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· Registered
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Let's Try and See How Many Reviews of Different Bass Overdrive/Distorion pedals we can pool together here. Many of us probly haven't had the oppertunity to try all the pedals they'd like to, so this may help people figure out what they should try.

I'll Start!

Sansamp BDDI

Very Versitile, 2 band eq, blend, Presence, Drive, Level.
i found this most useful for direct recording. really added to the bass tone. for live use i never really got into it too much, but i know it's probly the most popular bass rig add'on, so what do i know.

Sansamp Programmable BDDI

same as BDDI but has 3 programmable and savable settings. This is a great addition, it really shined as an sort of selectable EQ. Useful for changing voicings and timbre of your tone.

USA BigMuff pi

I found this to pedal to be wonderful on guitar but for bass it was super compressed at any of the fatter drive setting. not really useable as an overdrive distorion pedal. however, did work well with the tone up higher and the sustain set lower. this is a real buzzy fuzz tone but cool.

Russian Big Muff pi

Contrary to the USA version, this one IMO is much better suited for use with bass guitars. This version offers a much more useable range of settings and really works well with the bass, far less compressed than it's USA cousin. CHeaper Too!

MXR M-80

This pedal is one of those that may never blow your mind but has many uses so it'll will always be lurking around my pedalboard. It is a 2 channel clean/drive preamp di, 3 band EQ, noise gate for the drive channel, blend on the drive channel. preset "color" button which will overide the eq on the clean channel and give it a big bassy dub-esq tone.

Because this pedal can be completely bypassed u can use the :"color" sound on the clean channel for that big bass sound, than are free to eq your drive channel as you wish, then bypass both for your main tone. The great thing about the drive channel is that the blend lets you either have full on distorion for a lead type tone or you can roll it back to just add a bit of texture to your tone and make it have a little hair on it. the ladder is useful with the tone control on your bass rolled back you can get a very retro big tubey sounding slightly overdriven tone.

i also find with the drive at noon and the blend at noon, you can get a real modern high end distorion picktone.

Fulltone bass drive

Out of all the Bass overdrive and distortion pedals i've tried, this one will always get you a very useable and un-offending tone. it truely gets that tube amp drive tone perfectly. For pick playing i have used it in the com-cut mode with just a bit of drive to boost any amp into "raging svt" territory. More commonly i use it in regular mode and a fiar amount of drive. For finger playing this is where i find it really shines. the compression is near perfect and teh pedal even has a bit of tube crunch dynamics. That is the only area where if this pedal was improved it could really be the end all of overdrive boxes, it could use just a bit more touch sensetivity.

ibanez pd-7 PHATHED

this pedal is one of those "sounds good alone" pedals. To me much like anything made by Line6. Playing alone it offered a number of really fat sounding drive tones from overdrive, to "muse" like distortion, and feidly? (korn) clack. however in a band setting i realized all tone and midrange punch was killed by this pedal. Plus at higher volumes it would feedback like crazy, and to hear it, because of the tone killing curcuit, you'd have to crank up really loud. quite a nasty viscous circle. i'd say cool for messing around, but no good for using with a band. it just kills all thats good about a great bass or amp. sorry ibanez.

Hao Rust Ride

Ok, This pedal has 1 knob for level and a 3 way switch for bright, normal, or retro. cool concept. The pedal sounds great. the normal mode gives you a really almost guitar like drive. very cutting and sweet sounding. the retro deep setting offers a really nice fat drive tone much like the Fulltone Bass Drive. My only problem with this pedal was that at the volume i play (Very Loud) the pedal fed back and squeeled like crazy. Lowering amp volume to a more reasonable level i had no problems at all and really enjoyed this box, but pushing my VBA 400 head and 810cab to the limits was just not an option. An awesome choice for anyone who plays at a reasonable stage volume, or who push their amp too hard.

please add or comment!


· Registered
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
clarification: Please lend your thoughts on anything that fuzz's, distorts or overdrives a bass tone. Good or Bad.

Hopefully we can work this thread into a reference for all dirt making devices.


· Registered
56 Posts
Currently I use the Sansamp BDDI to dirty up my bass sound.

I tried in the past to use my guitar pedals, but with little to no success:

Keeley-modded Boss BD-2 blues driver: it was difficult to get an overdriven sound that didn't lose definition; the bass started to sound muffled, and trying to make adjustments via the tone knob just ended up rolling off too much bass.

Boss SD-1 with Keeley's SEM: I just couldn't get the SD-1 to work with my bass, the distortion was there but my bass got totally lost in the mix with the guitars. Absolutely no warmth either, it was a really cold-sounding distortion.

Euthymia Crucible GE Fuzz: a boutique germanium Fuzz, made for guitar. My bass was HUGE, FAT, and sustained till tomorrow. Never use it much because my bandmates tell me that it's downright obnoxious :D It's great fun (for me), but I don't really play music that needs sounds this extreme.

Having said all this, I'm not sure to what point the fact that my bass has active electronics (I play a Warwick Fortress One) affects my ability to get good sounds through these pedals.

· Registered
122 Posts
My overdrive experiances...

started with the PD7, It was a good pedal but as mentioned, it looses definition in the mix.

Also bought a Sansamp, actually one of the best SS overdrive (not distortion) units I've used, it does a pretty darn good job of emulting tubes, but it's not perfect.

Bought a fulltone bassdrive... good distortion, I like the two channels, drops a bit of bass, so I wish it had a bass contol... but..

now I think I'm into the "tube snob" camp... I finally got an old Guild Quantum fixed up. Blows every solid state amp I've ever heard out of the water with bass, treble, responsiveness, dynamics, and especially overdrive... now the best overdrive is in my fingers... pluck, and get a huge warm bassy wash... dig in hard, and amazing overdrive, so good that I'm almost afraid of it! Farts out huge cabs that SS amps of double, triple the wattage didn't even quiver.

And if you think you have to pay a fortune for good tube OD, think again... I payed about $300 for my amp off ebay... about the same as I paid for the bassdrive! The trick is to avoid the brand names... go for the old guild, garnet, traynor, peavey, anything you can find with tubes in it!

· Registered
1,979 Posts
I totally disagree with the negative post about the Boss ODB-3.

I have the ODB-3 pedal and it really does the job nicely. What you DO have to do is spend some time with it to dial in the sound you're looking for.

I have tried using guitar effects boxes for bass distortion sounds but to me they all sound thin and crappy.
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