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Best Fuzz pedal for Passive Bass and Solid State amp?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by savinggrace, Apr 20, 2010.

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  1. *DISCLAIMER- Yes, I realize / know / understand that a fuzz pedal sounds and works best with tube amps. I have been looking into getting a tube amp to use for my overdriven/ fuzz sounds but it will probably take a little while to find the specific one I am looking for.

    I do love the sound of my SS amp for my clean playing though so I am definitely keeping that in addition to adding a tube amp for the nasty passages. I am wondering, in the meantime, if there are any fuzzes that people have found which might stand out and sound decent with a solid state amp. I am looking for something that is not clanky, brass-y, or too buzzy sounding. Yes, I know that horns/ tweeters contribute to this undesired sound.

    I play a passive bass.
  2. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    FWIW, just because there's one egotist here who insists that fuzz is only good through tube amps, doesn't make it true. IME most fuzzes sound fine with a ss amp, and in the worst-case scenario just turning down the highs a bit, or turning off the tweeter on your cab, makes them all sound fine.

    Among fuzzes, I (and large numbers of other bassists) like the Fuzz-Face and Muff variants, regardless of the amp used.

    Passive basses are most compatible with the majority of fuzzes. It's only active basses that have finicky relationships with some fuzzes.
  3. Silent Fly

    Silent Fly Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 8, 2006
    London - UK
    Owner/designer [sfx]
    I wasn't aware of that. Can you explain the reason?

    +1 or buy a Fuzz with tone control.
  4. HA! (OUCH!)

    Actually, I too have found that most fuzz pedals GENERALLY sound better with tube amps *(i.e.- the dynamics, the warmth/ not as buzzy, a thicker sound). However, I never have thought that they ONLY can sound good with tubes.

    I am much more of a an overdrive and distortion sort of person in general and have finally found a distortion pedal that I love the sound of paired with a solid state amp (a good smooth non-frilly distortion is much harder to find than a good fuzz, imo). So I am now on the search for a good fuzz as well.

    Good advice on clamping down on the highs a bit, Bongo.
  5. Mark Olson

    Mark Olson Banned

    Mar 19, 2008
    While certainly those without any experience with fuzz pedals through a cranked, sweating, compressing all tube amp might think there's no difference, but for anyone who's ever tried it the difference is very obvious and not even an item to dispute.

    But in general there is a fizziness you get with dirt in more hi fi amps, which doesn't bother a lot of people, but it's there. But I've only owned about 20 odd grand worth of dirt pedals to compare through solid state amps vs tube amps, so what would I know?

    But it really depends on how hi fi your head is, tube or solid state, how much fizz you'll get. It's not the difference between tubes and transistors per se, it's true that solid state amps tend to be more hi fi so they'll get that fizz, but you can get it with high headroom tube gear too.

    But when all the good old fuzz pedals were designed, people weren't playing through hi fi amps with tweeters. It's just common sense that these things are going to sound different than intended through more modern gear that wasn't around at the time. Whether that's good or bad though is up to you to decide.

    And this doesn't have to define your gear purchases, it's just something to be aware of. Yeah pretty much any fuzz pedal through a cranked JTM45 will give you the voice of god, but not everyone needs that. It's just about how deep you want to go down the rabbit hole and what you'll be satisfied with.
  6. Right. But I am curious if in recent years someone has intentionally tried to create a fuzz pedal bases with SS technology in mind, since it is mighty prevalent these days.

    Cranked JTM45= Voice of God. (swoonnn!)

    I am still wanting to compare an overdriven Ampeg V2 with an overdriven JTM45 clone.
  7. Silent Fly

    Silent Fly Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 8, 2006
    London - UK
    Owner/designer [sfx]
    Regardless the experience, it is practicaly impossible to disagree. :)

    Tube amps sound different from solid-state amps. Obvously, a fuzz in a tube amp will sound different from the same fuzz in a solid-state amp.

