BJFE

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BJFE Guitar Effects is a company which manufactures effects pedal for use with instruments such as an electric guitar. These pedals are commonly used by guitarists to modify the sound of their guitar before it passes through the amplifiers speaker system. The company is located in Sweden, and was founded in 2000 by Björn Juhl. "BJFE" stands for Björn Juhl Förstärkarelektronik (which is Swedish for Björn Juhl Amplifier Electronics). Pedal types include distortion, overdrive, "vibe" (vibrato), compression, and equalization (EQ). Due to the limited production and handbuilt nature, these pedals are considered "boutique" guitar effects.

BJFE pedals are all handmade by BJ and his wife Eva Juhl paints the lettering and pictures. BJFE pedals typically follow a "color" naming scheme, and an adjective to describe the sound. See below for examples. Customshop models are usually painted by Donner Rusk (aka "Donnerbox") in the USA.

BJFE drive pedals designs also tend to lend themselves well to "stacking", or cascading several pedals in successive order. Björn has written a guide on this here.[1] Also, the drive pedals typically are very dynamic in nature- showing different EQ or distortion depth as the input guitar level changes. For example, the Honeybee overdrive may sound nearly clean with guitar volume at the lower range of its sweep, but gritty and overdriven with the guitar volume at its maximum setting.

Founder History[edit]

Björn Juhl began creating models for production sale upon founding the company in 2000. However, he began building effects units for guitar as early as 1981. In 2000 Björn was displaying his repair skills at a guitar trade show, and made three pedals to demonstrate his skills. Here he teamed up with Harri Koski from Custom Sounds in Stockhold, to begin a partnership distributing guitar effects which Björn designed to a worldwide customer base.[2]

Björn Juhl has two kids, a daughter and a non binary child named Martina. His daughters name is Marlene and music is a big pleasure for her. Sheäs going in her fathers footsteps.

BJF Electronics initially started in June 1999 as an amp repair business. Björn repaired all kinds of things from a Tubon (a kind of early synthesiser used as an electric bass by pop bands who couldn't afford a Fender Bass or a Hagstrom Bass), to a Music Man amp that had been used to test how to take the live and neutral currents out of a three phase connection. Björn handled the extreme and difficult cases that other repairmen wouldn't touch because they thought they'd take too much time or were considered hopeless repair opportunities.[3]

Construction Philosophy[edit]

BJFE pedals are enclosed in a 110x60x30mm chassis, in an ELFA K-430 enclosure for most pedals.. The circuit boards are wrapped in neoprene, which is a kind of rubber used in diving suits and capable of withstanding heat, water, and other fluids as well as to provide cushion for the electronic components inside. The circuit board is also sealed to provide protection, and to preserve trade secrets.

The first BJFE pedals were painted in nitrocellulose—beginning in 2002 the pedals are handpainted in oil. Oil is much more durable, and ages well.[3] Björn Juhl states that the colors are chosen to provide a pleasant palette. Each model comes with some unique artwork inside the back pedal cover, which is painted by hand.

Models[edit]

Current models listed here, along with a description. A more full description of all the BJFE pedals complete with their history can be found on the BJFE Pedal Descriptions[4] independently maintained by David Cittadini on the thread on the BJFE Forum.

Fuzz Pedals[edit]

  • Candy Apple Fuzz
A very crude fuzz, with octave function if needed and dying moans of gated fuzz[5]
  • Pink Purple Fuzz
A more tame fuzz. Here, the fuzz knobs acts differently - The first half of rotation will give dynamic fuzz, suitable for overdrive, and second half will give compressed fuzz effects with most guitars.[6]

Distortion & Overdrive Pedals[edit]

BJFE overdrive pedals overdrive pedals in particular can add a pronounced "touch sensitivity" to the distortion in most cases- picking lightly or slight movements in your guitars volume knob position can clean the sound up.

