#1
I am looking for something under $50. Probably no gigging with this so the cheaper the better. I have found a few but not sure on quality and usefulness with bass. I'm looking for an extreme fuzz/synth sound to play around with. Think Dead Weather's Jack Lawrence. And I don't really care for the Big Muff sound.

Some I have looked at so far:

Joyo Ultimate Octave

Fender Starcaster Distortion

Seymour Duncan Tweak Fuzz this one might be out because now I can't find it for the 39.99 it was just last week

DeltaLab Rock Distortion

Rogue Distortion

ModTone Mini Fuzz Bass Distortion I realize this is the only actual bass pedal in the line up

The top two are the front runners at the moment. Any input would greatly be appreciated. And if it helps I play a CV 60's Jazz into a BA115HP Ampeg.

Thanks.
#3
Only 3 of those are actually fuzzes, are you just looking for a dirt pedal in general that does more than overdrive?
#4
Quote by askrere
Only 3 of those are actually fuzzes, are you just looking for a dirt pedal in general that does more than overdrive?

Yea. I have a cheap dano Fab overdrive and it doesn't give me enough dirt/fuzz. I'm really thinking about the Joyo Ultimate Octave because it has the upper octave switch. I also found an Artec Fuzztown which has a dual fuzz mode and sounds like it could get some synthy sounds. I was really hoping someone had experience with any of them on bass.
#5
The Joyo octave fuzz is not going to hold up well on the bass--the octave mode will be unusable and it will be thin even with it disengaged.

I have a rebranded version of the starcaster (johnson)--it has a semi-perimetric mid knob that is actually very useful. Most people buy a pedal like that looking to scoop the mids, but you can use it to boost them in whatever range you want and really help the bass cut through. If you don't crank the gain, it's not the fizzy mess people think most "metal" pedals are.

Delta lab and rogue are not going to be bass friendly, and they're both surface mount boards, so they aren't good for modding. If you want something similar that you can actually tune up/have a friend fix up for bass, just get a used ds-1 for $20 or a muff.

Can't speak to the seymour duncan or the mod tone. seymour duncan makes great sounding pedals. Mod tone is another branding for the rogue pedals (exact same pedal, different paint job), so get the rogue version for less whenever you can get one, though there's no miniseries rogue pedals out, so there won't be a cheaper copy of that one.

Your other option is to get some version of a used muff--that'll do the trick most of the time and they're easily modable if you want more bass/mids. If you need less dirt and an OD will get the job done, then look for a used bad monkey for $25-$30--great cheap guitar OD to use on bass.

I like danelectro for what it is, but their dirt is IME the worst stuff in their line (other than the wasabi OD, which I really liked) and none of it holds a candle to pedals you can commonly find used in the same price range.
Last edited by dullsilver_mike at Dec 26, 2011,
#6
Dano did make good sturdy metal cased pedals in the 90's I own the Dan Echo and Dano Fabtone. I'm pretty convinced If I got the cool cat chorus and daddy-o overdrive I'd have a perfect pedal setup minus a tuner.

The thing is most pedals for bass as you've found are expensive except weird off brand amazon fleabay stuff. That joyo fuzz looks really cool, but the other guys right probably not a first dirt pedal pick.

I know you said cheap, but I think a used way huge swollen pickle would be perfect #1 for you if your not really satisfied with a traditional muff.

Seeing as you already have the overdrive I won't suggest a bad monkey or any of that. If you have a soldering Iron, and a winter break, I suggest going to an electronics store (Fry's is nice in the U.S.) getting a perf board, metal box, stomp switch, and the few bits you need to make a fuzz. For under $50 you could easy make a classic style fuzz, EQ'd for bass.
#7
I like the EHX Russian Big Muff for my fuzz tone.
Damn it! Disable can't use disable to disable Disable's disable because disable's disable has already been disabled by Disable's disable!
#8
I've read about making your own stompbox but am unsure as to whether I would/could do it. I've soldered amps and guitars(repairing/replacing pots/wiring, simple stuff) But making a pedal from scratch seems like a whole other ballgame. Is it really as easy as putting a few parts together?

