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built in effects

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Anonymous7, Oct 29, 2012.

  1. Anonymous7


    Oct 21, 2012
    Hey guys, just wondering if it would be possible to build two or three effects into a bass, and if possible, how? Also what effects would you guys recommend?
  2. Meatrus


    Apr 5, 2009
    Yeah, its possible,Mansons, who make Matt Bellamy's (from Muse) guitars have done a fuzz factory, a fuzz probe and a kaos pad (not in the same guitar). You can also find cheap guitars on Ebay occasionally which have had fuzz factorys fitted. Probably a question for the pickups and electronics section perhaps? Theres even a cheap way of making an in built distortion there.

    I imagine you could have a couple of different effects, just means there will probably have to be larger cavities to contain the circuit boards etc and lots of knobs. I dont think anyone can tell you which effects you need!
  3. the biggest issue i've found is less the size of the cavities needed to fit the effects, but the current draw. Stick with something simple like a BazzFuss, it's tiny, simple, sounds awesome and draws a minuscule amount of power.
  4. Why wouldn't it be possible? Just take the schematic of any pedal and build one in the control cavity.

    If you don't have anything in mind and are just looking for something to do, I would advise against doing this. Onboard effects are kind of tacky, and there is no real need for them to be on a bass. More importantly, you increase the chance of an unexpected failure that cannot be remedied quickly. Perhaps it would be better to build a bass with pots or switches that trigger external control for effects later in the signal chain?
  5. Current draw would be no different than with a stompbox. Though most people prefer to externally power their stompboxes. It is possible to bring in external power on the ring terminal of the output jack, or phantom power, if you need current. Of course, this means overcomplicating things and risking failure.
  6. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg Keyboards
    Line 6 tried this with their Variax bass. It was basically a version of their bass pod built into the bass. It never really caught on.
  7. No it wasn't. It was a system that was meant to model the tonality of various basses by feeding a piezo signal to onboard DSP. Some had simulated active EQ, whereas others had passive LPFs. Some had a pickup blend control, others let you adjust the position of the pickup from neck to bridge. Etc. There was supposed to be an option to change the tuning, too, but they never implemented it for the bass models.
  8. Crater


    Oct 12, 2011
    Dallas, TX area
    If you're interested in experimenting, here's a place that sells effects boards intended for installation in guitars. There's a distortion board, a compressor, a chorus, a wah-wah midbooster, delay and tremolo. All are priced under $50 each.


    They are designed for guitar use but I'm sure they'll work in a bass too.
  9. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg Keyboards
    When it first came out, Line 6 advertised it as having many of the same features as the Bass Pod. It wasn't exact but the basic idea was the same. Give the bassist more versatility. I'm not sure what they did with it on later models.
  10. Not that I recall. They only made one bass, which was available in four and five string versions in two colors. It had no onboard effects or anything of the sort, unless you count the two synthesizer simulations.

    I used to own one, and it was a very nice bass in terms of the instrument itself, but yeah, the concept never caught on.
  11. eddododo


    Apr 7, 2010
    A friend of mine did something really clever with onboard effects:

    He made the circuits into smalllll boxes, and created a terminal-plug system for them

    In other words, you have an effect in a capsule with prongs that plug into a receptor installed into his guitar/signal chain in the control cavity.

    For power he used some kind of phantom setup.. Ill ask him to remind me
  12. F-Clef-Jef


    Nov 13, 2006
    Neenah, WI
    No, but the Variax bass does connect to the Basspod with a cat5 cable, and the Pod can control the bass patch. I have both, and use them regularly.
  13. Anonymous7


    Oct 21, 2012
    Thanks for the help you guys, I'm impressed at how quick you answered
  14. rr5025


    Nov 12, 2008
    I've built a wooly mammoth into a bass however grad school reared it's ugly head and I haven't had the time to finish it. I'll be finishing it up over the holidays if you care to check it out then (there's a thread in lc for it).
  15. Funnily i am just turning a passive fretless to active and was asking the same questiions ....interesting feedback and a good conversation thread.. but an octaver would be my choice if bringing onboard EFX ... just to chuck something in the mix...