Broadcast the Signal – Hudson Electronics: Broadcast

Within this instalment I was fortunate enough to sample the Hudson Electronics Broadcast Preamp. I don’t know if this is classed as an overdrive or a straight forwards distortion. Whatever it is classed as doesn’t matter as long as it sounds as good as this does.

The broadcast looks beautiful inside and out. This is by far the most rugged pedal I’ve ever had the pleasure of holding. The internals look like they are the neatest put together of anything that I’ve reviewed.

Upon plugging the Broadcast into my amp it is immediately obvious that it is extremely reactive. The Broadcast picks up all of your nuances and picking dynamics very nicely. It also plays very well with other pedals.

It has a warmer fuller sound than my other overdrive pedals. It is not as transparent as the blues driver, not that I mind, it is a very different drive altogether.

The switch lets you choose between the gain stages within the pedal. The left hand switch is a much more subtle overdrive/boost. When using a clean amp the broadcast lets you colour your sounds slightly without overpowering anything. When using a slightly dirty amp the broadcast pushes it slightly over into breakup and a nice rich heavy snarl is apparent. This is even more so on the second stage. With the switch in the right hand position an almost fuzz like snarl can be thrashed out of the broadcast. The Broadcast has a very nice treble/bass cut when altering the low cut knob allowing you to dial in a big sound without having to add unnecessary volume to achieve the same thing. Playing at lower volumes still sounded full and articulate.

The broadcast is the nicest pedal bar none in terms of build quality, the craftsmanship is truly stunning. If you like a tidy interior you’ll love this. The plaque is a fantastic idea, it both looks good and serves a purpose, having all of the information for the knobs and branding/graphics. The switches, pots and other components all look and feel to be of the highest quality, hence I can see why it can justify its retail price (£155).

I only have 1 or 2 gripes with the broadcast. The first is that the single footswitch version is slightly limited by having to switch the gain stage via the toggle switch. The dual footswitch version has this sorted by giving you the option to switch via a footswitch and if I was to get a broadcast I would spend the extra on the dual footswitch version. The second gripe is that the EQ section of the pedal is the same for both gain stages, so if you want a different EQ setting for the second stage you would have to tweak it on stage. This is similar to a lot of other pedals, so isn’t a huge gripe. It is just something that I have seen on a couple other overdrive pedals, the Keeley Tone Workstation has seperate EQ sections for both parts of the pedal, as does the Chase Bliss Audio Brothers. Both of these pedals however are much more expensive than the broadcast and I don’t think in practice that this would be a massive issue. The second gain stage is much heavier than the first so actually switching to the second stage whilst keeping the EQ as it has been set will still give you a boost that you should enjoy. To be honest i’m really clutching at straws and trying to find problems with the pedal for the sake of fairness.

The broadcast is quite large, it does fit onto my board, but at a push. This will potentially influence my decision should I want to purchase one. The other thing that will hinder my potential purchase of a broadcast is the price. At the moment I cannot afford one. I would recommend the broadcast to anyone who needs a drive pedal.

I would not say that it is better than the Fredric Effects Golden Eagle, as it is a different flavour of drive. They are both amazing drive pedals, and I would not want to choose between the two. I believe that they compliment each other very well. The Broadcast is a bit warmer, and has a touch more spluttery gain. The Golden Eagle is a bit more focused and has more mid to its sound. The Broadcast has more bass in comparison and a more controllable EQ. The broadcast is a better sound to my ears when it used with a clean amp whereas the Golden eagle is fantastic at sending an amp over the edge of breakup for a fantastic blues lead tone. I used both together and couldn’t stop playing. They are both pedals that I would say I could gladly keep on all of the time, and then switch to the higher gain setting on the broadcast for a boost.

In conclusion:

Pros –

  • Amazing build quality
  • Amazing sound
  • Mid priced especially considering the quality
  • Couldn’t stop playing it
  • Handmade – In the UK

Cons –

  • Size, larger than other drive pedals I’ve tried
  • Could be a little bit too expensive for some
  • Dual footswitch seams to me to be a better option

 

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