I've never really understood the fascination with dirtying up a bass sound. I'm looking for some help understanding the when and why some players use it. It seems like there's a plethora of gear out there that caters to heavier sounds, be it pedals, preamps, or OD circuits built into a regular bass amp. Myself, I've always gravitated toward clean tones or that Chris Squier / Geddy Lee kind of crunchy grind, which to me, is more of a "color" thing than the heavy clipped tones that I hear some bass players using. For me at least, that's a difficult tone to obtain without specific gear. Historically, bass is an instrument to provide low end feel, and together with the drums, provide the beat and rhythm of music. IMO, much (sometimes all) of that gets lost when you kick in something like a fuzz or heavy distortion/OD. I feel like you lose the clarity and punch that the instrument was originally intended to convey. That said, I can see it being a conscious choice for a solo passage to provide texture (think of the intro to RHCP's All Around the World). However, I would never consider that kind of tone as desirable in a full band setting. I was watching Billy Sheehan's interview with Julia Hofer recently on YouTube. He went into great detail about his tone and how he achieves it. He's well known for having a less than clean tone, but what I found interesting was how he splits his output from different pickups to a clean signal and a dirty signal. This allows him to maintain that bottom end punch and clarity, while also getting the heavier, clipped tones. In a hard rock setting, I can sort of see how that could be desirable, especially in a power trio or other band with only one guitar. However, not many people have a sophisticated enough rig to pull something like that off. So, what are your thoughts? Are you a fan of the fuzz? Do you have a doctorate in distortion? When/why do you use it? Do you feel it's overused / underused?