And as for the Big Muff, I used to own the black/gold font one and used it for guitar but didn't like the sound of it at all. I never used it on bass before I gave it away so I don't know for sure but from listening to demos of the different ones(even the Bass Big Muff) I'm not impressed.

I really like the Bass MicroSynth but am not going to pay $280 (or even $170 used) I just want the square wave clipping sound of it.
#9
Quote by dark Mass
I like the EHX Russian Big Muff for my fuzz tone.


I am assuming he wants more dirt than he's currently got, and due to his budget and tonal preference is looking to a less mid choked wall of fuzz sound. I discussed this in another thread earlier. I do have a russian muff, and it's a fuzzy to downright synthy beast, but if your not working as a cohesive unit as a band EQ wise, you come out as a big backdrop of fuzz, but that works even in clean playing land sometimes as just being an octave lower mix thickener.

The way huge pickle is a fuzz that does what a lot of boutique fuzzes do, but at a price between a big muff and a boutique pedal. It has a great EQ including a mid knob to ensure a place in the mix.
#10
Quote by glennick
I've read about making your own stompbox but am unsure as to whether I would/could do it. I've soldered amps and guitars(repairing/replacing pots/wiring, simple stuff) But making a pedal from scratch seems like a whole other ballgame. Is it really as easy as putting a few parts together?



Distortion can he had with a simple diode instead of a cap on your basses tone pot.

a fuzz pedal is like the easiest pedal to make, that and the LPB-1 by EHX. In fact just a simple fuzz (little more than two diodes in parallel and reversed) is just a gain stage like the lpb-1 to increase the volume with the 9 volt battery, which drives the clipping diodes taking a chunk out of each side of the sine wave making a boxy square wave, add in pots for mid, bass, treb what have you and you got a fuzz box. It's as complicated as you want it to be.

I actually have a print out of a guy showing you how to break into compact fluorescent lamp bulb, as like every part save a switch, pots and case is in a bulb bottom to make a booster, fuzz box etc.

Really though once you've read stuff online, looked at gut shots of pedals, read diagrams and made one, you'll see that what separates a boutique pedal from a big name brand pedal, is 9/10 times a few cap/resistor changes, true bypass (which isn't always needed, but people hear about it and think it's a must or bust thing) and usually internal set trimpots on say a big name pedal, are put external and make the unit more tweakable which excites the tone snobs who don't look into what they are buying.
#11
Quote by glennick
I've read about making your own stompbox but am unsure as to whether I would/could do it. I've soldered amps and guitars(repairing/replacing pots/wiring, simple stuff) But making a pedal from scratch seems like a whole other ballgame. Is it really as easy as putting a few parts together?

And as for the Big Muff, I used to own the black/gold font one and used it for guitar but didn't like the sound of it at all. I never used it on bass before I gave it away so I don't know for sure but from listening to demos of the different ones(even the Bass Big Muff) I'm not impressed.

I really like the Bass MicroSynth but am not going to pay $280 (or even $170 used) I just want the square wave clipping sound of it.



If you have that much soldering experience, you can change the tone stack in a pedal to make it more bass friendly--usually it involves swapping out a few caps, maybe a resistor or two. If you don't like the muff to begin with, it's not going to do it for you even with some added lows/mids though. The DS might still be a dirt cheap choice if you can find one used.

generalguitargadgets.com also has a variety of very simple fuzz kits with all the parts and full instructions in the $50-$65 range, and each circuit is so common that you can probably just google mods for better bass and do them pain free when you build the kit. I really don't know what would get you the "harder" synthier fuzz sound for a super low budget.

Start searching youtube for muff versions again, but this time paired with filter pedals--maybe the combination of both will get you closer. You could still come in close to budget with both if you go used.
#12
Quote by dullsilver_mike
If you have that much soldering experience, you can change the tone stack in a pedal to make it more bass friendly--usually it involves swapping out a few caps, maybe a resistor or two. If you don't like the muff to begin with, it's not going to do it for you even with some added lows/mids though. The DS might still be a dirt cheap choice if you can find one used.

generalguitargadgets.com also has a variety of very simple fuzz kits with all the parts and full instructions in the $50-$65 range, and each circuit is so common that you can probably just google mods for better bass and do them pain free when you build the kit. I really don't know what would get you the "harder" synthier fuzz sound for a super low budget.

