#1
Hi everyone,

Not sure I can fight this GAS for bass pedals much longer… I’ve tried a bunch of my guitar pedals and they sort of range from “That’s not too bad, I reckon I could get away with that,” to “Ewwww that’s horrible!”

Cheaper is better, as long as it’s not garbage- it needs to sound good and not break if I look at it funny (though absolutely bomb-proof reliability isn’t needed as it’s only for home use, at least at the moment). I don’t use pedals all that much, and don’t need tons of bells and whistles (I normally just set and forget), which is why I don’t want to totally break the bank with them.

I think I want a fairly saturated fuzz/distortion, an envelope filter for funky stuff, and an octave.

I was thinking about the EHX Bass Big Muff- I already have a Biyang (guitar) fuzz, which as far as I’m aware is more or less a Muff clone, and it sounded pretty good but the bass was a bit wooly on it and I’m hoping the bass version might help with that.

For the other two I was thinking of the Bassballs and the Octave Multiplexer (both EHX).

Are there any other good-sounding, reliable, reasonably-priced options which might sound better for a similar amount of money (£40-£50)? Or anything I’m missing? I’m not too well up on bass kit so there may well be good but reasonably-priced manufacturers I’m not aware of. Palmer does an octave for a bit more than the EHX one but I don’t know anything about it. It also does Bass OD and Fuzz pedals, but again, I’m not familiar with them. I also spotted the EHX Bass Blogger but I didn’t really like its tone from the clips, the OD was a bit subtle and the fuzz not really subtle enough (plus I preferred the tone of the big muff for the really saturated fuzz stuff). I’m aware of Behringer but I think that’s maybe cheaping out too much, even for me…


Bonus GAS question: I noticed Thomann was selling some Harley Benton bass pedals (which appear to be rebranded Beta Aivins, word on the net is that they’re Boss clones, or at least sort of based on Boss pedals) for a price (£15-£20 each) which might be worth a punt, unless they’re total garbage. I was looking at the bass overdrive (ODB-3 clone-ish), bass limiter (LMB-3 clone-ish) and bass EQ (GEB-7 clone-ish). Obviously if they’re utterly terrible then there’s no point as it’s just a waste of money, but if they’re half decent at all, they might be worth a try for a laugh. I can only get them from Thomann at that cheap price, so I kind of need to put them in alongside another order to get the free postage to make it worth my while (which is why I’m considering getting so much stuff at once ).

Regarding the EQ, I see they’re also selling an Artec Bass EQ with an in-built tuner as well for about £15 more… word on the net seems to be it’s pretty quiet (whereas I think the Boss ones have the rep of being a bit noisy, and I assume the HB/BA clone won’t be any different), and while I don’t expect the tuner to be amazing, it doesn’t have to be as I have a more accurate tuner already for any setup work. Just if it’s good enough to save me from having to fiddle with an extra tuner to check I’m basically in tune for playing, assuming the EQ part is as good as the Harley Benton/Beta Aivin one, it might be worth a try. The Artec one has a few extra bands, but each seems to have a few frequency bands which the other one doesn’t have so I’m not sure which would be more useful for bass.




TL;DNR: Cheap but good-sounding and reliable bass pedals wanted- considering:
EHX Bass Big Muff, Bassballs and Octave Multiplexer.
Also Harley Benton (Beta Aivin) Bass Overdrive, Limiter and EQ (or maybe Artec Bass EQ/Tuner) since they’re pretty cheap.
Any thoughts or other suggestions?

Thanks in advance for your help,

Dave
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at May 10, 2014,
#2
The EHX Big Muff Pi for Bass is a well-respected distortion box for bass. A lot of people like it, and it does not have the generic "My speakers sound like they're farting, but that's how an overdriven Ampeg SVT sounds!" kind of tone. Way too many bass distortion boxes fall into that trap. The Big Muff Pi for bass will serve you well.

The EHX Bass Balls pedal used to be a well-respected bass pedal, but not for a long time. Evidently, the circuitry has been through a few incarnations, and the last one I tried was absolutely horrible. Try before you buy! IMHO, there are much better Envelope Filter pedals out there. Take a look at MXR's Auto Q, or for one with some definitely weird preset tones thrown in, DigiTech's Bass Synth Wah.

Octave Multipliers are pretty hit-or-miss. I have yet to come across one that I found truly useable. Either the tracking is not up to par, or the resulting octave tone just sounds bad. You may have a different experience, but I recommend that you sit down with one in a store and play with it for a while. Make sure it is something that you feel you can use.

The most commonly used bass pedal is a Compressor. If your amplifier does not have one built-in, take a look at some good ones by MXR, EBS, and even the Boss Compressor do a good job of evening out those notes.

