Distortion/Fuzz for Bass VI leads?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by FromTheBassMent, Mar 6, 2014.


  1. FromTheBassMent

    FromTheBassMent Those who can, play bass. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2010
    Location:
    Warren, RI
    So, I've done a headache-inducing amount of reading of threads on distortions here on TB, but I'm not getting my very specific quesiton answered. So... new thread time!

    I have a Fender PS Bass VI, stock pups, StayTrem wide bridge. I have a MarkBass rig (class D 500w into 1x12 and 1x15), and I run the PSVI through a Tech21 Blonde set up to sound like a vintage Bassman for clean rhythm work (also using a MojoHand Dewdrop and Copilot Polypus for surf sounds, even though we don't really play surf music!).

    I have the opportunity to play leads on this beast, and would like to put some kind of a drive in the chain that would give a saturated, guitar-like lead tone. I have a Cusack Screamer Bass that I use when I want some dirt on my EBMM Sterling, but it's not gainy enough to be of any use with the PSVI. I'm not super-concerned about losing bottom, because this would only be used for lead work up the neck. I'm not as concerned about the pedal being "transparent" as I am about it giving saturated, smooth and creamy sustain (so nothing like a B3K, that's not at all what I'm after). It doesn't have to be super dynamic either... I'd be willing to sacrifice some touch sensitivity to get some nice compression.

    To further complicate matters, I'm looking for something with a small footprint... my PT-Jr has room for one more MXR-sized pedal, so something in that size family would be best.

    None of the ODs I have or have tried are going to get me there, I need a distortion or possibly even a fuzz. But again, going for smooth warm tones, not crackly grind or soda pop fizz.

    So, looking for your advice so that I can narrow down what to audition... cuz as y'all know, there are 1,473 dirt pedals out there, and I haven't got enough years left on this planet to try em all!

    Thanks!
  2. rratajski

    rratajski

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Location:
    Mount Laurel, NJ
    Disclosures:
    Builder for FUZZROCIOUS PEDALS
    Creamy sustain = muffs
  3. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2008
    Location:
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    Disclosures:
    John K Custom Basses
    IMO, the Demeter Fuzzulator would be great for that.
  4. FromTheBassMent

    FromTheBassMent Those who can, play bass. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2010
    Location:
    Warren, RI
    That's kind of what I was thinking. The EHX bass muffs are WAAAY too big for my board, so I'd be looking for some kind of variant. Or possibly, not even a bass-oriented muff (Mojo Hand Colossus? Earthquaker Hoof?).
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  6. MCS4

    MCS4 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2012
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    My tip for leads on a bass instrument:

    Take a fuzz with plenty of gain and mids (I use a Fuzzrocious Grey Stache with the mids knob dimed) and run that into some type of subtle pitch-shifter/chorus/vibrato that has plenty of high end (I use the Iron Ether Polytope at mild settings). My Polytope adds a subtle hint of high-octave that really helps upper-register parts to jump out when distorted, but it doesn't sound synthy or overbearing as might be the case with a dedicated high-octave pedal.
  7. gregmon79

    gregmon79 Supporting Member

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    OCD??? That is what I would use. Or an SA OFD ;)
  8. mmbongo

    mmbongo Chicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!! Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Location:
    Upstate, South Carolina
    Wren & Cuff Tall Font Russian
    MojoHand BMP-1
    DMB Bumble

    The Hoof is great, but does not do that creamy sustain like the above pedals.
  9. sunbrother

    sunbrother

    Joined:
    May 3, 2013
    Mojo Hand Iron Bell
    Turn up the color knob a bit. That pedal is just asking to be played on a bass vi
  10. FromTheBassMent

    FromTheBassMent Those who can, play bass. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2010
    Location:
    Warren, RI
    Ha! I had one of those and sold it! It was on my guitar board, absolutely GORGEOUS tone, but I play hollowbody electrics and all that gain was just too much to control when the pedal was dialed in to its sweet spot. That was before I had the Bass VI... never thought to try it on my EBMM!

    It's definitely a good idea. Anybody use one or know where I could find sound clips?
  11. FromTheBassMent

    FromTheBassMent Those who can, play bass. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2010
    Location:
    Warren, RI
    Love that Wren & Cuff post sound clips of all of their pedals with BASS... that's very considerate of them!

    Reading up on W&C led me to Stomp Under Foot. Man, those pedals sound GREAT on guitar! I know a couple of TBers swear by the Civil War. Wondering if anyone around here has tried the Civil Unrest (basically the Civil War with an added control for mids emphasis). That might be just the ticket right there.
  12. sunbrother

    sunbrother

    Joined:
    May 3, 2013
    If I could try out a Stomp Under Foot, I think it'd be the (violet?) Rams Head.
    The gearmandude video sounds incredible.

    Iron Bell: I can see it being tough on a semi-hollow, I can feedback with the gain to high on my solidbody basses (though they're all MFD pickups...) but the tone is beautiful. Think muff with a more open top and a mid sweep in the colour knob. It's got definition that other muffs lack.

    Really want to try it on a bass vi...
  13. FromTheBassMent

    FromTheBassMent Those who can, play bass. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2010
    Location:
    Warren, RI
    The gearmandude video of the Civil Unrest starting right around 2:55 is really getting at what I'm after... ridiculously high gain, but smooth as butter.

    Kinda wondering whether Matt's stuff is unobtainium though... his pedals seem to be listing on eBay for $50-150 more than he charges for them, which does not bode well for availability.
  14. FromTheBassMent

    FromTheBassMent Those who can, play bass. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2010
    Location:
    Warren, RI
    Anyone using the Wampler Velvet fuzz for bass? Seems like it could be an excellent contender as well.
  15. FromTheBassMent

    FromTheBassMent Those who can, play bass. Supporting Member

    Joined:
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    Wow, just checked out some demos. The gain is a little on the tame side, but the tone is very creamy and smooth... pretty much splatter-free, which is what I'm after. It goes on the short list!
  16. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2008
    Location:
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    Disclosures:
    John K Custom Basses
    the gain really isn't on the tame side to me. it can get really fuzzy but it still has excellent note definition (instead of just muddying everything up)
  17. musicman666

    musicman666 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2011
    Location:
    ca
    Aguilar Agro? Sorry that's the only distortion pedal I have used, but it sounds pretty sweet!
  18. BayStateBass

    BayStateBass

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2012
    Location:
    Central Massachusetts
    I have the Colossus. Previously I was using the Crosstown. For bass, the Colossus is superior to the Crosstown. Personally, I really like it a lot, although I would not describe it as "warm", although I do have the gain run up a fair amount. I've tried lots of overdrives and fuzz pedals and for me the Colossus is the best one for the sound I like. You can really get a lot of different levels, although it takes some patience, like any pedal, to find what you are looking for.

    JMO, but I would probably be hard pressed to part ways with this pedal.
  19. negativefx

    negativefx complete hack Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2013
    Location:
    Fort Collins
    I've used the Iron Bell, Green Russian Muff, Fuzz Factory, Mongoose, Spitfire, and Top Gear on my Bass VI and I liked the Iron Bell the most. JohnK: Gonna build me a Demeter and test it out. :)
  20. ttasselm

    ttasselm Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2009
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    Here's me noodling around with a Pawn Shop Bass VI into a Tall Font Russian...not the best playing but gives you an approximation. I used Amplitube's Bassman sim.

    http://youtu.be/dSNdaYTeqMM
  21. TaySte_2000

    TaySte_2000

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2001
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Mojohand, Subdecay, Overwater, Matamp
    I'd go

    Tech 21 GT2

    Or

    rat clone (
    Fuzzrocious rat tail
    Mojo hand Socrates
    Walrus audio iron horse)

    Or Muff clone(
    Mojo hand BMP-1
    Fuzzrocious grey stache)

    Or

    All 3 because you're a man

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