Analog Man Bad Bob Booster, originally by Robbie Wallace
In 2010 Analog Man started to build these ourselves after taking them over from Robbie. See Buyanalogman.com for more info on our versions, exactly the same circuit as Robbie designed and built, using the same FET testing and sorting procedures.
The Bad Bob pedal is one of the best boost pedals available. It's a booster based on the famous and much copied mini-booster "JFET mu-amp" design of Jack Orman (check out his site to learn more). This design was also used as the basis for most other boutique boost pedals. We use NOS Fairchild 2N5457 FETs, and only a small percentage of even these original parts have the correct specs, as FET manufacturing is not very precise. There are no good FETs being made anymore, except some tiny Surface Mount Technology (SMT) parts designed for automated machine manufacturing.
Bad Bob is a class A booster that is capable of driving your favorite tube amp into tonal nirvana! With well over 20dB of gain, the Bad Bob fattens up even the cleanest high powered tube amp.
Do you use a lower wattage amp already on the verge of breaking up? The Bad Bob pushes it over the edge to obtain rich sustain.
Do you like a vintage or modern 30 Watt Class A tube amp
cranked to the hilt? If so you will love the Bad Bob...
Here are some of the features:
Here is a comparison of the Bad Bob to my other favorite Clean Boost pedals:
KLON : The KLON Centaur is not as clear as Bad Bob, it is more compressed, even at minimum gain. Also the KLON is not nearly as loud at it's clean boost setting. The tone difference is really noticeable with the guitar's volume and/or tone turned down a bit - it makes the KLON sound dull in comparison.
Z Vex Super Hard On : This pedal is much cleaner than the BB, if you need just a totally clean booster the SHO is probably better. The Bad Bob has nice grit/drive even at the same volume setting as OFF. But the sound is not very useful at a unity gain setting, so it's not a great buffer pedal like the SHO. At medium boost, the SHO is sharper and cleaner sounding, the Bad Bob is not as bright, has a thicker, richer tone. The SHO is just as loud when turned up all the way, and the two pedals sound more similar when cranked up loud as the amp is really running overloaded by that point. The Bad Bob has a bit less hiss when cranked, I was surprised by this but maybe due to some high end rolloff. The Bad Bob is sort of like a Rangemaster clone (our Beano Boost) but without the tone change and emphasis of certain frequencies.
Beano Boost (not really a clean boost) :
The Beano Boost is a rangemaster clone. It will give an amp nice cut and focus,
and add a crunch, depending on how high you have the level set on the pedal.
The Rangemaster pedals change your tone, boosting the selected frequencies.
If you are going for a classic rock tone, it could be awesome and I like to run
my Beano Boost into a dirt pedal as my amps are usually set clean.
The Bad Bob is a dirty clean boost, and does not change your tone. It may cause your amp to overdrive more depending on how close the amp is to breakup, and how high you have the knob on the pedal. The Bad Bob cleans up nicely when you back your guitar volume knob down, leaving a clean, pure tone with clarity and detail that will make your amp sound better even with no added gain. Many Dumble amps have a "FET Input", which is similar to what the Bad Bob does when it's cleaned up. I like to run my Bad Bob late in the signal chain, after dirt boxes. It's also a great buffer when used like this, as it send a nice strong signal to your amp.
And for pedals, I've had this Analog Man Bad Bob Booster for a long time. I really love that.
Just one knob and one button, and I think it's like a 30db boost. It's incredible.
You press that button and it just goes ape-shit. I've always been a fan of, if you're gonna use an effect,
in my opinion which is worth a nickel -- but I like a pedal to do something pretty drastically
different than what the amp is doing. Otherwise I think it's kind of pointless.
It's like, 'I like the way my amp sounds, I want this pedal to do something magical.' (laughs).
Here's a video of him showing and talking about it on youtube .
Some people really like the tiny pedals, especially when used with switching systems or on boards with very little room. So we can make the Bad bob in the tiny box, with power jack only as there is no room for a battery. In 2019 we came out with a taller MINI so you can use a battery or power supply!
New in late 2018 : Drive knob option.
The optional DRIVE knob (on the right) is exactly the same as standard Bad Bob when turned up all the way. The pedal adds a bit of dirt. You can turn it down to get a cleaner sound. Down all the way is a totally clean boost. Like many pedals, the drive knob has a voltage on it, so it will make noise when you turn it. You won't be turning it while playing so it's not an issue. You can also get clean sounds by turning your guitar down on any Bad Bob.
BADDER BOB is two Bad Bob pedals in one box. This allows cranking the first one to overdrive the second one, which can bring the volume down to a normal level, leaving great CRUNCHY distortion tones without all the compression you get from most dirt pedals. We can build these laid out like the large BICOMP (wide) or Mini Bicomp (narrow), in various colors. Some shady yet popular company builds a version of this, with no credit to Jack Orman, and claims it's a Dumble pedal. SMH.
The Bad Bob is a great buffer so it works well in front of, or inside, the Ernie Ball VP Jr 25K pedal. We install a power jack and true bypass toggle on the panel. When off, no power is needed as it's true bypassed, and it works as a normal passive volume pedal. Just make sure you have a well buffered signal going into the 6181 if Bad Bob is OFF.
Manual is available on my manuals section .
Here is the first Bad Bob, made by Robbie for our friend Mike from the Tele forums. Here is what he told me about it:
I decided I wanted a simple boost pedal and had pretty much settled on a Fulltone FatBoost, the original V1. I think they were around or just over $100 at the time. Robbie told me I was nuts, that I could build a boost pedal for $15. I told him no, I could waste $15 in parts to end up with a non-working pedal. I challenged that if he wanted to build it I'd gladly let him triple his money. I don't even recall exactly what I paid for that first black box, but Robbie took the challenge and the first Bad Bob was born.
He needed a catchy name to put on the box and there was a guy he worked with at the time, may have even been his boss, who always called him Bad Bob. Big P.S. - Robbie learned quickly that you can't really build a decent finished pedal, even for yourself, for $15!"
For easy ordering, check out our new website buyanalogman.com . The new website uses a shopping cart for everything so it's very easy to buy multiple items or add in options. It allows using paypal in addition to several other payment methods including credit cards. It also keeps track of status, tracking numbers, etc and allow editing orders after they are placed so it's best to use our new website.
Here's Dan and Mick at That Pedal Show talking about and demonstrating the Bad Bob:
Here is a video of my Nashville friend Bill Hullett playing through a Bad Bob. youtube video
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