I scooped up a used Effectrode Blackbird from Reverb a few days ago after selling the Maiden BF.
The Blackbird is the real deal ... it’s a keeper. It has 3 tubes, which really sets it apart in its ability to act and sound like a real amp. It’s incredibly well built and gives you the dynamic tone of a true Fender tube amp. I found the “Twin” settings on the clean channel are the classic Jerry settings like on the FYD - bass down treble up. There is also a bias switch that lets you brighten or darken the tone (I believe by switching between tubes, not sure though) so that is handy as well.
But what makes the Blackbird a true keeper in my book is the overdrive channel. It is absolutely the best overdrive I have ever played. I guess it is modeled after a Dumble style amp, but whatever it is it is amazing - very addicting to play. I recently got an Earth Drive to see what that was like. The Earth Drive is amazing and I like it a lot, especially for its clean sparkle. However, the Blackbird overdrive is far more dynamic and behaves much more like an amp. It is crisp and clear, then gets edgier the more you dig in to the strings. You can dial in pretty much any kind of low to medium gain overdrive tone that you are looking for. It also has a classic/creamy switch that lets you add more compression to the tone, but I prefer the classic setting. It’s almost like the thing was created for a wide range of Jerry tones.
It’s a tough call between the Shift Line and the Blackbird. Perhaps it is a bit excessive to keep both, but for now I can’t bring myself to sell either one.
The Shift Line sounds so good and takes pedals so well that it has become the heart and soul of my upstairs rig. A Stratoblaster or MXR Distortion + into the Shift line is pretty much perfect.
But there is just something so alluring about the overdrive channel on the Blackbird. I guess only time will tell in regards to which one I end up preferring. Truth is, I’m pretty happy just switching back and forth between them and the FYD. The Earth Drive into the FYD is another match made in heaven.
They say that variety is the spice of life. Well, in that case I suppose I am well seasoned.