Tech 21 Character Series Blonde V2 Overdrive Pedal

Overdrive Pedal with 6 Control knobs, Speaker Emulation, and Speaker Emulation Bypass Switch - SansAmp Character Series
Tech 21 Character Series Blonde V2 Overdrive Pedal image 1
Tech 21 Character Series Blonde V2 Overdrive Pedal image 1
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Tech 21 Character Series Blonde V2 Overdrive Pedal
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Classic American Amp Sounds, Through Your Rig or Direct!

The Tech 21 SansAmp Character Series Blonde V2 overdrive pedal gives you incredibly authentic-sounding silverface and blackface tone, as well as satisfying tweed sounds. Go from sparkling clean to punchy to dynamic overdrive to sizzling lead using the six effective controls you'll find on the Blonde (Level, Mid, Character, Drive, Low, and High knobs). All the pedals in the Character Series are much more than simple stompboxes; you can use them as preamps or take advantage of built-in speaker emulation for quiet, hassle-free recording. A speaker simulation bypass switch lets you use the Blonde V2 as a straight-up overdrive effect for your amplifer rig.

Tech 21 SansAmp Character Series Blonde V2 Overdrive Pedal Features:
  • Incredible silverface, blackface, and tweed tones
  • Six level-, tone-, and drive-shaping controls (Level, Mid, Character, Drive, Low, and High knobs)
  • Built-in speaker emulation
  • Use as a stompbox, preamp, or standalone recording tool
  • Speaker emulation defeat switch for use with a real amplifier
  • Proven SansAmp quality and reliability
  • Runs on 9V battery or optional power supply (not included)
The Tech 21 SansAmp Character Series Blonde pedal gives you classic amp tones and modern versatility!

Tech Specs

Type Overdrive
Form Factor Pedal
Inputs 1 x 1/4"
Outputs 1 x 1/4"
Manufacturer Part Number CS-BL.2

Customer Reviews

Based on 14 reviews
Write your review

very impressive!

Pros: Not a modeling,takes overdrive/distortion pedals in front of it amazingly when set to a Fender clean. Does excellent on a direct FOH application and recording purposes.. Great Overdrive sounds when set like a Fender DR on overdrive..Cons: NONEThank you Scott Bennett (X1738) for all your help and being an awesome sweetwater sales engineer..

Great for Direct Jazz Guitar Recording!!!

I thought the Tech 21 GT2 would fit my needs for an amp simulator for direct recording and PA system connection. It's a great unit, but it had one basic clean sound. The Blonde V2 suits my needs perfectly. It reacts differently with each of my guitars (like an amp!! Duh!). I really am finding this a joy to use. I highly recommend it!!

Jack Bruce, Jack Casady, and James Jamerson in a box.

It's marketed as a guitar pedal, but, I bought this for bass, 5 string no less. And. I. Love. It!Old School FAT, clean or dirty. It's not a mud box. If you want mud, it's there for the tweaking just like any other box. But, if you want articulation, it's there too. The bottom does not fall out when you crank the dirt. No need for a blend knob. But, if you want a more focused sound, it's there for the tweaking also. All the controls are usable from just plain old flat to subtle to drastic.I also tried their VT pedal and I didn't like it. Fat sounds were very limited. The VT's range is found more in the higher frequencies. It's a very mid scooped pedal. In contrast, the Blonde is more versatile (at least in my opinion). It has a lot more low end options, as well as articulation.

Plays well with others!

At first, I couldn't quite find the tone I wanted with this pedal. The cleans were nice and creamy, but I needed some bite and jangle for a client's tracks. Throwing a good compressor or overdrive before this pedal turns it into a BEAST. With the character halfway up, a good overdrive with some brightness to it turns this into instant Stevie Ray Vaughan with a single coil neck pickup, and stunningly punchy Foo Fighters style distortion with a good bridge pickup. You'll be surprised just how good even higher-gain tones work out with this pedal. The big surprise for me is how well it responds to a compressor or overdrive run before it. Digital amp models don't seem to saturate realistically when driven, so I assumed the same would have been true for a solid state stomp box. And thankfully, I was quite wrong. You can channel practically any style (maybe not hardcore metal, but that could be possible with the right distortion/overdrive) with this one. I have been using this as a preamp (cab sim disengaged) into a tube power amplifier hooked up to cabinets for studio recording. Fender amps are quite versatile, and the same can be said for this preamp.
Music background: Recording Engineer

Great as a pedal or DI

I got this to allow me to get some crunchier Fender tones in my studio- my old '64 Princeton has to be pretty cranked to get nasty. This is just the ticket- I can set it up to sound just like a louder version of my amp, dial the character back for loud clean tone, or set it at about 2 o'clock for great tweedy tones. The drive let's you go from squeaky clean to "12". I love the sound thru my amp with the speaker emulation turned off the best, but it does work great as a DI. Also makes a great bass DI- set it up for a little blackface Bassman grit, add a compressor and you're got a great, punchy tone. The EQ lets you go from old school to modern. Very versatile.
Music background: Recording engineer, live sound, studio and stage performance

Sweetwater Advice

Steve Ploense

Living in an apartment means it's difficult to turn up my amp to get a great saturated tone for recording. Fortunately, I can plug the Tech 21 Character Series Blonde V2 into my interface and don't have to worry about bothering the neighbors anymore! This pedal has extremely sensitive controls that give me the ability to tweak my sound until it's perfect. The Character knob is a cool function that allows me to dial in everything from silverface to tweed sounds. Plus, the defeatable speaker emulation means that in addition to using it direct, I can also put it in front of an amp and use it as a distortion pedal!
See also: Distortion Pedals, Tech 21, Tech 21 Distortion, Overdrive, Boost & Fuzz