#171843  by IRangASilentBell
 
Hi Everyone - I'm looking to add a blaster of some sort to my strat. I've been doing a lot of reading but not quite sure that I am understanding everything.

I'd like to have one that has adjustable gain in the 2nd tone knob. I think that the alembic blaster does this.

Should I go with the alembic or are there other models that might make the guitar sound better? I'm just looking to improve this guitar and any advice is highly appreciated. I just ordered Voodoo 69's per the advice of this board.

Thanks
 #171845  by lbpesq
 
Alembic still makes a fine Blaster. I suspect they will also be willing and able to explain how to wire the gain level to a pot. However, I have found that easy access adjustment of gain level isn't all that useful, at least to me. Generally, a Blaster is either set at about unity gain to act as a buffer and slightly thicken the sound (as Garcia used it), or alternatively they are set at a pre-determined level and then switched on/off for boost, like in a stomp pedal. I don't know how much gain adjustment you really need to do on the fly. I find the internal adjustable gain sufficient as I find a setting I like and leave it there.

That said, if you know your way around a soldering iron, there are several inexpensive kits available on line. Or you can even get the schematic, also available on line, a pre-printed PC board, a few parts, and build your own. It is a fairly simple build.

Bill, tgo
 #171848  by Jon S.
 
lbpesq wrote: Wed Oct 20, 2021 3:10 pm.if you know your way around a soldering iron, there are several inexpensive kits available on line. Or you can even get the schematic, also available on line, a pre-printed PC board, a few parts, and build your own. It is a fairly simple build.
Posted on the TDPRI:
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 #171849  by Gr8fulCadi
 
Jon S. wrote: Wed Oct 20, 2021 3:47 pm The OP is inquiring concerning a "Blaster."
This is vety vety true, but the OP did mention he would like the guitar to sound better. IMO…both the Blaster and Wald Buffer make the guitar sound better, especially pertaining to Jerry type tone. And both do similar things to the guitar signal impedance to maintain signal quality through long cable runs and FX pedals. :biggrin:
 #171850  by Jon S.
 
Many of us dig on-board buffers and there are a variety of options. I, for example, have a CAE CB-1 in one of my guitars and a Wald in another. To me, they're indistinguishable, as one would expect given how simple and straightforward the basic underlying circuit is. Others tell me they like the CAL Redeemer which I haven't tried though their in-your-face religion can turn some off.

I recently sold the one guitar I had with on an on-board Blaster. The Blaster and buffer circuits have similarities but also significant differences.

"Originally designed by John Cutler for Jerry Garcia, CB1 is a true Hi-Fi wideband guitar preamp. It buffers the high impedance output of the guitar pickup and provides the low impedance drive necessary to send the signal to the effects pedal with no tone loss. CB1 is designed to sit between the pickups and the output jack and to be “in circuit” at all times."

https://www.caesound.net/cb1guitarpreampbuffer.aspx
 #171851  by NeilG1
 
Sort of tangential, but Jerry did say in interview (albeit certainly post-alligator "blaster" days) that the "only reason" he had a buffer in his guitar was to maintain tone when rolling back his volume.
I would imagine, as people have said above, that any of these circuits will achieve this one way or another. But I make no claims at electronic expertise personally.....

Should also mention there's a pretty wide price range on these. Not sure I could personally justify the cost of the Alembic version, but that's obviously in the hands of the buyer.
 #171852  by Jon S.
 
NeilG1 wrote: Thu Oct 21, 2021 5:31 am Sort of tangential, but Jerry did say in interview (albeit certainly post-alligator "blaster" days) that the "only reason" he had a buffer in his guitar was to maintain tone when rolling back his volume.
That surprises me as if his issue was just losing treble when rolling back his volume knob, a simple treble bleed mod would have sufficed. https://www.premierguitar.com/diy/mod-g ... -bleed-mod
 #171853  by NeilG1
 
For sure - maybe they were working from existing pieces? He had the Blaster, so then the idea of moving it pre-OBEL once OBEL was invented seemed natural? It was already in the guitar, so they used it? And decided the extra gain could be dialled back? Who knows.....
 #171861  by Jon S.
 
If you go the Blaster kit route, I'd definitely recommend building it from the parts yourself. In my case, the GGG blaster pedal I received from GGG direct never worked properly. I ended up returning it for a refund and replacing it with this (of which I now own two, I like the pedal so much) which is itself based on Alembic's Stratoblaster. Is it more expensive than the GGG unit? Yes. But, IMHO, deservedly so.

XTS Pegasus Boost:

"[T]he XTS Pegasus Boost is a single-pot boost with up to 20 dB of extra gain. “It’s similar to the old Alembic Stratoblaster in a pedal form,” [founder Greg] Walton explains." https://www.premierguitar.com/gear/buil ... -solutions

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 #171863  by IRangASilentBell
 
I'm not quite getting the difference between a buffer and a blaster but I thought it would be cool to have some gain / drive at the flip of a switch that was adjustable for situations when I'm not lugging around pedals
 #171864  by Gr8fulCadi
 
I have both, a Blaster from Alembic and a Wald buffer, (the regular buffer and adjustable gain buffer) None of these offer overdrive. It’s basically clean boost and won’t do overdrive on its own into a clean amp. If the amp is at the cusp of breakup then the blaster or adjustable buffer would push it further into drive. I prefer both at unity gain. YMMV
 #171866  by Jon S.
 
Gr8fulCadi wrote: Fri Oct 22, 2021 8:44 amI prefer both at unity gain.
I have my buffer set at unity. On my Wolf that I sold, I ran the Blaster hotter.

Thought I'd add, if you don't want to mod a guitar to add one or the other, IMO, SMS's Doozy Boost is a wonderful alternative option as it is buffered both on and off (i.e., not true bypass) AND offers a wonderful, sweet, clean boost. And I've put my money where my mouth is on both the Doozy Boost and Pegasus Boost (Doozy Boost is first in my chain - well, just after the Godfrey Daniels Hub Bub Stage Pro router - specifically because it's got buffered bypass - the Pegasus Boost, which is last, is true bypass). :biggrin:

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