Vox Big Ben
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Vox Big Ben

Big Ben, Overdrive pedal from Vox in the Cooltron series.

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content in English
Skjold 14/07/2012

Vox Big Ben : la opinión de Skjold (content in English)

"Great crunch"
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This is an overdrive effect, nothing more to it. It runs completely basic 1/4" jack inputs and outputs with no MIDI or editing via an editing software on either Mac or PC.

The pedal is all out analog, utilizing a 12AX7 vacuum tube. The tube itself does not light up, when the pedal is active, but Vox has build in a blue light, that turns on when the pedal is powered up. Not a feature you need, but ads a nice sparkle to the design.
The case is all out chrome and on the bottom of the pedal, is a compartment to house six AA size batteries. If you choose not to run on batteries, that is possible to. 9 Volt DC and a healthy amount of milli amps should get you running.

I don't know exactly how many milli amps it draws, but if you only have a Cioks Baby size power supply, already running a few Boss pedals and maybe a Wah, then you won't be able to throw in this drive.

UTILIZATION

Boy oh boy, is this pedal easy to use or what? Three controls is all you get - and that's all you need for this one. It's an overdrive - not a plane!
From left to right you have the gain, tone and finally the level control.

I've never had to use the manual that came with this product, and I don't ever think anybody will.

SOUND QUALITY

The gain stage is really long, and lets you dial in the precise amount of saturation that you want. Keep in mind, that this pedal cleans up very nicely, so if you just back up you volume control on the guitar, you'll get a completely different experience with the pedal.
If you need a light crunch or a sparkle, you can get it. If a heavy distortion-type sound is more to you liking, then this stompbox will handle that as well.

The tone control feels like a low pass filter or a high frequency shelf, giving you the ability to create a creamy overdrive of a thin and harsh sound.

Level is rather self explanatory. As with any other overdrive or distortion effect, remember to adjust and level out gain and output level, so that you sound won't jump to much from clean to overdriven!

OVERALL OPINION

All in all this is a very good overdrive pedal. Not much to it, and really simpel to use.
Since this is a tube powered overdrive, you have to change the tube from time to time accordingly to how much you use it and how hard you drive it on the gain.
I havne't changed my tube yet, as I run it as a light crunch with a low gain setting.

I would be sad if this pedal was stolen, and would sure go out searching for a new one. I'm not sure that the pedal is in production any longer, so it would have to be found on the used market.

I think you get a great pedal for what you pay, no doubt about it.