Light the Beacons: Hudson Broadcast Dual Footswitch

This is my Christmas present to myself. I was so blown away with the original Broadcast that I reviewed a few months ago, that after a discussion with my friendly neighbourhood pedal distributor Northern Stompboxes I had ordered this beauty. I didn’t originally intend for it to be a Christmas present but with the long lead times that the Hudson pedals require it was delivered around that time of year. I can’t complain about the lead times for a few reasons. Number one, this is the most beautifully made pieces of pedal art that I have ever seen. And number two it gave me enough time to get the cash together to be able to purchase it.

I probably don’t need to reiterate how fantastic the broadcast is. But i’m going to anyway. I will also tell you why I believe that the dual foot switch version is better. And why I’m glad that I paid extra for it. That being said the switch on the standard version is so tactile and heavy duty that if given the chance I would spend all day just flicking that switch.

You may ask, “Joe what are the differences between the standard and dual footswitch”. Well the clue is in the name, this version has two footswitches, so that the two gain stages in the pedal can be switched on and off via the footswitches. In the standard version this is done via the toggle switch that I have previously mentioned. It also means as there is no toggle switch that there is room for another knob to twiddle on top. This comes in the form of a separate level pot for each gain setting. Meaning you can use this pedal more effectively as a boost with a further boost if you desire. On the standard version you are limited to one single level pot, meaning both gain stages are going to be the same volume level. There are a couple of other small differences, the dual footswitch version has internal trim pots, which I think is a fantastic addition. Mine came set up a little bit too harsh for my tastes, at least the high setting was. So I was able to reduce the overall gain on the high and increase the gain on the low just slightly enough to make a difference. This means that the single gain pot is still enough on the front because chances are once you have got it set how you would like it that you won’t ever touch the trim pots again but can increase the gain level on the fly with the pot on the front.

I don’t think I can state how well this pedal is made. The attention to detail is simply stunning. The internals are a work of art. and the plaques on the front and surrounding the power socket are a thing of beauty. This pedal has received praise left right and centre and it is for good reason. It delivers on so many levels, not only is it a fantastic drive pedal, but it is a beautiful object to own.

I can’t speak as if I know how to make a pedal, I’ve put one very simple kit together and it was an ok job at best that I made. Looking inside something like this really gives you an appreciation for what an art form electronics can be. It’s made on perfboard not that this is a bad thing. Just surprising considering that most manufacturers these days use printed PCBs made for their own designs. There are some really neat little touches such as the ground on the pot being bent back and soldered. This must be quicker, but also is neater and it is more than likely a stronger connection. The little things like this are what I will take away when I finally get around to making my other kits. If my own pedals turn out even half as well made as a broadcast I’ll be extremely happy with them. I believe you can see that there has been care taken in its assembly and a quiet confidence in the makers work. There is pride in producing something to a high standard and Hudson have knocked it out of the park here.

I’ve tried the Broadcast set up a few different ways, originally I had my Fredrics Golden Eagle driving it which sounds ok, but is a bit too treble heavy. When I swapped these two in the chain, I noticed a difference to the overall sound. I still get a boost from the Golden Eagle but theres a little bit less of the harsh treble. I’m not 100% sure how I prefer the pedals. I still love the sound of the Golden Eagle, but the lower gain of the broadcast has been my always on for a while. This used to be the Golden Eagle role. One thing I have noticed is that It depends on the guitar and pickups I’m using. The single coils in my strat prefer the Hudson on its own and the boost of the high gain. Wheras the P90’s in my Les Paul sounds a huge amount better with the Golden Eagles treble boost stacked after the Broadcast, this is because the P90s can be quite muddy with a lot of overdrive, the Golden Eagle remedies this.

It is worth noting I asked for the standard knobs from a single footswitch rather than the console knobs that normally come with the dual footswitch version.

In conclusion:

Pros –

  • Beautifully made
  • Sounds warm
  • Pushes my amp into a natural drive
  • Looks to die for
  • Versatile – more so over the single footswitch
  • Sounds fantastic when boosted with my Klon clone.

Cons –

  • None that spring to mind
  • Price may put some people off (£165 retail)

 

 

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