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 got 3 more pedals from them to try out, each one a different take on one of the pedals I tried before. So let's look at the Honey Beest OD!
After reviewing an original BJFE Honey Bee and the Bearfoot FX version, I got my hands on the Honey Beest. Like the two others, the Honey Beest has volume and drive control and that special â€œnatureâ€ 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 4th control is a PreGain control that makes all the difference.
The pedal in use
I knew that the Honey Beest would have more gain than the original version but silly me did not check out what this PreGain control does. I figured it really was control to set the gain going into the circuit and it would let you lower that amount. So I thought, set it flat out and start from there. Well, I was in for a surprise because the PreGain is basically an additional boost. With it flat out, it brings the honey to the boiling point. NOT what I was expecting!!
Both the BJFE and Bearfoot FX version of the Honey Bee deliver very sweet, big, articulate and responsive tones. They have a certain flavor that I haven't found in other pedals. They really make you â€˜play' your guitar and gear. Adding the PreGain control has really changed this pedal. I'm not saying it sounds bad but it sounds like a different pedal altogether. It still has the responsiveness that the Bearfoot pedals are known for but it's just different from the HBODs.
If you look at it as being another Bearfoot pedal then you are getting a great rock pedal. I really liked it with humbuckers guitars, you can get some great roots-tones from this pedal for sure! Just don't look at it as another HBOD.
The Honey Bee is a killer pedal and I'm still not sure about the Beest. For me, it has lost "IT" compared to the Bee. It's a great sounding pedal but it's so different to the Bee (IMHO) that it's a totally different pedal. I absolutely love the feel and response of the Bee and that's somewhat lost in the Beest. Even with the Pre-gain control down, it was never as inspiring to me as the Bee. That being said, the Beest has some great tones on tap.
- More info: Bearfoot FX Honey Beest Overdrive