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Distortion to replace XXLB

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Mr. Pickles, Jul 17, 2008.


  1. Mr. Pickles

    Mr. Pickles Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2006
    Dutchess County, NY
    I'd like to replace my XXLB with a high-gain distortion. It will be in the loop of my VFB-2 and used for underlying textures, most often, before a chorus or phaser. I have my fuzz and light OD basses covered, so I'm not looking for anything along those lines.

    I'd like something really grainy, but defined. I used to have a Metal Muff-it sounded really cool on bass, but looked corny.

    Here's some of my kit so you have an idea of what I'm going for.

    2408339901_7d03502b67.png

    2562350653_0185bda78d.png

    2619252567_f8a12530dc.jpg

    2409174970_915031e266.jpg

    Thanks in advance for your suggestions.:bassist:
     
  2. bongomania

    bongomania Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    The 3XFX Fatman V2 is one of the best high-gain distortions I've used, plus it has a very rich "textural" quality that might make it well suited to your purpose.
     
  3. Mr. Pickles

    Mr. Pickles Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2006
    Dutchess County, NY
    Cool. Thanks, Bongo. I've heard this mentioned before, but always thought it was somehow related to TL Audio's Fatman compressor, so I must have dismissed it subconsciously... Anyway, I checked it out at:

    http://www.3xfx.com/

    and liked what I heard. I'd like to entertain a few more suggestions before I pull the proverbial trigger.
     
  4. dannybuoy

    dannybuoy

    Aug 3, 2005
    Earth
    Grygrx is supposed to be reviewing it soon at bassfuzz.com by the way, along with the B:Assmaster which might also be a good contender.
     
  5. Mr. Pickles

    Mr. Pickles Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2006
    Dutchess County, NY
    I will stay tuned for Grygryx's review. Perhaps a donation to Bassfuzz on my part is in order?

    Yeah, the B:Assmaster's always been on my list... so many toys, so little time...

    Anyone have any experience with the Dwarfcraft stuff?
     
  6. bongomania

    bongomania Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    FWIW there were a bunch of 3XFX soundclips posted here a while back, with comments from users, so that would be worth digging up.
     
  7. Smurf-o-Deth

    Smurf-o-Deth ¡No me gustan mis pantalones!

    Oct 2, 2007
    The state of denial.
    For what it's worth, I had a Fatman for a little while, and found I could get basically the same thing (the distortion side of the Fatman, not the psychotic oscillation side) out of the Jeckyll & Hyde I had at the same time, but without the mountain of white noise. I'm not saying the J&H was silent (it wasn't), just that the Fatman had so much noise it bordered on unusable in my view. From conversations I've had with people, I'm not the only one who feels that way.
     
  8. nad

    nad 60 Cycle Humdinger

    Sep 22, 2005
    I replaced one with a Hematoma and was happy for a spell, but I don't know if that fits your "really grainy, but defined" requirement. Pretty good for heavy gain though.

    B:Assmaster might not be a bad idea, even if it a fuzz. Definitely extreme like the XXLB, and might match up to the grain and definition of it all, but a pretty different pedal. They do both get that quick look back from your guitarist though: "jesus, what the hell did you just step on?!"
     
  9. bongomania

    bongomania Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Huh, interesting. I don't remember the one I had being noisy, and you know how fanatical I am about noise. But noise is always a weird thing, different experiences in different rigs and rooms, so I don't doubt your experience at all.

    Another thought- the Guyatone DS-2 is pretty great. It does lose a bit of low end at the higher gain settings, but the tone is awesome, very good in a blender-loop.
     
  10. dannybuoy

    dannybuoy

    Aug 3, 2005
    Earth
    Also I've heard the Zoom Ultra Fuzz recommended as a good high gain distortion, they pop up cheap quite often.
     
  11. The Jeckyll and Hyde is a very, very cool pedal. It's like having two different dirt boxes in one; one high-gain distortion and one tube-screamer medium-gain OD. Plus, if you only like one side of it, you can buy singles of the Jeckyll or Hyde.

    What exactly is it that you don't like about the XXLB?
     
  12. SpankyPants

    SpankyPants That's Mr. SpankyPants to you.

    Aug 24, 2006
    Brooklyn, NY
    Gritty?

    The Boss MT-2 (at low gains) and HM-2 can do gritty alright. The Tech21 CompTORTION has a pretty growly sound, too.

    That being said, the Fatman is AWESOME. I'll try to do reviews of 'em today since I'll probably be selling the other ones soon.
     
  13. XXL

    XXL calm seas dont make skilled sailors Supporting Member

    Jun 14, 2007
    Florida
    Inquiring minds want to know.

    FWIW I put mine in the barge jr and works beautifully for my needs.

    I use it drive my phaser, chorus, wah, sometimes filters.. (but I like the messdrive hybrid+ fuzz for the filters)
     
  14. Mr. Pickles

    Mr. Pickles Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2006
    Dutchess County, NY
    Two things:
    Insane amounts of gain. I'm a stickler for proper gain staging due to my recording background and the XXL is a royal pain in my arse. It's only useable (by my standards and preferences) in the first 1/8 turn of the level knob. If it accidentally gets bumped a pube in either direction, it becomes insanely loud or frustratingly quiet.

    Think of how annoying it is to get your shower temperature perfect. Same thing here.

    The second issue is an unacceptable amount of white noise/static/sonic wash, whatever at the top end of the aforementioned level setting.

    Playing with the blend on my Barge alleviates the gain/noise problem, but only marginally. Forget about recording the damned thing. I have to roll off all the high end to remove the noise. Then I lose all the definition.
     
  15. Mr. Pickles

    Mr. Pickles Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2006
    Dutchess County, NY
    Yes, as opposed to the "torn speaker cone" fuzz sound.

    But maybe gritty isn't the best way to explain it. Think of a guitar cranked through JCM 2000 or TripleRec. Very metal (although I don't play metal, I find this an interesting texture to use in rock and pop).


    You own more than one Fatman? If you want to unload one, I'm interested.
     
  16. SpankyPants

    SpankyPants That's Mr. SpankyPants to you.

    Aug 24, 2006
    Brooklyn, NY
    No, I meant the other pedals...

    I did demo's for the other ones, but I haven't done the Fatman, yet. I'll be keeping that bad boy. ;)
     
  17. I assume the Jeckyll & Hyde has plenty of low end then?
    Never played one but there's a 2nd hand one for sale & I'm looking for a bass distortion at the moment.

    I tried the XXLB.
    I liked it but it was a bit full on, all the time.
    I'd like to have the option of dialing back the gain a bit.
     
  18. Mr. Pickles

    Mr. Pickles Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2006
    Dutchess County, NY
    Yeah, it's kinda' a one trick pony. Only problem is, I don't much like the trick...
     
  19. I'm interested in the Fatman, but a little put off by the potential for excessive noise. Does the V2 stand for version 2 of the pedal or does it simply refer to the fuzz portion of the pedal? If it's the former, what version did you have Smurf? I'm wondering if you had Version 1 and the others that said there was no noise had Version 2. Thanks.
     
  20. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
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