Another Guitar/Bass Pedal Question

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Matthew_84, Jan 11, 2015.

  1. Just a quick question... I know that some guitar pedals don't work well for bass because they weren't designed to accept the lower frequency of the bass and those units in question usually suffer from low end loss.

    To battle this, some pedals come in a bass specific model, which usually has larger capacitors installed amongst a few other things - depending on the pedal.

    My question really is this: Would a bass specific pedal work equally well with a guitar, or are they not designed to accept the higher frequencies produced by a six string electric guitar?


  2. Alien8


    Jan 29, 2014
    Same as the other way, yes and no.

    Specific pedals are designed to better recognize the bass frequencies and are "tuned" to do so - like analog octave pedals. Some don't care.

    Some other pedals output the full frequency spectrum, while others may have the EQ curve shifted for bass specifically to make it stand out. Others have greater headroom, since bass can be hotter than guitar more often.

    You really just have to test. My experience is that more bass specific pedals work better with both, while lots work fine for both, and some guitar pedals work well for guitar only (and not on bass or keys etc). It's a personal taste thing too...
    Driven Crane likes this.
  3. Thanks.. I did figure I'd need to test them, I was just hoping that I wouldn't have to, LOL!

    I mainly play bass, but sometimes play guitar, and was hoping to build one pedal board to suit them both, but I guess I'll just have to do as much homework as possible, and if worst comes to worst, I can always buy a redundant pedal that may work for guitar when the bass version doesn't or something. Thanks again.
  4. Alien8


    Jan 29, 2014
    Here's the general feel I have:

    Overdrive, Distortion and Fuzz generally vary based on the pedal. Bass distortion tends to work better on guitar than guitar (tube screamer) on bass, but a blend knob usually helps that. I find that having no buffers between a guitar and a noise box is more important than with bass (usually due to active electronics and hot signals), but there are cases where it matters.

    Compression - onvilab. Higher end work better accross the board usually.

    Delay / verb - nice to have a low cut control, but not required if you play around it. Analog delays tend to sound pretty good on bass, but it's a personal preference.

    Modulation - usually doesn't matter, but some specific pedals have specific EQ curves.

    Filters - I prefer a band pass on guitar and a low pass on bass. The 105Q is okay on guitar, but missed the honk that removing the bass frequencies gains on a decent wah.

    Most digital boxes don't care, most analog boxes in the bass version work well on guitar (bass microsynth). The real thing here is that the buffers or effected signal don't loose the low end, but also don't make it to fat for guitar.

    In general doing your homework will yield expected results, and usually finding a bass demo is harder. Guitarists generally are more open to trying whatever. So many options, try not to focus on it too much because you may skip over something that really works for you. And if you are really hung up on it, get an LS-2 and blend loops so your original, or bass friendly loop can be mixed to retain the low. Guitar amps cut the really high frequencies, so an amp sim like a pre amp or an EQ can help that if you are going direct.

    It's all subjective tho, just have fun playing and use your ears to decide.

    (I will never forget an analog man modded TS9DX, and a jazz bass nailing Les Claypool's Antipop tone perfectly.)
    Driven Crane and Matthew_84 like this.
  5. That's great info and very helpful. Thank you.
  6. zontar


    Feb 19, 2014
    I agree it would be a case by case scenario
    And more bass pedals would work for guitar than the other way around

    Then there are pedals like my AW3 which separate inputs on the same pedal-one for guitar & one for bass
    With that pedal, while I like it for guitar, I LOVE it for bass
  7. Thanks for the help guys. I was hoping that bass speficic pedals were more likely to work for guitar than the other way around, saince bass is my primary instrument.

    I'll just do a fair amount of research and hope for the best.

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