Start searching youtube for muff versions again, but this time paired with filter pedals--maybe the combination of both will get you closer. You could still come in close to budget with both if you go used.


My thoughts exactly. Thinking about Jack Lawrence, someone just made a thread recently asking the same thing about the microsynth and should you buy it. I think it was said Jack lawrence used some kind of fulltone boost, and a microsynth (I could be mistaken).

If you are trying to go into the synthy side of things with one pedal and not buy a synth pedal, you are kind of out of luck.

I personally have a Russian Big Muff $40 (currently needs repair), Boss OC-3 (1 & 2 octaves down only) $30 and a original big box Qtron $50; that is essentially a 3 pedal micro synth that cost $120.

You would be close, and cheap, with a DS-1, DS-2 or MD-2 (has bass, treb and mid) as your dirt, and a digitech bass synth wah. That combo used and with luck could be had for under $50, but expect it to be anywhere from $40-$80 for them. That would give you a number of filters and a dirt to drive them.

The problem with trying to achieve a famous musicians tone on a budget is unless they themselves use budget gear (which if they are famous for long stops being budget gear ala Jack White) is it's like saying I want to race like Lance Armstrong, but I weigh 300 pounds and have rusty Huffy.

Go to a store try every pedal you can see, bring your bass etc and just test them.
#13
Thanks for the responses! I will look into modding a pedal if I need more bass then for sure. Probably hold off on the DIY fuzz right now, but if the modding goes well I could definitely get into that!

I'm not really trying to get his sound or even a synth sound I just like his and want more of that sound than just a muffled distortion.

And I believe the thread about the MicroSynth was me, I asked about cheap alternatives not too long ago. But I don't need the envelope sweep.

Again, thanks everybody. I'll post when I get a pedal. And hopefully have time to do a good review of it with bass.
#14
I ended up going for the Joyo Ultimate Octave based on a few different youtube reviews and evidentally its pretty much a repackaged (or repainted) Valco Stooge or Freekish Blues Chubb Up which had more reviews on youtube.

I also got a Pyle Bass Graphic EQ because there was a deal on Amazon where I got so much off my purchase so I fugured I'd go for it.

Surely from the Bass EQ, Fab Overdrive and the Joyo Octave/Fuzz I can get a sound I like. As soon as I get the new pedals I will try to do a review with some sound/video of them with bass since there aren't any I could find out there.

Again, thanks to everybody.
#15
What did you do to get the deal on the pyle and joyo? I liked that joyo for a guitar pedal/bass pedal and I don't need a EQ but if it's cheap I could use it on a project of mine.
#16
The deal wasn't on the pedal it was towards your purchase. I had to apply for an Amazon credit card and if you're approved, you get a $40 giftcard towards your purchase. I ended up spending $60 on $100 worth of pedals and cables and adapters. I was pretty excited.
#18
Lol, yea pretty much. I didn't realize til I was almost finished but I needed to get one anyways so oh well.
#20
Lol yea thanks.

So, I got the Pyle Bass EQ in today and it didn't work. So i'm sending it back. The quality wasn't that great, not that I was expecting anything amazing but I assumed it would be around the quality of the Dano cheapos. Not so!
Last edited by glennick at Dec 31, 2011,
#21
I'm surprised no one has mentioned the Boss ODB-3 Bass Overdrive. It's a little more expensive than $50, but it's great in my opinion.
#22
Quote by Macavity22
I'm surprised no one has mentioned the Boss ODB-3 Bass Overdrive. It's a little more expensive than $50, but it's great in my opinion.


Because he said early on he had a bass overdrive, and wanted a fuzz.
#23
I have the ODB-3 and its a pain in the arse to get a good dirty tone out of it. Its possible but too much tweaking for my tastes. Its in a weird area between fuzz and OD anyway. Neither one nor the other.

Has anyone tried the Fender Sub-Lime Fuzz? There was all this talk when it came out, and then nothing since.
#24
I like the Joyo so far. The octave is definitely lacking but I read about doing a couple of easy mods to make the octave and fuzz sound a lot better. Will probably be doing some more research and then making the changes.

