#1
In this thread we can discuss bass distortion, drive, overdrive, fuzz, crunch and other pedals and effect.

What kind of distortion ( if any ) do you like to use on your bass?

What pedals do you have?

I am currently using an Ibanez Auto Wah and it's distortion function because it always slightly changes the color of my tone ( like a good auto wah should do ) while giving me a really nice distorted sound.

I most often try to have a sound where my low end is NOT distorted, or just very little, while I want my high end to be really crunchy and full of attack.


Can somebody recommend any good drive or distortion pedal that can provide me with such a sound ?

Or give me settings for a distortion like the Zombie Distortion ( which I can highly recommend for both bass and guitar )
#2
A blend knob is key to keeping a clean low end, pedals that come to mind are:
Dave Lomenzo Hyper drive, Mad Professor Blueberry, Billy Sheehan Signature OD, Big Muff Deluxe Fuzz. Forgot to include my Ibanez PhatHed, keeps the lows clean enough.
Last edited by JKing138 at Feb 25, 2014,
#3
Far too many bass distortion boxes are trying to emulate an overdriven Ampeg SVT with an 8x10" 'fridge. Did it ever occur to the manufacturers that there is a hell of a lot more to distortion than a pedal that makes you sound like a farting Ampeg? Evidently not.

My Tech 21 RPM preamp generates pretty good distortion, but only when it is cranked. And it is not a distortion box, so it does not really count.

While I do not claim to have tried all available bass distortion boxes, I have pretty much given up and use guitar distortion boxes, which are much more varied and useful. I boost the bass end on a graphic or parametric EQ to keep the low ends up.
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
#4
Fuzz:

MXR El Grande
MXR Blowtorch
EHX Bass Big Muff
ZVex Woolly Mammoth

Distortion/Overdrive:

EBS Multidrive
EHX English Muff'n

These are all the distortion pedals that I've owned that I would recommend. (I had a clone of the Woolly Mammoth and the English Muff'n is a guitar pedal but works great for bass.)

I never really had much interest in blending, I'd rather have an all-out synthy bass fuzz or a distortion I can control with my own dynamics, like a real tube amp. The construction quality on all of the above wzx excellent, even my mighty hoofs couldn't damage them. Obviously, they were all noisy as hell but I was running one a cheap daisy-chain power supply most of the time.

Products to avoid (in my opinion):
Bass Blogger - turn your bass into a fart for just £50!
BOSS ODB3 - turn your bass into a broken FM radio for just £80!

Something I've never tried is the various Driver DI pedals. They sound great, let you play through the PA and give you extra EQ and tone controls; that said, they're usually pricey. Look at Tech 21/Sansamp, MXR and EBS for the more popular models.

Personally, I'd avoid boutique pedals, there's only so much you can do with a fuzz circuit.
#5
The ElectroHarmonix Big Muff Bass Pi seems to have quite a following. I have yet to try one out extensively, but it is clearly worth a look.
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
#6
It's a one trick pony but it's got a really good trick. It's also the cheapest fuzz pedal that's worth buying. You're probably the only bassist who hasn't tried one.
#7
I use a Bad Monkey and reckon it sounds brilliant. Tried a SD1 as well as a Marshall Jackhammer but wasn't so fussed on the sounds they produced. Never had a dedicated bass model.
"I didn't mean to kill nobody ... I just meant to shoot the sonofabitch in the head. Him dying was between him and the Lord." RL Burnside.

"I won't waste my love on a nation" BRMC
#8
Fuzzes
Blackout Effectors Musket V2 (It's a like BM with better tone controls and tone.)
Blackout Effectors Fix'd Deluxe
Dwarfcraft Devices Shiva
Dwarftcraft Devices Eau Claire Thunder
Dwarftcraft Devices Baby Thundaa
MXR Bass Fuzz Deluxe
Pigtronix Disnortion

Overdrives
MXR Bass Overdrive
Blackout Effectors Mantra
Aguilar Agro
Damn it! Disable can't use disable to disable Disable's disable because disable's disable has already been disabled by Disable's disable!
#9
I really want to try those Dwarfcrafts. I'm surprised no one has mentioned the Darkglass Microtubes B3K and B7K. Another one I'd really really like to try out in the flesh.

