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good pedal for adjustable distortion?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by The Ethanator, Sep 11, 2008.

  1. search didnt give me what i wanted

    i use an ibanez pd7 right now. its got 3 modes: clean, overdrive, and distortion. its a nice pedal, but id like to be able to use a knob to blend between modes rather than effects. so while turning i can hear a smooth transition so i can get exactly what i want. id also like a level control so i can control exactly how much of the effect is present. bass and treble knobs wouldnt be a bad thing, but if it doesnt have them, no biggie. i was looking at the digitech bass driver. it seems to have what im looking for. anybody else have one of these? if its switched on, can you dial it in so you have more of a growl than any actual overdrive at all? any help would be appreciated. thanks!
  2. kevteop


    Feb 12, 2008
    York, UK
    Overdrive/distortion/fuzz is such a subjective topic, but: The most tweakable dirt pedal I've used is the MXR Blowtorch. It'll do a gritty O/D to fuzz (although it won't reach total balls-out insane-o feedback fuzz), it's got an output volume control and a wet/dry blend pot, and a really useful and clever EQ section with a switchable mid boost frequency. Whoever designed it really thought about it - it doesn't sound impressive on its own but in a band mix all those controls suddenly become very useful.

    Only downside is it needs an 18v power supply (or two 9v batteries), which is OK if you've got a pedalboard PSU that has an 18v supply, but a pain in the arse if you need an extra wall wart to supply it.
  3. Smurf-o-Deth

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

    Oct 2, 2007
    The state of denial.
    One quick note about the blowtorch: it's very synthy and buzz-saw. If these are not descriptors you want associated with the sound of your distortion, the blowtorch won't give you anything else.
  4. kevteop


    Feb 12, 2008
    York, UK
    It's not the most organic-sounding distortion ever, true, and with the torch switch "in" it's quite smooth and buzzy and inoffensive, but IMHO the gritty O/D it does with the torch switch "out" is a lot more natural-sounding.
  5. Get an El Grande Bass Fuzz and a DI (a la SansAmp/MXR M80/Behringer BDI21/etc.). Plus El Grande into DI. Adjust each until tone is achieved.

    Any questions?
  6. totalimmortal08


    Jan 21, 2008
    i regret selling my fulltone, i needed the money at the time but it sounds like what you are looking for.
  7. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches

    Aug 21, 2006
    Denver, CO
    That was certainly my experience.

    I keep hearing this from Blowtorch users, but I have yet to hear a sample that matches this description. For me it always sounded like angry robot bees. I could blend it down or make the bees less angry (no torch switch) but the character didn't seem to change. I can definitely see why some people dig it, but I didn't find it versatile at all.

    +1. The BassDrive wasn't for me, but it's what I think of in terms of a versatile gain pedal. It does gritty overdrive to low/moderate distortion pretty well. Sounds like what the OP wants to me.
  8. i was looking at the el grande. and as a di i was thinking about the aphex bass xciter since it would be nice to have a compressor in the chain. what about the mxr 10-band eq? i know its made mainly for guitar, but its got a slider down at 32.5 hertz, which is lower than the boss bass eq. i do alot of stuff up higher too, so it could prove useful. thoughts?
  9. The 10-band seems popular around here. And it's not a guitar-specific pedal, it can be used for keys and vocals, so I've told.

    The EL Grande and DI will give you the most adjustability and functionality. From insane aggro-sludge bass tones, to John Entwhistle lead bass, to smooth overdrive, I've gotten it out of those two in combination.
  10. so what kind of di would you reccomend? i saw the behringer bdi21 for $30, but it seems like theyre majorly knocking off the tech 21 bass driver. i was looking at the ehx bass metaphors pedal since its a compressor and has distortion. so ill have 2 distinctly different distortion-type effects at my feet
  11. SpankyPants

    SpankyPants That's Mr. SpankyPants to you.

    Aug 24, 2006
    Brooklyn, NY
    Check out grygrx's Bass Metaphor review at bassfuzz.com

    Then think about getting a B:ASSMASTER with an expression pedal.
  12. Swift713


    Dec 4, 2006
    Florence, Ma
    OT, sorry to hijack, but...
    Spanky, if you have more body parts than the average man where did you get them? And whose were they?
  13. SpankyPants

    SpankyPants That's Mr. SpankyPants to you.

    Aug 24, 2006
    Brooklyn, NY
    God given, baby!
  14. I like the behringer, but then again i have no money for a tech 21.
  15. does anybody know how the behringer bdi21 compares to the tech 21 sansamp bddi? i brought home my churches bddi after practice last night since noones playing there until sunday when i play for the services. i hadnt had much expirience with it before other than switching it on/off since they have their settings on it marked, but i can dial in some of the tones of my dreams. if the bdi21 is as good, ill probably go with it untl i have the money for the tech 21. anyway, ive settled on the el grande and a t21bddi/bbdi21

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