The thought process behind the Blue Dog was to create a medium gain overdrive that emulates response from a good amplifier. That's a text book definition of any overdrive and there are a bazillion overdrive pedals on the market. Ultimately they, as well as the Blue Dog, strive to achieve the same goal. We certainly wanted this overdrive to be different, but realistically, at the end of the day it's still just overdrive. We wanted to avoid too much tone coloration and to make the effect more interactive with other pedals and more importantly with the guitar itself. It had to clean up nicely by rolling back on the guitar's volume knob, much like a good amp, and the tone control had to be voiced to accommodate a wide spectrum of pickups, amplifiers, and musical styles. When we had the design narrowed down to a couple of prototypes we passed them around to a number of different players.Laffing Dog President Kevin notes "there were inherent problems with this process - we'd drive them around and then have to plead to get them back". We knew we were on the right track. About this same time we built one of the final prototypes: "Brian's pedal" that was donated to a Multiple Sclerosis benefit to help out a musician with MS. "Brian's pedal" still see's regular duty and we visit it from time to time to see how it's holding up under harsh open jam bar conditions. In addition to getting field tested a lot of people got to hear it and play it. And they wanted one...A few minor tweaks later...we had the Blue Dog. This pedal is especially useful in either giving a clean amp an overdrive channel, or pushing an already overdriven amp over the top. To give it that sort of flexibility we've added a boosted clean path to the overdrive signal to allow you to dial in more (or less) clarity and definition to an overdriven amp and adjust the overall character of a clean amp.Click here to view or download the manual.
The controls are labeled Gain, Tone, Volume, Clean, and Drive:Gain sets the overdrive portion of the pedal. Full counter-clockwise is the minimum gain level and full clock-wise is the maximum gain level.Tone sets the tone of the overdrive portion of the pedal. Treble frequencies are rolled off when the control is moved from the center position counter-clockwise. Treble frequencies are boosted when the control is moved from the center position clockwise. You'll notice a "bump" in the treble response at the very end of the clockwise rotation. Volume determines the overall output level of the pedal regardless of other control knob settings. Clean determines the level of boosted clean signal. You'll notice a slight attenuation of low end and a very subtle boost in the treble frequencies.Drive determines the level of overdrive signal. This control is interactive with both the Tone and Gain controls.