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For years, we’ve been hounded by our customers and retailers to make a pedal. It may have taken a while for us to join the pedal party but it had to be right, and for 2015 we’ve finally settled on a design of which we are truly proud. Introducing our first pedal since the 1960s – the Custom Shop Bax Bangeetar Guitar Pre-EQ.
As a traditional stompbox the Bax Bangeetar is in a class of its own, boasting a unique and hugely versatile gain structure with extensive EQ controls. Dial in an enormous range of overdriven and distorted tones, delivered with a feel and responsiveness rarely found in pedals. Beyond that, though, this preamp pedal is an invaluable tool, allowing you to tailor your tone to any setup with absolute precision via its parametric mid controls.
Find and eliminate problem frequencies in certain guitars and amps, shape broad mid ‘scoops’ or boost anywhere on the mid spectrum to suit any style. Plug straight into the front of an amp as a standalone drive pedal, or plug into the effects return to make the donor amp ‘disappear’! Whatever your rig, the possibilities are virtually limitless.
For even more flexibility, the second output takes your sound and passes it through our CabSim circuit, recreating the frequency response of a mic’d Orange 4×12” cab, ideal for direct recording or even connecting to a PA. Whether on stage or in the studio, the nature and scope of its controls mean there isn’t a situation where the Bax Bangeeter wouldn’t be welcome.
The Bax Bangeetar is an entirely new design, not based on anything we have made previously. The gain structure covers a massive breadth of overdrive and distortion without ever sounding compromised, however you set it. At the minimum, the Bax Bangeetar is an awesome clean boost or low gain driver, highly receptive to different guitar and pickup combinations. As the gain increases, you’ll go from classic Orange crunch and vintage rhythm tones, through to soaring leads and right up to genuinely insane levels of distortion. As in, bonkers levels. The Boost switch offers a ‘clean boost’ after the gain stage when the pedal is engaged to help your leads jump out of the mix in a live setting.
As soon as you plug into the Bax Bangeetar, you’ll quickly notice that all the sounds contained within remain articulate and tight across the gain range, without any hint of wooliness. In fact, it doesn’t feel like a pedal at all. We’ve achieved all of this without the use of the back-to-back diode clipping techniques found in most pedals. This box distorts and behaves just like our amps, with natural-sounding and controllable breakup, and delivers serious punch with no stifling compression.
Inspired by some of the highly-sought after consoles of the 1960s but with a number of modern tweaks, the Bax Bangeetar’s powerful EQ really separates it from other drive pedals. With an open treble response and controlled low end, the fun properly starts with the mid controls.
The midrange is perhaps the most important area for guitar players, not only because this is generally the space they occupy in a band mix, but also because of how the midrange drastically affects the tonal and distortion characteristics of a guitar/amp setup. Despite this, we’ve found that most overdrive/distortion pedals have very limited control over this range. Not so with the Bax Bangeetar’s fully parametric mid controls. The ‘Freq’ knob selects the centre frequency you wish to affect. The ‘Q’ controls the bandwidth, sweeping from narrow to wide, allowing you to fine-tune a precise or broad frequency range. The ‘Mid’ knob can then be set to cut or boost those frequencies, for exact command over your tone.
The second output takes the Bax Bangeetar’s preamp and passes it through our CabSim circuit, faithfully emulating the sound of a mic’d Orange 40th Anniversary PPC412 4×12 cabinet, loaded with Celestion G12H 30 speakers. Connect the CabSim output to a recording console to capture huge Orange tones in the studio, or to a powered monitor or PA for a versatile live setup. Both the regular and CabSim outputs can be used independently or simultaneously.
“Is it ‘true bypass’?”
No. It’s better than that.