Best bass distortion without loosing low end?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by shawshank72, Feb 18, 2010.

  1. shawshank72


    Mar 22, 2009
    Im looking for a pedal for some bass distortion, everything Ive tried over the years always lost the low end or sounded too fuzzy. Looking for something that wont change my sound but just add that growly distortion on top of the sound. Any suggestions? or sound clips of something? thanks
  2. scotch

    scotch It's not rocket science!

    Nov 12, 2006
    Albany, NY USA
    Please see Profile for Endorsement disclosures
    LOTS of choices! Get ready for about 300 suggestions... These open questions tend to become more of a "post your current personal favorite pedal" without addressing what you want/need.


    Size constraints?

    Your syntax: "on top of the sound" suggests to me that you want something with a blend function, perhaps?
  3. alirazz


    Jun 30, 2009
    Chambana, IL
    the AMT capitalist pig is a good one..
  4. SMASH

    SMASH Guest

    Jan 18, 2000
    Ibanez Phat Hed. Goes from mild to wild, you can set different attack modes, and it has active EQ so you can boost the bass as much as you like.
  5. Eric!

    Eric! Commercial User

    Jan 22, 2009
    America's High-Five
    Mojo Hand FX
    Its brother, the Communist Pig, is also very thick and awesome.

    Swollen Pickles are pretty fantastic too, as are HBE Hematomas.
    The Bogdan Mephisto can actually even ADD low end. Very heavy.
    If you can get your hands on a Roger Mayer Voodoo Bass, it's also very deep. I regret ridding of that one..
  6. shawshank72


    Mar 22, 2009
    Yes a blend would be great, size is just as long as i can stomp on it, budget is not an issue as long as it works for what i need.
  7. Morrog


    Mar 16, 2008
    i quite recommend the tc electronic vintage bass distortion
  8. DrSmaggs


    Oct 15, 2003
    Endorsing Artist:
    A cool one is the Dunlop MXR Bass Blowtorch. You can blend distorted with your clean and fat tone so you retain all of your signal. I use it and it's pretty awesome!

  9. scotch

    scotch It's not rocket science!

    Nov 12, 2006
    Albany, NY USA
    Please see Profile for Endorsement disclosures
    ok! Good to know. Blend is important & size/cost aren't a factor. This is getting easier.

    Now, what do you mean by "growly"? That's a pretty ubiquitous (and ill-defined) term here on TB. One guy thinks that his Big Muff "growls", while another guy totally disagrees & heralds the "incredible growl" of his Hematoma!

    We know you don't want "fuzzy", so Muff/Muff clones are probably out. Do you want to rule out over-the-top distortion with some "fizzy" high end as well?

    Low-end retention is key- so TS clones and most guitar pedals may not be for you, unless there is useful, active onboard eq to compensate.

    Any online musical examples? The more specific you are, the more helpful we can all be.
  10. WeightedWings


    Feb 12, 2008
    If budget isn't an issue, I used to own a T-Rex Bassjuice, and its pretty much exactly what you want. Its a pretty awesome pedal. If that looks a bit pricey though, the Voodoo Labs Sparkledrive is also a really good option.

    Here's some urls:

    Sparkle Drive
  11. Gelfin


    Nov 28, 2009
    Hi I would recommend the Ashdown James Lomenzo Hyperdrive. I was looking for what you descibed and found this did just what I wanted.
    Her's some of their promo text.

    In the LoMenzo Hyper Drive, a band of frequencies within the midrange of the bass signal is filtered out and the distortion effect is added only to this band. The filtered frequencies can be ‘tuned’ to the precise range that gives the optimum effect. The degree of distortion available is variable from a subtle break up to huge overdrive, enabling a new range of extreme effects for bass to be created. The distortion effect can then be mixed with the original dry bass signal to maintain a powerful, full-bodied bass tone with distortion overtones.

    Her's the url to the Ashdown site.

    Good luck
  12. Nikoubis


    May 3, 2007
    Athens, Greece
    You should consider getting a Boss LS-2. Instant clean blend, which means that you can use just about any pedal without worrying about low end loss.
  13. I have a Big Muff & Boss Metalzone... use and love them both.
  14. Bootzilla


    May 4, 2009
    VT bass maybe?
  15. shawshank72


    Mar 22, 2009
    Definate rule out of the over the top distortion
    My growly would kind of like being surprised ina dark alley by big mean dog who has yet to loose his temper and attack, but yet is making itself known that soon that will happen.
    Hope that helps
  16. G0rilla


    Feb 1, 2008
    Latvia, Riga
    Making ears bleed since 1989
    Distortion? Tech 21 XXL Bass.
    Fuzz - maybe not best, but definitely best value>money and in top of them all - EHX Bass Big Muff.
  17. shawshank72


