NPD: Surfy Industries Blossom Point Pedal

Synchro

The artist formerly known as: Synchro
Staff member
Jun 2, 2008
27,031
Tucson
Great review...just when I thought I didn't need another pedal.
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Love this method of demonstrating the pedal.

That is a good demo, and accurate. It’s not a profound difference in sound, but it’s a wonderful seasoning that enhances the sound of your rig.
 

Synchro

The artist formerly known as: Synchro
Staff member
Jun 2, 2008
27,031
Tucson
I spent some more time with the Blossom Point tonight, this time using a Tele Thinline with Fender Noiseless pickups. This is a guitar that can be very bright, on the bridge pickup, and this made the Presence control more significant. For example, on tne bridge pickup, with the presence all the way up, and Spring reverb, a bright, drippy Surf sound is easy to achieve. Turn the Presence down, and the reverb is tamer, less drippy, but great for mellow Surf. On both pickups, or the neck pickup, and the Presence rolled down, the sound is very restrained, but not dark or muted. It was especially effective for pinch harmonics, which sound better with less presence. I’m beginning to think that Fender made a mistake when it left the Presence control behind.

The Presence isn’t a tone control. It does have an effect on the extent to which highs are a part of the negative feedback loop in an amp. So, turning down the Presence doesn’t cut the highs in you signal, but instead, it limits the amount of highs that are recycled into the negative feedback loop. It’s hard to describe, but if you use the Presence a control on a Blossom Point, it will make sense. I tend to go for broad strokes for Presence settings, at least at first, while I’m learning how it responds.
 

NJDevil

Country Gent
Jul 9, 2014
1,631
Commack, NY
Alot of your review sounds similar to the Xotic EP Booster actually. It's only got one external control: level, but has internal dip switches for 2 modes: "normal" and "vintage". Trying to describe what it does goes beyond a mere EQ shift, I heard someone use the phrase "does something intangible to the sound and feel", and that's the best description I could think of for it. Alot of people use it as an "always on" pedal, and/or a "sweetener". It's a pedal you'd have to try, to understand.
I was afraid of that and just had "that feeling". With Synchro suggesting the Blossom Point, I knew to grab it. It was an easy decision when some posts in 2 different threads really made me realize that I was trying for tones I heard thru tube amps at high volumes via a solid state amp and pedals. After trying the Keeley Super Phat Mod and getting that Fender blackface tone, I trusted my "inner Josh from JHS" and knew the circuitry was out there somewhere.

It's been a fun journey of exploration.
 

Ricochet

Senior Gretsch-Talker
Gold Supporting Member
Nov 13, 2009
23,200
Monkey Island
I suspect a lot of the perceived effect simply has something to do with the placement of the compressor at the end of the chain. Apparently it doesn’t work with squishy(Dyna/Ross etc) compressors, but a good optical variant should exhibit some of the same bloom or blossom.
 
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ruger9

Country Gent
Nov 1, 2008
3,672
NJ
I was afraid of that and just had "that feeling". With Synchro suggesting the Blossom Point, I knew to grab it. It was an easy decision when some posts in 2 different threads really made me realize that I was trying for tones I heard thru tube amps at high volumes via a solid state amp and pedals. After trying the Keeley Super Phat Mod and getting that Fender blackface tone, I trusted my "inner Josh from JHS" and knew the circuitry was out there somewhere.

It's been a fun journey of exploration.

I suspect a lot of the perceived effect simply has something to do with the placement of the compressor at the end of the chain. Apparently it doesn’t work with squishy(Dyna/Ross etc) compressors, but a good optical variant should exhibit some if the same bloom or blossom.
I don't use compressors, tho I do have one just in case I ever need it.

I can see adding a compressor at the end of the chain- or I should say adding compression- helps simulate a "more cranked up" time amp, in both smoothness of sound and feel, kind of simulating the compression you get from cooking tubes.

Sometimes I LIKE that immediateness (Dr Z amps come to mind) of the "harder feel" (lack of compression). My Hot Cat clean channel does the "slight compression" thing no matter where the volume is set. My Swart AST can be more immediate when set lower on the dial. Interestingly, my PRRI also has that soft feel even when set low (3).

