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Bass Distortion

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by BenHack, Nov 15, 2000.

  1. Hey fellow bass dudes.

    OK here's the deal. I just started playing with a band that has some heavy influences. Seeing as we're just a 3 peice (at the moment) I wanted to be able to use a distorted sound when the guitarist takes a lead break. I'm interested in getting a sound kinda like the Tim C from RATM and some of the Primus stuff. I really don't want to loose any of the bottom end and can't afford to bi-amp. Has anyone got any suggestions? Is the Sans amp bass driver likely to do the job.

    Also when I play through my envelope filter there is a huge drop in the bottom end and in volume. I can't fix this by adjusting the blend control. ANy suggestions, Cheers and keep groovin.

  2. biscuit


    Mar 6, 2000
    Virginia, USA
    The sans amp will probably not do what you need. It only provides a little dirt like a speaker cab does. It does not actually give you distortion.

    I have read that Les Claypool often uses an Electro-Harmonix Big Muff distorton. It has a rauncy tone with a fat low end. The DOD Bass Grunge is good, but it has been discontinued I think. Larry Graham, the man who invented slap style, uses a Danelectro Fabtone with the bass all the way up and the treble at 12 o'clock. DOD and Boss both make bass distortion pedals with big bottom. Try them both and see if you like their top end (I did not). I have a TubeWorks Real Tube pedal with a 12AT7 tube that I use for light overdrive. I also have a Boss Hyper-Fuzz that I use for thickly distorted tones.

    Distortion inherently cuts low end so look for a pedal with bass boost to compensate for this. Most pedals with separate bass and treble allow you to boost and cut. I hope this helps.
  3. If you can find one, give the Fulltone Bassdrive a try. I plan on playing one over winter break this year.
  4. The Boss ODB-3 lets you blend in the unaffected signal back in the output signal. I set the gain pretty high, but keep most of the original signal. This way the bass still comes from the bass, and the pedal adds a lotta high gain overdrive. Sound really muddy phat.

    I recommend the Boss ODB-3 to anyone who plays heavy stuff.
  5. yeah i have a Boss ODB-3 Bass Overdrive as well. I can get some awesome heavy distortion on that thing. I find it a great accesory for any bassist who wants a real heavy distortion sound. The only drawback of it is when i have my pedal on and im not playing anything it causes my amp to shriek out loud which could eventually screw up my amp.
  6. Erich Zann

    Erich Zann

    Aug 14, 2000
    Larry Graham uses a Danelectro Fabtone? Damn, I thought I was the only one.
    OOD likes this.
  7. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    i use a marshall jmp-1 midi guitar preamp - sounds incredible. it's a bit more expensive than a stomp box, but the tone is unbelievable.
  8. Thanks guys.

    Looks like I'll have to have a bit of a look around to try some of these out. Try before you buy always a good option. Keep Groovin', C-YA.

  9. Stangg

    Stangg Guest

    yeah, i use a fab tone, too.
    OOD likes this.
  10. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
  11. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    Unlike many pedals designed for guitar the old MXR distortion seems to leave the bottom end intact and $40usd would be top dollar for one. The same vintage MXR evelope filter works really well too for pedal freaks on a budget.
  12. I run a vintage V-4B slightly overdriven, but I also have a Pearce BC1 preamp which is a little more flexible. It has two independent channels, each with overdrive capability, which can be used separately or combined. By setting one channel clean and one overdriven you can get a pretty good overdriven or distorted tone that doesn't lose its punch.
  13. Just wanted to say I love my Boss ODB-3. When I first plugged through it, I was disappointed because I thought of a tube overdrive kind of thing, and it was buzzing instead. But now... I think I prefer this type of distortion much more. Sure it's not growling, like "tubish" overdrive does. But it also can't be compared to mmm... belching, unlike "tubish" overdrive ;) I think ODB-3 is perfect for grunge, it really sounds grunge. I love its solid-state sounds. And it can deliver more low end that you could ever utilize.
    With ODB-3 you won't need two guitars in a band. I even start to think I would love to play only with a drummer, no guitars :)
  14. A bit of a change of subject - whats the difference between fuzz, distortion and overdrive?

  15. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Nothing...they are all names for generation of harmonic distortion.
  16. There are differences in types and degree of distortion. Tubes are overdriven differently from transistors - clipping is more "rounded" (so there are more low-odrer distortion products), while solid-state distortion produces more raspy souns. Fuzz seems to be the marginal case of distortion, with very heavy clipping, almost square wave. I also read an opinion (www.amptone.com) that the character of distortion depends on equalisation at three points: input, interstage(?) and output. In particular, fuzz is produced when lower harmonics prevail in the imput signal.
    As for ODB-3, for example, I'd say it varies from "distorion" to "fuzz", but no way "tubish overdrive".
  17. dwynsen

    dwynsen Guest

    Aug 31, 2000
    Ohio, USA
    JrTheBassGuy wrote that he gets a howling noise when he's not playing. That could be caused by his pups. They might need to be potted (if they have covers). This is a common problem with reg. guitars.
  18. Copycat

    Copycat Supporting Member

    Nov 14, 2000
    Pittsburgh, PA, USA
    While it has been discontinued, the DOD Bass Grunge distortion pedal is available directly from DOD by visiting their website, then going to a link whose name I can't remember exactly but which has the word "warehouse" in it (if memory serves me correctly).
  19. I have been using a Danelectro Daddy-O. It has pots for bass, mid, & treble as well as volume and overdrive. It gives lots of variety in tone. And it's built like the old brick ****house- I can't imagine stompin' this peddle flat.
    But it does have good tone, and will take lots of abuse. My only problem with it is that the knobs are kinda close together... o well.
  20. Reverend Duke

    Reverend Duke

    Apr 3, 2003
    I just thought I would add to this thread by mentioning that I've had good results with the regular old FX69B Grunge pedal. The guitarist in the band I'm in had two, and I had tried his Jimi Hendrix Fuzz (too thin), but the Grunge had separate knobs for bass, high, etc. I was able to be heavy, have plenty of bottom and still cut thru.

    Also, according to an article in BP about "the Deep End" recordings, it mentioned Larry Graham using a Daddy-O, not a Fab Tone. I wanted to know what he used too, since on the "Rising Low" DVD he plays a wild feedback solo(!) and I wanted to know how he got that sound....

    I will look into the Bass Grunge, based on your suggestions and my positive experience with the regular Grunge.


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