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Darkglass B3K - DISCONTINUED

Add One spot 9V PSU - £24.00



Microtubes B3K Hand Made in Finland (list £199)


The B3K delivers an immense amount of sounds, from warm, clear, and punchy tube-like Overdrives, to devastating Raging Bass Distortions, all without losing a gram of low end or definition!

Doesn’t matter if you play pop, rock or metal. This is the Bass Distortion you’ve been always waiting for.


1) Relay bypass for ultra transparent buffer bypass (same as currently used in B7K's and VMT Deluxe): We decided to replace the relay merely for reliability reasons.

The relay worked great most of the times, but it wasn't completely silent and also all the failures we've had in the past have been in pedals using this system.

We've replaced it with a smooth JFET switching using the same buffers that the B7K and Vintage Deluxe already use. We also replaced the foot switch for an on board tact switch with a spring actuator: The result is the same transparent switching, but with increased reliability and robustness. Specially considering that the switch we'll implement now is rated for 1 million cycles (yes, 1 million!).

2) Attack switch: We also took this revamp to implement an upgrade that was long overdue, removing one of the Boost options ("Boost 2") adding a "Cut" position for the Attack switch!




“This is an elegantly designed and pleasingly small pedal with a big overdrive sound, interesting parameters, and the essential blend knob. Highly recommended.”

-Justin Meldal-Johnsen, Nine Inch Nails/Beck

“I’m completely blown away with the B3K. For such a small pedal with 3 knobs, it produces a ridiculously massive sound! It has been a great tool for me to have in the studio, there is such a variety of tones you can achieve with it. Even when you drive it hard, the low end is still amazingly clear, which is exactly what I need!”

  1. -Romesh Dodangoda, Producer for Motorhead, Funeral For A Friend, Lostprophets, Kids In Glass Houses, The Blackout, among many others!



Useful tip:

•If you want to get Fuzzy tones out of the Microtubes, you can do so by rolling down the tone control of your bass, if it´s passive, or treble if it has an active preamp, and set the Grunt switch to Fat mode, this will provide some mean , hysteric, woolly tones!

Features:

•Level: Controls the level of the Overdriven Signal.

•Blend: Allows to mix exactly how much clean signal you want to mix with the Overdriven.

•Drive: Sets the amount of gain for this pedal.

•Grunt Switch: Choose between 3 different Bass boost levels before the gain stages. This interacts with the Drive knob, so you can choose how much of bass you want to saturate

•Attack Switch: This switch features the same “Ultra Hi” option in most tube bass amps. And it allows you to choose how much treble content you want to saturate. The Boost setting gives more clarity, presence and definition. The Off option will round up your sound, making it a bit warmer and less sharp.

•For ecological reasons, non of our products will ever again include battery snaps! The B3K can be powered with a  regulated 9V power supply (center negative). You can also experiment with 12V power supply for extra headroom.

•True Bypass

  1. Original Design featuring Hybrid JFET and CMOS gain stages for a natural dynamic response.

  2. See also;

  3. EBS Multidrive

  4. EBS Metal Drive

  5. EBS Valve Drive

  6. Carl Martin Bass Drive

  7. Creation Audio Holy Fire

  8. Mark Bass Distortion

  9. XOTIC RC Booster

  10. Darkglass Vintage Tubes





































Review from iGuitar magazine - Issue 8 2012

Even before this pedal arrived I knew that I was in for a treat. There has been much interest on the bass forums in the Internet world about the Finnish made Darkglass products. In the distortion department, the B7K and its little brother - the B3K model we have here for review - are well in demand from bass players favouring a bit of grunt and drive from our rigs, so now seemed a good time to get to grips with one!

Darkglass doesn’t do things by half and promises the very best in handmade products for bass guitar. Both the B7K and B3K feature hybrid J-Fet and CMOS gain stages for a ‘more dynamic response’ they say - so let's see.

A simplified control layout in comparison to the B7K does not in any way mean any shortcuts taken when it comes to the tones available from the pedal. Darkglass promises the B3K “delivers an immense amount of sounds, from warm, clear, and punchy tube-like Overdrives, to devastating Raging Bass Distortions, all without losing a gram of low end or definition! Doesn’t matter if you play pop, rock or metal. This is the Bass Distortion you’ve been always waiting for”.

Well, they’re not wrong! In my video review I run through a range of settings to show what the pedal can do but don’t forget to take in to account amplifier settings/sound as well as that can have a profound effect on the resultant tone too. Don’t fear though, this pedal sounds great with an amp set ‘flat’. My favourite sounds of the day were based round the ‘just breaking up’ settings - the kind that so many distortion and overdrive pedals manage to fall short of whilst favouring all out brutality - something the B3K can also do, but musically. I’m pleased to hear that the low end stayed tight and focussed but those mids warmed nicely with an attack and bite that sounded really natural. Personally, I don’t like any distortion pedal that makes the bottom end of my signal go too flabby or mushy. Well done here B3K!


The controls are easy to understand and I was pleased to see that the level knob only affected the ‘effect’ and not the clean bass sound - so with the blend at zero up to 50 per cent, it was possible to kick the pedal on and off with no loss in clean bass signal. This is very important I feel when remaining ‘in the mix’ at a gig! Using the level and blend controls judiciously allowed a wide range of tight and usable sounds. In fact, I’ll go as far as to say, I don’t think there are any bad sounds available in this pedal. Great stuff, I very much enjoyed cranking the drive up for some real tonal filth! The ‘grunt’ switch is a really nice touch; three levels of bass boost from a section of circuit placed before the gain stage. This means that it’s easier to drive the low end in to fuzz territory if that is your wish. Pushing the blend control forward allows the dry bass low end to make way for the fuzzier bass tones delivering a more aggressive sound.

Also very useful is the attack control, boosting the higher frequencies. I could see this being useful for those who choose not to use a tweeter in their bass cabinets but want more top end bite. The test amplifier we were using did have a tweeter and in the studio we could have probably pulled back the highs a little, but I have to say I didn’t get any shrill high frequency artefacts coming through  - could this be part of the design too? If yes, well done! There’s plenty of pedals I have dismissed for that ‘wasp in a bottle‘ distortion sound! Eeeeshhh!!!


Darkglass is already garnering quite a list of users including Justin Meldal-Johnsen, Alex Webster, bassist Adam ‘Nolly’ Getgood and guitarist Misha Mansoor from Periphery amongst many others.

I’ve got to give this pedal a good 4/5 for just being brilliant straight out of the box. Think I’d like one of these in my own rig! I highly recommend it.

Our thanks to Bass Direct for the loan of this product: www.bassdirect.co.uk

Tech Spec

Darkglass Microtubes B3K

MSRP       £235                    US 220 Euros (direct from manufacturer)

Made in: Finland

Features:

Level: Controls the level of the Overdriven Signal.

Blend: Allows to mix exactly how much clean signal you want to mix with the Overdriven.

Drive: Sets the amount of gain for this pedal.

Grunt Switch: Choose between 3 different Bass boost levels before the gain stages. This interacts with the Drive knob, so you can choose how much of bass you want to saturate

Attack Switch: This switch features the same “Ultra Hi” option in most tube bass amps. And it allows you to choose how much treble content you want to saturate. The Boost setting gives more clarity, presence and definition. The Off option will round up your sound, making it a bit warmer and less sharp.

Power Supply: Step-down transformer to 9v or 12v only

True Bypass

Original Design featuring Hybrid JFET and CMOS gain stages for a natural dynamic response.

http://licklibrary.ceros.com/iguitarmag/iguitar-magazine-michael-schenker-issue-8/issue8/page/146 




 

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