Let’s keep moving on with our look into the Biyang products. But before we dive straight into the review, lets us again take a look at what Dazza, our resident guitarists thinks of the Biyang Baby Boom Mad Driver OD-10 Pedal in the video below…
The amp in the video is a Fender ’59 Bassman LTD (Lacquered Tweed 410 Jensen 45W combo). The guitar used is Dazza’a Customised E Series Fender Contemporary Stratocaster fitted with Seymour Duncan and Dimarzio pickups. Specifically a Dimarzio humbucker from hell in the neck and a Seymour Duncan 59 in the bridge. The video was recorded with an iPhone and the Fostex AR-4i Audio Interface for iPhone 4.
Another beauty in their line up is the OD-10 ‘Mad Driver’ again with the same MXR die-cast aluminum size casing, true bass and from what they claim quality German electronics assembled onto a PCB, but for the price, what can we otherwise expect.
Power input is at the top taking the standard Boss power supply so pretty standard fare. I will try to cut unnecessary details if they are repetitious with the Max Distortion review I have just posted.
Personally, again I liked it, and from what I researched on the standard guitar sites, most other guitarists who tried the Biyang Baby Boom Mad Driver were quite happily surprised at how good it sounded. Guitarists, and I am the same, seem to love collecting Overdrive pedals!
In the past I have owned a BBE Green Screamer, Boss SD-1, GC/MXR Classic Overdrive, Delta Labs OD, Bad Monkey, Hardwire CM-2 (fantastic OD too!!) and my latest have been the Hiwatt Tube OD (lovely) and a Big White Monkey Spider OD (lovely too!).
So I get my hands on one of these green little bad boys. The input and output plugs seem to hold tightly, and it doesn’t seem to tone suck or add any extra noise when sitting idle in the signal chain.
Once engaged the Biyang Mad Driver sounds very much like a Tube Screamer (not surprisingly as it has the 4558 chip) but thankfully has a good amount of range in its Volume, Drive and Tone (just keep an eye that it is not a very graduated taper here, but more predominant BASS>TREBLE sweep but still usable, and like all pedals, find your sweet spot and rock on.
Along with the Volume, Tone and Drive controls the Mad Driver has a 3- position toggle switch for Normal (TS)/Bright/Warm settings, and here the breakdown of the toggle switch.
OK before I go any further I was using a Tele into a Hiwatt T20 and 2 by 12 cab at low volume. The Normal (top) and Warm (bottom) settings are very similar-seemed to be a little less Bass and Treble cut in the Warm mode, so the “mid-hump” is just a bit smoother.
There is a little level loss (as there was with the Max Distortion pedal) when switching from Normal to Warm settings, so you just turn up. In the Bright mode (middle): When I first switched to Bright, I noticed how much louder this mode is than other 2 and also how it does not sound like the other two modes as well- and at first it was a “turn-off”. But then I realized that this position had some value:
Not sure what is going on here but in Bright mode you get a volume jump, a real thickening/thump of any single pickup position (1-3-5) to the point of the guitar sounding like a humbucker- but the distortion/grit that you get and expect from the other two positions (even at high Drive), almost disappears in this mode, and you get a steroid clean boost. So overall, you are getting some versatility from this green pedal.
Well in summary a great value ‘cheapy’ from an upcoming Chinese producer. It sounds like a good Tube Screamer should, which is what all guitarists should have at least one of, but with a different look and size, plus the added feature of the 3-positon switch which is pretty cool, at a great price. I will be reviewing a few other Biyang pedals shortly, so watch this space!!