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Review

BluGuitar BluBox Speaker Emulator

Issue #48

Overall, I recommend this unit to any gigging guitarist or recording guitarist. I haven’t seen anything of this affordability, versatility and quality on the market. Go check out the Thomas Blug BluBox now!
Sam Bell

Pros:

Compact
Affordable
Versatile
Control over your live tone
A must for any gigging musician - I want one!

Cons:

Ability to change 'mic' type would have been useful

BluGuitar BluBox Speaker Emulator

Germany's Thomas Blug is no stranger to GI (we're big fans) but as well as being a fine guitarist, Mr. Blug's inventive mind is also behind an increasingly large range of innovative products. Sam Bell has been trying the brand new BluBox.

 


Thomas Blug is not only known for his great guitar playing but also his guitar product range BluGuitar, which features units such as AMP1, a fully useable 100 Watt guitar amp in a compact and light unit that fits on your pedal board (reviewed in GI 31 - Ed). In this issue I will be looking into another one of Thomas’s awesome transportable and super practical units for the gigging professional musician, the BluBox speaker emulator.

Before I look into this particular pedal, it might be useful to explain why a speaker emulator would be useful for a gigging or recording musician. While in my opinion nothing beats the sound of a loudspeaker having a microphone put in front of it, getting the best results from this method often takes a controlled environment and there are lots of other factors that can make it difficult to yield consistent quality results, such as time constraints and sound engineers who aren’t on the case. Also, as a touring musician, it can often be difficult to take your favourite speaker (and amp in some cases) with you to shows, so having the option to control all of this in a small compact unit is very useful.

Speaker emulators give guitarists the chance to have a more consistent tone through the front of house sound with little fuss and the BluGuitar BluBox does just that. You can take a line out of any amp that you are using and direct it out either through a ¼ inch jack output or an XLR balanced output straight into a PA, you can also use this in conjunction with your preferred ‘real’ speaker cabinet if you so wish.

There are many speaker emulators on the market but often the ones that are decent are also incredibly expensive and take up a lot of room, while the ones that are affordable either have very limited options in terms of what speaker situations you can emulate, or lack the desired quality of the sound. The BluBox is an awesome alternative. It has a very small footprint, a great selection of speaker cabs to choose from, it’s very affordable and it has all the features you need to use it in different situations.

 

Featuring 16 different cabinets from Thomas Blug’s own collection, he has captured the impulse responses from these cabinets to create some fantastic quality speaker cabinet emulations, the speakers he uses are listed on his website, there’s even a photo of all of them! We have everything from some of the classic speakers you find in well-loved Fender combo amps through to a whole myriad of Marshall cabs through the ages, while for the heavier styles there are some Mesa emulations, and for good measure there are a few of Thomas' own speaker cabs in there alongside a great Vox AC30 emulation.

Not only do you have this wonderful selection of cabs but you can also change the virtual mic placement on your selected cab. Having the mic set somewhere around the edge creates a darker tone and having the mic set around the centre gives you more presence in your tone, just as through you have stuck a real mic on a real speaker! Above all of this, one of the other great features of this small box is that it is so easy to use. The pedal is controlled via two knobs, one which selects the speaker and one that changes the mic placement: it's as simple as that. This makes for easy switching live, if you desire to change tones drastically. It’s a sound engineers dream, too, as they get a nice isolated signal from your guitar with full tonal potential so they can really get stuck into making your guitar sit with the band rather than spend most of the EQ on trying to keep out other frequencies from the drummer or the bassist.

The pedal has the potential to drastically reduce the size of your rig and increase its versatility and save a lot of your time worrying about tone whilst on tour!

If I had a wish that isn't included it would be that, while being able to change  mic position is useful, it would have been great to be able to change the type of mic used as this is also a powerful tool for shaping your tone.  Maybe on a later version?

Overall, I recommend this unit to any gigging guitarist or recording guitarist. I haven’t seen anything of this affordability, versatility and quality on the market. Go check out the Thomas Blug BluBox now!

 

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Issue #50

John Petrucci

Out Now

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