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First pedal purchase

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by msiner, Oct 2, 2008.

  1. msiner


    Sep 2, 2008
    Tucson, AZ
    In the roughly 10 years that I have played bass guitar, I have been using pretty basic gear. A passive bass and a fairly simple amp. I have been the same way with my guitar playing and prefer acoustic in that realm.

    I just started playing bass in a group again. So I have considered using $100 to expand my horizons. The two products I have been looking at are:

    Hartke VXL Bass Attack Preamp/DI
    Zoom B2 multi-effects pedal

    Obviously these are two different beasts. The Hartke seems like a serious piece of equipment that could be used in performance, but I am wondering if it will provide much more than my amp already provides (aside from the DI, straight to mixer scenario where it would be useful). People here seem to like their Sansamps, and this is a similar device. The Zoom seems like it would be a fun toy, but not for serious use. Also, I find that I am not too interested in the "effects", that is, the stuff like wah, chorus, octaver, or synth. But the Zoom does seem to have some nice drive and EQ capabilities (the compresser seems cool, but also seems to get the most complaints).

    Any opinions here?
    Are there better options out there for $100 or under? (so, not a Sansamp)
    Should I even bother?
  2. SpankyPants

    SpankyPants That's Mr. SpankyPants to you.

    Aug 24, 2006
    Brooklyn, NY
    Buy used.

    If one isn't what you think you want, sell it and buy the other.
  3. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches

    Aug 21, 2006
    Denver, CO
    Run Away!!

    Seriously, the world of effects can be an addicting one.

    But it sounds like you have a good handle on what you want to do and why. Personally, I only recommend a multi like the Zoom to people who want to get into effects but don't know where to start. It allows them to hear a bunch of different effects to decide what they do and don't like before moving on to more expensive single units or a higher quality multi.

    But it doesn't sound like that's a road you want to (or need to for your music) go down. I haven't used the Hartke so I can't really say yay or nay on that one, but if you want some tube emulation or a bit of overdrive, it may well be your beast. There are other pedals that I can recommend depending on exactly what you want.

    But the bottom line is that you need to decide if you want/need effects either for having fun or more importantly adding texture to the music you play. We can recommend gear (and you will get a lot of good advice here) but only you know whether it's something worth investing time and money in.
  4. msiner


    Sep 2, 2008
    Tucson, AZ
    Thanks for the good advice and the always welcome Monty Python reference (due to the addiction aspect I would have also accepted "IT'S A TRAP!" with a nice Star Wars image). It sounds like a multi-effects pedal might not be for me. At the least, the Hartke interests me for the ability to do some recording because my amp does not have a direct or line out (the effects send is post-volume, but pre-EQ), but it has such a low signal to noise ratio that it would hardly be worth it. I think I will make a trip into my local shop to see if I can play with some stuff and get a better idea about what is right for me.

    Another option I spotted online was the Aphex Bass Xciter. It's also a preamp/DI with some interesting enhancement capabilities.

    Thanks again for the replies.
  5. P_HAT


    Sep 4, 2008
    You can easy find MXR M80DI+ for <100$.
  6. +1 lol
    seriously, last year i thought i'd get an eq and a compressor because i play a passive bass and a lot of slap style and often go direct to the FOH (DI is provided by the SE) then later somewhere i got an overdrive/distortion, now am getting a tuner and a sansamp vt in another three weeks. after this i already have plans for the digitech BSW and a flanger or a phaser (or both?:confused::help:) i might get rid of a pedal or two from what i have to make space for something else. in all seriousness you would soon want one of each kind before you realize :atoz: ;):D
  7. bassman03


    May 19, 2008
    Sully, Iowa
    +1. I don't have my own (yet) but when i borrow it from my friend, i love the sound that i get out of it.
  8. Valerus


    Aug 4, 2005
    Austin, Texas
  9. LuvMusic


    Aug 18, 2007
    Oak Park, IL
    I should have run away....too late! Oh Well :p

    Advice about buying used is good. Just bought an Aphex Bass Xciter for $50.00 here on the TB classified. I've only played with it for about 20 minutes so, no conclusions yet. I'll probably keep it just for its DI capability.
  10. Joe Gress

    Joe Gress

    Dec 22, 2005
    Pueblo, CO
    +1 Best way to go. That way you don't have to blow all your money on something that you don't want to keep.

    Start out with a multi effect. That way you can get a whole bunch at once, and then figure out the one you really want. Then you can find the exact pedal hat nails the sound your looking for. Then you can get bored with it and get a different one. Then you can get the newest version of it since it's smaller. Then you can trade it in for your old one again since it doesn't sound as good. Then you can sell all your pedals for a big multi effect since it's easier to haul around. The you can get another little pedal because your multi just doesn't quite get "that sound". Then you can get... :D
  11. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    Personally, I wouldnt reccomend a multi-unit to anyone unless it was one of those spectacular, can do everything AND sounds great types, which Im not sure they even exist. After playing for almost a year I wanted to get into effects and got a Digitech BP-200. At the time, not knowing the things i know now... it was cool. And TheBigO is right, if you want to use effects but dont know what youre getting into, it is a good and cheap way to learn about the different sounds available. But in retrospect, no, I didnt quite need it. I prefer single effects units by far.

    Anyways, sorry to go off topic, but it sounds like the pre-amp is a better choice.

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