The Mosfet Overdrive is not like some boost pedals that drive the amp into distortion or sound best with an amp that’s already slightly crunchy. Blackstone recommends that you use it with an amp that provides a great clean sound, and use the pedal to provide any breakup. For my great clean sounds, I chose Egnater Rebel 30 and Orange Tiny Terror heads running into a custom speaker cabinet containing a 12” Eminence Texas Heat speaker. I tested the Blackstone with a DiMarzio Virtual Vintage-equipped 1965 Fender Stratocaster and a similarly outfitted Fernandes Tele-style guitar, as well as a Stromberg Monterey with DiMarzio Eric Johnson humbuckers. Plugging the Strat into the Mosfet Overdrive and then the Egnater, I set the Brown Channel for moderate drive, flicked on the bridge pickup, and was rewarded with instant Oz Noy—the tone, not the chops.
It is always surprising when a pedal can contribute so much to a sound, but I could immediately hear how the Blackstone’s Mosfet staging contributed to the wide, warm sound that Noy gets, while its articulation and fast attack explained how he whips out flurries of individually distinguishable 32nd notes. At this setting, the Blackstone cleaned up completely when I backed off my guitar volume. In that sense, it’s very dynamic. In terms of responding to pick attack, I found it less so than some pedals I have played. Still, despite its rapid attack, the Mosfet never felt stiff to play. While not as saggy as some overdrives and amps, it “gives” enough to let you feel natural playing it. Plugging in the Fernandes pushed the drive a little harder and sounded more Robben Ford-ish.
Switching to the Tiny Terror head and the Mosfet Overdrive’s Red channel opened up a whole new world of more aggressive distortion. Tamer settings offered classic rock crunch, while maxing out the Drive served up balls-to-the-wall distortion, bordering on fuzz, with tons of singing sustain. Just because you never know, I tried the humbucker setting with the single-coils. If you have a particularly dark-sounding Strat or Tele and want a more belligerent drive, this could work, but this setting definitely felt more at home with the humbucker-outfitted Stromberg. With the counterclockwise setting maxed out, both the bridge and neck humbuckers remained tight and focused. For grins, I tried the single-coil setting maxed out with the humbuckers and discovered a great woolly, Big Muff tone.
The Final Mojo
While the Blackstone Mosfet Overdrive 2S is not the most transparent or natural-sounding pedal I have heard, it is one of the most musical. It has a sound of its own, it’s inspiring to play, and its small size makes it easy to find a niche for it on your pedalboard.
you want a an extremely musical, articulate overdrive pedal.
you seek a saggier, amp-style sound.