BSM FireBall Treble Booster

The BSM FireBall is custom-made to help you to recreate some special Ritchie Blackmore sounds. In response to user requests for Ritchie Blackmore's 1971 agressive stage and studio sound, BSM has created the FireBall, a pure custom-made booster with a very special transistor selection and optimized parameters, built as a limited production series. You can also use the FireBall to get the heavier Blackmore sound from his 1976 "Rising" recordings.

The FireBall is not intended for bedroom-players. To keep the FireBall as pure of a recreation as possible, it is constructed without a volume control. BSM feels that this is the one and only way to guarantee that the high-gain germanium transistor of the FireBall can overload a tube amp's input stage without any coloration of the tone.

The HS/Fireball is based on the British HORNBY SKEWES unit first issue, produced early 1967, as used by Ritchie Blackmore, the brilliant and impulsive guitarist of Deep Purple. The unit produces a powerful and biting sound that was used to help create the epochal masterpieces e.g. "Deep Purple In Rock" and "Fireball". The long yearned for new edition, now issued under the name HS from BSM, includes the same germanium transistors as the the original 1967 version. The Fireball unit is a specifically high-grade selected HS unit. Put it in front of a Marshall Major and you will achieve Blackmore's boosted sound on the Deep Purple album "Fireball" or Rainbow´s "Rising".

Almost all British rock guitarists using single coil pickup guitars used a germanium Treble Booster from the late 60's to the mid 70's. By the end of the seventies, the Treble Booster was replaced by a new circuit from Japan, the so called Tube Screamer and other similar overdrive circuits. These were based on the old Treble Boosters and therefore had a very similar frequency response. The germanium boosters on the other hand, sadly fell into oblivion despite their unique and inimitable sound. The HS / Fireball Treble Booster has been specifically designed for single coil pickups with a relatively low coil inductance, such as pickups in Fender, Rickenbacker, Burns or Vox guitars. On these pickups, the Fireball produces (with the volume control of the guitar turned up to the max) a fat, biting and penetrating lead sound, minus any shrill characteristics. By lowering the guitar's volume control, many shades of crunch can be easily dialed in. Another thing to consider is that when a guitar amp's volume is turned up (reaching saturation), the power amp normally begins to mute the highs, which results in a duller sound. At an amp's full tilt, the Fireball Treble Booster allows a more transparent tone (covering the entire frequency range) to shine through. The presence control on the amp need only be minimally used (if at all). When vintage amps are used (such as the Fender Deluxe, Fender Bassman, Vox AC30, Marshall 100w or Marshall Major 200w) it is amazing what effect the use of a good treble booster has.

It is also of interest to note that Ritchie Blackmore used modded Marshall Major 200 heads and played on "Made In Japan" with the following settings: Presence 0; Bass 4; Middle 5; Treble 6-7; Volume 7-8. The Treble Booster is inserted between guitar and amplifier, not into the FX loop. The magical tone is achieved by the interaction between guitar pickup, treble booster and amplifier. The unit is powered by a 9V battery with a current consumption of approx. 270 uA. The average output level is 10dBm, the maximum output voltage when the strings are struck really hard is 7V max. Note: The positive pole of the battery is ground.

BSM Fireball Treble BoosterBSM Fireball Treble Booster

Soundclips:

 Strat Sorcery (Fender Stratocaster + BSM Fireball)
 Blackmore´s Boogie (ESP Custom Shop Strat + BSM Fireball)
 Still I´m Sad (live) (ESP Custom Shop Strat + BSM Fireball)

Thanks to Joe Stump (www.joestump.com) for the soundfiles. On "Strat Sorcery" Joe used the BSM Fireball for the lengthy end solo. For this song Joe used a 1979 blond maple neck Fender Stratocaster, a nice guitar with ash body but not heavy like many later 70`s Strats, with a scalloped neck and HS-3 pickups into a 50 watt non-master early 70`s Marshall head and newer Marshall cabinet with 75 watt celestions (presence: 0 / bass: 4 / mids: 6.5 / treble: 6). He also used a Boss Phase Shifter stompbox. The amp was miked with a Shure SM-57 and a Royer mike. Additionally Joe used a Fender 68 reverse reissue Strat on the rhythmn track, so you hear two guitars - one with the boss phase shifter and one with a Dunlop roto-vibe.
On "Blackmore´s Boogie" Joe used the BSM Fireball on the opening riff and chordal stuff along with one of his Custom Shop ESP Strats thru a 1971 50 watt MARK II non-master volume Marshall amp that used to belong to Yngwie Malmsteen (that Joe owns now). The rest of the track has an old grey DOD 250 preamp on much of it on the single note stuff.
On the live version of "Still I´m Sad" Joe played his ESP Custom Shop Strat into the Fireball, to beat the hell out of his Marshall JCM 2000 DSL
The studio tracks are taken from Joe´s 2009 solo record "Virtuostic Vendetta"

Here is another soundclip, recorded by Leon from the Netherlands

 ... and another one from Jon from England

 ... and a final one from Jon

To download the complete HS manual, please click here. You must have Adobe Acrobat installed on your machine to download and display the manual. Click here for a free download.

If you have any questions concerning our products, especially the BSM FireBall, our tech-head and mastermind Mr. Bernd C. Meiser would be happy to talk to you. So don´t hestitate any longer and send him an email to info@treblebooster.net to contact him.