What do you get when you have classic circuit with a high quality build made on the cheap? Houston, we have a dilemma…
Right out of the gate, let’s just say this…the BlackBox sounds great! Clone or not, whether it is an exact reproduction of the classic Marshall effect, it is responsive, warm and organic. It’s just like a vintage Marshall, albeit a Marshall that has been properly tubed and tuned up!
Marketed as “A component-for-component clone of the original Marshall BluesBreaker overdrive” it retains the original’s three controls, Volume Tone and Gain. Marshall does deserve some Kudos here…they have designed a circuit that not only replicates (a variation) of their namesake but something that maintains this signature tone throughout a variety of gain levels. The Snouse BlackBox adheres to the original toneless so accurately it is hard to tell the it from the Marshall. It may not be original but it does a darn good job of going you what made the original a classic: Rich responsive drive with a large dose of aggressive sounding output.
So it replicates a classic effect with precision…Anything else other than price to persuade you away from an original for eBay?
- a solid build (and I mean solid)
- Clean, tidy wiring
- A simple no-frills design that (admittedly) doesn’t stray from the original (a seemingly straight copy that isn’t marketed as a “fresh” (re)design “based” on a classic)
- Did we mention the Price?!?
While many of the originals could be found for this price when they were just hitting the used market, those days are almost gone…instead of the eBay hunt, this may be a viable alternative to the original. Straightforward, well built and simply amazing sounding,, is this a clone worth supporting?
The Good: Crazy good dirt tones for a dirt cheap price!
The Bad: Technically it’s a clone…?
The Ugly: As cheap as they sell for they can get expensive…when you want to order 3 more of them!