionally powder coated and silk-screened enclosure. The same size of an MXR pedal too, and a gorgeous midnight blue!
- Heavy duty 3PDT footswitch with true bypass.
- The highest quality in/out plugs for a life-time of trouble-free operation.
- Upgraded caps throughout for operation anywhere up to 25V for massive headroom!!!
Besides these features, the pedal is identical to the original, which included:
- The classic JRC4558D IC.
- Double the gain of a typical TS type of pedal.
- Improved bass response for less bass loss, a typical problem with TS type pedals.
- DC plug (boss style) for use with external power supply or internal 9V battery.
- Asymmetrical clipping.
The Blues Pro vs. the Blue Boy
So why release the Blues Pro if I already have its bigger brother, the Blue Boy? Well, despite the shared lineage, the two pedals ended up being quite different. It's no nonsense circuitry is very 'immediate'. There are no internal trimmers, so you get a very easy to use pedal, with the classic configuration of Gain, Tone and Volume. The Blues Pro is a little bit more compressed, which give the pedal a bit of extra punch. It also sounds throatier than the Blue Boy in high gain settings. The tone control is very intuitive to use (it's much closer to the Blue Boy's brightness control). It makes a great compliment to the Blue Boy, but its true soul-mate is the Crunch Box. The two pedals are a natural extension of each other.
One day whilst working on a batch of Blues Pros, Adrian came up with the cool little idea. With a simple mod, he was able to completely change the feel of the Blues Pro, from a cool little OD to a rather mean sounding fuzz. He then had the idea of installing a switch in order to make the mod switchable. We refer to this mod as the 'Adrian Fuzz Mod'.
This is quite an interesting mod, because the character of the pedal changes quite dramatically. The other interesting thing about this mod is the fact that the tone control becomes more of a 'sponge' control. With the tone all the way up, the Blues Pro sounds like a louder version of the original. As you turn the tone control down, the response time of the Blues Pro increases. This sounds particularly cool on chords. With the tone control all the way down, the tone takes a second or two to settle.