Every time I try to use a compressor, I end up setting it so subtle that it really isn't doing much, and then, "what's the point?", and I yank it out again lol.

Coincidentally, while I know vey little about Surfy Bear products, I do have a Surfy Bear Reverb Metal arriving tomorrow, to go with my newly-acquired Gretsch Playboy (by Victoria), which is also arriving tomorrow. :cool:
 

ForTheLoveOfIvy

Gretschie
Feb 28, 2022
377
London
I don't use compressors, tho I do have one just in case I ever need it.

I can see adding a compressor at the end of the chain- or I should say adding compression- helps simulate a "more cranked up" time amp, in both smoothness of sound and feel, kind of simulating the compression you get from cooking tubes.

Sometimes I LIKE that immediateness (Dr Z amps come to mind) of the "harder feel" (lack of compression). My Hot Cat clean channel does the "slight compression" thing no matter where the volume is set. My Swart AST can be more immediate when set lower on the dial. Interestingly, my PRRI also has that soft feel even when set low (3).

Every time I try to use a compressor, I end up setting it so subtle that it really isn't doing much, and then, "what's the point?", and I yank it out again lol.

Coincidentally, while I know vey little about Surfy Bear products, I do have a Surfy Bear Reverb Metal arriving tomorrow, to go with my newly-acquired Gretsch Playboy (by Victoria), which is also arriving tomorrow. :cool:
Love my Metal.
 

David MacNeill

Gretschie
Gold Supporting Member
Nov 13, 2022
100
Boise ID

Love this method of demonstrating the pedal.

My first impression of this demo was, “Sure, it sounds better with the pedal on because it’s set to be louder!” Then I listened again and it really isn’t louder per se, it’s more, er, present. They took care to balance the volume with the raw guitar. The apparent volume increase is the fact that it’s in your face and more 3D. This is how I intend to use mine.
 

NJDevil

Country Gent
Jul 9, 2014
1,631
Commack, NY
Y
My first impression of this demo was, “Sure, it sounds better with the pedal on because it’s set to be louder!” Then I listened again and it really isn’t louder per se, it’s more, er, present. They took care to balance the volume with the raw guitar. The apparent volume increase is the fact that it’s in your face and more 3D. This is how I intend to use mine.
Yes and I'd say a bit of Fender brownface emulation and a bit of "tone thickening" (like added a bit of flour to a tasty broth to make a nice gravy). I have to say the Origin Effects Revival Drive does this for brownface, Plexi, tweed and and blackface areas and really adds a bit of extra with the ghost note.

The Revival Drive is really more of tone shaper. I agree with a comment I read in another thread that Strats and Teles need help. I have 5 Strats and 2 Teles and I'd agree.......shaping a bit of tone with a bit of boost, and making it more dynamic. Some might say I like it because it compresses also......it really helps get "different variations" of a clean tone from the guitar. Those who do not care for it as much gripe that it isn't as great for gain and distortion......which is why I like it so much. The Blossom Point does the brownface of this quite nicely. Use it and you may not notice it but you'll definitely notice when it is then turned off.
 

David MacNeill

Gretschie
Gold Supporting Member
Nov 13, 2022
100
Boise ID
Y

Yes and I'd say a bit of Fender brownface emulation and a bit of "tone thickening" (like added a bit of flour to a tasty broth to make a nice gravy). I have to say the Origin Effects Revival Drive does this for brownface, Plexi, tweed and and blackface areas and really adds a bit of extra with the ghost note.

The Revival Drive is really more of tone shaper. I agree with a comment I read in another thread that Strats and Teles need help. I have 5 Strats and 2 Teles and I'd agree.......shaping a bit of tone with a bit of boost, and making it more dynamic. Some might say I like it because it compresses also......it really helps get "different variations" of a clean tone from the guitar. Those who do not care for it as much gripe that it isn't as great for gain and distortion......which is why I like it so much. The Blossom Point does the brownface of this quite nicely. Use it and you may not notice it but you'll definitely notice when it is then turned off.
Well said. I would love to know what they put in that circuit, but I’m sure they’ll keep that a trade secret.
 

