If the name rings a bell, that’s because its a nod to the firm’s stalwart guitar overdrive pedal, Plumes. While the new unit shares some of the circuitry, it has – as you’d hope – been heavily modified to provide a much deeper response.
Like the Plumes, it’s a three-mode overdrive based around the classic Tube Screamer circuit.
However, the Blumes offers twice as much gain as its six-string sibling and operates on internal bipolar power, allowing it to automatically switch to higher power for “more dynamics, clarity, and all the headroom you could ever desire”, says EQD.
The three clipping modes are selectable using the mini-toggle in the center of the unit and offer symmetrical LED, op amp and asymmetrical silicon diode clipping options.
As such, tonally, it should vary from open, crunch tones to full-frequency boost territory (as the op amp circuit skips the soft clipping diodes) and on to the more transparent, compressed sound of the silicone diode.
As EQD puts it: “If you like the fuzzy ends of distortion with a clean undertone, you’ll love this setting. We guarantee it.”
Again, like Plumes, Blumes is true bypass and uses the firm’s Flexi-Switch technology, which allows you to hold for momentary applications, or tap the switch as usual to turn it on or off.
Indeed, as you can see from the side-by-side images, the new pedal is clearly designed and named to reflect the legacy of Plumes – which remains one of EarthQuaker’s most popular devices.
While Plumes has numerous seen limited-edition re-finishes (from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame versions to a fundraiser for Akron elementary school), make no mistake: this is a full redesign that ensures bassists get a proper cut of the action.
Even the artwork closely mirrors the original unit, with a green on yellow artwork of concentric circles. Albeit larger circles, presumably because, er, basses are bigger...
Blumes is available for $99. Head to EarthQuaker Devices for more information.