NAMM Show 2016, Dave Friedman announces his first Distortion pedal, the BE-OD. Of course, with such a name, we immediately understand what is hidden in this little black box... The Brown Eye channel of the impressive Friedman BE-100! First pedal in the range to be available and certainly not the last, we can say that the BE-OD was highly anticipated and that Dave Friedman could not miss it!
Light to handle (it's an advantage), the BE-OD comes in a pretty box with a small bag and the aesthetics of the pedal are very reminiscent of the brand's graphic charter. On the program, a 2-band EQ (Bass and Treble), a Presence control, a Tight control which will allow you to act like a contour by tightening the bottom for more precision and hold at the bottom of the spectrum when you turn up the gain. And finally, the usual Volume and Gain. Note, the pedal can be powered by 9-18V for maximum headroom.
Connected with a superstrat on the knees, the first thing that challenges us is the amount of gain in reserve which is just astronomical. So, for the most nervous of you, we'll leave the trimmer inside the pedal (this controls the level of gain) by default. And for the others who will play in a less hairy register, we can adjust it to refine the range of action of the Gain knob and have less underfoot. Minimum setting, the crunch pedal already strongly, ideal for a register like Foo Fighters for example. At 12:00 we are in the Hard FM 80's register. After 12:00 we keep this typically hard rock voicing but with more density, fluidity and sustain. So what gives? And well stacked on an excellent clean channel, it is to be mistaken! We are really very very close to channel 2 of the BE-100, it's impressive! It's dense, compact... And precise. It's clear, but not surgical, we keep an organic side and typical of the best amps of its kind. By raising the gain to 13:00, we take a hell of a slap. The thickness of each note is there. Each one is perfectly balanced, detached and chiseled. The "staccato" and other palm mute have a nice density. Fluidity and complexity are there, all in a very musical way. It's bulldozing while maintaining a good dynamic.
The EQ works as it should and the Tight knob works wonders to keep precision and articulation. The Presence will also be very useful for "opening up" the top of the spectrum and adding a slight "coating" around the drive. Despite a relative compression and assertive Bulldozer side, the BE-OD retains a touch-sensitive side that really provides the sensations of an amp channel. Similarly, the clean pedal surprisingly, once again, like a very good amp channel which only reinforces its versatility and the interaction we can have with the BE-OD.
Recreating the terrifying Channel 2 of the BE-100 was no easy feat and Dave Friedman paid off his bet. The BE-OD is a pedal that delivers a massive drive. It's a wall that we take in the face. But its flexible and intelligent design, and its ability to keep nuances and dynamics make it a great reference for anyone looking for a pedal that sends big and more! To own!