BD-2W versus Keeley Super Phat mod | The Canadian Guitar Forum

BD-2W versus Keeley Super Phat mod

Discussion in 'Effects Pedals, Strings and more' started by guitarman2, Sep 4, 2019.

  1. guitarman2

    guitarman2 Gold Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    Brantford, Ontario
    I've been trialing the Boss BD-2W and I've found this is the type of drive sound that I'd like to pursue. I like how responsive it is. Works very well with my amp set to break up just a hair.
    I find it maybe just a tad harsh in the top end so I decided last night to order the Keeley Super Phat Mod full range.
    Has anyone ever tired the Keeley? I ordered the Canadian edition which I assume is exactly the same as the gold version internally.
    What I'm hoping to get from it is pretty much the same thing as the BD-2w but smoother in the top range.
    The keeley is a little less expensive than the boss so I doubt its a case of one being better than the other.
     
    lightman likes this.
  2. Dorian2

    Dorian2

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2015
    Location:
    Edmonton, AB
    I'll be checking this thread as I'm looking at a Blues Driver type pedal as well. Recently tried out a BD-2 and liked it quite a bit, so it wouldn't take too much of a tweak to that sound style to push me to get something similar.
     
  3. guitarman2

    guitarman2 Gold Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    Brantford, Ontario
    Thats about right where I'm at. If the Keeley is somewhat the same with a smoother top end then I'm sold. I should get the Keeley by Friday or Monday so sometime next week I'll let you know what I think.
    In the mean time I'm just looking for opinions from those who've tried these pedals while I wait.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2019
    Dorian2 likes this.
  4. guitarman2

    guitarman2 Gold Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    Brantford, Ontario
    Got a chance to compare the BD-2w and keeley super phat last night.
    My initial thoughts. The keeley is a much smoother od. In some ways thats good but I like the bit of harshness the BD-2w adds sometimes. The BD-2w has some more upper mids that to me sounds better when muting strings. Has a bit more punch. I think that the BD-2w edges the Keeley slightly in its tube like response. With the Keeley I have to give more on the drive knob to get it comparably dirty with the boss. Thats no big deal though.
    When it comes to the tone control I can dime the keeley all the way and it just keeps getting clearer. With the BD-2w tone control anything approaching noon or more is just ugly harsh.
    When it comes to the sound of the drive I like them equally but They're fairly different.
    I was lucky enough to be able to use the BD-2w at a gig this past weekend. But since I just received the Keeley yesterday and don't know when I'll play another gig I won't be able to give it a work out in a live setting.
    The BD-2w at a gig with a 4 piece band you didn't really hear the harshness and it cut very well. On the custom mode where I use it primarily, it was big and bold, fat sounding. I'm wondering if the smoothness of the Keeley will not cut as well and maybe sound a tad mushy on higher gain settings. Possibly.
    Comparing Keeley's flat mode to the BD-2w standard mode the keeley is fatter sounding. Comparing Keeley phat mode to BD-2w mode the Keeley is again fatter sounding but not as defined probably due to the more upper mids that the BD-2w has. By diming the tone control a lot more than the BD-2w tone I can get some more clarity but I worry that in a band setting the Keeley won't cut as well. My amp is really a warm sounding amp and the Keeley is definitely warmer sounding than the BD-2w so possibly that can spell too much "warm". I can see where the Keeley would have worked really well with some of my past amps though.
    I ordered the Keeley from Cosmos online so don't even know if I can return it or if it will cost me some dollars to do so. The BD-2w I got from L&M and have a few more weeks to trial and be able to return.
    For me I think the Keeley works well at home and am tempted to keep it over the BD-2w. However I could easily enjoy both pedals depending on my mood.
    However in a live band setting I have a feeling the BD-2w would work better.
    In the end my choices are #1. keep them both, #2 Keep the Keeley as its easy to return the BD-2w or #3. Keep the BD-2w but might be a hassle returning the Keeley.

    I am torn between #1 and #2. With #1 I really don't want to buy both as I might still investigate the usefulness of a booster and that would put 4 pedals on my board which is the max for me. For #2 most of my playing is at home where the smoothness of the Keeley and the harshness of the BD-2w is more noticeable. I think I'd enjoy the Keeley more at home. However its a possibility the Keeley won't work with a band as well.

    Verdict: I'll probably end up keeping the Keeley. The next time I play a gig and if the Keeley fails to perform to expectations I can always pick up the BD-2w down the road (maybe even used) and then I'll use the Keeley at home or studio and the BD-2w live.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2019
  5. Dorian2

    Dorian2

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2015
    Location:
    Edmonton, AB
    Thanks for the great write up and explanation guitarman2. Seems to conform with what I've read elsewhere with these 2 pedals. Since I've tried out the basic Boss BD-2 and liked the sound but want something that might offer just a little bit closer to what the BD-2W custom setting has, I'm going to have to try to check one of those Keeley's out if possible. The issue I might have is that I already have an OD (VS/XO) that I use with my other drive pedals to take care of the Mid boost, so options would have to be made. What a can of worms.
     
  6. guitarman2

    guitarman2 Gold Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    Brantford, Ontario
    Some additional thoughts.
    I never really said anything concerning "Transparency". Although it may not really mean much more than a "Buzzword".
    If I had to judge "transparency" I'd say the Keeley tended to be the more transparent one. I could not detect any color it was adding. Where as the BD-2W seemed to add that upper mids. But on my amp for my uses this was a good thing. I use it on the clean channel of my amp that has a beautiful scooped black face tone. The character of this clean channel when I push it is a breakup almost 6V6 like even though its a 2x6l6 amp it gets creamy kind of like a mix of
    I was home for an extended lunch today and gave them another comparison. The keeley over drives creamier and a bit more like a smooth 6v6 break up. The BD2w was much meaner more like an aggressive break up of 6L6s. And that is the kind of break up I prefer.
    So now I'm thinking it may actually be the BD-2w that I keep.
    When I feel that increased punch of the notes and a bit of meanness there it feels pretty good. I'll play around for a couple of weeks and there is a very small chance I'll keep both. But I think my preference is for the Boss.
    Its so much cooler to keep the boutique Keeley and its a cool Canadian edition enclosure but I can't deny what I prefer.
     
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  7. butterknucket

    butterknucket

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    Location:
    Ontario
    I want to like the Blues Driver but it sounds harsh to me.
     
  8. guitarman2

    guitarman2 Gold Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    Brantford, Ontario
    Its definitely got a harsher sound than the Keeley. I ended up keeping the Keeley and returning the BD-2w. But not because I didn't like its sound. I liked each pedal pretty much equal. The Keeley is smoother and less harsh than the BD-2w but again not the reason I kept the Keeley. If I could have afforded to keep both I would have. I liked them equal so it came down to less substantial reasons that I kept the Keeley. The Keeley was a cool boutique pedal and it was the Canadian edition (only 100 made) so those were the tie breakers. Down the road I can see me picking up a BD-2w.
     
    Dorian2 likes this.
  9. lightman

    lightman Gold Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2013
    Location:
    Deep River, Ontario
    Just ordered the Keeley from cosmo. Watched all the youtubes and I really liked how it sounds. Guess I will find out next week when it comes in. I don't play in a band as my playing sucks:( I can make anything sound bad, so in my mind if I can buy a great sounding product maybe I wont sound as bad when I get it o_O
    But I do like new toys.
    Thanks for the great review.
     
  10. greco

    greco Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2007
    Location:
    Kitchener, Ontario
    I am 100% certain about this as it worked for me when I bought a lowly EQ pedal...LOL.

    Enjoy your new pedal and make some (much improved) music!
     
    lightman likes this.

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