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18 years on how are the Fulltone Bassdrives doing?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by 2010P, Aug 19, 2017.


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  1. 2010P

    2010P Inactive

    May 13, 2017
    Curious as to the current thoughts on this old pedal. From what I've read it was a must have here in the early 2000's. Then, as always happens, it fell from grace as new stuff came on the market. I am picking up an old 2001 grey model (like the old blue one) later today for a good price and it just made me wonder what people are thinking of them these days.
     
  2. Snaxster

    Snaxster

    Nov 29, 2008
    Hello. Shy of two years ago, I wrote:
    Since then I acquired a Bass-Drive ver. 1 (whose circuit probably is nearly identical to the blue box one, which I consider to be ver. 0). Currently I am assembling a pedalboard. As I auditioned my pedals for inclusion on it, I found that one of the Bass-Drives sounded great in context, especially stacked before a certain two modern drive pedals. Also, I noted anew that using its boost alone was an excellent sound. Nothing neutral about it.

    As you said, tastes and trends change. But even today drive pedal designers refer to the Tube Screamer circuit, which is what Fuller did back then.

    The relevance or usefulness of any music making tool will always be determined by the person playing it.
     
    gregmon79 likes this.
  3. Driven Crane

    Driven Crane

    May 30, 2014
    A nice pedal. But... i have replaced it with HBE Hematoma... With a better one.
     
  4. 2010P

    2010P Inactive

    May 13, 2017
    Thanks for that. I got the first version of the grey box one yesterday and so far I'm really liking it a lot. I tend to favor TS style circuits after a lot of experimentation. They always have the growl I seek. I a/b'd it against some of my other modern pedals (Beta, Darkglass) and it very favorably compared to them, even beat out the Betas. I was very happy with the fairly transparent tone and I found that yes, it does push mids, but if you keep the tone knob centered there is no real discernable loss of bass. I loved the feel of it, with that growly midrange. In comp-cut I was able to get probably the best slightly overdriven sound I've ever gotten out of a pedal. I'd say the sound was very round and clear as a bell. It also cut very beautifully at last night's band practice. Sliced right through the mix with those mids. For $100, it was a nice sound purchase.
     
  5. winterburn69

    winterburn69

    Jan 27, 2008
    Saskatchewan
    I have one, it's a great pedal, but it's been replaced by newer "better" overdrives. I can imagine it was a fantastic pedal in 2000, but bass pedals (especially dirt) have come a long way since then.

    Even though I'm not using it, I'd never sell it because: A) they're not made anymore, B) it still sounds good, and C) they'll eventually become popular again and then I can be one of the cool kids!
     
    FullTime Tim likes this.
  6. Joe Geezer

    Joe Geezer

    Dec 29, 2016
    I had a V.2 , Great pedal, very well constructed, great sounding TS9 with mid up BUT has the LOW END LOSS stigma attached to it which it why it may have taken a slow death...
    Could work with a blender very nicely but then there are other pedals like Voodoo Labs Sparkle Drive that have that feature built in. Good times though back in the day ;)
     
  7. Joe Geezer

    Joe Geezer

    Dec 29, 2016
    Now you have made me want to get another one!
     
  8. 2010P

    2010P Inactive

    May 13, 2017
    I'm not hearing any low end loss with mine, but perhaps different versions had different bass response? And regarding better, newer pedals and this falling out of favor, maybe tides are turning because the Bassdrive beat out so many other dirt pedals I have. And i'm talking about bass dirts here too. Just something about the mid growl of the bassdrive and high headroom of the pedal made me fall for it.
     
    Joe Geezer likes this.
  9. winterburn69

    winterburn69

    Jan 27, 2008
    Saskatchewan
    Get one before they're crazy expensive like the old Mutrons! (hey, it could happen...)
     
  10. 2010P

    2010P Inactive

    May 13, 2017
    Lol. Good one. I doubt they'll go up much though. I bought mine two days ago for $100. People selling theirs on Reverb right now are all asking over $200, and they've been there for months. I think it will be awhile, if ever, that this pedal comes back into vogue. Fine for me though, I love it and am really excited about it.
     
  11. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    I really like the tone of the drive on mine as well as the 2nd channel, but it looses too much low end to be "my" dirt pedal. I've thought about getting it modded on many occasions but I'm afraid that it would lose what I do like about it or the mod wouldn't work the way I want it to.
     
    gregmon79 and 2010P like this.
  12. 2010P

    2010P Inactive

    May 13, 2017
    Perhaps I bought a really special one that doesn't lose lows because all I read about these pedals is their low end loss. So much so that I almost passed on buying it. But I find that keeping the tone knob centered passes the lows intact and higher values on the tone knob pass totally acceptable bass content, albeit the mids get pushed more masking the lows a bit. The one I bought was an early serial number grey box with the four knobs and no mini switches. Perhaps the earlier ones with their simpler circuitry just sounded better?
     
  13. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Everybody usually prefers the MOSFET version.

    Play with it in a live mix and toggle it on/off. Then you'll notice whether the low end loss is okay to you or not. For me, the bottom just drops right out and I can't alter the mix like drastically as we're a power trio.
     
    gregmon79 likes this.
  14. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    This is the reason I pretty much gave up on Fulltone. He does indeed make some of the yummiest drive pedals in the land. I wish to God his OCD worked for me. It did for a little in the beginning until I realized how much low end presence was being sucked out of my signal. Then I got the Bass Drive MOSFET grey one. I really liked it. A lot. But I felt it too sucked some life out of my low. But man that flavor!!! That is my kind of drive flavor. I wanted to get the OCD and the BassDrive modded by someone in the know when I had them, but one of those guys straight up told me that he totally can, but it will def alter the flavor of the circuit. It will not sound the same as it did pre mod. So I gave up and moved on.

    Since then I have tried some of the more popular OCDs "for bass" and liked all of them for different reasons. But none reached exactly what the Fulltone did. But then, most of them didn't want to duplicate what Fuller did. They wanted to make it their own. And did for the most part. I thought I settled on OD and drive when I got Dunwichs ver of an OCD, the ODB. Well, I was sorely mistake when I got the Damnation Audio MBD1. That thing straight blew the ODB out of the water in so many ways. And I have to say, now that I've had more time with it, the MBD1 can remind me of an OCD in a way. It has that really tasty, slightly saggy yet powerful drive tone that I love. It's not an OCD or a clone. But it shares some of the same traits.

    So in short, haha sorry I went off there a little, I feel the same as @Snaxster, it's always felt to me that Fuller just can't seem to get that low end ironed out for us bassists. Not even on his bass specific Bass Drive. So I felt anyway. But now I hear that v2 OCD is supposed to remedy that.....?? hmmmmmmm
     
    Snaxster and Dave W like this.
  15. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    I didn't start noticing the loss of lows in my OCD or my Bass Drive till I had it on with my band at loud volumes. And that even took a couple months for me to not only hear it, but to come to terms with it. I wanted it to work so bad for me. That's why I always refer to the OCD/Bass Drive circuits as losing "low end presence" in the mix. It has some low end, just not that seriously fundamental stuff we usually want and or need as bassists.

    Or it's very possible you are correct about your specific model.
     
  16. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Yep, the OCD is another favorite of mine but I can't deal with the loss. When I ran mine through a blender I still wasn't a fan.

    The MBD-1 is next on my list. I keep meaning to pick one up.
     
    theunknowndude and gregmon79 like this.
  17. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    Yeah I even tried the blend too. I felt it took aww too much of the flavor and bite. That was my final hoora with the fulltone.

    Oh man it's amazing. I still can't get over it. I have absolutely no dirt GAS at all atm. Well, maybe some muff fuzz. But I'm so set on dist and OD.
     
  18. 2010P

    2010P Inactive

    May 13, 2017
    Just went back and tried my Bassdrive with your "low end presence" thought in mind and while I still don't hear low end loss, I am starting to agree on the "presence" bit. It's there, just not really all that beefy. A/B'd it with a new tighfuzz bass jr and it really sounds thin. Oh well......I'll keep it around for recording. I've tried OCD and liked the grind, but yes, it lacked the presence.
     
    gregmon79 likes this.
  19. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    Oh it most certainly does grind indeed. I used to stack my OCD with a Boss ODB3. That was a killer combo for me for a while. Those going into the B7K was delicious.
     
    2010P likes this.
  20. Driven Crane

    Driven Crane

    May 30, 2014
    As i remember those days, i liked to use Comp Cut Mode after my Harttke Bass Attack Pre - here it was
    and for dirt i liked OCD more than dirt of Bass Drive.
     
    Rumbledore likes this.
  21. Primary

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    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
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