"You’re unlikely to find many distortion pedals on the market for bassists that have managed to shoe-horn this much in to one box and sound this good without going down the ‘custom build’ boutique route. Superb. Superb."
- Guitar Interactive Magazine, UK
THE BILLY SHEEHAN SIGNATURE DRIVE DELUXE IF YOU EVER WANTED A SETUP WHERE YOU CAN BLEND A CLEAN BASS RIG WITH A DISTORTED, BUT CAN’T AFFORD TO HAVE TWO RIGS. THIS IS THE ULTIMATE SOLUTION FOR YOU!
Billy’s Signature Sound, in a pedal. When EBS and Billy Sheehan developed the signature pedal, Billy went through his entire rig before asking the simple question: can we do this in a pedal?
If you are familiar with his sound, and setup, you know it is quite advanced and very well thought out where he separates low-end and high-end and use both distortion and compression as important components to achieve his tone. It was as challenging as inspiring for us to cook Billy’s ideas down to a single pedal.
EBS got the job done, and did it so well that both the original purple one, and the new orange Deluxe model have been important ingredients of his rig ever since. For those that are not that fortunate to have access to all the equipment that Billy use, the pedal itself give you almost all ingredients that his entire setup offer – in a little box!
Blend clean and saturated sound. The basic layout of this pedal offer you controls for Clean level, the amount of Drive and the Level of drive you want to blend with your clean tone, as well as a Tone control to shape the drive eq. In other words, you can change the character and type of distortion as well as how much of it you want to run on top of your clean bottom, from 0-100%
Compression, if you like. With the flick of a switch, you can choose to add a compressor at the end to glue together your distortion and clean sound. The compressor has three positions, High, Mid and Off. When activated, it helps define the notes you play better so you hear each note clear even when using a lot of distortion. The Mid position of the compressor can be adjusted with an internal control, for those that want to put their own signature on it.
Phase inverter and boost switch. A ‘Phase’ switch can be set to ‘Inv’ (affects the drive only) to achieve a more growly kind of distortion compared to the Normal setting. The Boost footswitch will kick up the Drive a notch when you want to. How much it boosts can be adjusted inside. These are unique features on the Deluxe model.
What are the Loops, and why should I care about them? Both Billy Sheehan pedals are equipped with two Loops. One for the Clean Channel, and one for the Drive Channel. Each loop is a TRS (¼” stereo) contact that you can plug an EBS ICY-30 split cable (or equal) into to create a loop with Send and Return at the other ends. The loop affects either only the distorted sound or the clean sound that comes out of the pedal.
What can I use them for? Well, you can, for example put an octave pedal in the Clean Loop which will trigger the octave effect with a clean signal for optimal tracking, and the sub-note will come out clean and solid out of the box, with distortion added on top. You can also use the Clean Loop jack as a mono insert if you have a bass that allows separate outputs for low frequencies and high frequencies (or if you use a pass filter to separate the output from your bass into lows and highs before connecting to the Billy pedal). In both cases, you plug in the lows straight into the Clean Loop jack using a standard instrument cable, and the highs/mids in the standard Input jack to preserve the bottom untouched, while distortion affects the higher frequencies only.
Place a Wah pedal, EQ or Chorus into the Drive Loop to change the character of the distortion when you like. Or, place a Volume pedal to add Drive seamlessly when needed. You can also put a simple Mute switch into the Drive Loop, in case you occasionally want to use the Billy pedal as a compressor only and turn off the Drive. Only your imagination set the borders for how to use the loops!
Swappable op-amp. There are a lot of drive pedals that are considered to be ‘classics’. Many of them use some variation of a standard type of op-amp circuit design called an ‘8-pin dual inline op-amp’. The new EBS Billy Sheehan Signature Drive Deluxe offer the user the unique ability to change this ‘chip’ to one that offers different characteristics to the Drive effect. The chip is accessed easily by removing the bottom plate of the pedal. It’s attached to the board by an IC-standard socket, and does not require any soldering to be swapped. See the Demo & Samples Tab for a op-amp shootout video as a reference guide.
Billy's words about the EBS Billy Sheehan Signature Drive Deluxe:
" My new Deluxe pedal has more gain! It really screams. Much more than the first version, but you can always tone it down if you like. Also, one very unique feature that I think will appeal to a lot of people is the “swappable” 8 pin dual inline op amp. You can basically make it your own signature drive by replacing the main drive chip with another of your choice! Also, there’s a phase reverse switch for the drive channel that gives tones a very different dimension. And a “boost” switch to kick the drive into a much higher gain. All exciting new features that will make it easier for players to fine tune this device to their own personal needs."
- Nominal Input Level - 8 dBv
- Input Impedance 700 kohms
- Gain Range*
Drive 20 - 50 dB
Boost +3- 10 dB adjustable
- Tone Filter Range 175 - 4500 Hz Q 0.7-0.9
- Nominal Loop Level -8 dB
- Output Impedance Loops 2 kohms
- Input Impedance Loops 47 kohms
- Mix Level
Drive Channel +3 dB max
Clean Channel +6 dB max
Ratio 5:1 (max)
Threshold -25 +6 dB
Attack Time (80%) < 7 ms
Release Time (80%) 75 ms typ
Makeup gain 0, +3, +6 dB
- Output Impedance < 100 ohms
- Dimensions W x H x D 3.5" x 4.5" x 1.4" (90 x 115 x 35 mm)
- Weight 480g (1.07 lb.)
- Type Analog Effect, Relay type Switching
- Power Requirements 9 - 12 V DC Regulated, 35 mA max
* Depending on which drive circuit being used.
Demos & Samples
Billy Sheehan introducing the Deluxe model at NAMM 2016
Independent demo by Erik Arkö on the EBS Billy Sheehan Signature Drive Deluxe
Independent op-amp shootout by Jon Willis, swapping the original op-amp circuit for several different as a reference:
Time chart as guidance to which op-amp used:
0:51-1:00 NE5332 P
1:51-2:02 OPA2134 PA Burr Brown
"EBS and Sheehan have created a pedal that’s simple enough for novices, but boasts features that will allow tinkerers to immerse themselves in full-on customization. The components provide safe manipulation of circuitry and distance from any potential soldering accidents. Most important, the pedal sounds freakin’ nasty—from subtle snarls to full-on roars. If you’re on the hunt for a monstrous drive pedal, the Billy Sheehan Signature Drive Deluxe should be near the top of your list of candidates." - PREMIER GUITAR MAGAZINE, USA
"You’re unlikely to find many distortion pedals on the market for bassists that have managed to shoe-horn this much in to one box and sound this good without going down the ‘custom build’ boutique route. Superb. Superb." - GUITAR INTERACTIVE MAGAZINE, UK