    Mar 22, 2009
    I have to say, I love this place.
    So many people with ideas and examples.
    I have so much homework to do now, im loving it.:smug:
  18. bassmanjla


    Feb 16, 2010
    Hollywood, CA
    I'mm a distortion/overdrive junky. I'm on a seeming endless quest to find the perfect distortion. I've had different rigs, diifferent cabs, different stomp boxes. and different basses. i never get rid of distortion pedals. becuase i feel like one day, i might want waht that pedal gives me in a tone. or, some day i might own a rig that doesn't sound right with the pedal i was using at the time and need to switch.

    early on i was looking a tone similiar to my favorite bassist, RObert Wynia of Floater. it always sounded like there were two signals, a very clear and defined low end tone, but tracking just a hair behind it was this miraculously fuzz.
    It drove me insane that couldn't duplicate it, and hundreds on hundreds of dollars have been spent searching for the answer.
    turns out, as i learned in a conversation with Rob a few years later, he missed his original distortion tone becuase he bought the new model of the boss multi effect board he used to create it. despite it being the same "model" it was an update and did not produce the same distortion.
    what i learned from this conversation is that he wasn't just using a distortion, but instead he had carefully(?) crafted this tone from a combination of distortion, chorus, and various other effects.
    My point here is, you might be chasing a distortion tone that may be a result of multiple layers of effects and tracking.

    Now here is some information that is closer to the answer of your question. I own all these pedals.
    Ibanez Tube screamer- great sounding distortion that really pulls some serious upper mid "growl". but it still sucks alittle of your low end out. I recommend you put it either in line between your bass and your amp, allowing your pre amp to compensate for the low end loss, or if you have a seperate preamp ( like a sansamp,) or an equilizer pedal (like the boss bass equilizer) you can put the the pedal in your effects loop as long as you have it before one of those. Also, a chorus pedal, or an octave pedal after the screamer in the chain might give some lower heavier tones.
    Boss ODB-3 Bass OVerdrive; I was never happy with this pedal. no matter how i set it up, it always seemed really muddy to me. the only tone i was ever able to get was a tone similiar to Cliff burton's on pulling teeth. but I could get that out of other pedals as well. it's possible that it maysound better with a different rig, at the time i was pushing it through an svt-4PRO with an 8-10. I use a TC Electronic RH450 now through a TC RS212 and a SWR (prefender) goliath 3 410 now, so it's it's entirely possible that it might sound good with that rig.
    (The TC head has a rediculously nice Tube emulator that is circuited through bot th the pre amp and the power amp, so it performs just like a real tube amp. (it goes to 12!) so i really don't use much in the way of external overdrive anymore)
    MXR zakk wylde overdrive- yes i know this is a guitar pedal, not a bass pedal, but it was a gift. and if you want to take something to a rediculous level, this can actually be really sick. not gonna bother telling you about it in depth though, you really should spend your money on something useful.
    DIGITECH BP80- entry level multi-effects pedal for bass. It's good for playing around until you really know what you like effects wise. occasionally i still pull it out for some experimentation. there are some good distortion tones onthis, it has a three band EQ so you can boost any low end loss. also, a drum machine and metronome. not a fan of it's wah effects though. There are better multi effects pedals out there, but this one is cheap and sounds decent.

    EBS VALVE DRIVER- so far, this is my favorite pedal overdrive for bass. It's tube driven with a 12ax7 providing warmth and some serious crunch. three band EQ, gain and volume make this thing jsut evil. it has two foot switches. one is a circuit swtich from a "modern" tone to a "vintage tone" the other is a bypass/mute switch. (there is a small button onthe back to change the function of this foot switch) No battery power for this beasty, and you have to use the included power cable becuase it operates on a different voltage than most generic power strings. But it is seriously a powerhouse of tone.

    and then my one other kind of overdrive i've owned is the on board tube emulation on my TC RH450. it goes from 0 to 12, and is absolutely insane. you get everything from a soft, barely noticable warmth, to a scrunched, crunched and crackling overdrive. it's routed through both the preamp and power section so as you turn up the volume, your drive becomes tastier and tastier. i've gotten some unbeleivablely awesome tone from this head. check it out. i dare yah.

    so, have fun, good luck !!
  19. jhan

    jhan Guest

    Been loving the Xotic Bass BB Preamp. Goes mild break-up to full on dirt, but not like a buzz-saw distotion ala MXR Blowtorch or fuzzy-wuzzy ala Bass Muff. Bass and treble knobs compensate for loss in either spectrum. Really a versatile pedal. Much loved here -for a reason. Xotic makes killer stuff.
  20. EHX bass Big Muff.
    one setting enables the orig bass sound to be left TOTALLY IN the signal & the 'gain' control just ADDS the desired dirt.