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Just ordered a Fulltone Bass-Drive and an EBS Multidrive to A/B

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Lockout, Mar 29, 2005.

  1. Lockout


    Dec 24, 2002
    I bought them both from Bass Emporium today, and they're being kind enough to allow me to A/B the two for a couple days and return the one I don't like as much for a refund (minus shipping, of course.) I've been looking for an overdrive pedal on and off for a few months now, and I had my search narrowed down to these two pedals, for the most part.

    I eventually realized that I wouldn't be able to eliminate either of these pedals by features or reviews alone, so I decided that I would let my ears decide. Unfortunately, none of the music stores in my area carry either of these pedals, so I had to consider my other options, as you can see.

    Anyway, in a few days when I get these two pedals, I can try to write up a little comparison on them and *maybe* get some recordings up, in case anyone else is facing the same predicament as I am. ;)

    In the meantime, I have one quick question about the Fulltone. Do the current models have the 3-way switch or the push/pull pot?

    Also, I'd like to see which pedal you guys think I'll end up keeping, just for the heck of it. I'm mainly looking for a mild overdrive, just to add some beef and a little grind to my tone, though I would also like to be able to get a more overdriven "Queens of the Stone Age"-ish bass tone on occasion. John Files, the guy I talked to from Bass Emporium, seemed fairly certain that I will end up keeping the Fulltone. Do you agree?
  2. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    The newer fulltones have the three way. They switched around 18 months ago IIRC.

    I can't predict what one you'll keep, but I foudn the most useful mode on the fulltone the comp/cut mode - sounded least compressed of the three.

    The EBS is very good at a little hair, but the sound can be a little indistinct on some of the settings.
  3. Samurai


    Sep 13, 2003
    My bet is the fulltone.
  4. Toasted


    May 26, 2003
    Leeds, UK
    Ive got the both. Theyre both very good. I like the for different reasons. I use the Fulltone most (its always on).
  5. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    I've tried the EBS for short periods of time and ended up buying the Fulltone, which I'm very happy with. However, one thing that struck me with the EBS is that it sounds very good. I don't think they quite do the same thing: the EBS is better for heavy distortion, whereas the Fulltone is better at mild-to-medium. Both pedals do what the other does, but not quite as well. That's what ultimately led me to my decision.

    I have a friend who bought the EBS for the exact reason I didn't: he prefers heavier distortion.

    I'd be interested to see if you find the same results I did...;)
  6. mgmadian


    Feb 4, 2002
    Austin, TX
    When you decide, lemme know... I've had 'em both for over a year and still can't decide! Simply put, they sound different.

    One very nice thing is that both are somewhat touch-sensitive, where light playing preserves a relatively clean sound, while digging causes to dirt to show up.
  7. Lockout


    Dec 24, 2002
    Hmmm. I may be in the minority here, but I don't particularly care for overdrives that are very touch-sensitive. I guess I prefer a more even level of "dirt", regardless of whether or not I'm trying to be very precise with my right-hand technique.

  8. I have both.
    I love them both.
    Get them both!

  9. Lockout


    Dec 24, 2002
    Well, I got the pedals yesterday, and I've been messing around with them since. I don't know if I'll be able to give much of a review, though, because I honestly don't think I'll be keeping either one. :meh:

    The Fulltone is nice and versatile, but even when its overdrive is set very low, it seems to retain a bit of its inherent fuzziness and "hair" from the higher overdrive levels. I'm thinking it may have something to do with the extremely hot output from my Spector, but regardless, it's not the sound I'm looking for.

    The EBS seems a bit better at doing a mild overdrive on low settings without being too "hairy". However, I really don't feel that it adds enough to my sound to be worth $230.

    The main reason I'm not planning on keeping either of these pedals, however, is that I find myself preferring the sound of my preamp overdriven instead. Its overdrive has a great warmth that I find these pedals lack. The problem with the preamp's overdrive--and the reason I bought these pedals originally--is that it's extremely touch sensitive. When the gain is up to the point where it creates a bit of audible overdrive, even very small variations in the volume of my playing can cause the sound to vary from clean to heavily distorted.

    However, now that I realize how much I prefer the tone of my preamp's overdrive to other overdrive pedals, I'm going to try a few other options to get the results I'm looking for.

    Right now I'm thinking about buying a compressor pedal (Probably a Demeter Compulator) and using it to control the level of the signal between my bass and the preamp's input so that the overdrive stays more constant. I would also try using it to boost my signal slightly when engaged so I could get an overdriven tone with it turned on and a clean tone with it turned off.

    Does this sound like a reasonable idea?
  10. callofthebow


    Oct 19, 2003
    Orlando, FL
    i think that sounds like a great idea, just use a boost pedal or a compressor that can boost your signal. It's too bad you had to go through all the trouble of buying these pedals to realize you've had what you wanted in front of you the whole time.
  11. Lockout


    Dec 24, 2002
    Yeah, really. I guess that's what it takes sometimes.
  12. I've heard of a few people using the EHX black finger to do exactly that very succesfully! It sounds like a great idea... I've tried a few overdrives and I always end up making them more of a clean boost pedal to get a bit more grit outta my preamp!
  13. N*Joy


    Nov 30, 2002
    Birmingham, UK
    Just out of interest - what pre-amp are you guys using for an overdriven sound?
  14. The preamp section of my SVT-3 Pro. No overdrive pedal sounds better than that overdriven preamp section. I just use the EBS or Fulltone to get to extremer overdriven sounds.
  15. N*Joy


    Nov 30, 2002
    Birmingham, UK
    Cool, kind of thought it'd be an ampeg - I know exactly what you mean but I don't need a bass rig so I make do with sansamp to a powered speaker or just go through the monitors!

    I always jones for that ampeg rig though :D
  16. Toasted


    May 26, 2003
    Leeds, UK
    What powered speaker are you using?
  17. MMFender


    Sep 26, 2003
    What do you guys think of Boss Bass OverDrive ?
    Is it milder than the EBS ?
    Is it harsher than the Full tone ?
    It is more versatile than both ?
  18. It sucks. Really. It's harsch and very unmusical sounding to my ears (I know there's a lot of people sharing that opinion). It's versatile, meaning that it can both sound hard and mild.

    If you want a low-budget overdrive pedal and okay sounds I recommend the Ibanez Phat-Hed overdrive and the Digitech Bass Driver (X-series).
  19. N*Joy


    Nov 30, 2002
    Birmingham, UK
    Mackie SRM450 - it's the bollocks. I can't see myself ever buying a 'bass' amp again unless I get into some seriously heavy hardcore style band.
  20. C-5KO


    Mar 9, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    Blackfinger is great for overdrive. He may not be wild about the price though. It may run more than the EBS depending on where you can get EBS from. I find my blackfinger sometimes gets noisy. I think it's from my apt electricity though. Sometimes on gig's it's there, and sometimes it isn't. At home, its always buzzing.

    For compression, try the Aphex Punch Factory. Great optical compressor.