Synchro

The artist formerly known as: Synchro
Staff member
Jun 2, 2008
27,031
Tucson
I suspect a lot of the perceived effect simply has something to do with the placement of the compressor at the end of the chain. Apparently it doesn’t work with squishy(Dyna/Ross etc) compressors, but a good optical variant should exhibit some of the same bloom or blossom.
I’m starting to suspect that placing the compressor at the end of the chain is the key. Most commercial recordings have compression, either on a per-track basis, or for the entire mixdown. So, in many cases, compression is compressing everything that was laid down; the instrument, any effects, the microphones, everything.
I don't use compressors, tho I do have one just in case I ever need it.

I can see adding a compressor at the end of the chain- or I should say adding compression- helps simulate a "more cranked up" time amp, in both smoothness of sound and feel, kind of simulating the compression you get from cooking tubes.

Sometimes I LIKE that immediateness (Dr Z amps come to mind) of the "harder feel" (lack of compression). My Hot Cat clean channel does the "slight compression" thing no matter where the volume is set. My Swart AST can be more immediate when set lower on the dial. Interestingly, my PRRI also has that soft feel even when set low (3).

Every time I try to use a compressor, I end up setting it so subtle that it really isn't doing much, and then, "what's the point?", and I yank it out again lol.

Coincidentally, while I know vey little about Surfy Bear products, I do have a Surfy Bear Reverb Metal arriving tomorrow, to go with my newly-acquired Gretsch Playboy (by Victoria), which is also arriving tomorrow. :cool:
The thing with compressors is that if they are used to the point that they are obvious, that may be too much. It’s a strange conundrum. However, I’m convinced that it adds something worth having, even if it is subtle.

One interesting thing about the Blossom Point is that there are no external settings for the compression function. This prevents the problem that I’ve had, which is that it’s easy to overdo compression. In the name of science, I decided to remove the back and have a look. There was a pot marked Limiter, which I regarded with the same casual familiarity I would have for a coiled rattlesnake. I would imagine that this was set with an oscilloscope, and I wasn’t going to try to improve on perfection.

60BDFACE-9F09-44F6-8150-1E66667D50B4.jpeg

My first impression of this demo was, “Sure, it sounds better with the pedal on because it’s set to be louder!” Then I listened again and it really isn’t louder per se, it’s more, er, present. They took care to balance the volume with the raw guitar. The apparent volume increase is the fact that it’s in your face and more 3D. This is how I intend to use mine.
You have zeroed in on one of my chief complaints about many pedal demos. Someone will play with no effects, then kick in the pedal at about +10 dB, and of course it sounds different. In my tests, I took pains to come as close to unity as possible, and I agree, there is a greater presence through this pedal.

Well said. I would love to know what they put in that circuit, but I’m sure they’ll keep that a trade secret.
From what I can tell, without risking my warranty, there are at least two OpAmps. I saw some transistors, which are probably input and output buffers. There are a number of diodes, but I don’t think that they are used for clipping. As far as I could tell, this pedal is absolutely clean, which is one of the reasons I bought it. While the trimmer pot was labeled Limiter, I suspect that there is some compression at play, as well.
 

NJDevil

Country Gent
Jul 9, 2014
1,631
Commack, NY
I’m starting to suspect that placing the compressor at the end of the chain is the key. Most commercial recordings have compression, either on a per-track basis, or for the entire mixdown. So, in many cases, compression is compressing everything that was laid down; the instrument, any effects, the microphones, everything.

The thing with compressors is that if they are used to the point that they are obvious, that may be too much. It’s a strange conundrum. However, I’m convinced that it adds something worth having, even if it is subtle.

One interesting thing about the Blossom Point is that there are no external settings for the compression function. This prevents the problem that I’ve had, which is that it’s easy to overdo compression. In the name of science, I decided to remove the back and have a look. There was a pot marked Limiter, which I regarded with the same casual familiarity I would have for a coiled rattlesnake. I would imagine that this was set with an oscilloscope, and I wasn’t going to try to improve on perfection.

View attachment 195680


You have zeroed in on one of my chief complaints about many pedal demos. Someone will play with no effects, then kick in the pedal at about +10 dB, and of course it sounds different. In my tests, I took pains to come as close to unity as possible, and I agree, there is a greater presence through this pedal.


