This is a new pedal for me. Hardly "flavor of the month," to be sure, and I know everyone around here is going gaga for all things Darkglass. But seriously, this little box has ended a decades-long search for a bass OD sound that I can live with.
See, I don't want to have to crank down the high end coming out of my EBMM Sterling 5HH to avoid fizz. I don't like fizz, or crackle, or anything resembling the sound of bacon frying in a pan. I know these kinds of aggressive, in-yo-face tones work for some styles of music, but not mine (Americana/alt-country).
What the Screamer gives me (with the toggle in the middle position for LED clipping) is FAAAAAAT, warm, furry (dare I say cuddly?) overdrive without a hint of what is sometimes called "crunch" but to my ears usually sounds like dragging your amp through a pile of broken glass. This pedal is thicker and sweeter than molasses, and with the drive set at around 1:30, the sustain is simply ridiculous... took a solo at a gig last night and went in an entirely different direction than I ever had with that song, simply because I was able to milk notes way up the neck for LOOONG, sustaining bends. The guys in my band were looking at me like, "What the HELL did you just turn on?!?!?" Actually, that solo was on my Lakland fretless 5, so it was more glissandos than bends to be accurate. But y'all get the idea... made me feel like a guitar hero. Folks actually applauded.
I will not mention the pedals I've been through on the road that led me to the Cusack, because they were all great, high-quality and expensive pedals that undoubtedly serve many bassists extremely well in their applications. But there were a mess of 'em... boosts, od's, distortions, fuzzes, I tried 'em all.
But now I am really, truly satisfied. I flirted with the idea of getting the Darkglass Vintage, which I'm almost certain would have gotten me to this same place. But for $70 cheaper with an online coupon, I am completely satisfied that the Cusack was the right choice.
This is supposedly some sort of variant of a TS circuit. I've been playing guitar longer than bass (40 years and 35 years respectively), and have owned a ton of TS-based pedals for guitar. I don't hear the analogy to a TS with my ears, but am willing to bow to the wisdom of the guy who built the thing. Whatever he did with that TS source, I give him major props. In my experience, running a bass through a TS pedal designed for guitar is a recipe for disaster.
If you are looking for drive without sizzle, crunch, crackle or fizz, you owe it to yourself to check out the (very few) demos online of the Cusack. Truly gorgeous, syrupy fat tone, and of course, infallible build quality.