A good bass distortion for metal/hardcore/punk

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Himera, Dec 17, 2019.

  1. Himera


    Dec 17, 2019
    Hey there!
    I've recently switched from guitar to bass. Due to my band struggling with bassists, I decided to elevate myself and join the right side.
    Jokes aside, I'm looking for a decent bass distortion, and I have no clue where to start. I know this question has been asked hundreds of times, and I've read many posts, but I'll try to keep it more specific. I've just got a MiM Fender Player Series P bass. Currently I'm playing through a Hartke H3000 head to a Warwick 411 Pro cab. The head is not mine, and I'll be changing that at some point. Currently considering a Hartke HA3500 or Ampeg PF500, depending on what deal I get.
    I would like to get a good tight distortion for my rig, and I'll be having it on 99% of the time. I play mostly hardcore/hardcore punk.
    I have some guitar pedals here laying around which I should probably try: Marshall JH-1 (which I tried but didn't like), Boss OD-1, Big Muff and a Keeley modded Boss DS-1.

    I was looking at the MXR M80 DI+, which looks amazing - DI box with EQ, distortion and noise gate. It literally has everything that I want to have, however I've read some bad reviews about its built-in distortion. I didn't manage to find a video that does a good review of the distortion on this thing sadly, only a few clips that jerked with the knobs and didn't do anything good. Which pedal would you recommend?

    Here's a clip of a bass sound that I'd like to aim for, or at least get something close:

    I know that it's an Ampeg etc. etc., but I obviously can't afford that, and I'm sure that you could get somewhat close to a sound like that without having to spend thousands, right?

    All your help would be really appreciated! If you've got any videos or samples with similar gear that I have, feel free to post them!

    Forgot to mention: I will be playing always with a pick.
    ihaveaquestion and Ellery like this.
  2. The Darkglass X/X7 or B3K/B7K, the Tech21 Dug pedal. (The B3K can be had used for just over 100 bucks, and would get you so much closer than the pedals you’ve mentioned)

    Those would probably get you easily in that ballpark.

    Now watch everyone recommend their favorite pedals(those aren’t mine but I think they would work great for that)
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2019
  3. Himera


    Dec 17, 2019
    I will definitely give them a check now, and I will be shopping used most likely, which I also forgot to mention!
    I don't mind people recommending their favorite ones. I'm a newbie to the bass community, so I'm not that experienced with the available pedals and which do what. My main priority is having gear work good together, since I can have the best pedal ever, but it could sound crap with the guitar/amp/cab etc.

    Edit: If it's also a DI, that would be a huge bonus. I have a noise gate, so that doesn't matter much, but DI would be really nice. That said I wouldn't compromise good tone for a DI, I could always snatch one later on.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2019
  4. Himera


    Dec 17, 2019
    The B3K seems to me a little fuzzy. I really dug the Darkglass X and Tech21 Dug though. The Tech21 one sounded fatter to me, but there are other factors except the pedal of course, out of the two I liked the Tech21 the best.
    Sadly, both of those pedals are really costly, even used. A lot over what I was thinking I would spend.
  5. willsellout

    willsellout I apologize in advance. Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2002
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Unless you plan on going direct to the house through the pedal, you don’t need a DI. Your head will have a DI out. As for distortions I’d suggest darkglass. You could also search around for a DOD boneshaker. It’s a really versatile and inexpensive little unit. It also sounds really good to my ears.
  6. Himera


    Dec 17, 2019
    You're probably right about the DI, I don't plan on playing directly through the pedal live. I was thinking more about it's usefulness when recording, but I probably won't need that as well, since I will mostly be recording at home through my audio interface. The DOD Boneshaker sounds muddy and noisy to me, I'd really love to get something clearer. I can't really justify the Darkglass price at the moment, but I will surely consider it later on, since I really liked the sound of it.
  7. A used X can be had easily for 140-150. Check Reverb, as well as TB classifieds.

    And yeah, that's cool about folks recommending their favorite pedals. Personal experience can be good too. It was just my subtle way of trying to point this thread in a more helpful way for ya;D
  8. Boss ODB3. cheap! Can give you that tone.
    MYLOWFREQ, Keith Rawlings and djaxup like this.
  9. willsellout

    willsellout I apologize in advance. Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2002
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Have you played the bone shaker or are you going off of video clips? Reason I ask is because It’s not an especially noisy pedal and it’s definitely not muddy in my experience.
  10. Swimming Bird

    Swimming Bird

    Apr 18, 2006
    Wheaton MD
    Amptweaker Bass Tightfuzz. Can cut and clank (but doesn't have to), does low gain surprisingly well and has a handy low blend. Really loving that it also seems to have an impedance fixer before the effects loop, which makes some finicky fuzzes work much better than usual.
    macmanlou and smeet like this.
  11. The Boneshaker does get noisy high up on the gain dial. TGP seems to think it's more of a low gainer with a flexible EQ. I have a different experience because I tend to use higher output pickups, and the pickup on my Reverend Watt is a monster. Personally, I like how the Boneshaker cuts, but it can get muddy if you don't know how to dial it in.

    OP, you may want to consider a clean blend pedal. Your Big Muff and DS-1 will do well in a blend loop and you can pick up a used BOSS LS-2 for $50.

    Another option I like is the MXR M85 Bass Distortion, which is a Fuzzrocious modded RAT with a Turbo mode and clean blend.
  12. Erik herman

    Erik herman Gold Supporting Member

    Harmon has been blowing them out for about $40 lately, I got mine a few weeks ago! Why but used when you can get it new for cheaper? :bassist:

    DigiTech Boneshaker | Distortion Pedal with 3-Band Semi-Parametric EQ
    40Hz, byoung93888 and willsellout like this.
  13. Bruiser Stone

    Bruiser Stone Supporting Member

    Dec 7, 2017
    Dayton, Tennessee
    Peavey Dirty Dog. It’s huge, but you lose very little low end, and with some tweaking and a set of Rotos, it’s a JJ Burnel machine.
    Phe likes this.
  14. Erik herman

    Erik herman Gold Supporting Member

    I just saw a pedals and effects video with the guy from dod/DigiTech and he explained that the EQ is actually between gain stages so you can attenuate where you want to drive at, I haven't played around with it after learning that but I'm definitely going to play with it with that in mind!
    HelpImaRock likes this.
  15. pbass2

    pbass2 Supporting Member

    Jan 25, 2007
    Los Angeles
    Xotic BB FTW. So damn versatile, yet so simple. From subtle boost to grit to dirt to almost fuzz, and excellent EQ. I used mine religiously on punk and hardcore tours, with a J and a P, and it never disappointed. Can be clanky, or buzzy, or anywhere in between...
  16. I would honestly just buy a Boss LS-2, which you can use to blend clean signal in with any pedal. It's $99 brand new and would make every pedal you already own viable on bass.
    Izzot, jbhaugh, smogg and 3 others like this.
  17. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    For the sound in that clip, I’d say the Darkglass products might get you there. The B3/7 pedals would be my first choice. The X series next. The Alpha Omega/Omicron maybe with some EQ on the amp.

    The Damnation MBD would be another good choice. The v2 just got released, so I’d expect some v1 units to pop up used soon, as people start flipping them.

    Plenty of other good pedals out there.

    Edit - just saw the note about the DG being out of the OP price range. I don’t have a good suggestion closer to the budget mark. Sorry.
    willsellout, Veldar and bjelkeman like this.
  18. the suggestion for something like the boss line selector is a good one, as blending in some clean low frequencies is nice
    that mxr m80 is a neat piece of kit. I've used it to go di and it certainty met my needs. should be fine in front of an amp
  19. marqueemoon


    Oct 8, 2019
    If it’s gonna be always on a Rat will get you in that ballpark. I’ve found that my Rats roll off some low end, but not so much that the amp could not be EQed to compensate.

    The Mooer Black Secret is a pretty well liked Rat clone for cheap, or if you want a fancy bass-specific version the Jam Pedals Rattler Bass or some of the Cog Effects stuff.
    knumbskull and gh0st42 like this.
  20. oldskoolskatedad


    May 18, 2014
    Save your pennies for a Darkglass X7
    Bboopbennie likes this.
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