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Are there any ANALOG multi-effect pedals for bass?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by RumbleMan3, Apr 6, 2020.

  1. RumbleMan3


    Apr 14, 2018
    I had a Boss gt1b and was very disappointed with it. Used it about 4 times and sold it. The effects sounded like rubbish. I thought I was getting a good deal because it’s all these effects for the price of one but no I realise it came at a cost. The only good thing I could say about it was that the build quality was absolutely breathtaking. Such a solid unit, it’s a shame it sounded like rubbish.

    So I’m hoping you guys can help me out. I really don’t wanna spend $600+ on individual pedals if I can avoid it. The only effects I want/need are compression, octave, and chorus. Wouldn’t hurt to have flanger and drive or fuzz in there too, but I’d rather have the others instead. EQ is not needed.

    I’m guessing it has to be analog for it to sound like proper pedals like mxr and Aguilar, so... any analog bass multi effects out there? Please... I want it to have true bypass too! I don’t want it to alter my sound or suck some of my sound out when the pedal is plugged in but not engaged.

    Are there any pedals like this that exist? Money is not an issue if it will DEFINATLEY get me the same quality as an regular analog effects pedal. Anyone who has used one of those rubbish, digital crap-box effects pedals will understand me, that’s what I’m trying to avoid.

    Bassmike62 likes this.
  2. YawningJorin


    Feb 14, 2020
    The thing with analogue multi-effects is that if you for example want to include a compressor, you need to physically put a compressor in there. If you want a phaser, you need to add a phaser circuit and so on. You're going to have a hard time finding something tailored to what you need because everyone will want something different and analogue won't offer enough flexibility to make these products very popular. Anyway, if you insist, EHX have some stranger multi-effects combining their drives, POGs, and whatnot. More popular is to put the basics in one box, e.g. the EHX battalion has comp, EQ, and drive, but no modulation or such. I think sansamp have something similar now and I'm sure plenty other manufacturers have their own similar things. Orange recently released the Bass Butler, which is more of a bi-amp emulator, but looks very cool.

    An alternative could be a better digital multi-effect unit. The modern ones seem genuinely good and they've come a long way since just a few years ago. I believe Line 6 and Fractal Audio are the top brands there.
  3. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Tech 21 FlyRig

    Ibanez made an analog box back in the 80s, the UE303B with a real AC cord, thank the heavens

    Kawai2g4b, devnulljp and wyrtti like this.
  4. Bassmike62

    Bassmike62 Punch'n Ooomph provider Supporting Member

    I recently went the route from using dedicated analog pedals (my preference by far) for 13 years to a multi unit. I tried a few, including renting a Boss GT1B for a couple of weeks and as you, I could not find sounds I liked with the other gear I use and the way I play. So back to the shop it went.

    After reading around and asking here, I finally settled on a Zoom B3n, to which I added an expression pedal. It is all but analog :). It is tone processing, so some like, some don't. It might work for you, or not. But it worked for me, learning curve short enough for me and sounds very good to my ears. I can't say I like everything on it (some fxs are just plain useless to me), but the effects I need (comp, dirt, modulation, wah) are good enough-sounding to me and the band and it gives me a simple gig-friendly set-up. Plus, I don't have to play Tetris everytime I need/want to add an effect.

    Best of luck in your search, there's certainly some unit or combination of units that will work for you.

    Here's the current set-up I use:

    Attached Files:

    RumbleMan3 likes this.
  5. RumbleMan3


    Apr 14, 2018
    Yeah, I saw the ME-50b from boss and that looks impressive. I haven't heard one, but just from first glance it already looks like a much more professional unit. But I could be wrong. Can anyone help compare the ME-50B with the evercrap GT1B please?
  6. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol

    I agree that the GT1B sucks, although many disagree with me.
    The Zoom B3n sounds heaps better.

    As far as analogic goes there's the SanSamp Flyrig, which still has a digital part though. I wasn't a fan so I sold it.
    The Valeton Dapper Bass might be to your taste. FUlly analogic and has the features you want.
    I like the Boss BE5B. A very old unit but reliable and convenient. No program though and no true bypass.

