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Effects on different basses

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by kbakerde, Mar 13, 2014.

  1. kbakerde

    kbakerde Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2012
    Hey guys. I was wondering if any if you had a similar issue to something I have recently found. I had been running the Big Muff as a fuzz pedal and I use two different basses with it. My Spector Legend and Warwick FNA.

    Both sound good with both basses but I wanted a softer overdrive, enter the pork loin. I tweaked the settings using the Warwick, and got it to sounds really good. Well today I hooked up my Spector (which tends to run a higher output and more lows, less highs) and the Muff sounds good, but the PL sounded like farty crap. I tweaked my EQ for a tad less low and a tad more high.

    Anyone else find a significant difference in how a guitar accepts an effect pedal?
  2. I had the same problem with the Muff. When I would use the neck pickup on my Jaguar with the muff, it would start farting out around the 12th fret on the E. None of my other pedals did it though. The bridge pickup was fine but lacked heft. My solution is to get a different fuzz and hope for the best. That's what I'm working on now.
  3. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    well. different input = different output.
    My passive P (which has a really hot signal) sounds totally different through my dirt boxes (aguilar agro and MI Audio Blueboy) compared to my custom 5 string. Lucky me - these are two different kinds of awesome.
  4. Yeah, both volume and frequency response differences between basses make most effects, but especially gain-dependent effects like envelope filters and dirt sound different. But even modulation, due to different freq. responses of different instruments, can sound dramatically different from bass to bass in a way where tweaking is needed for it to work right. The difference of finger style, pick, and slap on the same bass can also be problematic in some cases.
  5. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I've had it happen but rarely.
  6. Yes, dramatic difference between my three basses, especially on the overdrive effect.

    All my stuff is set up for my Rickenbacker, which is my main instrument. Not just the effects, but also the settings on my amp. The Ric's lower-output single-coils sound great with overdrive. My 80s Japanese Westone with its high-output humbuckers, on the other hand, are very finicky and can get harsh-sounding, and often I just switch off my overdrive pedal and use the gain on my Portaflex amp to get a little grind. My VM Jaguar bass is yet another different animal, although the J pickup on the bridge is the closest thing I have to the Ric's sound.

    Between the three instruments I can cover most sonic ground as far as timbre goes, but it means none of these basses is a great backup for either of the other two.
  7. Ric5

    Ric5 SUSPENDED Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    Effects on different basses


    I play active and passive basses and the difference on how they handle distortion is evident ...
  8. Guinness20


    Jan 24, 2013
    Liverpool, UK
    I've just got a stingray and have had a thunderbird for a couple of years. I was looking at getting a diamond bass comp to add a bit of special sauce to the thunderbird, but reckon it would be redundant with the 'ray.
  9. negativefx

    negativefx complete hack

    Feb 18, 2013
    Fort Collins
    An active and a passive are going to behave quite differently. That's why you see input pads on amps. If you want the pedal to behave as close to the same as possible with each bass, put a boost in front of the pedal and turn it on when you're playing the passive, off when you're playing the active. It's not going to be perfect but it should help eliminate the farts when using the same pedal knob settings on both basses.
  10. MCS4

    MCS4 Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2012
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Dirt/gain effects seem particularly prone to this. I have three active jazz basses (two different Carvin models and a Zon), all of which put out the same volume because I adjust the trim pots in the active circuits to match, and my dirt pedals all sound a bit different with each of them.
  11. kbakerde

    kbakerde Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2012
    Both basses are active. So it sounds like I need to tweak my Pork Loin, amp and Spector to work together better as it is my main bass.
  12. DagoMaino


    Feb 1, 2013
    I've all but stopped playing my MM Stingray for this reason... my effects are consistent with my P and Jag basses... but the jump to the active MM requires tweaking way too much.
  13. ChronicPyromaniac


    Jan 25, 2001
    I changed my setup last year to accommodate for this. I have three basses I use regularly: two have quarter pound p bass pickups, and the other is a Squier VI. I use two pedals: a VT bass deluxe, and a Line 6 M9. That combination allows me to have different settings for the different output levels of my basses, which my previous setup didn't. YMMV, of course.
  14. mmbongo

    mmbongo Chicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!! Supporting Member

    Does your Spector have EMG's? I never had luck getting EMG's (actual active EMG's) to sound good with dirt. I replaced the EMG's in both of my Spectors (One with Barts, one with Lace Sensors...kept the Aguilar preamps) and it made a huge difference.
  15. kbakerde

    kbakerde Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2012
    I do have EMGs on it, but I traced the issue back to the Tone Pump preamp. Or more specifically how I was using it. The Tone Pump is boost only, so I had the lows and highs boosted WAY up. The output was so hot, it was crushing the preamp on the pedals and distorting badly.

    So I turned down the Bass preamp to a more reasonable level. And now I get good distortions out of the Spector.
  16. garmenteros

    garmenteros Bass Enthusiast Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2008
    Dominican Republic
    I have to tweak all my pedals (except for delay) when I change basses. If possible what I do is setup the board for a given band and single bass and leave it at that. Right now I'm not in more than one band that requires pedals so I'm set for that. When I was in various bands that required heavy effects usage it was a pain. I would take pictures of the settings of my board for given bands and basses. Very different approach to having a jazz bass, neck through les paul and a stingray all running on the same board.
  17. I find my Boss BF-3 flanger responds much better to my active Stingray than my passive Jazz. The swells are more pronounced and the notes seem to sound more defined through the flanger effect on the Ray while it sounds faint, muddy and weak on the Jazz by comparison.