Roundup! 7 Pedals from Big Joe

January 30, 2014

Named after 9-string Delta blues kingpin Big Joe Williams (1903-1982), Bridgeport, Connecticut’s Big Joe Stomp Box Company was founded in 2011 by David and Paul Christian, the designers of the Pocket Rockit headphone amp. The Christian’s mission is to “capture the tonal history of blues/rock guitar” with their product line.

B-401 Saturated Tube
$189 street

Sporting a sound reminiscent of a famous diamond-grilled British amp, this box roars with a ballsy, yet bright and articulate overdrive. High frequencies are front and center, and engaging the High Boost switch makes the highs even more aggressive. If the shimmer is too much for you, backing off the Presence/Tone control tames the spikiness. The pedal is pretty sensitive to picking dynamics, so hard or soft attacks affect its sound as well. Although the B401 doesn’t stray too far from the bell-like raunch of ’60s Brit Pop, I managed to also dial in some excellent classic rock and melodic-metal tones.

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