Guitar dirt pedals. Petition?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Astronaut, Nov 17, 2020.

  1. Astronaut


    Jul 21, 2013
    I normally don’t post new threads but it’s been a while now since I started this never ending account-ruining chase for the next dirt-box, and came to exhaustion trying to understand if that fuzz/distortion/overdrive/boost is going to work positively for bass. I also know it’s hard (read impossible) for many of us to just go out and try each and every pedal at the non-existing physical store. Let alone hours spent on yootoob searching, in vain, for that phone quality demo.
    So I figure out that maaybe it would be a good idea for guitar pedal manufacturers to let us know, if their boxes of harmonic excitement, designed for six stringers, would also work for us, 4 stringers.
    I’m thinking, how hard would it be for them to systematically test out for low end retention and overall use on bass, and put it on a little stamp on the box; like when some food is gluten free, but instead it would say something like *TB approved*

    I know some manufacturers expressively do that, but it’s not the norm.
    Do you think it’s worth some sort of petition? Or should we keep on creating threads asking the same exhaustive question? “Does it work on bass?”
  2. C Stone

    C Stone

    Sep 4, 2020
    Hey Astronaut well I just figure most of the guitar pedals are just not designed that way for "low end retention" some do better than others for sure.

    So for many of the reasons you mentioned above I use DOD MeatBox as a low-end enhancer or compensater for when I use overdrive, fuzz, tube drive or whatever "dirt" is your flavor.

    I even use it to re-introduce low end back in when using guitar chorus pedal (actually all of my current pedals are "guitar pedals")

    Good idea you have there but I doubt guitar pedal manufacturers would bother :meh:.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2020
    PennyroyalWe and Astronaut like this.
  3. callofcthulhu


    Oct 16, 2012
    *...bloodshot eyes drift away from the 37 tabs of youtube open in the next browser window...*
  4. crguti


    Feb 14, 2011
    the Boss LS-2 is your best friend
  5. Col Pruse

    Col Pruse Supporting Member

    May 28, 2003
    Savannah, GA
    Anything works if you want it to.
  6. GMC


    Jan 1, 2006
    Wiltshire, UK
    JohnK is your new best friend: Overdrive-Pedals

    The problem with Guitar centric dirt pedals is that they are tuned for guitar frequencies. Anything listed as "dumble" or "Tweed" tone will really mess with any bass frequencies. Most of these old amp models are re-creating a specific tonal EQ that isn't bass friendly. Some dirt (like a tube screamer) has baked in EQ curves, again sound great on guitar, but suck the life out of a bass. Then there's the problem of Guitar focussed tone controls. A treble tone control for guitar will barely touch bass treble freqs. A bass and treble control for bass guitar needs to be in the 60-120hz and 3-4Khz. On a guitar these are vastly different, bass being around 240Hz, and treble in a lofty 8khz. In this case, the bass control on a guitar pedal will mostly effect the low mids on bass. The treble is mostly a bright sparkle at the very top end. An example of this is the tone stack on a Timmy OD, beloved by guitarists around the world. On bass the stock pedal sounds great and has a really nice break up. It's transparent and very dynamic. However, neither of two the tone pots really work well on bass.
    So it's best to look for bass specific dirt pedals and guitar specific dirt pedals. It's rare for these to cross over well.
    Robbie J, krfoss, Jxff and 3 others like this.
  7. Astronaut


    Jul 21, 2013
    I wasn’t asking for an explanation, or the reasons why they don’t work for some people, nor was I asking for solutions on how to restore the low end or how to use blenders or mixers.

    Fact is they exist and loads of people use them, because they strive to find their voice, even if it doesn’t fall into the preconceived notion of what defines a bass specific dirt pedal. You could say; in that case any pedal works...
    Why manufacturers should bother? I don’t know, maybe sell more pedals?

