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looking for that "purrfect" distortion!

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by nil, Apr 9, 2001.

  1. I've never had much luck finding "the" distortion for bass that really does it for me...has anyone here?

    What i've tried:

    - Rat II : nice fuzz and filter control. Lush sound, but bass frequencies lost (anyone know a circuit hack?)

    - MXR Distortion + : what I love on guitar sounds like rocks in a bucket on bass. No bass freqs, hard buzz distortion.

    - DOD Meatbox : produces a "buzz" that's just plain pointless IMO (not that it's really a fuzzbox)

    - SansAmp Bass DI : only used this in the studio, and if it wasn't >$500 here (and if you could get them here) it would be mine. Best box I ever used.

    - Prunes&Custard : local (NZ) pedal, mix of fuzz and envelope filter. Lots of tone possibilities, nice bottom end, lacks balls a bit though (sounds a bit transistory). Best option I got at the moment!

    Maybe people could share their reviews of their favourite pedals...
  2. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    The electro harmonix big muff pi seems to be a popular pedal for the bass. I got one, works fine. I guess I don't really use distortion enough, at all to be a good judge though.
  3. Ibanez Tube Screamers are real versitile in getting a good range from pretty heavy distorted OD to just beefy pre-amp boost qualities without distortion.

    I also use a Rat when seeking dirty sustained fuzz works great for bass.

    When I'm feeling randy i use both pedals for a scary overdrive fuzz thing that's just pretty foolish all around.
  4. Boss ODB-3. Has a nice "blend" knob, so you can dial in as much or a little effect as you want/need, apart from the "gain" setting. From fat heavy metal-type roaring to very subtle tube-like drive, you can do it all.

    I like the thing. Sturdy too, those Boss tanks. At least consider one.
  5. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    Ya ever notice how a lot of guitarists have a bunch of different distortion devices including their amps? I don't think there is one thing that'll give you the "perfect distortion" since as bass players how we use the effect changes from song to song more than it might for guitar players.
    I like the old MXR distortion for supportive kinda parts 'cause it seems to leave the bass frequencies intact.
    I like the new Vox for just the opposite reason, it has screaming overtones and not much bottom. Works great with the electric upright with the bow.
    For pure filth a cranked Fender Champ miced through a clean bass amp sounds great.
    For that growl you get with just a hair of distortion I like to overdrive the tube section of an Ampeg SVP-Pro preamp.
  6. another vote for the BOSS OBD-3 Overdrive. grrreat pedal with purrrfect distortion. i highly recomend this stomp box.
  7. Another voting for the Boss.
  8. You might go to www.tech21nyc.com and get some of their sound samples from all their stuff. I dunno maybe you'll find something you like.
  9. I love this box!! So fantastic for bass, lame on guitar...after my own heart. It has a thick, buzzy OD that thickens up when you dig in and best of all, it's completely touch-sensitive. I use it for my Prog-Dub band and cover so much ground with it. Huge, rich, almost as though something subharmonic is going on. It's got that Laswell trick where you can turn it up and play real soft and get an almost deep-octave quality to it. It also has that wacky "mix" knob which blends in some sort of "intermodulating harmonic something or other" that sounds kind of like a resonant sweep, touch sensitive of course. It is my envelope filter, octaver and overdrive. Very interactive. I can't recommend this pedal more. Paul Crowther was great to deal with, great service. Doesn't do wailing feedbacky distortion like a Rat but is something completely unique unto itself. It has a permanent slot on my pedal board.
  10. shagEb

    shagEb Guest

    Apr 14, 2001
    USA, Polkville NC

    You said it all,I to looked for the perfect distortion with no luck. I am now using a Ibanez TRS9 Tube Screamer for a little fuzz and a DOD Death metal for the ugly.
  11. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    This one just HAS to be good, considering the quality of the other effects from the same manufacturer:
  12. Yup, the EBS *screams* good, but at a price!

    With the Prunes&Custard, I wish there was another mix control to allow just the envelope filter or the distortion to work - I mean I love the sound of the MIX full up but with distortion it can get a little bit silly (even for me).
  13. DanGouge


    May 25, 2000
    Anything called Prunes & Custard has got to be good :D
  14. Paul was very insistent that it wasn't an "envelope filter" I can't remember exactly but its an "intermodulating distortion" thingy...touch sensitive anyway. Why aren't there more touch-sensitive FX for bass? Man, that's what I'd want. I play my Mutron like a chorus or even fretless sim. The P+C is a wicked box, HUGE sounds, no singing sustain really....just very crunchy and fat with a very cool "sweep."
    Try turning the mix up doesn't simply blend it, the preamp stage (left twist) is what is overdriving, with the "drive" knob, a twist to the right introduces the "distortion" stage. I'm not sure I understand this but what I do know is that the two knobs are very interactive. I have this info straight from Mr. Crowther's letters, which include a manual of sorts. If you like I can mail it to you off list....or post it for that matter.
  15. I can't wait til the EBS overdrive comes out.
  16. I could imagine Paul saying that! :D It still sounds like an envelope filter to me...he's a HELL techy head so a pedal called a "harmonic filter/intermodulator" doesn't surprise me!

    The knobs are kinda interactive (apart from the first, which simply is a preamp/volume with no OD).
    I find that the distortion comes on too strong after 12o'clock unless you make minute adjustments.
    Mine never came with a manual but I got it straight from the horse's mouth so if I ever needed a hack I could ask him about it directly.
    Pity he doesn't do many other FX... :(
  17. matej


    Apr 23, 2001
    If you don't mind buying a preamp, check Ampeg SVP-BSP. It splits your signal into two channels and you can distort one, keep all the low end and then merge the signal back.
    I love mine!

  18. Matej,

    The Boss ODB-3 does the same thing, but costs only around $80.
  19. matej


    Apr 23, 2001
    You got a point there. I'll have to try the Boss out, but I've never been
    happy with their stuff, so I'm not holding my breath. Ofcourse the Ampeg
    does also quite a bit more than just what I said (dual XLR and regular outs,
    a compressor, noise gate for dist. channel, tuner out, channel switching or
    combining, classic Ampeg EQ, etc. ) So ofcourse the price is not comparable,
    but neither are features. Ofcourse there are different ways to go, I was just
    pointing out how I do it and it works well for me.

  20. madsky


    Apr 21, 2001
    Bangkok, Thailand
    BOSS rules. Throw out your window. Dunk it in a hoop. Burn it. It won't break whatever you do with it. [literally :)]

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