    True bypass tends to be a bad solution anyway if you intend to pile up effects. It creates too many different impedances that suck up signal.
    dabis and RumbleMan3 like this.
  7. RumbleMan3


    Apr 14, 2018
    Wow, I just checked out the FlyRig and it's very impressive!

    I have to hear one now

    Analog... tick
    Straightforward setup and controls... tick
    Octave... tick
    Chorus... tick
    Drive... tick
    Comp... tick
    Fuzz... tick
    Tuner... tick
    Small package... tick

    Looks... not too great tbh but does it matter... no
    Price... well not bad considering the quality of individual effects, would be my guess

    True Bypass?
    GMC likes this.
  8. RumbleMan3


    Apr 14, 2018
    Which out of the flyrig, valeton, and be5b had the best quality sounds, like a real analog pedal to you?
  9. realmacaroni


    Dec 28, 2019
    Pgh PA
    the homie, Kevin, at Henretta is a great dude. Super chill to work with, very accommodating about sending your unit back in for swaps, tweaks, etc...Killer stuff! Some better for bass than others. The comp, phaser, E filter, various dirt, are some of the ones that work better. Not sure you want out of an octave, he's only got a "ringer type" octave up. For sure worth reaching out to him with any questions you might have, he'll respond helpfully for sure...check the link!!

  10. Tekkers


    Dec 16, 2018
    I’m a big fan of the Bass Fly Rig and I’ve used it on a load of gigs, two mini-tours and on a few recordings.
    I initially picked it up for the dimensions so I could carry it around in my gig bag, but the sounds you can get out of it are great and pretty versatile.

    I would definitely recommend it, the core Sansamp tone is great and definitely useable, and there’s quite a lot of variety between it and the other effects so you should be able to find a load of tones in there that work for you.
    It’s quite interactive though and rewards a bit of experimentation.

    If you’re thinking of going down this route though I’d definitely avoid the Valeton as it’s pretty much a poor reverse-engineered Chinese copy of the Fly Rig design.
    Better to get the real thing; it’ll cost slightly more up-front but you won’t be rewarding IP theft.
  11. Fun Size Nick

    Fun Size Nick

    Feb 21, 2006
    Hong Kong
    Maybe have a look for those individual pedals used? Australian prices for anything new are going to be $$$$ sadly. Those 3 kinds of effect are pretty common at various price points, and then you get your choice of each.

    Flyrig is a good option for what you're looking at as mentioned. No true bypass on any Tech 21 stuff as they don't believe it's the best solution, but I've not heard any complaints about their buffered bypass.
    RumbleMan3 likes this.
  12. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013

    You can go down four routes.
    1: Buy a cheap multi. You get what you pay for. Digital or Analog won't matter here. Low quality won't sound great just because its Analog.

    2: By the effects. Four quality pedals on a board with proper cables and power will indeed set you back at least 600 bucks. The upside is: No compromises. You can focus your money on the effects most important to you, try them out and choose the one you like best.

    3: High quality multi. Something like the Headrush Gigboard. Easy to use, easy to tailor to your needs, good sound. Or a bit smaller: Line6 HX Stomp. Less easy to use than the Headrush (Those with their large touchscreens are so easy and intuitive, it's ridiculous), but a lot more compact. Those will get you convincing sounds.

    4: The FlyRig. This one, as luck would have it, has all the things you want on board. The downside of those analog multis is that there is zero chance of customisation. You get exactly what comes out of the box and that's it. I was always intrigued by the FlyRig, for two reasons: 1 I really like the Sansamp sound and 2 I really could make do with what's on board.
    I never bought one because of one reason: The power situation. I like me a solid power cable with a sturdy jack. Something the nervous singer can trip over on stage without ripping that tiny 9V barrel out of the socket for good. The tiny cable and wallwart situation made me hesitate.
    RumbleMan3 likes this.
  13. AlexBassMP


    Feb 5, 2014
    The Boss ME50B is not perfect but it does some things very well. It's built like a tank and it has more than I need. You can get it on the used market for a reasonable price.