    Regardling better or worse, it depends... I like say "prefer" one or the other.
  8. waleross


    Nov 27, 2009
    South Florida
    Off the top the (2) pedals that I use most with both my SS and Tube Heads are Digitech BP200 which has a great fuzz tone and does a whole lot more like amp modeling, tuner etc. Also I use an MXR El Grande BASS FUZZ...
    .I won't add to the SS vs. Tube debate......good luck :cool:
  9. MaxMaps


    May 26, 2009
    Portland, Oregon
    Zvex Wooly Mammoth....

    Hands down the best fuzz I have heard on a passive bass yet. On both solid state and tube amps.
  10. I have recently been down this road.
    I suggest looking here...



    Or, if you want to get one unit that will cover a variety of od/dist/fuzz tones I highly recommend this..

    If you still don't see what you need, check this site out.

    As far as a tube amp being "better" for fuzz, the word should be "different". Don't believe the hype.
  11. For a cheap option - the MXR El Grande

    Tone control, sounds great with the fuzz dimed OR at zero, as well as a "deep" cut/boost switch
  12. CopperheadLXXIX


    Aug 9, 2003
    Jax, FL
    If you're into knob tweaking at all I humbly suggest the MXR Blowtorch-Don't be fooled by MXR calling it an "overdrive", it's a fuzz. Sounds great through my SS SWR. It can get that chainsaw kind of fuzz no doubt, but if you dial back the gain a bit and play with the mid shift, you can get some great more vintage/"tubey" kind of fuzz tones.
  13. faceinbass


    Apr 20, 2008
    Malekko B:Assmaster
    Zoom Ultra Fuzz

    ...and many others. :p
  14. slapstick13


    Feb 5, 2010
    Id say if you have the $, Zvex wolly mammouth, but these are very expensive. I had one but was forced to sell due to $ issues!

    For like $82 you can get the EHX Bass Big Muff, which i just picked up used myself($50!) It has a toggle switch for 'bass boost', 'normal' , and dry'. The bass boost and normal settings are not really impressive, HOWEVER, the dry setting makes this pedal so worth the $. It blends you clean signal with the dirty ol' muff signal. Ive seen people say it would be better if you could control the ratio of clean to muff, but you CAN do that!. Your clean signal is unaffected as you turn up the volume on the pedal, so you can dial in as much muff as you want. I really enjoy mine.

    Oh and i play mine through an Ampeg svt3 pro(hybrid) and ampeg 4X10 cab.
  15. dannybuoy


    Aug 3, 2005
    I recently bought a Big Spider and a Megalith, but had to return them as they did not get on with my solid state Markbass rig. The best fuzz sound I've achieved is with an Xotic Bass BB boosting into an EHX Bass Big Muff on dry mode.

    The Musket is next on my list to try, it's a muff with the Supercollider like focus and mids control, with a built in preamp booster.
  16. Thank you all. Some of these I have tried. I will check out some of the ones that I have not.
  17. MetroBass


    Mar 26, 2008
    South of LA
    Hatred obscures all distinctions.
    I've tried a lot - and my preference is:

    Black and Green Sovtek Muffs.

    1. reasonably priced
    2. great on a passive / SS setup
    3. easily mod'ed
    4. indefinite tone opportunities
    5. tons and tons of info on the web
    6. much, much better tone than the BBM

    7. used by really, really good bassists!!:D
  18. I just got a Wounded Paw Battering Ram in the mail last week. I will be testing it out today at practice.

    The Fender Sublime also looks very promising, as well as unnecessarily absurd in size.

    If either of these do not work I think I am forgetting about fuzz and sticking with my OD/ Distortion only. The Blackstar HT Dual is the best distortion pedal for SS that I have tried by far (in fact the only one that I have actually liked).
  19. well ive got to admit i played my 80's big muff (wich i call ronald ragan) into a solid state and it sounded pretty promicing

    hell its actually on youtube me playing it
  20. moles


    Jan 24, 2007
    Winnipeg, MB
    That Tech21 Red Ripper has a low pass filter built in, to help you dial out enough highs to play through a modern, hi-fi sort of set up and get a nice classy warm sound.
    Haven't played it, not necessarily recomending it - but it's worth a look. There are a couple of threads around here about it.

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