All the great sounds of the ATOMIC BRAIN preamp a replication based on the original Roland 301 Echo Chamber (see description of preamp in the BS-301 section for more info).
100% analog vintage tone, texture and dynamic replication of the 70's Japanese RE-301 Space echo PREAMP w a boost mode, AND a digital tape echo sim using analog photocell modulation for chorus or vibrato in the slapback.
I've added a DB cut/clean switch if you want less saturated attack going into the front of the delay circuit(inside box). This lo-res digital tape emulator has been tweaked to let the brawn and mids attack of the Brain preamp hit it hard and saturate to the point of slightly overdriving the slapback and giving more smear to the response. Slight but its there so sweetly, an unusual quality not found in most basic digital delay pedals. In addition, there is a defeatable (toggles on and off) modulation circuit that affects the wet signal of the echo repeats and interacts with the emulators Mix, Repeat, and Time functions. This allows subtle shimmer, dimensional chorus all the way to fast trem pulse and off-kilter vibrato at slower deeper rates. To be straight up, this cool analog photocell modulation was added just to make the Brain Preamp sound like my actual 301 Tape echo, I built this pedal around. All the other fun stuff it creates is a bonus palette of effect and space. If that isn't something you need on all the time, just turn it off and get a smidge more delay time. Rates from about 15ms - 600ms tape delay times. Bathtub funk, honky-tonk to vintage Gallup and Scotty tape slap, to full-blown Brain Seltzer Orchestral Neo-Billy all the way to 70's/80's vintage DMM'ish Edge vibe and Space Rock.
An added joy unique to this box is that the Abby Mode on the Atomic Brain section really takes on an almost light overdrive boost when the tape echo emulator is engaged and the Bass Cut is all the way to the right at 5 o'clock. Like the vintage bassman rig that clips in the upper mids but stays fat and woody in the lows. I swear this thing carries that ghost but I want to be careful not to go down a path of hyperbole, this won't turn you into Brain Seltzer, there's more involved haha. This Mystery Brain BS-301 is solid 18 yr journey of chasing that particular guitarist's tone and texture, more so his unique pick attack and dynamic control. Born out of love for my upbringing in vintage roots rock (gospel, surf, Honky Tonk, neo-rockabilly) and STP, what? Yep, it's been developed on stage in front of weekly live audiences, honed and refined for many yrs as a pedal builder. I've had many a space echo, and this one has been torn down many times. Most recently the motor needed servicing. More reason to just have a pedal version of this old beast!
I've replicated the sounds and response of the famous Japanese 301 space echo and for a limited time, you can choose the optional boutique NOS 60s Metal Can analog op-amp. Honestly, there is hardly a difference between this chip and the more modern LM-741 variety. B#SS/R#land stopped using the first TA7136 and moved to the LM-741 when production stopped on the TA chip and nothing was missed. I use as standard, the quieter and higher audio grade Burr Brown OPA chip. It's my preference, super reliable, beautifully responsive and easily replaced anywhere in the world if needed (I socket all my chips on the circuit board) but if you want the fun of having the NOS 60s metal can opamp chip, its avail as an option charge below*.
(the TA chip is basically a nonexistent chip w pocket-fulls avail on the planet, I have a super limited stash of my own and only willing to let 3 out of the fold this time, and rare means expensive. Again you aren't missing much w this chip. The Burr Brown is wonderful and the *Metal can version is a tad cooler and noisier)
I'm all about fixing the things that needed fixing in the original 301 preamp, so you will find top audio grade, low tolerance xicon or vishay metal film resistors, metal film, silver mica and wima tone caps, even an audiophile burr brown opamp in the front of the delay w vishay metal film tone cap. Not to worry though, all the vintage feel, touch dynamics and response of the original 301 are here. No Baloney just tone and once you stomp it on, you will never turn it off. "Every guitar I own sounds like more of itself, a more better pedal is what this is and I never turn if off" - to quote Brain preamp owners.
*thanks to Joe Carducci of Gretsch for filming and producing this video, as well as Tim Harman of Tru-Arc bridges for being the interviewer and guitar demo riffer. His Gretsch Jet sounds so good through the Mystery Brain and my Moonshine '39 1x12 combo) ..also props to Timmy on the Gretsch Bass, and Dave Miller for letting me use his D-cut falcon, I want one!)
note: graphics logo done by the master of low brow Art & Album covers all over the globe, Vince Ray.
- (2016-11-17) The Mystery Brain BS-301 by TheNocturneBrain.com by Nocturne
- (2017-11-21) The Mystery Brain BS 301 Vintage Japanese Preamp & digi Tape echo by Nocturne