A digital delay can add some great expanses to the bass when used properly.
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
#3
Thanks

Yeah I figure I'll like the bass big muff- I like my biyang muff clone, just it's more aimed at guitar and I figure the bass one with the dry mix option might keep a bit more bass tightness etc.

That's interesting about the bassballs, thanks for the info. I know people always talk about circuits of classic pedals changing over the years etc., sometimes it's corksniffing, sometimes it's actually a pretty big change that makes a big difference I have liked the clips I've heard of the bassballs, but obviously clips only tell you so much (i.e. not much ).

The Digitech synth wah is well under budget (and I had actually half thought of it already and forgot to include it)- I'm always slightly wary of digital effects, though. For delay and stuff like that it's fine, for other stuff it's sometimes (not always) a bit digital-sounding. I know the digitech digichorus i have is a bit like that, while the digidelay is great. For £32 though I'll probably not go too far wrong

Just out of interest, if you know, how does it compare to the guitar version?

That's interesting about the octave pedals- I have no real experience with them, so I'll bear that in mind. I might give them a miss until I get round to trying some.

For the compressor, do you mean the boss cs3, or the bass limiter? I already have the cs3 and thought it sounded pretty good (though nicked a wee bit of treble/sparkle)- the only reason I was considering those Harley Benton/Beta Aivins was because they were so cheap I figured, "I might as well for a laugh"- just in case the bass specific versions sounded better or were more useful. That goes for the OD and EQ as well- I don't really "need" them, but for ~£20...

I already have delay pedals so I should be ok for that

EBS and MXR are very dear here, unfortunately. The MXR vids I've heard have sounded awesome, but they're 3 times the price of those EHX pedals. (I wasn't too fussed on the sound of the MXR od and fuzz pedals, though.) Worth it if they sound much better and it's an effect I'd use all the time, but for something I might only use occasionally...
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at May 11, 2014,
#4
I have a DigiTech Synth Wah, and at gigs I used to set it to where it would "talk;" that is, it emulates voewl sounds from a spoken human voice. It sounds as weird as hell, but when the guitarist had to re-tune her Floyd Rose-equipped guitar, I would activate that pedal and freak out the audience just by making weird, voice-like sounds with my bass and that Synth Wah. It was always a blast, easy to do, and the audience always loved it. Beyond that, you can dial back the "weirdness" and use it like any Envelope Filter; it is great for that 1970s Funk Bass sound (where would Funk in the '70s have been without the Envelope Filter?).

I have yet to find an Envelope Filter that does not sound better with a bass than with a guitar. For guitar, it seems to be designed as an "Auto Wah Pedal." A guitarist would be better served with a real Wah Pedal. I like the DigiTech Bass Synth. It is not quite as versatile as the MXR Auto Q, or some of the other high-end brands, but it is plenty useful. One thing to watch out for: It is hell on batteries - like everything else that DigiTech makes - so use a powered pedal board or an external power supply like MXR's Brick.
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
#5
Thanks. Yeah I'm well aware of the current draw on those Digitech pedals, I already have the digidelay and chorus. You'd run through a battery in one playing session

From what I've heard of the bass synth wah it sounds pretty good, and a lot more versatile than the bassballs. Cheap, too- I'm well aware the dearer ones might well be better, even a fair bit better, but I don't want to spend £100+ for something I might end up using once in a blue moon. Any clips of the digitech I've heard I've just been laughing the whole way through, so that's a good sign If it can do both the completely nuts sounds and the slightly more subtle, useful ones, then that's excellent.

Does it sound good (i.e. not really obviously digital) to you? That's my only slight concern (as I said, my digitech chorus does sound a bit digital). I tend to prefer analogue for most things- digital does have its place and for some things (like delay) can be useful, but analogue normally sounds a little more "natural", for want of a better word.

Also, you have the bass version, right? They have a bass and guitar version (sure you already know that) and the bass version is a bit cheaper. But since I play both guitar and bass, if one worked better with both, that'd be even better.

I asked this question on another forum, and some of the people there were suggesting a zoom B3 multifx. Any ideas about that? I admit I'm probably (unfairly) biased against mult-fx, but I had a quick look at the manual and an awful lot of the pedals it models I either already have, have something similar or know I wouldn't much use. I'm not sure it makes that much sense to buy a multi-fx when I know I only need a few specific pedals, especially when (in my experience, anyway) single pedals normally sound better. I mean, really, the only two I actually "need" are the bass big muff and the synth. And I'd probably pick up those couple of cheapo pedals I mentioned when I'm at it just to see what they're like, but they're not really "needed".

Do you have any thoughts on that idea?
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at May 13, 2014,