014 | Marshall Bluesbreaker: A Closer Look at this '90's Era Overdrive Pedal | Transcript

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Scott Schwertly:
Welcome to episode 14 of the Sonic Renegades podcast, where we've got an amazing pedal for you today. It's the original Marshall Blues Breaker pedal from the nineties, definitely a renegade pedal that has changed the music landscape.
Hey everybody. Scott Schwertly here with Siren Pedals.

Austin Bryan:
Hey guys, Austin Bryan here with Siren Pedals.

Scott Schwertly:
And boy, do we have a fun one today? We've got an original Marshall Blues Breaker pedal from the nineties. This is one that I've been wanting to have in the Siren collection for quite some time.

Austin Bryan:
V1, in great shape, built like a tank, and that beautiful blue Blues Breaker logo on there, with the raised Marshall logo. Too cool, man.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah, and thanks to you Austin for finding this one for us tracking it down.

Austin Bryan:
Yeah, man. Anytime.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. So yeah, again, definitely glad to have this one, and excited to talk about this one because it's got such a great history to it.

Austin Bryan:
It does.

Scott Schwertly:
So many people attached to it. It's inspired a lot of pedals that you and I personally love today. Just so many good things about this one.

Austin Bryan:
Yeah. To give you a little bit of an intro on this pedal, a lot of folks know Eric Clapton. Everybody knows Eric Clapton. If you don't know Eric Clapton, you should in the world of guitar. It's a must. So if you don't know about Eric Clapton, here's your time to go and do a little homework, but all you need to know is Eric Clapton and his stint with John Mayall and the Blues Breakers had utilized a 1962 Marshall Blues Breaker amp with a 2 12 combo that was basically quintessential in that early Clapton is God era of blues tones and really just set basically the whole British movement for blues rock. He really spearheaded that.

As a result of his influence, his use of a Marshall Blues Breaker amplifier, fast forward to 1991 and a blues resurgence was coming up from a lot of players. A certain Stevie Ray Vaughan and a lot of other folks at the time were making a huge move in that blues resurgence, so in the nineties, a lot of pedals that were geared towards a more bluesier sound started coming out, and this pedal in 1991 really set the standard for an overdrive pedal in that sense.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah, I mean, it's a fantastic pedal that really has stood the test of time, as we mentioned. Really, the circuit has inspired so many that we love and enjoy today. People just trying to recreate that magic that was captured originally in that amplifier that you're talking about. Briefly, talk about that amplifier that Marshall put out. That itself was actually inspired by, I think it was a Fender 1959 Tweed Bassman, correct?

Austin Bryan:
Yeah.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. So, as you can know with this whole idea of circuits in the guitar world, Fender came out with that '59 Tweed Bassman. Marshall, Jim Marshall basically tried to mimic it or copy it, and obviously when you're dealing with European parts, different things, it was just a little bit different, had just a little bit different tone.

Austin Bryan:
Oh yeah.

Scott Schwertly:
Which is really what the Marshall magic is all about today. That then led into the Blues Breaker, which then led to the Blues Breaker pedal.

Austin Bryan:
It's crazy how all of that ties together. You know, where one thing comes from one thing. It creates a product of its own, and now with this pedal, this pedal has actually inspired a lot of variations on this from other pedal companies. Just to throw out a few, like the JHS Morning Glory, the Wampler Pantheon, the Analog Man King of Tone, the Prince of Tone, the Keeley 1962, the Snouse BlackBox. They've all got their own tweets and sounds, but all based from this V1 Marshall Blues Breaker pedal.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah, and also our very own Juno pedal.

Austin Bryan:
And the Juno.

Scott Schwertly:
Which will come out in about a month or two.

Austin Bryan:
Excited.

Scott Schwertly:
Also inspired by the Blues Breaker, so-

Austin Bryan:
We love the Blues Breaker.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. Lots of good stuff. All the more reason why we're so excited to have this one in our possession. It inspired a circuit that obviously we're really, really passionate about. Artists that use this, where I think it really got put on the map again, is John Mayer was seen having this on his pedal board, which was really cool.

Austin Bryan:
John Mayer putting things on his board, and everyone wants them. What is up with that? That's awesome.

Scott Schwertly:
And it's even inspired people like Chris Buck from REM. He's got one on his board. You know, obviously with us being in the pedal world, I'm sure if you're listening to this podcast you're probably a pedal fanatic, so I'm sure names like Andy Martin are familiar to you. He's got a Blues Breaker as well.

