[review] Bearfoot FX Honey Bee Overdrive (by LordRiffenstein)

LordRiffenstein, all-around tone freak and purveyor of great tone.

Bearfoot FX

BearFoot is a collaboration between BJFelectronics and DonnerBox to produce some of Bjorn Juhls best designs. These guys really need no introduction, Bjorn Juhl has been building amazing pedals for years and Donnerbox has been around for a long time creating funky boxes. The news of these guys teaming up to recreate the amazing BJFE pedals, at a lower price and in bigger numbers, got the anticipation levels of many pedal lovers WAY up. I am looking at the first pedals they recreated. Check out the reviews of the Dyna Red Distortion, Model H and Mint Green Mini Vibe! All BearFoot products are designed by Bjorn and produced by Donnerbox in the USA.

Honey Bee OD

This being a recreation of the original BJFE Honey Bee, it comes with the same features. Please check out my review of the original! The box has a swirly, honey-colored paintjob that looks great and is equipped with 3 controls. Like the original it has volume and drive control and that special “nature” control. The Nature control is more than an EQ, it has an impact on the tone but also on the drive, definitely if you go below 12:00 on the dial.

The pedal in use

When I first reviewed the BJFE version, I absolutely loved it. So I was curious to see/hear how this new version would sound and how it would compare with the original. I started off by testing the pedal itself but also have the original at my disposal for a proper A/B-test.

As the original, the Bearfoot FX Honey Bee OD delivers fantastic sweet tones.  It has a great dynamic feel and it invites you to work your guitar to get the tones. I really like using this for a light crunch tone, extremely touch sensitive. Like the original, it has a sweetness in the tones without sounding nasal but you can dial in more grit when you want to use it as a boost.

I was really digging the pedal so it was time for the a/b-test. Let me say one thing before going further. I do NOT believe that 2 pedals sound 100% the same, there are ALWAYS small margins in the tolerances of the parts that will make the sound different. The difference can be small but it will be there.  So when a/b-testing, I think it useless setting the dials the same on 2 pedals and expect them to sound the same. So I started with the original BJFE and set it for a mid gain crunch tone, drive about halfway and the nature control around 11:30. And then I tried to get the same tone with the Bearfoot FX model.

After closely comparing them for a couple of hours, as standalone pedals or using them to boost other pedals or a crunchy amp, I would say that the Bearfoot FX Honey Bee OD has a bit more of everything compared to the original BJFE. It has a bit more output, a bit more gain and a bit more sparkle to the tone. The mids of the BJFE sound probably a bit sweeter but you can dial the Bearfoot to sound as close as possible.

I am very glad we are now able to get the fine pedals from BJFE again, the BJFE Honey Bee OD blew me from my socks and the Bearfoot FX version did not disappoint!! It delivers the same sweet tones as the original. Hats off to Donnerbox for making these available and for delivering the awesome stuff!

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