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Fultone Bassdrive vs. Frantone Fuzz

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by cannon, Mar 18, 2003.


  1. I'm looking to to get my 1st effects pedal. I've played clean now for 11yrs. I've narrowed down my choices to the Fultone or Frantone.

    For overdriven/distortion examples, I really like Geddy Lee's tone in 'Freewill', also Flea's in ''Around the World'. So I guess I'm after that overdriven sound and up to full on madness! <Rage>

    I have an SM-900 with a SWR Goliath II 4x10 cab and an Eden 2x10 cab. Playing Zon Legacy 4-string fretted and a Zon hyperbass.

    Also is it better to run through the effects loop of the amp or not?
     
  2. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    The BassDrive and LoTone are two very different pedals. I've owned both at the same time.

    IMO, if you want od/distortion get the Fulltone. If you want fuzz, get the Frantone.

    You can use extreme distortion on the fulltone to get a poor mans fuzz, but it's difficult to get a mild od / dist out of the Frantone.

    I did own them at the same time, and loved them both. But I ended up selling the Frantone as I found myself using the Fulltone with full on distortion to get a fuzz like sound and not using the Frantone as much. I was getting short on pedalboard space, so sold the Frantone. I still pine for it on occassion though :)
     
  3. I don't have the opportunity to try either of these pedals out in a music store. If I run the Frantone through the effects loop of my amp and blend in dry to signal will that mellow it out when desired?

    I've read good things about both pedals in previous posts. I like the fact the Fulltone gives an extra boost with just the click of a switch. However, it seems from what I've read that the Frantone really preserves bottom end.

    Which is the more useable or versatile pedal?
     
  4. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    I'd imagine so, I have all my effects pre input so haven't done what you say.
    They are both great pedals. I'd say the Fulltone is more versatile than the Frantone. Part of that judgement is that I do use the two channel feature of the Fulltone heavily, to go between a mild o/d and heavy distortion on some songs.

    I tried a bunch of od/dist pedals in addition to the Fulltone, including:

    EBS multidrive
    BJF blueberry
    Budda phatbass
    Boss odb-3

    I thought the Fulltone to be the best of that bunch. But everyone's tastes are different, and I'm sure there'll be someone along to say how they hated the Fulltone. But the Fulltone met my needs best.

    If you want to try them out, why not order from pedalgeek.com. They're friendly and easy to deal with, free shipping on orders over $100 and they have a 7 day return period.

    Musictoyz.com also carries both, but I've had varying degrees of satisfaction ordering from them. They're not unfriendly, but their 'in stock' indicators are rarely accurate and I haven't found their communication good when items aren't in stock. I don't think they're trying to be misleading, I've spoken to them on the phone and they're nice guys, they just don't seem to have a good stock control system. That means I don't know for sure when I'm going to receive anything I order from them. As I'm an instant gratification kind of guy, I prefer to shop somewhere where I know whether an item is available or not for sure.
     
  5. I didn't see Fulltone offered on the Pedalgeek website.
     
  6. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    You're right, my bad. I got my BassDrive from musictoyz.com, and had it within 2 days.

    I got my Frantone just round the corner from where I work in Midtown Manhattan, but I have bought several things from PedalGeek before and I've had nothing but positive experiences.

    Just to complicate things, I'm currently trying out a tech21 TRI-AC. I am very happy with the Fulltone, but I'd heard so many good things about the TRI-AC that I decided to give it a listen.

    It's programmable, with three user storable distortion/od programs. There's three different amp models to choose from, drive level, bass/mid/treble eq. Saving / changing programs is very easy and it's very easy to get the sound you want. So far I'm very impressed. I took it along to rehearsals the other night and it sounded great. Thanks to zzounds, I have 30 day return period so I'll be giving it a good tryout and reporting back here.
     
  7. Most FX loops are meant specifically for line level (+4dB) signals, your stompboxes won't be able to handle that. It is rare to find a preamp with a loop that will handle a stompbox level signal so I wouldn't plan on using yours that way unless you were absolutely sure about that. Your fuzz/OD will sound terrific in front of your preamp anyway.
    IMO, you could use BOTh a fuzz and an OD/distortion. DavidMwilson is right about beingh able to cop a fuzz tone with a OD cranked right up though. With fuzz, you can get sometimes very "synthy", square wave tones with lots of violin-like sustain. Fuzz sounds generally great on bass. You might find an OD more versatile if you are looking for a single box. The Fulltone is popular for preserving the instrument's natural tone and ability to sound like an SVT "on the edge." My current fav is David's old Dredgetone Bass Angler, which I seriously dig. Ask Mr.Wilson for his opinion on my old Chunk Systems Fuzz maybe...? We traded a while back. Check it out here; http://www.chunk.com.au/fz002.htm It has a clean blend so no bottom-end loss. Great box.
    Here is my Dredgetone which effects the basses entire range for a massive OD/fuzz; I am really happy with this little guy;

    [​IMG]
     
  8. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    Definitely, if you have the money I'd recommend getting both. Although you can simulate a fuzz with heavy distortion, a Frantone / Chunk / Depth Charge will be better at being a fuzz than a Fulltone.
    Yeah, I find fuzz works much better with envelope filters than distortion.
    The Angler is a really good pedal, my getting rid of it was really due to my requirement for a distortion/od pedal with at least two channels.
    Yup, it is a really good fuzz. I don't use it that much, but that's no reflection on it's quality. More that I don't have much call for fuzz these days in the songs we do, if that changes I'll definitely be using the Chunk Fuzz. The one slight negative on it is the lack of a tone control but the blend controls pretty much make up for that.