  • Honeybee Overdrive
The most dynamic, touch sensitive pedal from BJFE and the highest selling model. According to Björn, this pedal fits most styles and stacks well with most other pedals. On a clean sounding amp HB can be used to get distortion on forceful notes as controlled by picking force. This can be used on guitars with flatwound strings for a mellow jazz sound or roundwound strings for an old style light distortion. In pedal systems with multiple drive pedals HB can be connected last to soften response and even give a low mid hump to bright amplifiers and provide a ceiling-effect for the upper treble frequencies.[7]
  • Dyna Red Distortion
Distortion range allows very light to heavy, and those that like this one use it mostly for high gain sounds but it also matches particularly well for light break up dynamic rhythms with some amps. The "drive" knob on this particular pedal controls the amount of distortion and sustain. Lower settings give uniform distortion patterns which will be input amplitude sensitive (i.e. the unit distorts more the harder you strike the strings). There is no definite clipping point - but rather different shades of distortion as amplitude changes; Higher settings give more compression and less touch sensitive response, and at maximum output will be heavily compressed while still retaining clarity at almost infinite sustain.[8]
  • Emerald Green Distortion Machine
Modeled after a VOX AC-15 Twin 10. EGDM gives a range of distorted sounds that are a bit less aggressive than the Dyna Red Disstortion and also more compressed almost like it had a compressor built in. The distortion depth is a bit less than the Dyna Red Distortion as well. The EGDM was specifically designed to get a distorted tone with a compressed feel to a point where compression feel is more evident than distortion depth. This is done by use of a specific amplifier overload function and a slight ’ducking’ effect which can be noticed with high input levels. A specific eq curve is also used to complement this tone.[9]

Research Models[edit]

  • Model H (available through the BJFE Custom Shop)
  • Sparkling Yellow Overdrive (available through the BJFE Custom Shop)

Compressor Pedals[edit]

  • Pine Green Compressor
Subtle compression pedal. This was originally designed for a set of Beatles songs Björn's band was playing in, to give the kind of clean sound needed from the amp he was using. It works equally well with single coil, P90, and humbucking guitars It was introduced as a model since Andreas of Custom Sounds Stockholm found Björn's old unit on one of the shelves at his store and asked to borrow it.[2]

EQ Pedals[edit]

  • Sea Blue EQ
EQ in pedal form, esigned to match the piezo acoustic guitars and work as a booster addressing frequency bands with treble and bass controls that you don't find on your amp. As a result the pedal allows your to further EQ beyond what your amp provides, while not fighting its own EQ.

Modulation Pedals[edit]

  • Mighty Green Minivibe
Designed to work primarily before distortion, and gives a traditional vibe sound. This pedal does not have Univibe type sounds, but more vibrato.

Boost Pedals[edit]

  • Baby Pink Booster
Volume boost pedal. This is a booster pedal intended to use between a low-level instrument such as electric guitar and an amplifier. It’s intended to place in signal chain after overdrive pedals in order to boost level rather than distortion - hence it’s gain of 18dB( or 8 times). You can of course use it in front of an overdrive to boost the gain for more distortion.[10]

Relationship to Mad Professor Amplification[edit]

Björn was asked by his BJFE pedal distributor, Harri Koski, to consider designing amplifiers. Björn was fairly busy building and designing pedals for the BJFE line, and did not have the time to also build amplifiers. It was suggested a new company be created where Björn could design the effects and amplifiers, but they would be constructed and distributed under the name Mad Professor Amplification. These are pedals and amplifiers designed by Björn but not hand built by him.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "BJFE Guitar Effects Community • PedalStackers Guide Original Article and Stack Suggestions". Bjfe.org. Retrieved 2010-06-19. 
  2. ^ a b "BJF Electronics Interview | Boutique Guitar Effects". Sixstringsoul.com. 2005-02-01. Archived from the original on 21 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-19. 
  3. ^ a b The Effector Magazine, Japan Dec 2009
  4. ^ BJFE Pedal Descriptions
  5. ^ http://www.mpamp.com/bjf/CAF_Owner.pdf
  6. ^ http://www.mpamp.com/bjf/PPF_Owner.pdf
  7. ^ "Baby Blue O.D. Owner's Manual" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-14. Retrieved 2010-06-19. 
  8. ^ "Dyna Red Distortion Owner's Manual" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-14. Retrieved 2010-06-19. 
  9. ^ "Baby Blue O.D. Owner's Manual" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-14. Retrieved 2010-06-19. 
  10. ^ http://www.mpamp.com/bjf/BPB_Owner.pdf

External links[edit]