No, the “BMT” in the name of TTS Music’s overdrive pedal does not stand for a “bacon, mayo, and tomato.” The initials simply indicate Bass, Middle, and Treble, which are all this pedal needs to be interesting. No groovy, ironic hipster name – just a nice dark-red finish and plenty of internal stuff to grab the attention of pedalheads.
For starters, the BMT sports the JRC4558D op-amp, the circuit of Ibanez Tube Screamer legend (notably the TS808 and TS9 pedals that Stevie Ray Vaughan made famous). The folks at TTS Music also put a combination of silicone and germanium diodes in there to create unique tonal flavors. On top, there’s a Drive knob, plus Volume, Bass, Middle, and Treble controls, as well as a rugged on/off footswitch. Quarter-inch in/out jacks and a DC jack, are on the sides, and underneath there are rubber feet and adhesive Velcro for mounting to a pedalboard.
Running through a few tube and solidstate amps, the BMT Overdrive proved a treat. Keep in mind that this pedal, like all good overdrives (and as opposed to distortion pedals), reacts uniquely with each particular guitar, amp, and speaker array. One overdrive can sound completely different from one amp to the next. In testing with an array of amps, the BMT’s Drive knob provided a range of the crunchy stuff that could be completely tweaked with the pedal’s triple-stack tone knobs.
With guitar in hand (a ’62 Gibson SG Junior and a newer Strat), the EQ on each frequency was very dynamic, providing gobs of room to play with the knobs. Treble response went from softly muted to a screaming razor tone; leaving it around 10 or 11 o’clock while boosting the Bass and Middle knobs will help the player find the sweet spot. The Middle knob was especially tuneful, conjuring all sorts of tones depending on where it was set (it’s really cool dimed out all the way with the Treble knob turned down). A very cool effect, but once again, the BMT Overdrive will interact uniquely with the amplifier.
Best of all, the BMT Overdrive really provides some powerful gain. Sure, there’s a place for soft overdrive pedals, but when you find a good pedal that packs a dirty punch, it can make the hairs on your arm stand up. The BMT Overdrive is an excellent pedal that will suit players who like to fine-tune their crunchy blues and hard-rockin’ tones to perfection.
This article originally appeared in VG June 2014 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.