    I'd love to try out the Prescription Electronics Depth Charge though, I've heard great things about it.
     
  9. Wound up going fuzzy with the Frantone. Got it from musictoyz and they shipped it same day I ordered it. Sounds excellent on my fretted, not so hot on the fretless. Too much bass I think coming from the fretless. Seems to distort even more and get pretty muddy even with the tone all the way up on the pedal. I guess I'll have to experiment with different eq setings on the bass. Any ideas or hints from Frantone owners?:cool:
     
  10. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    David - did you end up keeping the Tri-AC? That one's been catching my eye for awhile.
     
  11. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    I did end up sending it back, but only really because I already have the Fulltone which does what I need. The Tri-AC is a great pedal, our guitarist liked it so much he ended up getting one.

    The programming on the TRI-AC is very simple, and it's very easy to program / recall your settings.

    I could get sounds all the way from mild o/d through to real heavy distortion. It has a bucket of gain available on it, very small changes in drive / gain levels can make for large differences in output volume. Luckily, the unit gradiates to the new volume rather than jumping straight to it.

    BTW, I have a GK Diesel Dawg distortion pedal arriving tomorrow to try out!
     
  12. Hugh Jazz

    Hugh Jazz

    Sep 13, 2001
    Atlanta, GA
    How does the heavy distortion of the Tri-AC compare to say, a fuzz pedal (eg. Frantone) and/or the boost channel on the Fulltone?
     
  13. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    With heavy levels of drive, I'd say you can get more extreme distortion than on the Fulltone. You can definitely get something approximating what you'd get from a Frantone Lo-Tone, Chunk Fuzz etc. It won't trigger envelope filters quite as well as an actual fuzz, but if you don't do that then I guess that's not a problem for you.

    The sensitivity of the controls can make it tricky to make adjustments on the fly - a small turn on volume/drive can suddenly make you much louder.
     
  14. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    Never tried a Frantone or Angler, but I just got an original Bass-Drive (not a Bass-Drive 2) from fellow TalkBass'er "lushfreak".

    I can't figure out why he sold it (and at such a great price too). This is the first pedal I've ever used that can get me that fat, overdriven SVT sound. I've tried much fancier and more expensive overdrive/distortions (Various SanAmps, Rocktrons, etc.) but this one has the sound. The second channel/boost feature is pretty cool too.

    Not sure if there's any difference in the Bass-Drive 2, but this pedal is beautiful.:D
     
  15. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    I'll agree with you on this one. I've pretty much tried them all, this was the one that worked best for me.

    I don't think there's any difference in bass drive and bass drive ii. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but from what I understand Fulltone produced their Full-Drive and then improved it to Full-Drive II. He then made a mod so it covered bass frequencies, but before he started shipping dedicated 'Bass-Drive' pedals he was putting a sticker over 'Full-Drive' on existing modded Full-Drives. So that's why I think you see 'Bass Drive II' on yours.
     
  16. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    My Bassdrive is one of these - blue with a sticker for the name. Almost as handbuilt looking as Zvex!

    Alex
     
  17. fclefgeoff

    fclefgeoff Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2002
    Illinoize
    Did you ever get your Juggernaut problem taken care of?
     
  18. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    Kind of. I sent it back for a refund. I didn't bother asking musictoyz for a working one, as I'm fed up receiving broken things from them. I'm sure I'm the exception, but out of 7 things ordered from them 4 have had problems on arrival. Now, they've always been helpful in sorting things out but I've never had that type of problem elsewhere.

    But I do have the GK Diesel Dawg coming today on the big brown truck :)
     
  19. fclefgeoff

    fclefgeoff Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2002
    Illinoize
    Keep us posted. I'd love to hear your review since you seem to be the OD/Distortion Pedal Guru 'round these parts. I happen to trust your opinion, I've been quite happy with my Fulltone. :D
     
  20. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    I have the original Bass-Drive (not the Bass-Drive 2), but it does appear to be a sticker (black lettering on white tape, I have the same electronic label maker) on the face. I'll be willing to bet it says "Full-Drive" under that sticker. No big deal. They're a small company and probably didn't have the proper (printed) chassis available right away.

    Another I saw is a Full-Drive 2 (in Red) that had a small sticker label (black lettering on clear tape) above the "Full-Drive 2" that said "Bass Version".

    [​IMG]