From what I can tell, without risking my warranty, there are at least two OpAmps. I saw some transistors, which are probably input and output buffers. There are a number of diodes, but I don’t think that they are used for clipping. As far as I could tell, this pedal is absolutely clean, which is one of the reasons I bought it. While the trimmer pot was labeled Limiter, I suspect that there is some compression at play, as well.
Really cool opening the Blossom Point and seeing the limiter.

I think that the only time I would want the compression to be really obvious is for country picking like Johnny Hiland, and tons of others, and for Gimour-esque solos where only a Strat's bridge pickup is used. I know in many cases he used the Dynacomp first in the chain and then another at the end. Who really can know with the massive 3 Cornish pedal boards he had and then the magic from the engineer(which he did a lot himself).

The Gimourish site along with some great playing by Francesco Carpentieri doesn't completely capture it but shows that Gilmour used both the Dynacomp and Boss CS-2 engaged. For the home player, one could just play the Strat off of the neck pickup only while using a clean boost. I know it isn't the same but it can get very similar results with the differences only more transparent when the volume increases or recorded.
 

Ricochet

Senior Gretsch-Talker
Gold Supporting Member
Nov 13, 2009
23,200
Monkey Island
There was a pot marked Limiter, which I regarded with the same casual familiarity I would have for a coiled rattlesnake. I would imagine that this was set with an oscilloscope, and I wasn’t going to try to improve on perfection.

Why would they mark it, and not just Gorilla glue it shut? I know an invitation when I see one. :)
 

Synchro

The artist formerly known as: Synchro
Staff member
Jun 2, 2008
27,031
Tucson
Really cool opening the Blossom Point and seeing the limiter.

I think that the only time I would want the compression to be really obvious is for country picking like Johnny Hiland, and tons of others, and for Gimour-esque solos where only a Strat's bridge pickup is used. I know in many cases he used the Dynacomp first in the chain and then another at the end. Who really can know with the massive 3 Cornish pedal boards he had and then the magic from the engineer(which he did a lot himself).

The Gimourish site along with some great playing by Francesco Carpentieri doesn't completely capture it but shows that Gilmour used both the Dynacomp and Boss CS-2 engaged. For the home player, one could just play the Strat off of the neck pickup only while using a clean boost. I know it isn't the same but it can get very similar results with the differences only more transparent when the volume increases or recorded.
The modern Country sound seems to rely heavily upon compression. I don’t know that this pedal will compress that much, at least with the OEM settings.

I don’t know that I’ve ever played a CS-2, but I know that the CS-3 didn’t work for me, at all.

Why would they mark it, and not just Gorilla glue it shut? I know an invitation when I see one. :)
I already told them about you. If you order one, they will weld the bottom plate to the housing. :)
 

David MacNeill

Gretschie
Gold Supporting Member
Nov 13, 2022
100
Boise ID
My Blossom Point arrive today but I don’t know how to tell if it’s a version 2? The model ends in 02 so maybe that’s it, but I’d like to be sure so I can return it to the store if it’s not what they claimed it was.

0ADC9035-FD2A-4066-B755-BF2B8CC2F118.jpeg
 
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David MacNeill

Gretschie
Gold Supporting Member
Nov 13, 2022
100
Boise ID
Never mind. V1 was substantially different physically according to their USA sales manager, and the 02 does indeed indicate that it is a V2. Time to jack this puppy in — cowabunga dudes!
 

Synchro

The artist formerly known as: Synchro
Staff member
Jun 2, 2008
27,031
Tucson
Your S/N is more than 30 higher than mine, so you are definitely on V2; AKA, The Gathering Place Of The Terminally Cool. :)

Cocking an ear towards Boise and listening for dulcet tones.
 

Ricochet

Senior Gretsch-Talker
Gold Supporting Member
Nov 13, 2009
23,200
Monkey Island
My Blossom Point arrive today but I don’t know how to tell if it’s a version 2? The model ends in 02 so maybe that’s it, but I’d like to be sure so I can return it to the store if it’s not what they claimed it was.

Version 1 didn’t have a footswitch.
 


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