I was also curious about changing the Fab OD I already have into a more bass friendly unit. It sounds ok, but since i've been googling mods, apparently you can switch out capacitors and transistors to make guitar pedals bass pedals. Anyone done this?
#25
@ anarkee I haven't tried it but it's on sale right now on mf for a measly $10 off. You're right that all chatter disappeared pretty quickly after it came out. I can't get over how ridiculously huge the pedal is. In their quest to make cool vintage-vibe pedals, fender undermines the utility of their own pedals--my fender blender is just too big to stay on a pedal board.

Here's the bassfuzz.com review if you haven't checked it out already:
http://bassfuzz.com/2010/08/07/fuzz-review-fender-sub-lime-bass-fuzz/

edit* @glennick

From what I read, the most common mods to it pretty much turn it into the GGG version of the pedal. I have that and like it quite a bit, but it doesn't play nice with bass w/ the octave engaged and I can't remember, but I think I swapped input/output caps to make it a little more bass friendly.

The only problem with modding the FAB pedals is that almost everything is surface mount. Open it up and see if the caps are through-mount, then you could change those to let more bass into the circuit, but changing diodes and resistors to change the clipping and tone stack isn't really an option on those pedals unless you're really good at soldering.

double edit**

Opened up my FAB OD--you'll have to ask someone that knows how to trace a circuit to be sure, but I'm venturing a strong guess that the two caps right next to the input and output jacks can be changed to get more bass overall--that's not a garauntee of making the pedal sound better with bass, but you can limit how much is cut out overall. These two are indeed through-mount (or whatever the proper term is) and I bet you could change them without too much trouble. Again, I don't claim it'll actually improve the pedal or make it sound better on bass--just that that kind of change is usually the first step to modding guitar dirt for bass.
Last edited by dullsilver_mike at Jan 1, 2012,
#26
To anarkee, I read about the sublime a lot when searching through doom and stoner threads on like talkbass. It seems to be one of those pedals that gets everyone excited about when you hear about it, but no one wants to be the forum "guinea pig" and throw down for one esp. at over $100 where you could get known boutique snobbery pedals. In the end nearly every fuzz thread mentions it, but usually one one of five people saying anything actually owns one and usually just mentions it's "good for the job".

To Glennick/Dullsilver I'll ask my dad about trace soldering. As for bass friendliness, it's hard to really say because it's really an opinion, but usually it involves bigger caps and maybe pulling some diodes and resistors (too much clipping doesn't help with low end retention either). Capacitors each have a rating, and those in a sense represent a vague area of frequency (vague cause most caps range 10+/- whats labeled), a bigger cap such as .1pf of .47 (standard fender bass tone cap) when rolled on cut a lot more highs, meanwhile a smaller cap .0015pf cuts a lot of lows. Read what other people used and kind of test and retest until you like it. Tone stacks can behave a number of ways and makes removing, bridging or swapping even one component can make a dramatic change. For instance Peavey made the classic 30 bass tone stack with a .022 cap which is more like a mid tone so I need to go in and do some mods someday to the EQ of that amp and make it a little more well rounded.
#27
Quote by anarkee


Has anyone tried the Fender Sub-Lime Fuzz? There was all this talk when it came out, and then nothing since.



I had one.

Good pedal. I loved it, aesthetically. But, the ~$100 fuzz market is over saturated as it is, and it doesn't necessarily sound better than any of its brothers. I sold mine. I have enough fuzz pedals, and space is an issue. Haha i fit my Devi Ever; Hyperion Fuzz, Legend of Fuzz, and Cherry Pop in just about the same space the Sub Lime took up.

It really is a good pedal... there are just BETTER ones out there. It's one of those pedals that, like... only people REALLY into fuzz pedals seem to know about. But those same people also have a ****ton of pedals, so they opt out of the Sub Lime because of its size. I don't know of anyone that runs a Sub Lime as their ONLY fuzz. Everyone's trying to run smaller pedals... guyatone, catalinbread, Devi Ever... i see more of these, these days. Large board space is usually reserved for 'quirk' pedals... Whammys, Memory Man, Moogerfoogers, loop stations, Line-6 multis, and in my case, a Danelectro Spring King.

I know i'm overthinking it, but i'd blame its size on the fact you don't see more... because, again... it IS a good pedal.

