In all of it’s throwback glory, the Black Sheep. Dirty, mean spirited and a blast to hang around with. You can’t help but feeling a bit dirty when you plug in.
The Black Sheep by Black Arts Toneworks is a rework of a real-life "black sheep" fuzz pedal—the Roland Bee Baa. Originally sold as a dual-mode fuzz with a switchable treble boost mode, it was a very polarizing unit. Some loved the mid-range rasp that the unit was famous for and an equal number absolutely hated it.
However, Black Arts has taken the Bee Baa circuit under the microscope and knife and has done a great job giving the circuit a much-needed facelift. Its inherent brittleness has been remedied with the implementation of a variable input selector, the same trusted rotary as is present on the Black Forest. The raspiness of the fuzz effect itself has also been quelled by using more modern transistors and tweaking some of the values inside. Essentially, raspiness and brittleness were the two main characteristics of the Bee Baa, and Black Arts has removed the polarity from the original unit and turned it into a fuzz that everyone can enjoy.
The controls are the aforementioned Depth, Tone, Volume and Gain. The Gain knob has plenty of it on tap—that is a holdover from the Bee Baa. The Tone knob has also been significantly reworked for a much more usable range. The Black Sheep is true bypass, runs on a standard "Boss" style plug, 2.1mm center negative and is built very ruggedly, with a quality to match its looks.