Looking for a Bass Distortion Pedal

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by mremic01, Aug 19, 2009.

  1. mremic01


    Nov 29, 2008
    Madison, WI
    Right now I'm using an Ibanez Phat Hed, which gets me some brutal distortion without losing any low end, but the bypass on it isn't the best (mild tone suck) and I'd like the same kind of effect, but in a pedal with true bypass. I've tried the MXR DI+, but that not only sucks a little bit of tone, it also adds a little hum into my signal. I'm also trying to downsize my board while I'm at it, so I'd rather not get a true bypass looper and just replace the offending pedal to keep it simple.

    I thought about the MXR Blowtorch, but from reading about it, it sounds like it's more of a fuzz and not a distortion and I'd have to get an extra wall wart. I've got a VT Bass, which is incredible for SVT'ing up my tone, but I'm not a big fan of the dirt I get turning the drive up (btw, the bypass on this thing is incredibly transparent). I'm also considering the Bass Muff, but again, it's a fuzz.

    Is there anything else out there that might be what I'm looking for?
  2. Smurf-o-Deth

    Smurf-o-Deth ¡No me gustan mis pantalones!

    Oct 2, 2007
    The state of denial.
    Tech 21 XXL Bass Edition.

    Where's my $5, Screech?
  3. heath_r_91


    Jun 3, 2006
    Topeka Area, Kansas
    I use the Bass Big Muff and I get distortion sounds out of it.

    Just a few tweeks of the knobs take it from being fuzz to gnarly distortion.
  4. What he said.

    the check is in the mail.
  5. nad

    nad 60 Cycle Humdinger

    Sep 22, 2005
    I have not used a Phat Hed, but judging from the sound samples of one, along with your description of what you want, a 3Xfx Fatman might work. It is a very heavy and mechanical sounding distortion, if that makes sense. Ridiculous amounts of XXL Bass bombardment aside, that one wouldn't be a bad one try out as well. I don't think it's true bypass, but the bypass isn't bad.
  6. ricknote


    Aug 3, 2006
    Why not just get a true bypass pedal. You seem to like the pedal's
    sound, just upgrade it. Guitar players do this all the time with cool
    sounding but noisy FX.
    A guitarist I know has several of these and he's been quite happy with


    That's probably all you wound need.

  7. riskyrain


    Jul 20, 2009
  8. xray


    Feb 15, 2009
    Kona, HI
    I have a high end distortion / overdrive pedal I'm trying to offload - HBE Big D. It may be just what your looking for: totally clean and mean OD and Dist. There's a few sound clips on here as well as HBE's site.
  9. Uribam


    Jun 4, 2009
    The polish love is the only one I'd ever use. Ever since I got it it's been plugged in.
  10. Deluge Of Sound

    Deluge Of Sound Inactive

    Nov 8, 2007
    I think Nad's gotten the closest to what I think you're looking for, but clips aiming at what you'd like to sound like would be immeasurably helpful.
  11. Personally I'd use a Blackstar pedal, not only because I'm abit of a fan boy (currently trying to convince them that making bass amps is a good idea), but also because they're great pedals & all of the one's I've tried on bass have been pretty damn good (HT-DistX = awesome, I brought it. HT-Dist = Awesome, but not quite the sound that I was looking for, HT-Dual = Great, apart from a little bit of a bass drop)
  12. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Once you discover that the distortion in the VT is pretty much a dead nuts match for a cranked SVT or B-15, I think you'll come around a little more to the VT. I wasn't so sure about it either until I compared the tones with the real thing.
  13. It isn't, but the Tech 21's have a very, very high quality buffer. I can't tell the difference, but I never could tell true- and buffered-bypass apart to begin with, except in the Behringer BDI21, which isn't a bad pedal, for 30 dollars.
  14. dannybuoy


    Aug 3, 2005
    What are you saying? Even if you don't like the sound of a cranked VT Bass, once you realise that the real thing sounds just as bad, you'll change your mind about it because apparently it's meant to be the holy grail of tone? I'm thinking of ditching mine, it can sound good as an overdrive, but with the character below noon, playing heavy notes on the E string sounds too flabby, it totally farts the thing out. With the character turned up past noon, it brings in too much clank which is hard to dial out.

    I really like the BB also, but it's better suited to low gain overdrive rather than gnarly metal distortion, if that's what you're after, you'd be better off with the XXL, or an Ashdown Lomenzo Hyperdrive, Landmine, Digitech Hardwire Metal Distortion, maybe even the new EBS Metaldrive.
  15. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Oooh! How dare you!!! :mad: :D

    Actually, I was thinking that once you're able to hear what it's supposed to sound like cranked, you can use the VT to match it.
  16. sparkle drive yo!
    tube screamer with a clean blend and i'm pretty sure its true bypass.
    the distortion will tone suck, but dial in some clean and poof your bass is back and the grind is on!
  17. geezerharris


    Jul 23, 2009
    i would suggest you get a bass big muff pi. it has true bypass and is one hell of a pedal. awesome tone and its pretty diverse
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