Here's a good friend of mine comparing the Sub-Lime with a few other fuzzes on bass: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3417seX1Uo
"Punk Rock should mean freedom, liking and accepting anything that you like, as sloppy as you want, as long as it's good and has passion."
#28
That makes sense, big pedal boards are a big pain to transport. My Qtron fits in the space of a memory man, and it takes up the nearly the entire pedal board I made for myself which had 4-5 pedals on it at a given time so time to bust out the saws and measuring tape.

How does a spring king or reverb for that matter work with bass? Can it work well with dirts involved? I assume best case would be two amps one clean and verb another dirt?
#29
I found this site : http://www.freestompboxes.org/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=14129 and did the mods to the Joyo. It now has the same fuzz circuit as a Foxx Tone Machine? Sounds decent.

I am curious now as to whether I would like a bass eq pedal or compressor or something. I'm looking for something to use mostly with cleans but with lots of control, which is why I was thinking eq. Am I headed in the right direction?
#30
a compressor and and a EQ and nothing alike, what are you trying to do exactly?
#31
Basically be able to tweak my tones to get different ones. I have extra money right now so i'm trying to get what I think I will be wanting soon. I have an Overdrive and now a Fuzz/Octave so i'm covered on the dirt tones. I like my clean clean setting but would like to be able to alter it when I need without using effects such as flanger, chorus, etc
#32
Well a EQ pedal is just like a more (or less) eleborate version of your amps EQ sections, just lets you hit say that fuzz pedal with more bass or mids before going to the amp etc.

A compressor evens out your sound, like if you slam your E string and gently pluck the G they give a more even volume between. When set you can back that off a bit for more dynamics or squash it into one even block. Also compressors are like the clean aspects of a dirt pedal and do drive when pushed. Owned a old 80's DOD 525-A and literally never turned it on or put a battery on, so no real help their.

Chorus mimics your playing with slight changes to give it a thick swirling effect. They sound great clean or with fuzz to me. IMO bass can make a chorus sound cool, where as over use on guitar gives off a late 80's cheesy vibe. I own a DeltaLab stereo chorus, it was cheap, and works perfect.

Flanger mimics the sound of I think when you like press down on an analog recording tape near the wheel making a whirring over the sound. Of the couple I've heard, the seem to either sound like a meh chorus pedal when lightly used, or when turned up give off a jet fight noise that tags along over everything you play and doesn't change or go away, in short bursts it's kind of cool, but a chorus makes a better long term modulation unit. EHX does sell the small clone? I think is the name it's a flange and chorus in a box (used by Kurt cobain on Come as you are etc.) I own a Digitech delay 3.6 rack system with flange and currently trying to get rid of it.

There is also filters like the bassballs and Qtron (I own). These make some crazy noise, which is funky to freaky clean, and sounds crazy with fuzz and octaves which you have.

Then there is tremolo, vibe, delay and reverb to consider.
#33
Cool. Thanks for the run down on effects. I considered delay or chorus, but again i'm looking for a way to adjust my clean to dirty sounds, to get that certain je ne sais quoi, if you will.
#34
Well best bet is to go to guitar center and hope they have one of those boss pedal walls, bring a bass and try them all out, maybe you don't want a boss but they all give you an idea.

what do you mean by adjust clean to dirty? Like the transition?

I'm not much of a delay guy, I think some people use it well and make interesting things with it. I own a dan echo, great pedal, I've tried it with bass but it was meh, not sucking any tone or anything just if I want delay it's a slapback on my esquire strung with flats not a bass.
#36
EQ pedal is your best bet, but at the same time playing live unless you got a lot of time between songs you really can only use the pedal for one new tone. Most EQ pedals also come with a gain boost so it is also a clean boost.

I'd say if you had your EQ, Overdrive, Fuzz, Amp might be good. In that instance you might tune your amp flat (or whatever you feels best all around) then you have a clean tone changing pedal upfront, that can be used as a boost. After than your drive which can be driven by the EQ or not, and the drive can push your fuzz up as well.

Your only major problem is adjusting each pedal to work by itself and with the bass, amp and other pedals. You don't want to flip two on and have a super boomy signal, or a screeching dirt signal devoid of low end.