Quote by Spaz91
It's a one trick pony but it's got a really good trick. It's also the cheapest fuzz pedal that's worth buying. You're probably the only bassist who hasn't tried one.

+1, I don't regret selling mine (wasn't using that one trick), but I do miss it. Great sturdy little thing.
Composite Aficionado


Spector and Markbass
#10
Quote by Tostitos
I really want to try those Dwarfcrafts. I'm surprised no one has mentioned the Darkglass Microtubes B3K and B7K. Another one I'd really really like to try out in the flesh.


+1, I don't regret selling mine (wasn't using that one trick), but I do miss it. Great sturdy little thing.

Those Dwarfcrafts aren't for the weak hearted they will show all of your sloppiness in playing.


I had a Darkglass Microtube B7K but it's a bit temp sensitive.
Damn it! Disable can't use disable to disable Disable's disable because disable's disable has already been disabled by Disable's disable!
#11
Quote by Spaz91

These are all Products to avoid (in my opinion):
Bass Blogger - turn your bass into a fart for just £50!
BOSS ODB3 - turn your bass into a broken FM radio for just £80!


The ODB is genuinely terrible, but I have the Blogger and I really have no complaints. For my style of music (psych rock, tame impala-ish stuff) it works perfectly. Pretty useless for metal and stuff like that though.
Quote by Karl Marx
Reason has always existed, but not always in a reasonable form.
#13
Quote by Spaz91
What's the rest of your rig like? I've never heard someone like the Blogger before so there must be something else there to spice it up.


1993 Status Energy (Wood neck + Humbuckers) -> EHX Holy Grail Reverb -> EHX Bass Blogger -> EHX Knockout Attack EQ -> Peavey TKO Tour 115

(Not an EHX fanboy, they were all cheap at the local music store....)

Could be the EQ, or it could just be that I quite like the "crappy" sound of the Blogger. That said, my band mates have had no complaints either.
Quote by Karl Marx
Reason has always existed, but not always in a reasonable form.
#15
Quote by Spaz91
Do you run the Blogger at the same time as the Knockout?


Yep, just tightens it up a little. The Knockout is always turned on, whether the blogger is or not.
Quote by Karl Marx
Reason has always existed, but not always in a reasonable form.
#16
That might explain it, my problem with the Blogger is it's boring and flat sound so adding an exciter like the Knockout to it will make all the difference.
#17
An Exciter is one gadget I have wanted, but never got around to buying'

I want an Aphex Exciter:

"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
#18
Another tip for getting an acceptable tone from a Bass Blogger is to run a bass OD with a dry signal knob in front of it.
Damn it! Disable can't use disable to disable Disable's disable because disable's disable has already been disabled by Disable's disable!
#20
I think the ODB-3 is fine. I don't know what people are complaining about really.
EH


"Show me war; show me pestilence; show me the blood-red hands of retribution..."
#21
I just got an ODB 3 and reading this thread rather worrying. Haven't had a chance to try it with my bass yet but I liked with the guitar.
#22
With guitar it's gonna work awesome I guess, because you wanna have a dirty rhythm sound.


And for bass, it'll sound good if you want to play Lemmy stuff I guess.


But most bassists, as I can see, want a rather clean low end while having the dirt in the higher end.
#23
Quote by realsmoky
With guitar it's gonna work awesome I guess, because you wanna have a dirty rhythm sound.


And for bass, it'll sound good if you want to play Lemmy stuff I guess.


But most bassists, as I can see, want a rather clean low end while having the dirt in the higher end.


But that is what the blend knob is for...
EH


"Show me war; show me pestilence; show me the blood-red hands of retribution..."
#24
A blend knob is what changes your pickup, right?

Well, if you don't have tone control for each pickup, that doesn't really change a lot, right?
#25
Quote by realsmoky
A blend knob is what changes your pickup, right?

