The Boss BD-2 Blue Driver Pedal is an impressive yet inexpensive overdrive pedal from BOSS, and today is the focus of our review. Released in 1995 the BD-2 was an immediate success and remains one of the company’s most successful products, and for good reason with artists such as John Mayer, Newton Faulkner, Jake Bugg and Paul Weller all using the pedal at some point during their careers. Ideal for both musicians looking to find a defined sound and session players who may have to work with a variety of different tones, the BOSS BD-2 Blues Driver has it all.
The pedal has a relatively simple design with the 3 main controls being the Level, Tone and Drive controls. It can be powered by a 9 volt battery or an external AC adapter can also be used.
The versatility of the drive knob is an impressive feature and don’t let the name fool you, the Blues Driver is capable of a range of sounds and can be used for multiple different genres. For example with the drive knob turned to around 9 o clock the pedal gives a slight bite to an already clean tone, allowing it to cut through a mix.
With all three knobs turned to 12 o clock the pedal gives a nice crispy tone, reminiscent of a slightly overdriven tube amp. Turn the drive up to around 2/3 o clock and the pedal has a more distorted hard rock Marshall-esque tone, and with the drive turned all the way up to ten the pedal gives a guitar a fuzz tone similar to that of a big muff pedal.
As well as its versatility as an overdrive/distortion pedal, the BD-2 can also be used as a boost pedal to increase your level in a live setting, during a solo for example. By turning down the drive knob down to around 1 and turning the level knob up to 10 the pedal will act as a clean boost, increasing the volume of your guitar signal without any additional gain. Alternatively if you wish to have a boost with a bit more gain you can adjust the drive knob accordingly.
Pros of the Boss BD-2 Blues Driver
Price – The price of this pedal is a major selling point, at around £79 this is a bargain for such a versatile piece of gear. Considering distortion and overdrive pedals can be priced up to hundreds of pounds this is a very fair price for such a good product.
Multiple Uses – As stated above the pedal has multiple uses which is major selling point and makes it ideal for a guitarist either on a budget or looking to use as little space as possible on their pedal board. As both a distortion pedal and boost this is a very useful and versatile piece of equipment for both a live and recording situation.
Sturdy – Much like other BOSS products this pedal is solid and well made, while still only weighing 0.4kg. When it comes to pedals, reliability is an important factor to take into consideration, especially if you’re going to be using it in a live gig situation. BOSS also includes a 5 year warranty when the pedal is bought new.
Cons of The Boss BD-2
Tone Knob – One of the few cons of this otherwise great product, the tone knob can give a nasally tone when turned past 12 o clock which I personally found unpleasant, however this is entirely down to personal preference.
Plug not included – Another small detail which has been left out from this pedal is that there is no plug included with the purchase, which although it would have been a welcome addition, it is not essential as the pedal can run on 9V batteries or via a daisy chain with other pedals.
In conclusion, the BOSS BD-2 Blues Driver Pedal is a great addition to anyone’s pedal board, from a beginner guitarist looking to find their own sound to an experienced musician looking for a cheaper alternative to the more expensive pedals on the market. Its ability to double up as a both an overdrive pedal and a boost pedal is extremely useful, particularly at a live gig were pedal space may be an issue. It’s versatility and ability to completely change tone at the turn of a switch makes this a must have piece of equipment.
Watch this video review for added information on the Boss BD-2 Blues Driver Guitar Pedal: