What are YOUR favorite fuzz/distortion/drive pedals?

Discussion in 'Ask Justin Meldal-Johnsen' started by Lorenzini, Nov 9, 2010.


  1. Lorenzini

    Lorenzini

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2004
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Hi Justin,

    I know you have a ton of pedals. And I consider you a pedal God.

    But I have to ask, because I'm in the market. What are your favorite pedals for fuzz/dist/drive?

    Thanks!
  2. jmjbassplayer

    jmjbassplayer Justin Meldal-Johnsen

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2005
    Fuzz: Wooly Mammoth, Chunk Brown Dog, Malekko B:assmaster, Prescription Depth Charge, Dwarfcraft TGD.

    Dist: Boss Heavy Metal (original model),

    O/D: Tech 21 GT2, Tech 21 VTBass, Original Boss OD1 w/ Keeley Mod, Catalinbread SFT, EBS MultiDrive, EBS ValveDrive.

    Best,
    JMJ
  3. Lorenzini

    Lorenzini

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2004
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Great.. This is super helpful, thanks!
  4. Lorenzini

    Lorenzini

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2004
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Justin, why do you list the Tech 21 GTR instead of the Tech 21 Sansamp Bass Driver?
  5. jmjbassplayer

    jmjbassplayer Justin Meldal-Johnsen

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2005
    More timbral control of the overdrive/distortion tone on the GT2.
  6. dorfmeister

    dorfmeister

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2008
    Justin,

    I've noticed you have a Tronographic Rusty Box in your arsenal. What is your take on that pedal?

    Thanks,

    Bryan
  7. jmjbassplayer

    jmjbassplayer Justin Meldal-Johnsen

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2005
    BUY ONE.

    I need to use mine more...it's very special. LOVE that solid state grind. Entirely unique.

    JMJ
  8. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    Apopka, FL
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    david, the designer of the rusty box, is a good guy and is on here often. his nick is (believe it or not) Tronographic. I believe he modeled it after the preamp in an old 70's traynor ss amp. smart guy...that's a niche nobody was filling until him.
  9. iceberg

    iceberg

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Location:
    Silver Lake, CA
    Thanks for the rad rundown! Realizing that I need SO many more fuzzes!!

    Is the Bass Big Muff not stoking you out any more? Also, saw that you used to use an English Muff'n. Never woulda thought EBS would oust EHX on your board hahaha :)

    One last question: do you notice a huge difference in the older DS-1 vs newer? Seen some Keeley modded ones on CL i thought about tryin out but they all look new.
  10. jmjbassplayer

    jmjbassplayer Justin Meldal-Johnsen

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2005
    I just did an album session yesterday for a cool band called Youngblood Hawke, and used that Rusty Box a TON and it completely destroyed. Esp w/ a T-bird, going into 100w Fender Bassman and SVT. Nice.

    Bass Big Muff is handy, but man: I just miss the mids. English Muff'n = outta there. Too grainy. I surprised myself too! Never thought EBS would be in the mix, but I REALLY like those two pedals they make...the small one, and especially the tube one. Wow. It's BALLS.

    I don't have a DS-1, I have a Keeley OD-1. It has more low end than my original OD-1 that I still have.

    JMJ
  11. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Casting out the nines Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Location:
    Northern California
    No Prunes & Custard?

    Still one of my favorite dirt/epic weirdness pedals.
  12. Valerus

    Valerus

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2005
    Location:
    College Station, Texas
    I'm checking out the Rusty Box. Interesting little pedal
  13. stoneboy26

    stoneboy26

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2007
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Thump Music
    Hey Justin, the EBS Multidrive is the only pedal I've owned that I've never considered selling!

    It just delivers everytime for me. Always been on my board and for me its the kind of pedal I really should have a spare of god forbid something happens to it - although it's built like a tank!!!
  14. jmjbassplayer

    jmjbassplayer Justin Meldal-Johnsen

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2005
    Prunes is in a category unto itself.

    Yes, EBS Multidrive is kind of a surprise. Thought it would be wack, but it does a thing.
  15. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    Apopka, FL
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    ya, i used to have a microbass 2, and the distortion in it is the same as the multidrive, and it was big and badass, sort of like a good rat pedal.
  16. Hizzoner

    Hizzoner Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago area
    Justin...you have mentioned many times you like a little dirt to your tone always/most of the time.... Is there any one pedal or pre you always have engaged for live performances to capture that vibe?....kinda like a "baseline tone" you build layers of effects/tones from? Looked at your Aggie settings from NIN stage pix and it looks like the gain was set below noon on your ag500 and db751..so that piqued my interest...made me wonder if all your dirt comes from pedals or pres specifically as opposed to amp overdrive
    of course I understand on studio sessions it is all a different game...

    thanks....

    Mark
  17. jmjbassplayer

    jmjbassplayer Justin Meldal-Johnsen

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2005
    Sans GT2, basically...though it depends on the music. In the studio, I always run the amps hot and breaking up, whether it's a B15, SVT, Aguilar, Traynor, Mesa Walkabout, whatever. Or with NIN live, Sans PSA 1.1. Always on, always in the signal flow. With Beck, it was always Sans RBI. With IMa Robot, GT2, and slightly blown-out SVT4's.

    In other words, there's always some provision for constant dirt/character/warmth.

    JMJ
  18. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    Apopka, FL
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    hey justin, have you tried any of those source audio programmable distortion boxes yet?
  19. jmjbassplayer

    jmjbassplayer Justin Meldal-Johnsen

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2005
    No. They look super jive to me, visually. If they sound good, I wouldn't care. :)
  20. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    Apopka, FL
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    hey man, i'm down with the looks counting. despite owning a couple markbass amps at one time ;)

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