The Honey Bee OD 4K Mini Standard is the latest interaction – the first one in mini version – of this popular low-gain overdrive circuit by designer Bjorn Juhl (of Mad Professor fame), celebrating its twentieth anniversary. This is, in its essence, an amp-in-a-box recreating the warm and syrupy tone of a vintage Supro amp.
The latest compact version of this circuit features three knobs and a Vintage/Modern voice toggle on top of the case. This mini version moves that switch to the side of the pedal and replaces the “Nature” tone knob with a two-way EQ section featuring Bass and Treble controls, therefore satisfying the request of many users for an extended treble response to allow for easier amp matching.
While the Vintage voice delivers the mild and classic overdrive of the original Honey Bee, Modern offers a more modern sound, slightly higher in gain and with a wider low-end response.
For those in need of more gain, there is a custom version of this pedal (in crimson color) that delivers a high-gain circuit also in the Vintage voicing.
The One Control Honey Bee is featured in our article about the Best overdrive and amp-in-a-box pedals.
Honey Bee OD 4K Mini Standard, Builder’s Notes
One Control Honeybee Overdrive 4K Mini and Mini Custom Versions.
For the 20th anniversary of the original BJFe Honeybee Overdrive, Björn Juhl has now brought the sound of his classic low-gain overdrive to the One Control Mini pedal platform, featuring both the classic Honeybee warm syrupy texture with Modern/Vintage Switch and a special new Custom version, with enhanced gain and a hot crimson finish. Gold finish is classic, Crimson finish is the high gain variant.
One of the most popular customer requests from the original Honeybee OD was for enhanced treble response. While many guitarists love the original “Nature” knob, Björn has equipped the new HBOD4k Mini with both Bass and Treble controls. This new design will enable players to dial the pedal in more easily with a wider range of amplifiers.
After the original run of 200 BJFe Honeybees, Björn started to change the original circuit in response to requests from guitarists worldwide. You can have both flavors of the Honeybee OD with the 4K Mini – simply flip the switch on the side between Vintage/Modern and experience the original sound of both Honeybee circuits in our Mini size enclosure to allow the HBOD4K Mini to fit on any pedalboard setup.
The most important feature of the HBOD4K Mini is the SOUND. Björn has spent the last few years doing extensive research on the components and construction techniques required for One Control pedals, especially the Mini size enclosures. The circuit cannot simply be copies from the older versions – it must be completely redesigned and voiced by the master himself to get a tone that meets his approval. There are no “mojo components” or other superstitious circuit mysticism in this approach. And for this 20th Anniversary of arguably his most popular effects pedal, he is proud to release the most affordable and easiest to use Honeybee Overdrive ever.
The original Honeybee was released on December 4, 2002 and was highly inspired by the sound of an old Supro amplifier that Björn was extremely fond of. For a truly natural sounding low-gain overdrive, the Honeybee is one of the best in the world. It responds wonderfully to the player’s touch and dynamics and is a great pedal for “stacking” with other effects like fuzzes and distortions. Played into a clean to slightly crunchy amplifier, the HBOD 4K Mini can give you all the classic “crunch” tones as well as that almost clean tone that is yet dripping with harmonics and sustain. This is where the Honeybee flies. Pushing a dirty amp with the Honeybee will help bring additional harmonic components to your tone as well as some additional gain. This can help to bolster your rhythm parts in the mix and push your solos out front with some more low-mid penetration and clarity without an appreciable increase in volume.
The HBOD 4K Mini can even be used like an “AIAB” (amp-in-the-box) style pedal – just connect the output of the Honeybee directly to the power amp input of any amplifier and get that old Supro-style grind with even solid-state amp setups. A slight low-mid bump helps to round the tone.
The Modern/Vintage switch gives you two entire Honeybee sounds – with VINTAGE mode you can have the sound of the earliest Honeybees. A mild and classic overdrive tone that is sweet with the “luxury trebles” that Björn is known for. MODERN mode is the sound of the current Honeybee – slightly higher gain with a wider low-end response for a more contemporary sound.
CUSTOM HIGH GAIN VERSION:
In addition to the 20th Anniversary HBOD4K Mini Standard, we have also created the new CUSTOM version with a limited-edition crimson red color. Tonally, this version will bring you additional gain and push in the low-mid spectrum with a thicker tone. This version also has the VINTAGE/MODERN switch, so you get both original Honeybee with high gain and modern Honeybee with high gain. With both pedals, you can easily have four different variations of the classic Honeybee tone at your feet.
VOLUME – adjusts the overall output with unity gain around 12 o’clock
DRIVE – adjusts the intensity of the distortion. At 12 o’clock, distortion is mostly produced by picking dynamics
BASS – Adjusts the low tone frequencies
TREBLE – Adjusts the high frequencies
VINTAGE/MODERN: switches between the custom sound of the original Honeybee circuit (VINTAGE) and the current model Honeybee (MODERN)
Input Impedance : 370k
Output Impedance : 50K
Power : DC9V Negative Tip 2.1mm Barrel Type
Current Draw: 3mA