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All Bass Pedals Suck....

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by capncal, Aug 13, 2012.

  1. capncal


    Apr 14, 2009
    the meaty goodness straight out of my tone. and it kinda irritates me. i want just a bit of fuzz around the edges of my unadulterated, ball sack rattling, pure and beautiful bass tone.

    i've tried just a few fuzz pedals and they all leave me with the "hey, where'd i go" confusion as soon as i hit the pedal.

    my guitarist uses a lot of distortion. a lot. so i understand losing my signal in the mix, but what i cannot understand nor tolerate is losing the kick in the butt from my bass rig two feet behind me.

    i've most recently tried the Bass Big Muff Pi and no matter what setting i've tried so far, i disappear not only in the full band mix, but i lose the presence of my Ampeg SVT HLN 410 being pushed by an Ashdown Mag 300 that's right behind me!

    What gives? what am i doing wrong? i've heard guys play with fuzz pedals and specifically the Bass Big Muff and I enjoy their sound. why can't i figure it out? does my input gain always need to be maxed out? is there some type of signal boost i need to run at the same time?

    any input is greatly appreciated.
  2. SehlraC


    Sep 14, 2009
    You're probably losing the low end.

    The Bass Big Muff can be run in "dry" mode that blends your wet and dry signals - use the volume knob for blending to taste.

    Or just use a blender pedal.
  3. TRyan5289


    Jul 18, 2012
    Davenport, Iowa
    Try something with a clean blend, it will preserve "your" tone, while adding some more to sound.
  4. CalboDaGo

    CalboDaGo Banned

    May 16, 2011
    best overdrive/distortion i've ever had was on a GK backline 115..hated that amp, but not a day goes by i dont think about that overdrive button.
  5. capncal


    Apr 14, 2009
    yeah, that's what i thought would happen with the dry setting on the bass big muff. soon as i click the pedal on....no more Fender P in the mix.
  6. gjbassist

    gjbassist Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2005
    Kansas City, MO
    Check out the Fender Sublime bass fuzz!
  7. capncal


    Apr 14, 2009
    yep. i'm beginning to think i'm just going to have either run two amps, which is a bit overkill, or upgrade to an amp with a dirt channel.
  8. the general consensus around here seems to be Darkglass, Iron Ether & Fuzzrocious.
  9. The big muff is notorious for its mid scoop which sounds great when you're practicing by yourself but can suck you right out of a band mix. Try something with adjustable mids like the Fuzzrocious Grey Stache, the Mojo Hand Colossus or the Blackout Effectors Musket. All three are based on the muff but are way more tweakable. Alternatively you could try something with a clean blend like the Wren and Cuff Pickle Pie B. I'm just naming muff-based circuits but there's heaps of others you could try.
    I can almost guarantee that it won't be a quick search but it can be a hugely rewarding one!
  10. +1

    Oh yeah, and my personal favorite, the Sub-Lime!
  11. Knettgummi


    Sep 28, 2011
    Clean blend is a good idea, though to be honest the Bass Big Muff can be rather tame even with the "dry" mode.

    There are plenty of dirt pedals that will preserve your low end better and sound great in a band mix -- just browse these forums a little and you'll find plenty of good recommendations (TAFM, Oxide, Woolly Mammoth and Pickle Pie B are some popular fuzzes that work well with bass)

    If you are set on using the BBM, you could perhaps try something like the Xotic X-blender to give you better control over the clean signal you blend in, with added tone controls and a little extra boost...
  12. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    One thing is that fuzz compresses your signal quite heavily, which flattens the big wave peaks that can make our low end sound ballsy and potent. There are a variety of ways of working with or around that fact, but one of the common ones is just using more power, by cranking up the volume on the fuzz, and using a very powerful amp rig.

    Blending can also work well, but there can even be pitfalls there--for example the fuzzed wave and the original wave can sometimes cancel out each others' low end. Depends on the specific fuzz.

    Boosting the mids and/or low mids, with EQ, is a good starting place, to fix the mid scoop of many fuzzes.
  13. dustinfennessey


    Sep 29, 2011
    IMO pedals aren't plug and play when it comes to bass. It literally takes hours of tweaking both the pedals and the amp to get a great tone. I'm currently running:

    Modulus VJ > EHX Steel Leather > EHX Pog > EHX Tone Tat > EHX Holy Grail > EHX Holy Stain > EHX Super Ego > Ernie Ball Volume Pedal > Fender Bassman 100T

    It took me about 1/2 a day of knob tweaking to find out what works best for my tone. It's not always common sense as far as clean tone/effect tone blends. It's like a puzzle but can be very rewarding once you get "your" town down :)

    One bit of advice that works for me is to take pics (on your phone) of your amp and pedal settings as they can get moved around easily on the way to gigs. Nice way to remember where they are set at :)
  14. ThudThudThud


    Jun 4, 2010
    I'm getting good results with the SD Lava Box. It has a dial to add more bass (MOAR BASS!). I A/B compared it with the SD Tweak Fuzz, and the Lava Box won. The Tweak Fuzz (which also has the dial) just sounded like a wasp in a jar when compared to the Lava Box.

    Another favourite (currently not on my board due to not being true bypass - and my loop pedal needs fixing) is, believe it or not, the Danelectro FAB overdrive. The tone control on there gives plenty of low end. Blue LED too! Cheap as chips.

    I also have a SAPBDDI, but I've yet to be able to get that properly dialed in with a good crunchy tone that doesn't suck the bass out. Any tips here would be welcome.
  15. eyvindwa


    Aug 1, 2007
    Oslo, Norway
    For me, the various muff variants have always left me dissatisfied with the inherent (IMHO) loss of definition that results from turning them on.

    For cutting through the mix, and retaining plenty of definition, the MXR Bass Blowtorch has worked really well for me. It has a clean blend, dedicated EQ, and the fuzz/distortion only affects the mids, which are selectable by the way. If you see demos online it often sounds synth-ish, which I guess is not what you want, but try it out at lower gain settings at a shop if you can!
  16. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2006
    Northern California
    +1 and some great suggestions of muff based fuzzes with added mid control too.

    +1 to bongo's comments too.

    Some additional notes.

    If you do just want fuzz around the edges I'd recommend either blending (with a dedicated blend pedal or a fuzz with a clean blend or a dual amp setup) to keep more of your clean tone.

    Also, I find that fuzz bass works best with clean guitars. There are bands that have two dirty guitars and distortion or fuzz bass and pull it off well but it takes some team work to slot the sound correctly in the mix to sound good. Personally I go clean when the guitars are dirty and fuzz out my signal when they are clean or I otherwise have lots of space in the mix.

    Lastly, I find that with fuzz tones I generally want to set my volume way above unity gain. Alone it sounds way too loud and too much of an increase from my clean tone but in the mix it works out perfect. Give that a try.
  17. Unrepresented

    Unrepresented Something Borderline Offensive

    Jul 1, 2006
    San Diego, CA

    Instead of making unity gain your goal, make low end unity gain your goal.

    You're probably hitting a fuzz when you're planning on having a dynamic shift anyways, right?
  18. Four Words:


    Just got one myself and love it. Has a clean blend and preserves your original bass tone. You want some slight fuzzy edge to your sound? Done. You want more overdive? Done. It's a great pedal.
  19. Knettgummi


    Sep 28, 2011
    The Pork Loin is good, but reacts fairly differently to active v. passive basses -- if your bass signal is too hot it will distort the clean channel on the PL.

    Good point!
  20. bigmuff113


    Jul 4, 2012
    San Antonio
    Try a Way Huge Swollen Pickle

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