Well, if you don't have tone control for each pickup, that doesn't really change a lot, right?

on some pedals, there is a blend function which will blend the dry clean bass tone with the effected wet tone.
1:45 is a good example of how it helps

EDIT: bad example, thats not a blend knob, rather a seperate volume control for the wet and dry. but the premise is still there. the bass big muff has an single blend knob though
DONT RISK IT, BUY A BASS AMP
Last edited by moody git at Mar 4, 2014,
#26
I am going to do a kudo for the Soundblox Multiwave Bass Distortion. After living for a few years with an ODB-3, I upgraded to the SoundBlox. For distortion, this one is highly versatile. My only complaint is that it takes AA batteries.

http://www.sourceaudio.net/products/soundblox/multiwave_bass_distortion.php
#28
For Distortion:
Sansamp GT-2
Tronographic Rusty Box
Fuzzrocious Rat Tail

For Extreme Fuzz:
Malekko Silicon B:Assmaster
Malekko Diabolik
Prescription Electronics Depth Charge
#29
Quote by realsmoky
A blend knob is what changes your pickup, right?


On a bass, yes, but not on a distortion pedal. It changes the balance between the wet (distorted) and dry (clean) signals.

Well, if you don't have tone control for each pickup, that doesn't really change a lot, right?


Actually, there is a massive tonal difference between the neck and bridge pickups, regardless of whether or not the tone knob is set the same. That's why guitars and basses have 2 pickups in the first place. You can't simply replace the sound of one with the other just by changing the tone knob a bit...
EH


"Show me war; show me pestilence; show me the blood-red hands of retribution..."
#30
Hey guys,

So I have two basses, an Ibanez and a Fender Aerodyne. I'm trying to get a sound closer to this:
(just the first song) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efImUpNwXAw

Anyone recommend any pedals? Friend of mine keeps telling me to get an overdrive pedal, but I'm new to all this so I have no idea where to start.
#32
Achievable from a Sansamp Bass Driver DI, VT Bass, GT-2, or a Rusty Box.
#33
Since I'm also a guitar player and I'm not even 16 yet, I'm cheap. So I actually use the "Rectified," "Modern Highgain," and "Fuzz Box" on my LINE 6 POD 2.0. May not be the best distortion, but it gives me the fantastic distortion for songs like "Orion"and "For Whom The Bell Tolls" whenever I hook up my Iceman Bass.
1996 Fender Tex Mex Stratocaster
1994 Ibanez Iceman ICB300 Bass
2011 Custom Gibson Les Paul
1984 Morley Power Wah
Squier P Bass
1983 Peavey Session 500
Line 6 POD 2.0.
Various BOSS Pedals
Pearl Forum Series Drums
#34
I use an EHX big muff and a T-rex tonebug distortion which is pretty good too on bass
Shamone
#35
I've found most guitar pedals will work for bass with some slight tweaking. That tweaking is usually just boosting 200hz and/or creating a parallel signal chain for your clean tone.

I had a Boss OC-3 and that had the most surprisingly useful overdrive on it. Among the few Boss products that I deem worthwhile.
#36
Quote by Spaz91
Boss OC-3



Never got my hands on one, but as soon as I saw it on youtube I said to myself : "Damn, this would make SUCH a nice distortion pedal! "

Can you maybe make a demo video and upload it if you still got the pedal?
#37
I found myself asking the same question when I got back into playing full bore.

I bought the Boss OD-20 which is followed up by the EQ-20, Both are discontinued Pedals.
OD 20 is cool as it has 5 programmable presets and all the modeling in the world to play with and a Low Octaver.

YES, I know it is digital fakery, but there are so many choices, and until I really invent something that is going to vinyl and have to have a boutique pedal I will be OK.

To replace them I would shift to anarkee's position and get the SoundBlox Multiwave Distortion as it has the EQ integrated into the presets.

SoundBlox is where I would send you.

Being addicted to the 2 12AX7's in my signal path and wanting to tinker with real tube distortion...
I have recently acquired (Because it was in John Entwstle's final rig and I saw him playing around with the distortion in it, and it switches faster than the BP-8) a....

Digitech 2120 with Footswitch.
A Gorgeous deal at 325 with a Carvin light-duty Rack& Cover.

Present distortion target -- ---- Max Webster's 'Battle Scar'

When I wrestle a whole day to play with the 2120 again.
Ibanez BTB 1006 Fretless and 405 (no Barts)
456 & 455(w/Barts)
Genz Benz NeoX400 112T & NeoX 112T cab.
Digitech BP-8 (x2)
Yamaha PB-1
Boss: SYB-5, PS-2, OD-20, EQ-20, PH-3,BF-3, CE-20, DD-20
Morely A/B
Last edited by Sliide90027 at Mar 27, 2014,