    Anyone else?
  8. C Stone

    C Stone

    Sep 4, 2020
    Sell more pedals? If I bought a guitar pedal with a bass approval "also good for bass stamp" and it sucked the low end out of it I would return it! I suppose your right any guitar pedal will work if you are looking for a tiny thinned out bass tone...Have at it! :thumbsup:
    DosiYanarchy and MattZilla like this.
  9. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    Sometimes I don't care if they claim to work or not. That opens a lot of doors. Especially if you have some decent EQ or a well-placed preamp. I've found that there some makers who by design don't exclude bass guitar (Wampler, JHS for example) even though they don't market directly to bass.
    Honestly I don't think I have any pedal stuck on my board today that is Bass-specific. I've found some great pedals at a local shop where they're not afraid to let you try. Good luck in your endless search from one tone chaser to another.

    Edit, I recently added an SA EQ2 and I've been arranging patches to add consistency between several basses and doing my best to compensate for a chorus that I love which can be a little tinny.
    Astronaut and C Stone like this.
  10. Plectrum72

    Plectrum72 Supporting Member

    All guitar dirt pedals work on bass. The catch is whether or not you like the sounds they make. Good luck with your petition.
  11. SidNitzerglobin


    Feb 12, 2019
    My position is you'll never know until you try it for yourself w/ your own gear & fingers. Same goes for pedals marketed for guitar using a guitar & pedals marketed for bass using a bass.

    It's unfortunate but true for me.
  12. Astronaut


    Jul 21, 2013
    I know my English is not top notch, but I’m sure I have not said that. I was suggesting that it could be an extreme possibility, to illustrate that most of the “key” factors” mentioned are not all that true for most. The EQ range that one pointed out for guitar sounded pretty good for my needs, really don’t care if the bass knob does not affect the 60-120hz range. On the contrary if I need to touch that zone I have many other options.
    All in all, I wasn’t targeting your response, I just believe some may find it a good idea for all the other reasons.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2020
  13. Astronaut


    Jul 21, 2013
    Well that also apply for pedals that are targeted for bass using a bass, and guitar pedals used with guitar.
    Take the only BOSS bass specific dirt pedal for example, the famously infamous ODB3; the moment you blend in the “overdrive” you start loosing low end. So maybe it shouldn’t have the word bass printed on. On the other hand the also famous Russian Muff circuit is notoriously known to be a good bass retainer, still it’s marketed for guitar.

    One thing is if it’s good for your needs, another is if it’s generally able to deliver the basic requirements of the 4 stringer.
    SidNitzerglobin likes this.
  14. C Stone

    C Stone

    Sep 4, 2020
    You said:
    "Why manufacturers should bother? I don’t know, maybe sell more pedals?"
    Your other points adressed to (me) were from a different member, anyway use whatever pedal you prefer and if it is too "thin" or "tinny" use some eq or split the signal, take care. :thumbsup:
  15. Astronaut


    Jul 21, 2013
    Yes! My very bad. Although both are mentioning similar issues.
    But again I know my way around splitters and blenders and crossovers; so I’m not looking for advices on that matter. This thread is exactly an attempt(although remote) to prevent that.
    C Stone likes this.
  16. Allegrus


    Mar 13, 2019
    Ottawa, ON
    It's not clear what problem you are trying to solve ... you want to know what overdrives are 'appropriate' for bass ... you ARE a member of Talkbass. Seems like problem is solved. All the pedals 'work' ... it's up to you to decide if that sound works FOR YOU. It's pretty irrelevant how the pedal is labeled.

    Caveat Emptor applies always.
    C Stone and Seashore like this.
  17. Astronaut


    Jul 21, 2013
    Being a TalkBass member did not solve many of this situation, and yes it’s relevant the way it’s labeled, maybe not for you.
  18. REV

    REV Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I have been using a Bearfoot Blueberry pedal for a long time. The other great thing about it is that it also works great on guitar. I've tried many many distortion pedals for guitar and I keep coming back to the Blueberry.
    Harrison Wagner and Astronaut like this.
  19. RichSnyder

    RichSnyder Columbia, MD Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Which bass? Active? Passive? And through which amp? Which cab? They all have major impacts on the overall tone of overdrives.
    C Stone and Seashore like this.
  20. Astronaut


    Jul 21, 2013

    I think your a step ahead. Are you proposing terms for some sort of seal?
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    Primary TB Assistant

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