BACKGROUND: Xotic is owned by PCI, a company based in in Los Angeles, California, that specializes in exporting high end music gear to Japan. Xotic was founded to make high-end basses in 1996. In ’99 Xotic started producing effects for both guitars and basses.
The first BB Preamp was a main staple for Xotic and based on Marshall Plexi tones. Later, Xotic teamed up with Andy Timmons to create the Andy Timmons Signature BB Preamp which is a little warmer and more compressed than the original. The BB Preamp MB came out in December as the first offering from the new Xotic Custom Shop.
GUITARS: Gibson Les Paul Custom Classic, 1986 Fender ’62 Tele Reissue with Texas Special Pickups.
AMPS: 65 London 2×12 Combo
FIRST IMPRESSION: Hmmm…silver. Always good.
The MB seems cleaner and clearer than the original BB Preamp and less compressed. I still haven’t compared it to the original, and it’s been a while since I have played the Andy Timmons signature, so we will see how I feel once I play those.
PROS: This pedal has a great Marshall Plexi sound to it. It still has a very transparent sound yet includes the Marshall attitude. It has a distinct Lincoln Brewster quality to it. So if you love Brewster but can’t stand Line 6, check this pedal out.
The EQ control on this pedal is a breath of fresh air. While most pedals just have a tone control, the BB Preamp gives the user control of treble and bass separately. The MB takes it one step further with the much needed Mid control and boost. The mid-boost makes for some great clear attack to help the guitar cut through the mix with out sounding frail and brittle.
This pedal plays well with Tube Screamers. I used a TS9DX set to the TS9 with the clean boost setting (Drive at 0, Level at max). It was great for solos, a little bit of volume increase, a little bit of gain increase and hardly no change in tone.
CONS: The LED is red. Not blue, not green…red. Can a pedal be considered boutique if the LED is the same color as the LED in the Boss Metal Zone? Some how this is effecting the sound. It probably would sound more “Dumble” if the light was blue. That said, it would probably sound less Brewster.
I really am having a hard time finding more “cons” on this pedal. It is a Marshall-sounding pedal with a rarely seen mid boost control. How can you mess that up?
FINAL THOUGHTS: This pedal really does have a Brewster feel, which is great for someone like me who can never get modeling gear to sound good.
Every guitar I plugged through it sounded great and kept it’s unique character. It was articulate, clear, Brewster-like and gave me a mid control that I’ve never had on a pedal. I love this pedal. It’s not going to replace the Zendrive, but Zendrive is going to have to share some room on the pedal board.