Austin Bryan:
Yeah. Gilby Clarke from a Guns N' Roses stint. Yeah, he's used one. It's a very, very versatile staple for a lot of players on their board, and it just kicks butt, man. It sounds great. For those artists using that, they know what they're pulling out of this pedal, and the sounds you're getting out of this are unmistakable and very, very unique to this circuit and definitely that style of music and in blues and even pushing some harder rock, so it's cool.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. So, obviously this is sort of a legacy pedal, so I don't want to pick on it too much. I mean, built in the nineties. Obviously it's like a tank compared to most modern day pedals today. This one here that we've got here in the shop is obviously held together nicely, but I mean, I don't want to pick too much on flaws. I mean, we're talking about a pedal that is more of a historic piece of art here, or however you want to define it.

Austin Bryan:
You know, I'd say a lot of folks in terms of the Blues Breaker, you know they had a V1 and the one we're holding is a V1. They did a V2, very similar artwork and everything. Had a little bit more gain. This one is a V1, so this is like the OG original Blues Breaker, so we're actually dealing with that. The tonality of it, for folks that want to know. This pedal is not about gain, so if you're really looking for Blues Breaker, some people might think gain. This pedal is really about feel and about dynamics and about that natural breakup of an amp on 10. It's not necessarily a high-gain monster. More just getting that sweet breakup that a lot of blues musicians and a lot of rock players really appreciate.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. I mean, it sounds wonderful.

Austin Bryan:
It's great. I mean, you can go from like a boosted tone. You can go to a light, organic overdrive, but really the thing about this pedal that makes it awesome, which could go one of two ways depending on you as the player, it colors the guitar tone in such a way that it really adds that extra bit of magic that you want your amp to push a little harder. It does it in such a way that it feels natural. It's not some added in effect that feels abnormal. The drive and everything feels very natural, hence why it doesn't maybe have as much gain, which is a really a nice little feature. It gives you that really natural amp-like tonality.

Scott Schwertly:
And it's got three simple knobs. A gain, tone, volume. Pretty straightforward. Foot switch.

Austin Bryan:
That's it.

Scott Schwertly:
That's about it, and as you mentioned, built like a tank. I mean, this thing is-

Austin Bryan:
It's hefty, man.

Scott Schwertly:
It's got some weight to it.

Austin Bryan:
Wouldn't want to get hit over the head with this thing. It's a beast. Overall it's a durable pedal, so versus a lot of other effects out there, this one is really well built and to be released in 1991, I'm still holding this. Literally this pedal is a year older than I am, and it has stood the test of time and to make its way onto John Mayer's board and to folks like Andy Martin, a lot of other musicians out there, it's a very respected pedal for sure.

Scott Schwertly:
I know. Now I feel like I've caught the bug here where I just want more of these historic pedals.

Austin Bryan:
Good. Good. It's all a part of the plan.

Scott Schwertly:
It's going to break the bank though, trying to keep up with going that path.

Austin Bryan:
But building a collection. We're highlighting these awesome effects, and effects that most people wouldn't normally get to go out and find or hear. So, right here on Sonic Renegades podcast you're getting to hear these pedals firsthand.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah, so this is the beginning of the end of my bank account.

Austin Bryan:
Oh. Don't say that.

Scott Schwertly:
But well worth it. This one's definitely, it's just, it's a great one to have. So, for those that are anxious to hear this original Marshall Blues Breaker, we're going to take this thing for a ride, and I guess to celebrate having such a great pedal in our possession, you've brought your number one with you.

Austin Bryan:
I did. I've brought in a 1972 Fender Telecaster Deluxe. Awesome guitar. I couldn't think of a better guitar to highlight this pedal with, specifically with the humbucker tones, and really just to hear that push, and I don't know. I love that guitar. It's about time we brought it in to demo something with it.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. It seems like the right moment to bring it out.

Austin Bryan:
I think so. I think so.

Scott Schwertly:
Alright. Well, we're going to take this thing for a spin and we'll see you guys on the other side.

Austin Bryan:
Oh yeah. That's it. The Marshall Blues Breaker pedal. A classic, a staple, a sweet, sweet overdrive pedal, and a must-have.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah, and with your Tele, my gosh, that was awesome.

Austin Bryan:
It's a combo, man. It's a combo, for sure.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. Good stuff. Well, that's what we wanted to cover today. A quick look here at the original Marshall Blues Breaker overdrive pedal. Such a wonderful device. Join us next time. We're going to talk about one of your personal favorites.

Austin Bryan:
Yeah. The JHS PG-14, which was a recent released pedal, but too good not to talk about. So, really excited to share that one with you guys.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah, I think you guys are going to love it. I haven't used this pedal a whole lot. I know Austin's kind of, it's one that lives on your board.

Austin Bryan:
Oh yeah.

Scott Schwertly:
I know you love it to death.

Austin Bryan:
It's there now.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. I think you guys will enjoy it as well, so it should be a fun episode.

Austin Bryan:
And that it shall. The PG-14, the Paul Gilbert signature JHS pedal. We're going to dive into that one, and we can't wait.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah, can't wait. So, alright guys. Well, we hope you have a great day, great week, and we'll see you next time.

Austin Bryan:
Thanks for joining.

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