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Effect for a more vintage tone?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by phoenixjmw, Mar 24, 2014.

  1. phoenixjmw


    Jul 9, 2013
    I am currently using a Jackson bass with passive but HO pups and a Gallien Kruger MB115 with a bit of chorus from a BOSS pedal. For the most part I really like this sound am happy.

    However the combo of the Jackson and GK is quite an agressive punchy tone (even though I cut out the mids) that just does not work with some songs like a ballad, country, motown ...

    So my question is what effect (if any) could bring this set up to a more vintage warm fat bottom end if needed? Ideal would be if there was such a thing as an "Ampeg" effect pedal. I don't plan to change my rig to any great degree and want to stay simple so I am doubtful of any pre amps or rack mount stuff. I understand no pedal will likely totally reverse what my current sound is. But on a few songs it would be nice to have the ability to get a warmer sound with out much trouble.

    I am open for suggestions?

  2. Tech 21 VT bass pedal.
  3. yaksonator


    Apr 16, 2011
    Branson, MO
    Olc circuits makes an "ampeg" in a box. An SFT is another one! And a solid gold BETA is a really warm overdrive pedal which can be used with no gain. I recommend all of these but the beta more. It sounds really good.
  4. gregmon79

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

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    Have you looked into getting a Tech 21 Character series pedal? Maybe check out the VT, Blondie or the Oxford. Also, the Aguilar ToneHammer, or even the SansAmp Bass Driver (BDDI). There are a lot of options out there right now for us bassists wanting to further our tone the way we want to. In ANY way we want to. Me, for what youre looking for, I would add a preamp like one of the pedals mentioned above. That is going to be your more inexpensive way to go rather than replacing a bass or amp. You may want to look into the Darkglass Vintage Deluxe as well, but that is a bit spendy (but totally worth it!)

    Edit: I almost forgot, check out the BK Butler Tube Driver. Awesome tube pedal that really warms up any signal and can even get some tube grit/breakup. IMO, very cool pedal to accomplish precisely what you are trying to do.
  5. johnbegone

    johnbegone Supporting Member

    Sep 16, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    Scooping your mids is the opposite direction you want to go for vintage bass tones. That's generally what defines "modern" tones, actually. I like a little of both worlds, so I use a VT Bass pedal and scoop the mids on my amp.

    The Catalinbread SFT or Darkglass Vintage Microtubes might do the trick for you. Both are very warm pedals with a lot of mid range. They also overdrive in a very tubelike way.

    In general:
    Modern = bright, scooped, clean clean clean
    Vintage = warm, fat, with subtle tube saturation (drive/grind)
  6. jumblemind

    jumblemind I also answer to Bryan Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2011

    The OLC "ampeg in a box" is the Flipster, and there have been a couple in the classifieds recently (which is a somewhat rare occurrence). I have the Ginger variant of the Fliptser, and it's my favorite pedal for adding Ampeg flavored tube feel. The Catalinbread SFT would come in next, and it's probably easier to find.

    The Beta doesn't try to do the Ampeg/tube thing, but it makes everything just sound really good, and with the gain dialed up is my favorite bass overdrive.

    VT Bass could work, but it would naturally want to clank hard with the Jackson/GK rig. You'd need to spend some time with the knobs.
  7. MoeTown1986

    MoeTown1986 Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2010
    SoMD (Mechanicsville)
    I use an EBS Multidrive on the Tubesim setting to get a vintage-y tube-y light OD sound. I dig it.
  8. phoenixjmw


    Jul 9, 2013
    The thing is with the equipment I have if I don't cut the mids I pretty much just get clankity clank but very loud and strong in a mix. I tried a couple times to put mids back in and it sounded just aweful. Sounds perfect to me as it is now though. Just doesn't work when I want to be more subtle.
  9. phoenixjmw


    Jul 9, 2013
    Question on a pre amp: I was thinking against this as I wanted an effect when I need it vs changing my whole sound. I have no real experience with pre amps though so wondering are they an "always on" item or can you switch it on/off like an effect pedal?
  10. phoenixjmw


    Jul 9, 2013
    The last part echoes something I noticed. I have tried a distortion and an overdrive pedal but those just add distortion and seem to make my tone even more edgy. So I wondered what is the right way to go? A different dist pedal, an EQ, tube emulator? Are there saturation issues with any of the tube pedals?
  11. jumblemind

    jumblemind I also answer to Bryan Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2011
    All of the preamps mentioned can just be used as effect pedals (that you can turn off). The Blue Tube is somewhat an exception because its buffered bypass rolls off quite a bit of highs even when turned off.

    With a hot output bass there will probably be "farty" saturation issues with most tube and tube emulator pedals, as you would likely overdrive the inputs quickly. The SFT may be ok if you run it with 18v power, otherwise it would probably be the worst culprit.

    I would really check out the SolidGoldFX Beta. It would be able to handle your high output bass without adding edge AND without farting out. At low gain it can be a vintage sound, and at high gain it just adds breakup without adding shrill distortion. Sits perfectly in every live mix I've experienced so far.
  12. jumblemind

    jumblemind I also answer to Bryan Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2011
    Speaking of that route, I have a Joyo AC Tone (Liverpool clone) that might work well, too.
  13. Twocan

    Twocan Living the Dream Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2009
    Medway, MA
    Markbass Super Booster (has the VLE "Vintage Loudspeaker Emulator" found on their amps). Basically, it rolls off your highs and fattens your bottom.
  14. Swift713


    Dec 4, 2006
    Florence, Ma
    Does your bass have a tone knob?
    Also, when people talk about "mids" it gets a little confusing because some people are talking about the fat punchy 120-300 ish hz range while others are talking about 600-900 ( I think a lot of vintage gear has some scoop here) and still others see talking about 1k- 3k presence and clank.
  15. jumblemind

    jumblemind I also answer to Bryan Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2011
    You know, I wonder why they don't make a pedal that just has the VLE and runs on 9v. They have a 9v boost/VPF, which seems like it works for the slap market, but I think there would be some vintage folks that would buy it.
  16. Swift713


    Dec 4, 2006
    Florence, Ma

  17. They did make one, but discontinued it as I guess nobody bought it! The Markbass Super Booster:


    The 1st gen Catalinbread SFT and the Solidgold FX Beta are my recommendations.

    The Beta thumps more in the lows, but the SFT has a nice mid boost going on. Which would be best depends on you and the rest of your gear!
  18. Find yourself a Barber Linden EQ. It certainly did the trick on my Stingray.


    I tried the VT, and a few other of those "Ampeg tone in a box" pedals, and my main beef is that they're all distortion effects, which was not what I was looking for at all. The Barber Linden just hit the nail right on the head as far as I'm concerned. Unfortunately it's not currently in production, but if you search around a bit, you might find one on the used market.

    Attached Files:

  19. jumblemind

    jumblemind I also answer to Bryan Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2011
    Not exactly. The Super Booster has both the VLE and the VPF and requires 12v DC. I (and I'm sure many others) didn't buy it because of the odd power requirements and form factor. Markbass seems to have learned and made this:

  20. phoenixjmw


    Jul 9, 2013
    Interesting... This is both the same observation I had with dist pedals and while you didn't mention your amp - Stingrays and my Jackson have a similar type of sound.

    All really good feedbacl though and much appreciated everyone!