BLUES KING

LOW GAIN OVERDRIVE

This pedal is discontinued. Please check our dealers or our Reverb store for any remaining stock.

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SCHEMATIC (PDF)

Schematic created by BuggFX

Click the different parts of the pedal to learn more.

The BLUES KING overdrive pedal is the perfect tool for sculpting low-to-mid gain tones, pushing your amp into its sweet spot. The EQ curve of the tone controls prevents the tone-masking flaws of many overdrive pedals, preserving the full tonal palette of your guitar and amp. We took the circuit a step further by letting you tailor the precise character and compression of the drive circuitry, making the BLUES KING capable of dialing in your own signature overdrive tone.

Demos

How It Works

Features

Tech Specs

Story

Older

Versions

BLUES KING BLOCK DIAGRAM

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FEATURES & CONSTRUCTION

TrueSoft  Bypass

Variable HCC

WIMA Capacitors

DualMode Switching

We combine durable true bypass relay switching with an effect-side FET switch for pure and smooth switching.

Variable HCC circuitry allows you to fine tune the harmonics, compression, and clipping character of your tone.*

*Applies to HARD/SOFT controls only.

WIMA is a world leader in film capacitor technology. We use 5% tolerance for consistent tone from pedal to pedal.

DualMode Switching can convert the footswitch into momentary operation.

To use, wait 5 seconds, then press the sequence tap+tap+hold until LED flashes.

USA Made PCBs

Our circuit boards are made in the USA by Advanced Circuits (large PCB runs) or OSH Park (small PCB runs).

PRP Audio Resistors

We used low noise, low inductance resistors made for audio circuits by Precision Resistive Products in the USA.*

*Blues King & Blues King Burn only.

All VFE Pedals are built by hand in Puyallup, WA and include:

 

- Rugged diecast aluminum enclosures

- DualMode standard or momentary switching operation

- Industrial-grade Carling switches & Neutrik audio jacks

- Alpha pots soldered directly to PCB

- 5% WIMA film capacitors & 1% metal film resistors

- Ultra-pure, eutectic silver solder

- 1 year warranty on parts & labor

DIMENSIONS:

Enclosure dimensions: 2.37"W x 4.37"L x 1.16"H  (60 x 111 x 29mm)

With knobs & jacks: 2.6"W x 4.4"L x 2.1"H  (66 x 111 x 53mm)

 

POWER:

Standard 2.1mm, negative-tip 9V to 18V power supply or 9V battery.

 

INPUT IMPEDANCE:

100K to 1M-ohm (variable via internal trimpot)

 

CURRENT DRAW:

~15ma continous

+30ma surge for 4ms during on/off switching

BY THE NUMBERS:

20 RESISTORS

19 CAPACITORS
1 INDUCTOR

2 TRANSISTORS

14 DIODES

2 OP AMPS

2 INTEGRATED CIRCUITS
7 POTENTIOMETERS
2 SWITCHES

3 JACKS
2 CIRCUIT BOARDS

HOW THE BLUES KING CAME TO BE

THE STORY

I first started experimenting with the original Bluesbreaker circuit due to the popularity of the King of Tone pedal. The original designs were inspired by the KoT, with added switches to toggle between many different clipping and EQ options. The next step in the evolution of the design was to make it much easier to fine-tune the pedal, which lead to the DIST control, the very first of what we now call Variable HCC.

 

The Blues King is a great example of a design goal in reverse. The first step is to just play with a classic circuit, and then it became clear what I wanted it to be - the perfect low-gain drive box to work with your amp's tone, or stack with other drive boxes. Version 3 adds the final touches to the design, adding more fine level control over compression and more overall output, which is critical for the lowest gain settings.

-- Peter Rutter, founder of VFE Pedals --

Here is the list of versions of the Blues King circuit:

 

#1 - The original took the Marshall Bluesbreaker circuit and added the ability to do more with it. The added 3-way A-L-S provided asymmetrical/diode lift (clean boost), and symmetrical overdrive options. The added 3-way DIST switch provided a similar set of options, but in a different part of the circuit that provided more bite. The 3-way bass switch toggled the value of a capacitor responsible for the bass response in the first gain section. Internally, there were both a trimpot to tweak the treble response and to tweak the compression of the A-L-S drive section.

 

#2 - The second version (and original Blues King sold in stores), both the DIST & BASS controls were made variable, and the range of the TONE knob was extended to that the internal treble boost trimpot from version 1 became unnecessary.

 

Here is what is new in the current version:

- 9dB more volume boost on tap

- More control over compression

- More harmonic tweakability

- Lower output impedance

- Phase corrected output