For starters - I play in a Post-Hardcore/Post-Grunge type band: Jazz basses with picks, 55-110's in Drop D, ever so slightly cut mids (500-800 Hz -3dB), and always have a bit of grit going on. This pedal is my main OD pedal in addition to my Sansamp VT Bass Deluxe pedal, which offers a completely different OD sound.
For years I had been using the good ol' Boss ODB-3. My tastes changed drastically and I decided to go with a warmer, less grindy bass distortion and something that blended better with my band rather than making me stick out. The ODB-3 has its place, and that place isn't on my pedalboard anymore.
The MXR M89 stood out to me in a DENSE crowd of bass OD pedals. It is not a fuzz - which is a MASSIVE selling point for me (IMO, the fuzz market is too swamped). I wanted an overdrive that is lush and thick without being grindy (i.e. Darkglass B7K/B3K - I love the tone, but they're extremely modern sounding). Think of a tube amp on steroids cranked. There you have it. This can get PLENTY distorted!
Simple controls, dynamic, growly and gritty without being overly fuzzy or grindy (not grindy at all, actually), punchy (Clean knob), flexible tone controls (via the Tone knob and the Clean knob), super quiet, and built to last. The best part is that you do NOT lose any low end - something that I hated about the Boss pedal...I was always boosting the low EQ which seemed to be shelved at 150Hz or so. The clean is more of a semi-dry blend; this pedal will NOT get fully clean, and for me that's a great thing. I keep my clean at about 2 o'clock to keep the punch of my bass cutting through with a lovely blanket of ballsy overdrive sitting underneath. It's perfect for blending in and meshing an overdriven sound with your existing tone. I keep the volume boosted a bit above my normal tone level to add a bit of a volume push when I click it on. That being said, too - the switch feels good! Not too stiff, not too loose.
I cannot say enough good about this pedal. Since adding it in my signal chain I have just been blown away and get compliments on my tone constantly. I cannot see myself getting rid of this thing anytime soon, and it has given me *THE* Overdrive sound I've been looking for. Snag one!
Mxr M89 Bass Overdrive
A quick review on the Mxr Bass Innovations grand slam of a pedal for bass players that want a tube growl !!