    I played some gigs with it several years ago and it's a workhorse. The distortions are what they are..but the rest of the fx are very good. you can store 24 presets in 8 banks or simply set the three stomp switches with the fx you want to turn them on and off .

    No menu scrolling, simply select the fx, turn the knobs to taste and play.

    Note: Some pro players like Marko Hiettala (Nightwish) and Ian HIll (Judas Priest) use a Boss ME50B for octave down and flanger sounds.

    I has some cons:

    There's only one slot for modulation/reverb and delay..you can't combine chorus and delay or delay and reverb..or flanger and reverb.. Most of the time I only use the flangers , so it's a no great issue for me.

    I've talked about distortions before..they are what they are. If you're lookinf for a good overdrive/distortion/fuzz..look elsewhere. The "Natural" setting sounds good, but the rest are digital sounding bees

    In memory mode there's latency when you switch between presets and no sound comes from he unit for a short time (one scond or less). If you're a "one preset,one song" guy , good.. if you want to change sounds in the middle of a song you must deal with this.

    You can't switch single fx on and off when you're playing in memory mode. The boss GT1B allows you to switch on or off a fx inside a preset.

    I hope that my experience helps.
    BrentSimons likes this.
  14. jumblemind

    jumblemind I also answer to Bryan Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2011
    Fuzzrocious / @rratajski can build you an all-in-one for those effects. Here's a recent example (using a different assortment).

    nuage420b likes this.
  15. rratajski

    rratajski Commercial User

    Jul 1, 2008
    Mount Laurel, NJ
    While we LOVE doing 2, 3, 4-in-one pedals, we don't make the three effects the OP is looking for. Much appreciated!

    OP - if you can find a company that would make those three pedals on a professional level, most builders, if not all, would probably be at or over $600 (unless they are just building you a build from kits/prefabbed PCBs). I would be all about recommending a brand to make this for you, but don't know of any. You might have luck with private hobby builders from freestompboxes, diystompboxes, or a FB builder forum for someone to build from kits or other DIY sources.
  16. RumbleMan3


    Apr 14, 2018
    NOT an issue. I don’t need customisation at all. I just need 3 or 4 high quality effects, thats all.
    Zooberwerx likes this.
  17. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Well, then skip the Tech 21 BFR. It has FX on-board (comp, fuzz, octafilter, chorus, OD) which are passable but I certainly wouldn't consider all of them to be "high quality". Keep in mind that it's an all-in-one fly rig and there's something to be said for the convenience factor. If you want take a step-up but remain cost-conscious, the Zoom offerings are very attractive and a number (...not all) of the FX options sound pretty durn good. You can find a used MS60B for </= $80 here in the US.

    Disclaimer: I own both of the above.

    RumbleMan3 likes this.
  18. GMC


    Jan 1, 2006
    Wiltshire, UK
    This thread kind of assumes that all digital Multi FX units sound crap. They don't. At the cheaper end of the scale they tend to excel at things like chorus, delay and reverb (this is why the Zoom MS-70 CRD is so cleaver...it' only plays with stuff that it excels at). Where as at the more expensive end, digital easily exceeds analogue in terms of control and tone. Any of the Strymon big panels (mobius, big sky and timeline) are truly epic. The Eventide H9 Max units are legendary and the smaller One series from Source Audio are amazing too. Their Aftershock pedal convinced me that Digital Dirt is a thing that works and their Filters literally blow the field wide open. So it's quite possible to build a small pedal board with Source Audio One series pedals that fulfills your brief, still under budget and ticks most of your boxes. The only thing I haven't seen yet is a descent midi controlled digital compressor. Which is bizarre as there are a myriad of IR modeled plugins using a laptop's DSP available.
    RumbleMan3, Ryan L. and YawningJorin like this.
  19. rratajski

    rratajski Commercial User

    Jul 1, 2008
    Mount Laurel, NJ
    OP is asking for analog effects and true bypass. The true bypass part rules out essentially every digital multi unit., but there are a bunch of "just fine" and "excellent" digital multis out there for sure and many that don't tamper much with clean tone.
    RumbleMan3 likes this.
  20. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    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.

    May 11, 2021

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