Mid-90’s Marshall stompboxes are nowadays somewhat appreciated, and some of those are beginning to be rarities. I’ve owned my Blues Breaker (sic!) since late 90’s. Bought it second hand for some 10 euros. Today you can easily sell it for 150 euros. I would still invest that sum if I hadn’t one already, because it’s overwhelming number one of its kind. Sweet Honey/Honey Bee overdrives are operating in the same area, but they are more bright and ”hi-fi”, and so less blues. I also own a Sweet Honey OD, and it cannot beat this one.
I’ve kept my original carelessly:
It’s working 100%, and even has the battery compartment cover safe. Still, there is some concerns if you are gigging with it. Jacks are plastic and PCB -mounted, and therefore not very liable. Switches are also known to be somewhat poor in this series. Instead of changing them when they are still fully operable, it’s more reasonable to save this treasure and make a clone out of it. Layout looks like this:
One problem in the original is that its enclosure is huge. Also, jacks are installed to enclosure’s butt-end, which makes it a bit hard to fit into pedal board. Being 21 slots wide, this fits to 1590B just barely.
By oversight I put a 220pF ceramic disc capacitor into place of 220nF, and spent some time inspecting where all my gains were gone. I should be more careful sometimes. In A/B -test it’s impossible to hear any difference between the clone and the original one. I’ve tested tens if not hundreds of overdrive pedals, and I am always going back to Blues Breaker. Now when it’s installed in smaller enclosure and has top-level level switch and jacks, it’s unlikely I find anything better than this. Let me introduce you, Marshall Blues Breaker’s younger brother Blackout Reds Fixer: