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After extensive lurking...I need some advice.

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Denver Max, Jan 5, 2014.

  1. Hello everyone. This is my first real post after over a year of lurking the forums, mostly this one. I hope to become an active and not-annoying member here. With that, I need a bit of advice.

    I play mostly aggressive noisey punkish/post-hardcore in the vein of Fugazi, Nomeansno, The Jesus Lizard, etc. But lately I've been wanting to dive into more experimental waters. Been influenced a lot by Sonic Youth, Lightning Bolt, and more effects-heavy stuff. I recently lost my guitar player to a new job across the country, and trying out new ones has been less than promising. The bass in our music has always been pretty driving and prominent, but now I need a bit more in terms of effects. Until this point, I've gotten by with a Bass Big Muff Pi, but I'm beginning to find it lacking.

    In the next few weeks, I'll have about $400 I can spend on pedals. I already have my short list picked out but I don't know which ones would get me the most bang for my buck together, considering I'm likely only going to be able to get 2 of them.

    The short list:
    Iron Ether Oxide
    Iron Ether Polytope
    Crowther Prunes & Custard
    Micro POG
    Minifooger Ring Mod
    Tronographic Rusty Box

    My first instinct was to get both IE pedals, but they're out of production ATM and even after they start back up, it's apparently 6 weeks or so until they ship, and I need slightly more instant gratification. My second thought was the Oxide and the P&C but even though they're both versatile, they're both essentially dirt boxes if I'm not mistaken. The Rusty Box would be a nice always-on effect and I could use it as a preamp, but it's not exactly "out there."

    So I don't know. I'm stumped. I mean, I guess I could throw caution to the wind and draw straws or something, but I thought I'd see if anyone had any experience with some of these pedals, and which ones play nice (or mean) with the others. I've also been eyeing the Second Voice by Infanem but I'm not sure I like it more than the others.

    Anyways, any advice would be much appreciated!
  2. millahh

    millahh Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2005
    You don't need to worry about manufacturing timelines...most of those pop up fairly frequently in the classifieds here...especially the IE pedals.
  3. jumblemind

    jumblemind I also answer to Bryan Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2011
    Welcome aboard! Unfortunately, there's no panacea. You just have to try stuff out and find what blows your skirt up, so to speak. The good news is that all of those pedals are A) pretty nice, B)would likely sound cool in any combination and C) not too hard to sell in the classifieds if they don't work out for you. Speaking of classifieds, a lot of folks recommend starting there with the used market. Dollars go further.

    Here's my opinion: given what you're after, the Rusty Box doesn't seem to fit a need. Unless the Traynor type sound is the dirt you crave, I'd hold off on that. The Micro POG is kind of specific, as is the Ring Mod, but both can be fun. I wouldn't say the Prunes & Custard and Oxide are "essentially dirt". They are fuzz-based, but they can do some weird stuff. The Oxide might be a natural place to start since you already use some fuzz, and it would be a significant upgrade.

    Another option to consider for the out-there experimentation is a Zoom MS-70CDR or MS-60b. The 70 has a boat load of modulation effects to try out that would pair well with a fuzz or other dirt. The 60b has a much more limited set of modulation but has some synths, envelope filters, and a POG-like effect model, along with amp sims, EQs, etc.
  4. Yeah, I've noticed a couple recently. Unfortunately, the holidays have left me broke for a couple more weeks. I've made myself stop looking at the classifieds until the bank account recovers.
  5. Thanks Jumblemind! The POG is pretty specific but I think I would get a good bit of use out of it. Really, I want a POG 2 but I wanted to make sure that I actually got some use out of the micro before I dropped that much cash.

    I don't know why I tend to lump a lot of effects into the "dirt" category. I know both of those boxes have a lot of range. I wouldn't mind replacing my muff at some point with something a bit more versatile, but I also feel compelled to have 10 different fuzzes and distortions on my board so I would never need to tweak onstage, but I don't know if that's just the GAS talking.
  6. Also sort of scattered ATM so sorry if my responses seem a little rambling.
  7. jumblemind

    jumblemind I also answer to Bryan Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2011
    No, I hear you. I'm not a knob fiddler, either, and I like for one pedal to do one thing when I hit it at a gig. It just helps if a pedal has some range because it means you're more likely to find a sound that you like and can use a lot.

    Also, if you want to see some pedals do the weird, you should check out TB's own Behndy's YouTube channel:
  8. I'm in a three piece Stoner/Doom/Sludge/Psychedelic type outfit and i use tons of pedals to cover up not having another gui**** player

    I have a Phaser, Flanger, Chorus, Delay, Filter, Micro-Pog, Overdrive, Distortion, Fuzz, Wah, a Uni-vibe clone, and a Theremin...and i use them all....to some extent during our set

    just have to experiment...

    good luck
  9. Thanks! It sucks because although I've been playing for nearly a decade, I just recently got into effects, and now I want one of everything. I wish I had started this quest 8 years ago, before the wife and kid and adult responsibilities haha.
  10. ryansalmond


    Nov 21, 2007
    I would start with a readily-available multi-fx, work out your experimental phase to figure out what you're actually going to end up using (you'll be surprised! That's the only guarantee). And then work outward to individual pedals from there.
  11. I can't really explain why, but I'm biased against multi fx. I've played around with a bass pod but all the effects seemed so sterile.
  12. BFunk

    BFunk Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Denver Max -

    Please fill out your equipment list. It helps a lot with making suggestions. What don't you like about the Big Muff? What do you wish it had? Of all the pedals you mention, I would suggest staying away from the ring mod. It is a great effect that is best used sparingly. If overused, it becomes tiresome IMO. I have a P&C. It is an excellent pedal. I highly recommend it as a second or third distortion box. It is not a good bread and butter overdrive. Depending on what you have for an amp, I suggest you start with a light/medium overdrive/fuzz type of thing. There are a lot of good distortion pedals that allow you to blend in the right amount of distortion. Oxide is one of them. You should also consider some of the pedals from Fuzzrocious. They offer an excellent Rat pedal for bass and a Big Muff with blend and mid control. I recently purchased a Cusack Screamer Fuzz Bass. This is an excellent and very versatile pedal. In fact, if I could only use one pedal from my board, it would be the Cusack.
  13. My quest also evolved over a period of time....took about six years to get from one pedal to roughly 20..lol

    necessity more or less dictated where i went with my board...

    not having a second guitar player i had to beef up my lines and play something other than root notes....I evolved into playing complex patterns and actually writing around the guitar parts and started incorporating double and triple stops...

    I started really paying attention to guys like Justin Chancellor , Timmy C, and Al Cisneros for inspiration...as well as Geezer Butler's style of filling holes

    the music took on a whole new life, where i was carrying bridges by myself...and having to fill holes during solos

    the octave up (on the Pog) with distortion works well during solos...to thicken the sound...but also allowing me to keep my fundamental...

    the Combination of Pog, Uni-Vibe clone, (Soul Vibe), chorus, and a little Distortion gives me an awesome Hammond style Organ sound...everybody seems to love it

    I would say personally you need a Fuzz, Overdrive, Distorton, Chorus, Delay, Octave Up and Down, and a Wah at minimum...

    But that's just my opinion....:D
  14. Jesus Lizard? Get a Rat. Fuzzrocious Rat Tail or Acid Age Iron Pig. Both sound awesome. Loud Button's Balls Deep is also great on bass, but it is more tube screameresque.

    I had an Oxide and by itself it sounded "good" but in the mix it disappeared. The Malekko Assmaster or Diabolik does a much better job to my ears and in my experience.

    The Polytope will never leave my board. The Nimbus also gives me chills...love 'em both dearly.

    The Moog Ring Mod is "musical" compared to others but it is HUGE and it is slightly harder to work into numerous songs without sounding monotonous.

    I'd suggest a delay...maybe a Boss DD-3 or TC Electronic Flashback, or an Akai E2 Headrush. Those are a bit more on the cheap side. The Strymon El Capistan is a fan favorite.

    A nice tremolo or a Digitech whammy might also be work looking into, once you have the "bassics" covered.
  15. I'm actually waiting for the release of the New Bass Whammy!!

    looking forward to being able to do the Fifth and sixth up Harmony thing...lol
  16. andrew


    May 20, 2000
    Vancouver BC/Pacific Northwest
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar Amplification, Spector, Regenerate Guitar Works, Tech 21 NYC
    As BFunk mentioned, knowing the rest of your gear would help in recommending pedals.

    Got any links to your past/current band's music?
  17. Oh my god. I just typed the longest reply and it didnt post it. Jeez.
  18. andrew


    May 20, 2000
    Vancouver BC/Pacific Northwest
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar Amplification, Spector, Regenerate Guitar Works, Tech 21 NYC
    I hate when that happens. :(
  19. Let's try this again. More concisely.

    Squier 60s vibe jazz -> BBM -> GK "brat pack" 1x15

    I'll update my profile when I get to a computer. Its a pain on the app.

    The amp isn't perfect but it works for me for now. I'll upgrade eventually but the rooms we play are small.

    The Muff isn't bad really. I have been using it lately pretty much always, but its a little too much for an always on effect. My idea was to use the Rusty Box as my always-on dirty gritty tone, and kick it up a bit with some other effects, but if there's a cheaper alternative, like a good overdrive maybe, please feel free to share.

    I would like a little nastier, gnarlier fuzz than the muff can provide, and some weird aggressive stuff, which is why the Oxide and P&C caught my attention. I would like the POG for the upper octave, but Ive been looking around for a good suboctave fuzz(with little luck). Also holding out for the bass whammy.

    I feel like delay is a whole other world and I'm just starting my research into it. Not even sure what I want in a delay, really.
  20. andrew


    May 20, 2000
    Vancouver BC/Pacific Northwest
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar Amplification, Spector, Regenerate Guitar Works, Tech 21 NYC
    I recommend the Rusty Box from your list then. It'll improve your sound overall, and may make the Muff sound better to you when the two are run together.
    If the Muff still isn't sounding good to you being run into the Rusty Box, sell it and get a RAT of some kind. Rattail being best choice (imo), but Mooer make a wee RAT clone that sounds quite good on bass too.