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Jhs Russian vs mastotron?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by krfoss, Apr 9, 2018.

  1. krfoss

    krfoss Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2007
    Orange County, CA
    Im on the dirt hunt....

    I have the mastotron, but it's a little too high pitched for me (the exact reason I sold the mxr bass fuzz).

    Does anyone have experience with the jhs Russian mod and the mastotron that could compare the two? I'm looking for a thick grinding sound that can also be a light or medium overdrive.

    Am I barking uo the wrong tree, or is this a decent option?
  2. GMC

    GMC Supporting Member

    Yes it can do that kind of thing, although Muffs aren't best at medium OD. It's a fuzz pedal specifically, so it's better at grinding than medium OD. It's tough to find a really versatile fuzz and OD pedal, generally they aren't as good in both roles. Somewhere there is a compromise that may or may not work for you.
    Personally, I would give a Source Audio Aftershock a spin. Out of the box it has three dirt options. It can do the lightest and sweetest OD on bass that I've tried (and I've tried a few) and it's also go a load of Muff and fuzz emulations that are mostly excellent. Best of all, being digital...everything is tweekable. Sonically, it sounds just like a box of analogue pedals and it's sound quality is excellent. If you open up the editor on a PC or smart phone, then you can choose from a huge menu of models and assign them to the 3 way switch (and access the red mode for three more options).

    The only all analogue pedal that comes close to this in terms of versatility is the DAM Ezekiel, but that's hard to find outside of getting one made for you or going the home build clone route. It's got a great blend option, low pass filter for taming the highs and 4 diode / clipping options that really change the character of the dirt. It's very versatile, but hard to dial in specific tones quickly and it tends to err on the side of heavy fuzz. Each clipping option needs a lot of setting changes to bring out the best. The lighter OD tones need coaxing because this pedal wants to thunder, but there are there and they are good. So while it's a very versatile pedal, it's not fast and easy to get the best out of it. I used to keep a little crib sheet card with my 5 fav settings for speedy access. That's analogue adjustment for you, but it can do light OD..grungy OD through to germanium fuzz.

    Currently, on my board is an Aftershock and a Mastotron. The Aftershock caters for most of my dirt needs, but can't cover the Specific sound of the Mastotron which is a fairly unique sound. I am considering flipping the Mastotron for an Iron Ether Iron Oxide for a similar sound but with more tonal options in a similar sized box. I only have the space on my board for 2 regular sized dirt pedals, so versatility for me is key. I used to have around 7 dirt pedals on my old board and I tended to use them as presets for specific tones, but the Aftershock pretty much took over all of those roles in a single unit.

    I find that bass dirt is very subjective and very sensitive you your current gear. So one man's dirt is another man's waste land. It's often not the pedal but the bass / strings etc. You probably need to go and try it with your axe to see if it floats your boat.
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2018
  3. MattZilla


    Jun 26, 2013
    No experience with the mod, but you may/may not have heard that fuzz pedals don't like to have a buffer in front of them? I didn't know this before going guitar>boss ns2>mastotron>... with everything but the output volume backed off to nil, the buffer in the boss makes the mastotron do a pretty cool mid-gurgle that is more od than distortion thing that I really enjoy with guitar and haven't really tried with bass.
  4. Mastotron should be the best with buffers though? Hence the best with active bass full with the input control part? I love the sound of the mastotron but yeah even with the full sub switch, it loses too much low end in my metal band unless i put it in a blended loop which is too much board space. sucky as it has tone in my head for synthy fuzz too.

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