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Bass Crunch/Distortion

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by FiveHorses, Jun 30, 2013.

  1. FiveHorses


    Jun 21, 2013
    Hi, I have played guitar for 20yrs but have switched over to Bass and im having an absolute blast!!.
    I play in a signed band, playing modern alt rock/pop. Think Snow Patrol, Biffy, REM, Foo's.
    I play a Fender US Jazz Deluxe (4 string) through a Markbass little Mark 2 head, and a Gallien Krueger neo 1x12.
    The tones i get from the head, cab, and onboard eq are great for clean.
    But my band play really melodic verses and then some quite heavey bridge/chorus sections.
    So my question to all my "low end buddies" out there is what is the best pedal i can put infront of the amp to give me a nice rich crunchy tone?
    I have a ts-808 tubescreamer, a EH little big muff, and a Boss ds-2 left over from my guitar playing days.... but will these work for my bass?
    Im thinking the bass frequencies might be different and therefore they wont work that great?
    Perhaps i might lose some of the low end, or it might cripple my nice round fat bass tone?

    Can you guys give me some pointers?
    Should my guitar effects work with my bass?
    And if not what brands or pedals should i be looking at for a new pedal?

    If you could help me out that would be fantastic - cheers
  2. meatwad


    Apr 9, 2008
    Smallville, USA
    IME, the ability to blend a clean signal with the dist/od signal is the only way to go. Lots of pedals out there give this feature, and nearly every flavor is available with it. Coming from being a strictly non-modeling purist in the past, I can't suggest the Zoom B3 enough for all things bass.
  3. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    I would suggest the B3K or the Myco Three pedal and the little big muff will work a stock tube screamer will cripple your fat bottom.
  4. I would suggest to get some type of blender to save the low end (I use LS-2 and it works great for me, but if you are True Bypass geek, you can go with barge concepts blender or xotic, but they are more expensive). I tried tubescreemer at a shop with jazz bass and I really liked it, but I have proco rat, which sounded pretty close. I would definetelly change little muff to Bass Big muff as it has bass boost and blend option which work great for bass. or if you want to be more like Muse bassist you can get Russian Muff (black one) and blend it in with LS-2.

    Good Luck!
  5. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    Or One Control Mosquite which is smaller, true bypass and has a price in the same ballpark as the LS-2.
  6. Swift713


    Dec 4, 2006
    Florence, Ma
    There are thousands of options out there for crunch/od etc. I think the B3 is fantastic. I also very much liked the Catalinbread SFT, a Big Muff clone with tone bypass and of course the BJFE Blueberry.
  7. mmbongo

    mmbongo Chicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!! Supporting Member

    Darkglass B3K is absolutely phenomenal. I wasted a lot of money on other pedals trying to get this sound, wish I would have just got it in the first place but I thought it was too expensive. In the end it would have been cheaper to just buy it first :)

    But, if you're really on the cheap you can get close to this sound with two Hardwire Pedals. A Valve Distortion into a Tube Overdrive. Pretty close, but not exactly the same. The B3K holds the bottom and top ends together much better, but this is not a bad setup for about $120 used.


    Hardwire Duo:
  8. black_ninja


    Jun 23, 2012
    If you want to use what you already have, then use a blender. One Control Mosquite is quite cheap and pedalboard friendly.
    Otherwise you can get anything from Fuzzrocious Pedals. Every single pedal they make is awesome, no joke.
  9. I might be getting some hate, but the Boss ODB-3 is pretty awesome. The only fuzz pedal I have experience with is the Angry Ape Fuzz from EC pedals, which is also awesome.
  10. Unrepresented

    Unrepresented Something Borderline Offensive

    Jul 1, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    Your muff and tubescreamer are already the basis for half the pedals on the market. Most of the stuff we'd recommend you would be variants and boutique versions of those two pedals.

    My advice: plug them in. Worst that happens is you determine there's too much low end loss. If you're unhappy then start troubleshooting and consider a blend pedal or "bass" versions of what you already own.
  11. jpTron


    Apr 19, 2010
    How much bottom you looking to retain? I have a modded Tubescreamer that I use for distortion and I love it. Really offensive, midrange-y, grindy goodness. Works great in a band mix. If you lose too much bottom with your 808, maybe try modding it.
  12. Bassmike62

    Bassmike62 GAS resistance is utterly futile... Supporting Member

    Then, if it doesn't work out with what you already have, you can sell what you don't want and get moar pedlz. A few blenders have been mentionned, the only one I have experience with is the LS-2 and it worked fine. If you decide to go for other pedals, the MXR Bass DI gets great reviews here.... preamp, DI AND well-viewed distortion among TBers.
  13. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    I am a believer of the Hardwire series, especially the CM2. I have it and the DL8 Delay they make and I really like them. The CM2 is a great slight OD to pretty ballsy dist. Bongo actually turned me on to the CM2 and I am very happy he did. It will probably be a staple on my board for some time to come. I really like its flavor with what I have. It does riun through a B7K so I am sure that makes a slight difference than just the CM2 by itself, but regardless, I really the CM2, use it more and more everyday because I keep finding more great levels of tasty OD and dist in it. It can do the mild tube OD very well. Thats pretty much how I use it. I have heard the Barbershop is great too. I Also use a Fulltone OCD for some really hairy, gritty dist. I am really happy with all my dirt. My ODB3 works great but only if I have my B7K on, which it always is. My B7K is a key element to my sound in the end.
  14. adamsmatthewj


    May 4, 2013
    That 808ts might be the ticket, try it out!
    If not, the grail is pretty much the Xotic BB Bass, it's technically not a distortion pedal but it has a gain control that acts as the greatest bass distortion there is.
    I also have awesome luck with the Way Huge Pork Loin or the Mooer Triangle Buff, both are on my board right now. Can't go wrong with the B3K either! Wounded Paw also makes the Battering Ram that has amazing OD and Fuzz sounds. Lots of fun choices out there. Try em all!
  15. I will also throw in a vote for the Hardwire CM-2 Tube overdrive pedal. Love mine. Has a very potent Low control.
    zapped777 likes this.