I like my toneâ€™s low end to be punchy and chunky (for
rhythm) and with enough energy to sustain quality singing leads. Friedmanâ€™s BE-OD Deluxe not only delivers
effectively, but is one of the most impressive pedals I have reviewed. This is a step up from the BE-OD, in that it
offers two channels to vary how light or heavy you want your rhythms, or if you
want to devote individual rhythm and lead channels with your gear. Although this may be consider a high-gain
pedal, and it certainly is, you are able to adjust the amount of Gain
internally (via knobs that can increase or decrease gain â€“ they are set in the
middle at 12-noon). As well, the BE-OD
Deluxe cleans up very well, and so turning your guitarâ€™s volume down gives you
more of a classic rock result (with that signature Friedman sound and edge, of
course) when you donâ€™t want to push the envelope too much.
There is an individual Volume, Gain, Presence,
EQ and Tight controls with each Channel.
Some of this is straight forward, but what is very nice is that the
entire EQ spectrum is usable â€“ nothing sounds too extreme in the lows, mids or
highs as you tweak the dials. The
Presence adds an exceptional high-end sparkling quality and is more noticeable
than Iâ€™ve heard with many other amps and pedals â€“ it really makes the pedal
come alive when turned up only one-third way.
The Tight control pulls in the bottom end, which helps to either make
the tone a bit less massive (for a
thinner sound, if you will), but also is useful for those big and powerful
chugging chords on 7 & 8 string guitars.
The pedal also comes with an 18V power cable converter â€“ the BE-OD has
more headroom with 18V, but the power supply I use did not â€˜recognizeâ€™ that
cable, and so I powered it with a 9V supply.
It sounds awesome at 9V and so I can only imagine having that added
dimension with 18V.
BE-OD Deluxe is twice the size of a typical pedal, measuring 140 x 110 mm
(about 5.5 x 4.3 inches), but does offer twice as much with its 2 Channel
operation. It is lightweight, and so I
suspect the chassis is made of aluminum.
The paint is of good quality and is attractive with its gold graphics
and lettering on black. The knobs are
typical plastic, although solid in feel, and the various pots (volume, EQ and
Gain) all feel very nice when turned â€“ more solid and smooth than usual. The footswitches produce a very pronounced
â€˜click,â€™ and so you know when the pedal is bypassed or not and that the Channel
has been changed (obviously the LEDs help in that regard). You may want to invest in some Barefoot
Buttons if you play at home in your socks.
All LEDs (for the Channels and the On-Off/Bypass) are countersunk to
prevent damage, and the two footswitches are far enough removed from each other
and the various knobs as well. The Tight
switches feel solid when moving them among the three positions, and they are
small enough that thereâ€™s less chance of catching them with a shoe and causing
damage (although switching quickly on stage and during a song may prove a bit
challenging). All inputs are located in
the back, including the power source and the guitar input and output â€“ a good
place to keep them out of harmâ€™s way.
When it comes to
producing quality equipment that has its own unique flavor and
distortion/overdrive qualities, Dave Friedman is a legend. He was able to take that Friedman amplifier
tone and put it into the BE-OD pedal, and now heâ€™s doubling our pleasure with
the Deluxe model housing two channels â€“ each with a full line of controls. Although
this may be considered a high-gain pedal, adjusting the internal Gain trim pots
and dialing back on a guitarâ€™s volume brings the Friedman BE-OD Deluxe into a
lot more guitaristsâ€™ hands than one would initially expect. This pedal is so amp-like in its sound and
produces such great results that the reasonable price tag of $269 USD is a
valid investment for those who want hard-hitting and dynamic tones for moderate
rock to metal. Being able to tweak two
different channels, like an actual amplifier, and makes a clean amp sound like
a beast (if so desired) is one of the key points behind the BE-OD Deluxe that
cannot be overlooked. Getting that
Friedman sound and quality simply pushes this pedal into the next category of
Friedman BE-OD Deluxe operates very much like an amplifier. Most amps do have dual channels (some have a
third to push the â€˜hotâ€™ channel to be hotter), and using this pedal follows the
same criteria. Channel 1 is more
subdued, although you can increase its gain via the internal trim pot (or even
decrease it if you want more of a classic rock crunch sound with more passive
leads). Channel 2 is meant for meatier
rhythms or leads, which also can be tamed or made more ferocious via an
internal trim pot. Obviously how you use
the pedal (what tones you want from each channel) must be sculpted via the EQ
knobs, which also take into account how much Presence is added (which affects
the high-ends). Volume and Gain are
basic considerations, as how loud you want each Channel in the mix and with
each other need to be balanced. The Tight switch provides a lot of flexibility
in the sound, as having the switch all the way down introduces the most Bass
and dynamics (viz., roundness or fullness).
The middle position gives some tightness and looseness concurrently,
which I tend to like for leads and some general rhythm work. The top position provides the most tightness,
which really helps to make Channel 2 shine when chugging out those massively
distorted power chords. If you always
wanted that huge and tight Metal sound in your rhythm, then look no
further. I have the BE-OD Deluxe running
into a fairly tame clean channel of a preamp (the Mooer Blueno 020) direct to
my DAW and it sounds greatâ€¦ very hard-hitting, yet warm and natural sounding
(not overly-processed or sterile).
Johnston is a guitar gear enthusiast who likes to develop reviews and demo
videos on stuff he likes. His YouTube
channel is CoolGuitarGear.