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Clean Boost or Light Overdrive Suggestions

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by melloncollie, Jan 4, 2017.

  1. melloncollie

    melloncollie Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2016
    So long time lurker first time poster (on this new account anyway) and I was looking for any suggestions regarding either a clean boost or a light overdrive that doesn't change up the tone too much. I just got a new amp (a mesa walkabout with a 2x10 cab) and the pedal I was using for a little more aggression and attack (the lomenzo hyperdrive) doesn't really work with how I have my eq set. I tried messing around with the frequency knob and it doesn't really work with the eq settings I have on the amp.

    I was looking at maybe the DOD Looking Glass or the Bifet Boost. I just want something that can add attack and a little bit of grit without darkening the tone.
  2. The best I've found that does exactly what you've described is the Fairfield Barbershop Overdrive. It's the most transparent OD I've found. It can go from really very very light and subtle to really quite gnarly. But your bass tone sounds intact.
    Coolhandjjl and johnk_10 like this.
  3. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Bearded Dingwall Enthusiast Supporting Member

    Southampton Fifth Gear is exactly what you want
    the_Ryan, blindrabbit and taylor16 like this.
  4. mmbongo

    mmbongo Five Time World Champion Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    TC Spark Booster. Does exactly what you are describing and does not fart out on the low end like another pedal that has been mentioned already.
  5. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    For clean boost the TC Spark is a good choice.

    Even cleaner is a Keeley Bassist compressor with the compression set to 1:1 (i.e. off). But that's an unnecessarily expensive way to get some clean boost if you don't need a compressor.;)
  6. taylor16


    Dec 25, 2012
    Southampton Fifth Gear. Can do clean to low/med gain with ease. Easily my most versatile pedal.
    the_Ryan and blindrabbit like this.
  7. vivaknoxvegas

    vivaknoxvegas El Duderino Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2002
    Knoxville, TN
    Came here to post this. Such a great pedal for cheap. Barbershop is awesome too but double the money of the Spark. Make sure you get the full size Spark, not the mini.
    TrevorOfDoom and LukeSlywalker like this.
  8. So many great choices, I use a Mosky Xp clone of the xotic Ep, nice warm boost.
  9. BaileyMan

    BaileyMan Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2012
    San Francisco
    I asked a similar question sometime back. the same recommendations were made to me. I tried the barbershop, TC electronic spark, Basswitch sonic spark, and the Blueberry Bass OD (3BOD). I didn't like the TC electronic spark at all. Sounded very electronic to me (go figure...). The Barbershop Millennium was ok, but not my fav. It also got sent back. I liked the tone (big, full, deep lows) I got with the Basswitch a lot, but not the overdrive tone so much. I just couldn't dial it in how I wanted, but in combination with the 3BOD, it was great. I recently got a different head that I can get the full lows out of that i liked with the Basswitch, so I'll probably be putting it up for sale soon. I'm loving the 3BOD! You can get a nice variety of tones out of it by tweaking the "nature" knob, and a good amount of flexibility with the overdrive. On my passive Mike Lull P-bass, with the drive all the way down, I get a nice little cutting through the mix happening with no noticeable overdrive until I dig in a little. I can really tweak it to get as much or as little overdrive as I want, and the tone is still great! I might have to tweak the tone on my amp a little too really dial in what I'm going for, but it sounds great! Put it high on your list. FYI, Prymaxe has a great return policy. It was a great way for me to try out a handful of pedals.

    That's my $.02
  10. Crazy Otto

    Crazy Otto

    Jan 11, 2016
    Another vote for the Spark. Had the Barbershop, loved it initially, fell out of love with it with flats. 5th Gear is supposed to be great, but I've heard it doesn't pair well with solid state amps so I've never tried one. The Blueberry is a nice drive, but isn't transparent, it will color your mids. The best pedal I've used for this is the Grizzly, but it's on the expensive side.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2017
  11. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
  12. chaosmic


    Feb 6, 2010
    Raleigh, NC
    Gonna chime in with the Fifth Gear recommendation myself. So simple and effective...yet there's a variety of great tones and it's functionality changes significantly depending on where it's placed in your signal chain.
    blindrabbit likes this.
  13. The Fifth Gear pairs fantastically with solid state amps, tube amps...any and all amps. It would be my #1 recommendation here. I have, and have had, a lot of different pedals that would fit into this category, and the Fifth Gear has become one of my most loved and most essential effects. Honestly, I think everyone should have one.
  14. cavemanbass


    Nov 5, 2010
    I've tried a bunch of the ones mentioned over the past 6 months, really liked the Spark and the Grizzly. Last weekend we were listening back to some band recordings, and I was loving the sound of my bass on one song... not as much on the next... then again on the following... realized that it was Grizz making the difference. Have it set for very minimal saturation, just before the point where you start to hear breakup/distortion. Sounds great through my amp, but on the recordings it's even more amazing. Adds clarity and definition, which is weird because you'd expect overdrive would make the notes fuzzier and less distinct. Grizz also has a nice HF rolloff, and variable mid scoop if you want that. Very well thought out pedal IMO.
  15. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Bearded Dingwall Enthusiast Supporting Member

    I only really play through solid state amps, and I've got two Fifth Gears.
  16. Laurent


    May 21, 2008
    Napa, California
    The Fifth Gear reminds me a bit of the EH Germanium OD as far as the Heat knob working like the bias knob on the Germanium pedal. That being sais, I have not tried the Fifth Gear.
    How does it compare to a Blueberry Bass OD for example?
  17. gregmon79

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

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    The fifth gear is a great recommendation. I'll also say the pork loin. I recommend this pedal all the time now when someone asks for an OD. I did the one cap swap out mod though. It's like perfect for me. Tranparent to an extent, full, vibrant, a little bit o drive to hairy. I just love how it sounds.
    the_Ryan and BadExample like this.
  18. 10cc


    Oct 28, 2013
    Whatever the pedal @Dave Hill is selling fits the bill. Boost with the option of slight OD.
  19. NKBassman

    NKBassman Lvl 10 Nerd Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2009
    Winnipeg, MB, Canada
    Has the Phat Phuk B / Suppa Phat Phuk fallen out of favor?
    I own and love both the Barbershop and Fifth Gear. I use them all the time and like running the Fifth Gear into the Barbershop.

    But overall neither one of them really constitutes a clean boost IMO. Barbershop can get cleaner than the Fifth Gear I think. Fifth Gear I find slightly dirty even at moderate settings.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2017
    blindrabbit likes this.
  20. mmbongo

    mmbongo Five Time World Champion Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009

    I agree with the Grizzly and would have said it myself but I figured it was maybe out of the OP's price range.

    Grizzly can't be beat, but the TC Spark is next best thing I've found, especially for the price.

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