I had been wanting to buy a Boss Blues Driver, but had never gotten around to it. So I found the Biyang Tonefancier Blue BL-8 pedal on Ebay. I looked up some reviews of it, and really dug it. So I found a place in the U.S. that had one, and bought it for $45 off Ebay.
I haven't gotten to play it as much as I would have liked, but so far I like how different it is from my normal set-up. I normally play British style amps with EL-34 tubes, so I have a lot of mids. This pedal is more of a Fender (American) crunch with a heavy low end. This pedal didn't really mesh well with my Laney amp. However, I have an old solid state Rocktron amp that I bought for like $80 years ago, that this pedal just slays on it.
This pedal is actually more crunchy than I would like in some cases. I want just a bit of break-up, and it gets crunchy a little too fast. The one thing I would recommend is to have your amp set as clean as possible. That way, it balances out a bit better.
So it's hard to describe sounds over the internet as everyone seems to hear things very differently. The best thing I can say is that it sounds like the electric guitar in Jace Everett's "Bad Things," from the True Blood soundtrack.
There are a few things I really like about it. It is adaptable for pedal-boards as it has the input for a Boss style adaptor, or 9 volt battery. The casing is also a very durable metal. It is also true bypass. I really dig that the guitar cable input and outputs are extremely tight.
The only thing I think it's missing is the overall "tone" control. The Blues Driver has one, and I think this pedal could really benefit from it. But if you want a very simple pedal this is it. It has level (volume) and drive. That's it.
To make up for having no tone control, I think this pedal sounds best with very clean vintage style pickups whether they are humbuckers or single coils. I think filtertron pickups would sound really good through this pedal, but I don't happen to own a Rickenbacker at the moment.
Biyang also makes other pedals. I have been wanting a Reverb pedal for years so I bought one of their Stereo Reverb pedals. I will review it when it gets here in a few days. I have also been wanting a TubeScreamer clone, and Biyang makes one of those as well. It's simply called the Overdrive OD-7. They also make an OD-8 that comes with changeable chips, but that's more than I need. I will be ordering the OD-7 later on in the week.
I know a few people will be asking, "Well, if you wanted a Blues Driver why not buy one?" Well, the Biyang is anywhere from 25% - 40% cheaper than the Boss. It is also made overseas. They are both made with good parts. So why pay more? I have played both, and I like both in different ways. But overall, I am happy with my purchase.
So I will post more reviews once the pedals start coming in.