Hey guys,

I've been playing bass for about 7 months now and have just recently got my first pedal. I already had a digitech rp-50 for my guitar that I got from my guitar teacher, and was fairly pleased with that. So I ended up getting a digitech bp-80 for my first bass pedal.
It's a satisfactory pedal and I'm still experimenting with sounds, but I know I'm eventually going to get more pedals to widen out my range and get a better sound out of my bass. My question to you is what types of pedals and which specific pedals should I get?
I think I'm going to get distortion, compressor, and EQ pedals eventually but I'm still unsure. Help would be appreciated.

BTW, I play all types of music but especially rock, and I'm in a rock/hard rock instrumental band.
I've tried an ODB-3 overdrive. I guess it's a good overdrive/distortion(?), but I felt I couldn't really vary the sound out of it. It gave a pretty even sound all the way, just with more/less distortion.
In contrast to the above poster, I'd actually recommend an ODB-3, if there's be a place for that sort of sound in the music you're playing. I think they're great for getting that sort of lightly overdriven sound (think of The Real Me by The Who).

I'd also recommend a Bass Big Muff if you play anything where fuzz would help. They're great for playing things such as Muse.

In terms of an EQ pedal, I'd say they're a bit hit and miss. It depends how limited the EQ on your amp is. Personally, my amp has an 11-band equaliser on, so I never found a place for an EQ pedal, it'd confuse things. If you feel you want more control over your tone though, by all means go for it.

When it comes to compressors, they can certainly be useful in certain situations (personally I hate using them, but I can see why you'd want one). From what I gather, you're far better off with a rack-mounted compressor than one of the generally inferior-quality pedal ones.
I have a BOSS OBD-3 and I love it. I always have the overdrive all the way up and it gives me great fuzz tones. Flea uses one for Around the World, so you get an idea of what it sounds like. It's not as thick as a Big Muff, but it's still pretty raunchy. I'd highly suggest it.

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What are your thoughts on the MXR El Grande?

The MXR El Grande did not strike me as anything special. Most bass distortion boxes try too hard to emulate an overdriven Ampeg SVT. As a result, you don't get much distortion (you get more of a speaker fart) and they tend to sound the same. You really have to do some looking in order to find the good ones. That having been said, a lot of people like the EHX Big Muff Pi bass distortion box.

An octave pedal used properly can work wonders with certain bass parts in a song, and for sheer weirdness and variable response based on how hard you hit the strings, nothing beats a good envelope filter (often called an "auto wah" pedal). MXR has a new one that is supposed to be very good.

Bass chorus and bass phaser work well when used sparingly. Sadly, during the 1980s too many Pop bassists drenched their basses in chorus and soured a lot of people on the effect.

If you are running a few pedals, you might want to look into a power supply like an MXR Brick. Modern pedals go through batteries like a crackhead goes through crack.

When buying pedals, try as many as you can and decide what you like. If you find ten thousand bassists who say they love a certain pedal, you will find at least as many who say it is a piece of garbage and don't waste your money. Take effects pedals recommendations with more than a few grains of salt.
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
Last edited by FatalGear41 at Jun 30, 2010,