Klark Teknik has announced the 3rd Dimension BBD-320, which appears to be a carbon copy of the famous Roland SDD Dimension D chorus of the 80s. The spatial sound processor uses bucket brigade (BBD) technology and a fully analogue signal path to deliver an “authentic reproduction of original analog circuitry”, Klark Teknik says. If you’re after the chorus effects of Brian Eno, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Peter Gabriel and the like, this looks like an affordable option.
Klark Teknik 3rd Dimension BBD-320
The Roland SDD Dimension D stereo chorus came out in 1979 and was used extensively during the 80s by many icons of that time. The Klark Teknik 3rd Dimension BBD-320 looks almost exactly the same. After the 1176-KT, EQP-KT and KT-2A, the BBD-320 is yet another proof of what Klark Teknik has become under the umbrella of parent company Music Tribe / Behringer: a cloning operation for legendary studio gear.
Just like the Dimension D, the 3rd Dimension BBD-320 is a 2U rack unit, which is as excessive now as it was in 1980, considering the handful of buttons gracing the front panel and the limited number of components inside. But nothing says “Look, I’m a professional studio processor” quite like a rackmount enclosure. If you’d like a smaller form factor, there’s always the June-60 pedal from sister company TC Electronic, another Roland chorus clone from the same period. The two are definitely not the same, though, and we can probably expect the BBD-320 to sound much better.
Bucket-brigade analogue chorus
The BBD-based chorus effect is controlled with just four buttons, which represent four different varieties and intensities of the effect. You can also press two buttons simultaneously, which results in stacked choruses for additional sonic possibilities. A fifth button turns the chorus off. To the left, there’s a bypass switch which removes the BBD-320 from the signal path by way of a relay. To the right, you’ll find an LED level meter and the power switch. And just in case you decide to take the BBD-320 on stage, you can use a foot switch to turn the effect on and off.
At the back, the BBD-320 offers servo-balanced stereo inputs and outputs with gold-plated XLR and 1/4″ TRS connectors, which is a nice touch. There’s also a little switch for selecting stereo or mono modes.
That’s it. You won’t get distracted by too many parameters and knobs, that’s for sure. The Dimension D owes much of its appeal and success to this simplicity, along with its incomparable sound. But are you ready to devote two units of rack space to a chorus effect with four presets? In the age of easily obtainable, great-sounding plug-ins – and pedals, for that matter –, this form factor clearly is for die-hard fans of the Dimension D. Of which there are many.
Price and availability
Klark Teknik hasn’t revealed the price of the BBD-320 yet, but they say that it’s “amazingly affordable”. Looking at the prices of the other Klark Teknik clones of analogue studio gear, it’s safe to assume that you won’t have to break the bank. It’ll certainly be much cheaper than the original, which is now very hard to find at a reasonable price.