Bass Attack VXL review by Hartke

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Ease of Use: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 5.8 (4 votes)
Hartke: Bass Attack VXL

Price paid: € 85

Purchased from:

Sound — 8
I'm using this pedal with a Fender American Standard P-Bass into a Marshall MB450H and MBC410. With this set-up I can get a very metallic and brite sound or a mellower, "bassier" sound. These will do very well if play hard rock, metal stuff like Iron Maiden, Mr. Big, Metallica etc. But if you also like to play jazz like Victor Wooten and Jaco Pastorious you probably won't get those kind of sounds with this pedal alone as it doesn't have any mid-range controls except the shape knob. This, I think, is about the only fault I can find in this pedal. But the overall sound is very good, especially the shape control because it adds a ton of color and depth to the sound.

Overall Impression — 9
I've played for about six years and I like to play a lot of different genres, everything from Megadeth to Weather Report, and this pedal is a very good match for the heavier genres but I really miss that mid-range control knob for the jazzier tunes, but then again I've only tried this pedal with a P-Bass. Before I bought this pedal I compared it to some the Sansamp preamp pedals but even though I haven't played any of the Sansamps I chose this because it was twice as cheap and it has got pretty good reviews. Overall this is a great pedal especially if you're on a budget and it's one of the best pieces of equipment that I've ever played so far.

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Reliability & Durability — 10
The Bass Attack is built with quality. It's very sturdy and made of some kind of aluminum. The buttons that you stomp on is also rised so that you don't accidentally break the knobs. There's also two red lights above the buttons that can be handy if you're playing on a dark stage. The input/output jacks are on the side so if you're not careful you could brake them but I don't think that's going to happen. I've only owned the pedal for a month so I haven't been able to take it out on a gig yet but I don't see why it wouldn't perform worse there than when I'm at home.

Ease of Use — 10
The Hartke Bass Attack has seven knobs: harmonics, bass, mix, treble, shape, brite and level. It has one on/off button and one shape (on/off) button. There's one input, two outputs (output and parallel output) and a direct output with a pre/post-knob. Finally there's also a ground connect/phantom power button. The harmonics knob is basically a knob used to adjust the amount of tube-emulation, from a warm, smooth sound to a heavy, dirty growl. With the mix knob you control the blend between the dry signal and the harmonics signal. The shape knob is like a one-knob equalizer that can be used to sweep through a wide frequency range. This knob can be engaged/disengaged with the shape button. Level is used to adjust the overall volume. The three band EQ consists of bass (low end boost/cut), treble (high end boost/cut) and brite (extremely high end adjustment knob). This pedal is quite easy to set up if you know what sound you're looking for, but if you don't know where to start you can take a look in the owners manual that comes with the pedal as it has a couple of good set-up suggestions.

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