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Help with pedals

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Guinness20, Nov 23, 2013.

  1. Guinness20


    Jan 24, 2013
    Liverpool, UK
    Right, before I start this I must say that I am completely new to effects pedals, so please forgive any naivety on my part - it's by no means intentional!

    Now that I can finally afford to start putting together a good pedalboard, I need to make decision about what kinds of pedals I want. I definitely want overdrive and distortion/fuzz, and I'm thinking about a couple of others as well, like a booster, compressor and wah pedal.

    With regards to overdrive, there are a couple of pedals that are grabbing my interest - they are the Pigtronix Fat Drive, the Aguilar Agro and the Darkglass Microtubes B3k - even though that one does seem crazy expensive! Does anybody have any experience with these, or can tell me which are good and which to avoid?

    For a distortion or fuzz pedal, I know the Electro Harmonix deluxe bass muff is highly regarded - is it really that good? I found a sound-clip of the Darkglass duality dual fuzz online, and the guy testing it says it sounds like a "robot dinosaur smashing your city". This thing is mental!!!
    I also quite like the sound of the Raygun Blue Fuzz, but I don't know too much about that pedal.
    I have absolutely no idea what the MXR M181 Blowtorch does - I know it's said it's different from eveyrtying else and sounds quite cool, but I don't really know how I'd use it.

    I think I might go for the Aguilar TLC compressor pedal - am I going along the right lines or is there anything better out there?

    There are a couple of booster pedals I'm curious for more info on - the hotone liftup booster, that little tiny thing, and the tc electronic spark. Any help here would be much appreciated.

    As far as wah pedals go, the dunlop cry baby seem to be the best. Is that right?

    Thanks for taking the time to read this, I didn't intend for it to turn into one massive waffle session. :rolleyes:

    By the way, what does the MXR Tonehammer do?
  2. zwkoch

    zwkoch You can't do that on bass enthusiast Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2012
    Twin Cities, MN
    You have listed a lot of great pedals. I have owned nearly all of them (minus the Aguilar gear).

    The Duality is brand new, and there is very little live gig feedback available. The B3K is at the top of the heap for OD. Nothing sounds like it. Sits beautifully in the mix at any setting.

    Since you are looking for a variety of dirt, let me recommend the Source Audio OFD. It is far less expensive and has the ability to cover OD, Fuzz, and Distortion (hence the OFD title). The voicing options on this pedal can cover nearly every sound. I would highly recommend trying this guy out first. $170 goes a long way with this guy. At the very least, you can mess around with a lot of the options and figure out what you may specifically need in each pedal.

    If you plan to run a lot of OD or Distortion, you will get some compression from those pedals and may not need a true compressor.

    Another all encompassing option is the Zoom B3 or MS 60. They cover every possible sound that you could be looking to try. It is a great place to start until you know exactly what you want. I wish I has started that way, I could have saved myself a thousand dollars in pedal flipping.
  3. my best advice to you is to tackle one thing at a time. don't get bogged down by marketing or other's opinions. think about what you want to achieve and find the best one that suits your playing. then move on to the next effect.
  4. Vlad5

    Vlad5 Chronic Knob Twiddling Tone Chaser

    Feb 17, 2011
    New England
    Just what I was thinking...

    Maybe look into a preamp/di with drive capabilities first.

    Like a VT Bass Di, MXR M-80, Aguilar Tone Hammer, Tronographic Rusty Box, etc...

    This way you have an eq section and drive options to play with, plus a DI for recording, in one package.

    It may not be the drive/distortion you ultimately want, but at least you will get a better idea of what you like, and you'll have a lot of tone options to play with in one effect. And you'll be able to build on it with other effects.

    One of my first effects was a Sansamp Para Driver, and though I ultimately moved on from it, it was a good introduction to messing with my raw bass tone and finding what I liked, and didn't.
  5. IMO you get what you pay for (usually) the DG pedals are pricey but they get excellent tones. Listen to clips of all the pedals you are considering. I've being trying to fit a compressor into my sound and have found that it's not for me. Different strokes and such. As for the best wah? I like the Weeping Demon myself but I may be wrong.
  6. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest

    +1 On the Zoom B3 or MS 60 and consider how much you are actually going to be using each pedal you get I spent a small fortune trying out pedals buying some two or three times before finally completing my board with pedals that get constant use figure out what sound you most "consistently" want and do some serious research you don't want to buy a $300.00 reverb pedal for one occasional song that's where pedals like the Zoom B3 are nice because it has many effects in one pedal.
  7. Guinness20


    Jan 24, 2013
    Liverpool, UK
    Thanks for al the great advice! I didn't even know about multi-effects pedals, so I was looking at the best of each individual type of pedal. Any of the aforementioned multi-effects pedal would save me a lot of money!

    Does anyone have any info on good booster pedals? Specifically the spark mini or the hotone? I'm really curious about the hotone liftup booster, but I can't find any sound clips online :meh:
  8. DethByDoom


    Sep 23, 2012
  9. Worshipbass12


    Feb 23, 2013
    Nw georgia
    Starting with a multi effects pedal will save you money in the long run you can try just about every effect there is and see what you like and don't like
    The b3k is worth every penny but you may want to check out the darkglass vmt as well two different flavors of overdrive personally i like a vintage od the vmt covers that for a more modern grind the b3k is top of the line
  10. Guinness20


    Jan 24, 2013
    Liverpool, UK
    Looking around there seems to be a big debate on as to B3K or B7K. Assuming money isn't an issue (I know, tiny assumption! :eyebrow:), what do people prefer?

    There are people talking about using the B7K as an all-in-one, or a B3K with a preamp. A few people have said they just use the Darkglass B7K as an overdrive and use another preamp. What about a B7k and a VMT together?
  11. I use both as dirt pedals. Different tones, but I like my dirt in many different flavours.
  12. Worshipbass12


    Feb 23, 2013
    Nw georgia
    My #1 pedal is the amptweaker tightdrive i absolutely love it :D