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Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #137276  by austinhumphrey
 Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:50 am
hello all, i just got a new setup and have been debating whether or not to add a stratoblaster to the mix. i recently bought a fender champion 100 and really like it so far. good sounding cleans and good gain channel with different voicings. i also got my first MIA strat with texas special pickups. i love the overall clean sound but it sounds like something is missing, i was doing some research and found that the clean channel on the my amp is modeled after a twin reverb, so i figured why not put a little more jerry in it with a stratoblaster? so here's my dilemma, i know that i would like to add a little boost but i'm not sure what the best way to do it is. i've seen some diy stratoblaster pedals, i know alembic makes a blaster input jack that goes right into the guitar, or should i try to find another pedal for the job? i'm not sure what the alembic blaster entails as far as instillation goes, and since it's a new guitar i'm not sure if i want to tear into it already. also price is a factor. what is everybody else doing, anybody try the diy pedals or input jack blaster? how bad are they to put together? or should i try something else all together? i am going to that early 70's tone. thanks, any input helps!
 #137286  by bluemule
 Wed Mar 05, 2014 3:01 pm
I have the Alembic one. I had it in a strat but found it was a PITA taking off the pickguard everytime I needed to change the battery. Figured I would eventually wear out the screw holes too. I ended up putting it in an enclosure. I really like it as a boost. Very warm and vintage sounding. You can adjust the gain to add some serious punch too without fuzzing out too bad.
Last edited by bluemule on Wed Mar 05, 2014 3:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 #137287  by TI4-1009
 Wed Mar 05, 2014 3:01 pm
I got a Waldo buffer for my SG/Wolf project, but I also have the GGG blaster coming. Not sure yet which- or both. If I go with the blaster I'm pretty sure I'd want it switched so I could turn it off for straight SG stuff if I wanted to, and also undecided about leaving the pot in the cavity or drilling yet another hole for it.

For those of you that have both (I have the Waldo in my Tiger), how do they sound different? I'm guessing you can get more "hair" with the extra gain of the blaster?
 #137289  by bluemule
 Wed Mar 05, 2014 3:07 pm
TI4-1009 wrote:I got a Waldo buffer for my SG/Wolf project, but I also have the GGG blaster coming. Not sure yet which- or both. If I go with the blaster I'm pretty sure I'd want it switched so I could turn it off for straight SG stuff if I wanted to, and also undecided about leaving the pot in the cavity or drilling yet another hole for it.

For those of you that have both (I have the Waldo in my Tiger), how do they sound different? I'm guessing you can get more "hair" with the extra gain of the blaster?
I built a clone of both the tiger preamp and the blaster in the same guitar. The tiger is more clear and adds that jangly brightness. The blaster is warmer and has the ability to add more punch. With them on exclusively or both on, I didn't notice any hair...just more oomph, volume and milkshake if you know what I mean.
 #137290  by milobender
 Wed Mar 05, 2014 3:23 pm
I built a clone of both the tiger preamp and the blaster in the same guitar. The tiger is more clear and adds that jangly brightness. The blaster is warmer and has the ability to add more punch. With them on exclusively or both on, I didn't notice any hair...just more oomph, volume and milkshake if you know what I mean.
Did you build your blaster with an adjustable gain? I regularly put both the Buffer and the Blaster in the same guitar, it adds a nice variety, and I definitely get hair when the gain is turned up over about 30 - 40%.
 #137291  by tatittle
 Wed Mar 05, 2014 3:37 pm
I imagine the hair depends on the amp if the primary cause of it is pushing the preamp with extra gain. The most valuable aspect for me right now is the buffer part, it really makes a huge difference in a vintage style pedalboard > amp setup. If you use an effects loop etc. it is less critical I imagine. I don't notice a big difference between my onboard Stratoblaster equipped tone, and that of a pedal 1st in chain, and a pedal can be used with multiple guitars and has no hassle changing battery (remember to unplug that jack Tat!).
There are several guys who will build a pedal for well under $100.

But, I just finished wiring up my 1st OBEL strat (one more boy grateful to Waldo etc.) and I am really excited about how it performs. A buffer is essential with OBEL too I see, as I have one in a pedal and if its not on the treble loss is severe. Having one onboard here is both more convenient and practical tonewise--so thatll be next.
 #137292  by milobender
 Wed Mar 05, 2014 3:48 pm
I'm just finishing a prototype of a pedal with a Blaster, Booster, and Buffer... all in one... any one at a time or combinations... and it can be worn on the guitar strap, or on the floor. The advantage to mounting it on a strap, is the short distance of cable before the Buffer, to drive longer cables... but it'll be fairly large, approx 3" x 4"...
 #137296  by tatittle
 Wed Mar 05, 2014 6:33 pm
Whew. Can it roll joints too? I like it. I was trying to modify an MC2300 to be worn in a backpack for those get up and go jams where tone cannot be sacrificed. :)
Sorry I'm giddy after finishing up my 1st OBEL and being so delighted with the results. Im not sure why I put it off for so long, but it is definitely a significant step forward.
 #137299  by milobender
 Wed Mar 05, 2014 7:45 pm
:D Not yet...

I agree, the OBEL is great... I can't see having a guitar without one now.

I built the Booster/Buffer portion after reading the thread on Boosters recently; and was trying it out with one of my guitars that has a blaster in it, and it really sounded great. The Booster/Buffer combination was really fine on a stock stratocaster setup too; it had that buffer clarity, and enough of a boost to really make the vintage type, low impedance pups full and juicy :smile: