Finally got a Brain

Pine Apple Slim

Country Gent
Dec 14, 2011
1,944
North Alabama
I always ran my DynoBrain 1st in line and left it always on. Sounded great.
When I got the Mystery Brain I've used it both ways, with the preamp before drives and the delay side (utilizing the loop) vs just putting it where a delay normally goes, usually last. Putting it last turns it into a nice lead/vol boost, but I think I still prefer the preamp 1st in the chain overall.
 

Tele295

Country Gent
Jun 4, 2008
2,833
Bigsby Springs, CA
While on the topic of brains - would someone please explain what the switches do?

I believe the switches allow the new Atomic Brain to cover the wide variety of impedances in earlier Brains, Bass Brain, Billy, Brain, etc. The goal was to make all the Brain circuits in one box, I believe.

I will defer to my terrapin friend for fancy details too complex for my little brain to comprehend.
 
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Merc

Friend of Fred
May 6, 2017
5,604
Florida
I tend to favor lighter drives after and heavier ones before my Atomic Brain or Mystery Brain. For me, the Brain is all about adding clarity, touch sensitivity with Abby engaged, and a slight push to the tubes for added breakup at times. I prefer leaving Abby always on. It’s not really a dirt pedal by design if that’s what you expected.
 

NJDevil

Country Gent
Jul 9, 2014
1,578
Commack, NY
I run my ODs, Boosts, and Fuzzes before my brain. I have 2 Mystery Brains for 2 different pedalboards and they're last in the chain on both.
Personally, I like the preamp volume just a tad over unity gain, bass cut at zero, and abby always on. I've been using it like that for a few years now.
But that is after a LOT of experimentation, trial, and error.
You'll find your sweet spot.
I opened another thread where my wish is to reach for a "fuller" sound....more "girth". Keeley makes the Super Phat Mod which does exactly that to the Blues Driver. I really want more richness from most of my tones so not really looking for a "one trick pony" which the Keeley would be used for. I'm thinking here of solos played on my Strat with just the neck pickup.

Instead, I think the answer is a preamp and the idea popped in my head last week that the Atomic Brain may be the answer. I feel it may make all tones "bloom"......fuller and better. What do you think?

@TV the Wired Turtle - Please read above and let me know if I'm on the right track.
 

NJDevil

Country Gent
Jul 9, 2014
1,578
Commack, NY
I tend to favor lighter drives after and heavier ones before my Atomic Brain or Mystery Brain. For me, the Brain is all about adding clarity, touch sensitivity with Abby engaged, and a slight push to the tubes for added breakup at times. I prefer leaving Abby always on. It’s not really a dirt pedal by design if that’s what you expected.
Would it be fair to say the Atomic Brain takes whatever tone your getting and makes it bloom more....more "bloom" for the thickness of a Strat neck. More "punch" for some funk from my Tele in the middle position or slightly "more of whatever one would call it from my P90 LP in the bridge?
 

pmac11

Country Gent
Mar 4, 2018
3,683
Toronto, Ontario
Would it be fair to say the Atomic Brain takes whatever tone your getting and makes it bloom more....more "bloom" for the thickness of a Strat neck. More "punch" for some funk from my Tele in the middle position or slightly "more of whatever one would call it from my P90 LP in the bridge?
It would fair to say all of that. My two cents!
 

Merc

Friend of Fred
May 6, 2017
5,604
Florida
Would it be fair to say the Atomic Brain takes whatever tone your getting and makes it bloom more....more "bloom" for the thickness of a Strat neck. More "punch" for some funk from my Tele in the middle position or slightly "more of whatever one would call it from my P90 LP in the bridge?

The older style Atomic Brain without switches and Mystery Brain have a Volume knob, and the other knob is more of a Bass cut so it can sound more trebly but control the thickness of the bass. I’m not sure I get the definition of note bloom to be honest. It can definitely push the tubes to breakup, increase touch sensitivity, and add clarity. It’s like taking a blanket off dark amps or less articulate pickups, etc. It’ll add some punch in a way too.

I just ordered the newer Atomic Brain today that adds the Bass Brain and Billy Brain with switches. So that’s a newer expect of the current Atomic Brain I haven’t experienced yet. Here’s a recent run down by the Brain himself.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CXhJPeojLpX/?hl=en
 

Henry

I Bleed Orange
Apr 9, 2014
19,247
Petaluma
Would it be fair to say the Atomic Brain takes whatever tone your getting and makes it bloom more....more "bloom" for the thickness of a Strat neck. More "punch" for some funk from my Tele in the middle position or slightly "more of whatever one would call it from my P90 LP in the bridge?
Just my opinion and perhaps we are just using the same words differently, but to me "bloom" is a unique sound that a (non-master) tube amp makes. The Brain adds dynamics, and imo it helps your amp produce that bloom sound, but the pedal itself does not make that sound.

This is what I think of by bloom, Thorn calls it kind of a roar, the amp itself is sort of an instrument. See 10:00.
 

NJDevil

Country Gent
Jul 9, 2014
1,578
Commack, NY
Just my opinion and perhaps we are just using the same words differently, but to me "bloom" is a unique sound that a (non-master) tube amp makes. The Brain adds dynamics, and imo it helps your amp produce that bloom sound, but the pedal itself does not make that sound.

This is what I think of by bloom, Thorn calls it kind of a roar, the amp itself is sort of an instrument. See 10:00.

It's tough because gain and break-up I have to my liking b'ween a Vertex Steel String Supreme, J. Rockett Blue Note with gain switch and crunchy goodness with the Keeley Aria. The Catalinbread RAH is in the mix and has a special flavor but really love the RAT.

I'm currently using the RAT for some soloing to melodies I have down. The melodies are atmospheric landscapes from long trails and wet via the Source Audio Ventris. The RAT isn't as dirty as some think and pairs very well a bit of compression (via the right side of the Keeley Aria) and a Source Audio Gemini chorus.
Yup, later years Gilmour inspired.

My definition of "bloom" is to expand.....no matter what the tone. Distort, grit, gain, drive....they have their place but bloom is definitely different. My spin on it really seem to be thick blues tones....rich and lush.

5 different Sweetwater reps know but have varying ways of getting there. 2 of them simply tell me to keep what I am using and and add an EQ where both actually favor the 10-band MXR over the Boss EG7. Another tells me just to stack the Keeley Super Phat Mod in the mix......OK doable, but........I want an always on option for different material and I think that lands me in "preamp-in-a-pedal" land. Some recommendations but Fender Blackface tube preamp is the direction their telling me. Recommending one seems different per rep!

But I am looking for the opposite of distortion in thick, dynamic, lush, bluesy goodness.......same ballpark as Gilmour's "Another Brick In The Wall" solo but more tame with expanded headroom and thickness(which some say is the EQ pedal).
 

TV the Wired Turtle

Gretschified
Double Platinum Member
Jul 25, 2009
14,729
Sandy Eggo
I opened another thread where my wish is to reach for a "fuller" sound....more "girth". Keeley makes the Super Phat Mod which does exactly that to the Blues Driver. I really want more richness from most of my tones so not really looking for a "one trick pony" which the Keeley would be used for. I'm thinking here of solos played on my Strat with just the neck pickup.

Instead, I think the answer is a preamp and the idea popped in my head last week that the Atomic Brain may be the answer. I feel it may make all tones "bloom"......fuller and better. What do you think?

@TV the Wired Turtle - Please read above and let me know if I'm on the right track.
I've kept quiet about it because I dont want to convince you on it, I'd rather you experience it doing exactly what you mentioned. I may have started out chasing gretsch ghosts w it but it made me fall back in love with telecasters and even my strat, although that also begged for flatwound 11g pyramids.
 

Henry

I Bleed Orange
Apr 9, 2014
19,247
Petaluma
It's tough because gain and break-up I have to my liking b'ween a Vertex Steel String Supreme, J. Rockett Blue Note with gain switch and crunchy goodness with the Keeley Aria. The Catalinbread RAH is in the mix and has a special flavor but really love the RAT.

I'm currently using the RAT for some soloing to melodies I have down. The melodies are atmospheric landscapes from long trails and wet via the Source Audio Ventris. The RAT isn't as dirty as some think and pairs very well a bit of compression (via the right side of the Keeley Aria) and a Source Audio Gemini chorus.
Yup, later years Gilmour inspired.

My definition of "bloom" is to expand.....no matter what the tone. Distort, grit, gain, drive....they have their place but bloom is definitely different. My spin on it really seem to be thick blues tones....rich and lush.

5 different Sweetwater reps know but have varying ways of getting there. 2 of them simply tell me to keep what I am using and and add an EQ where both actually favor the 10-band MXR over the Boss EG7. Another tells me just to stack the Keeley Super Phat Mod in the mix......OK doable, but........I want an always on option for different material and I think that lands me in "preamp-in-a-pedal" land. Some recommendations but Fender Blackface tube preamp is the direction their telling me. Recommending one seems different per rep!

But I am looking for the opposite of distortion in thick, dynamic, lush, bluesy goodness.......same ballpark as Gilmour's "Another Brick In The Wall" solo but more tame with expanded headroom and thickness(which some say is the EQ pedal).
Crank the amp more but lighter playing maybe? I have a similar set up as in this video. Guitar to preamp/boost to volume pedal to tube amp. Goes from cleaning to just under crunch. I prefer a volume pedal because I can't do any adjustment by hand without getting distracted.

 

NJDevil

Country Gent
Jul 9, 2014
1,578
Commack, NY
I've kept quiet about it because I dont want to convince you on it, I'd rather you experience it doing exactly what you mentioned. I may have started out chasing gretsch ghosts w it but it made me fall back in love with telecasters and even my strat, although that also begged for flatwound 11g pyramids.
I remember plugging in a friend's Strat with the Mystery Brain and it blew me away because I "felt it".....and the "it" part was more than just 1 good thing going on. I was more interested in the moment in Rockabilly material but remarked about how the guts of this baby is far more than just the best delay/slap back on the market.

2 weeks ago it popped in my ahead to seriously think about the Atomic Brain....watched a few videos and one stuck out alot where the dynamics of it really being a game-changing preamp is a reality.

On the premise of needing a big foundation for building a big house, the same applies for the brain acting as THE foundation for building tones and shaping dynamics. I listen to some others like the Blackstar Dept. 10, Two notes' Le Clean and others and find myself comparing everything to the Atomic Brain. Another thing is I know that quality with any Nocturne product is never an issue.

So yup, your creation is probably the answer!!
 

NJDevil

Country Gent
Jul 9, 2014
1,578
Commack, NY
Crank the amp more but lighter playing maybe? I have a similar set up as in this video. Guitar to preamp/boost to volume pedal to tube amp. Goes from cleaning to just under crunch. I prefer a volume pedal because I can't do any adjustment by hand without getting distracted.


I love Time Pierce insight so this video comes in handy and I agree.....also, how can I argue with the thoughts from a player with his background and talent?

I watch his videos a lot and he does achieve "a" thickness but he never lets us hear the thickness of tone play clean or with just a bit of breakup. I solo mostly and flatpick. The dynamic of my attack changes for how I feel the song to be expressed. With that said, when I play Lonnie Mack"s "Wham" or SRV's "Testify", the .13s I currently have on my Strat reserved for Texas Blues-type stuff is required. I do move to a guitar with lighter gauge for Johnny Winter material because there is less girth in the tone.....more gain/drive but less thickness of tone.

I do not have a tube amp BUT my Roland BC Artist takes pedals really well and my looking for a preamp will augment/replace that amp's preamp. I am using a Tele, Strat, and Les Paul for some different material that is more on the atmospheric side. For this, I am in standard tuning and string gauge is .10s for those guitars. For some solos, a thick tone is produced from guitar, RAT, compressor and chorus. An EQ pedal doesn't hurt for altering bass frequencies.
 

Merc

Friend of Fred
May 6, 2017
5,604
Florida
I've kept quiet about it because I dont want to convince you on it, I'd rather you experience it doing exactly what you mentioned. I may have started out chasing gretsch ghosts w it but it made me fall back in love with telecasters and even my strat, although that also begged for flatwound 11g pyramids.

Every guitar I’ve plugged into my Atomic or Mystery Brain so far has sounded and responded better. It’s just great at what it does. I prefer my P90’s with it too.
 

Jackal

Gretschie
Jan 23, 2016
215
MO
I have a Dyno, thinking of getting a MB for Abby mode, and to sample the digi echo vs. analog, but in doing so I'd be taking the echo effect out of my amp's effects loop and putting it into the front end. Has anyone found they favor one way over the other?
 

Merc

Friend of Fred
May 6, 2017
5,604
Florida
I have a Dyno, thinking of getting a MB for Abby mode, and to sample the digi echo vs. analog, but in doing so I'd be taking the echo effect out of my amp's effects loop and putting it into the front end. Has anyone found they favor one way over the other?

I’ve only ever put my delay in front and it’s always sounded fine to me. As you likely know, most analogs are a bit darker. If it’s what you’re used to and prefer a darker echo, open the back of the Mystery Brain. There’s a treble cut switch internally that’s clearly marked. It only effects the echo. I preferred mine off we all hear things differently. I’m not sure which position Tavo is currently shipping it in.

Also, just post if you’re confused about the effects loop on the Mystery Brain or do a search on here. The recent versions have an effects loop that allows you to place additional pedals after the 301 preamp and before the echo with the right cable for taste. It stumps a lot of players at first for some reason but it’s easy enough once explained.
 


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