LQQKING to get effects! Need HELP!

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by TKontheBASS, Jun 11, 2021.

  1. Hey all..looking to get a distortion/overdrive pedal and a compressor (rack mount or pedal-not sure which is better). I know I've heard a lot of good things about Darkglass but when I researched, there seem to be SO much information so wanted to get some feedback from those that use these kind of effects. TIA
    monsterthompson likes this.
  2. catcauphonic

    catcauphonic High Freak of the Low Frequencies Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2012
    Seattle WA
    Welcome to the rabbit hole of stomp boxes in the never ending quest for tone(s.)

    bassbrad, gh0st42 and TKontheBASS like this.
  3. Well it sounds like you're near the start of your journey (some might use the word "descent") into all this, so it's going to do you no good to just hear "try stuff" or "figure out what YOU like". The avalanche of options makes it hard to know where to start. So I'll just mention some of my own personal choices.

    For a light overdrive I like the full sized TC Spark. This is great for what I think of as the "James Jamerson digging in a little too hard" overdrive sound. It's super affordable and one of the best low gain pedals for bass on the market.

    For fuzz I like the Malekko Diabolik. It can actually fill the role of a light overdrive very well, not solo'd but in the context of a full band that's how it can wash out at its most conservative settings. In fact it's my favorite "overdrive" for bass when used that way. It can also be used for the most unbelievable brain destroying fuzz sounds imaginable if that's your thing. It's my favorite pedal of all, but it's not for every song or every band.

    For just an all around every day fuzz nothing beats the EHX Green Russian reissue. It's the best big muff you can buy for bass at any price in my opinion, except for the Deluxe Sovtek which is just an expansion of the exact same circuit. This pedal just utterly rules. It doesn't need a clean blend or anything. It actually ADDS low end to my ears. You will feel like Godzilla blowing away an entire skyline when you turn it on. It can do more sort of overdrivey type things too but I like it for the Tony Levin "On The Air" death ray sound.

    As for compressors, I've tried everything in the ~$200 price range and for me the Wampler Ego was so much better than anything else I wouldn't even call it a competition. If not for the Ego I'd still hate compression. Now I love it. That's how big the difference was for me.

    I never really connected with Darkglass stuff. I had a B3K for a while and couldn't get into it. Their stuff basically blends a higher frequency distortion on top of a low end that is kept relatively cleaner. Some people love it and use it for their whole sound but it's sort of the opposite of what I want in a drive pedal. I don't like top end distortion. I actually want the low end to be distorted and the high end kept cleaner, but with no low end loss. Options for what I like are considerably more limited lol. But the Diabolik and Green Russian both do it.

    Another pedal worth considering is the Boss ODB-3. It has a reputation as a bad pedal but it is in fact a good pedal. You just have to use it with the gain all the way counterclockwise and blend all the way clockwise. It doesn't sound like much on its own, but like most Boss pedals it suddenly makes sense when you play it in a band. I love the compression it does and it works great in the mix.

    No discussion of fuzz these days is complete without mentioning Carcosa. With the switch in the up position it's a bass pedal. It's a splatty, scooped fuzz sound but huge on the low end and that's what makes it viable on bass. It's a true fuzz lover's fuzz, but it has such a range of adjustment that you can use it for overdrive too.

    Anyway those are my picks. I'm definitely more of a "totally clean or full on fuzz" type of guy. I'm not real interested in subtlety or light drive sounds that are always on. I use dirt to make a big impact at key points of the set, and otherwise I run clean.
  4. Welcome to the game, and by all means think of it as a game and not get too serious. There is no one answer to which effect is best, best for you, best for your band, song or metal as there are too many variables and this game is changing every day, that is the exciting part. Much of finding the right pedal is a quest that will be a personal journey for us all, we all play differently, music styles, basses, amps and have different desired sounds and those will change too. Some folks will start simple while others may go for more complex then there are those brave or broke few that may build their own. Does any of this help, probably not.

    >Buy used, the classifieds here are a good source.
    >Tell us a bit more about how you play, your gear and more what you are looking for because there are broad ranges for dirt and compression -
    >Douglas @ Darkglass makes an excellent line of products but they are not for everyone.

    I personally am very fond of the Source Audio Aftershock pedal as it offers a wide range of sounds from mild overdrive to full on distortion and very much everything in between. You can load creations of other users, modify them to your needs or create your own - and have 6 at a time on board for recall.

    I have a collection of over 50 drive pedals and have owned and tried hundreds over the years - and still am but the SA pedals can really do the trick.
  5. Matt Dean

    Matt Dean Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    SF (North) Bay Area
    “Buy used” is an awesome piece of advice… because when you start to flip to fund other purchases, you’ll retain most of the original investment.
  6. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    Being addicted to pedals is way better and cheaper than being addicted to some other things.

    Right now my favorite OD is the Browne Protein or the RYRA Klone, both of which are really guitar pedals. But they both sound good to me in different ways. A really nice, simple OD that is bass friendly is the Spaceman Apollo VII. For fuzz I have too many to count but I prefer Asgard (V3) by Blackhawk. But there are skajillion fun fuzz pedals. For super bossanova awesomeness try an octave right after a fuzz and even a phaser or chorus after that and next thing you know you'll have too many pedals. Dig in.

    edit to say there is no such thing as too many pedals
  7. Matt Dean

    Matt Dean Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    SF (North) Bay Area
    There are some great fuzz pedals in the classifieds at the moment.
    TKontheBASS likes this.
  8. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    Hard to know what to recommend without knowing a little more about the type of music you play or maybe just want to get into.

    So I’d like to back up a few steps and start with the type of sound you’re looking for and the bass and the amp/cab you’re using.

    In the meantime…

    For compressor recommendations, the best place (IMO) to start is with a power read of TBer @scubaduba reviews. There’s a sticky thread he created that you can find here. That’s where all the diehard TB compressor users hang out. Good place to find reviews, ask questions, get recommendations, and commiserate on all things compressor related. He also has his own website with very in-depth reviews of different compressor pedals you’ll also want to check out. Link for that is here.

    And if you’re totally new to compression, I’d suggest doing some reading on TBer Bongomania’s old website. In addition to reviews, he has a series of FAQ pages that are must reads if you want to delve into the realm of compression. Knowledge is power. Those FAQs will explain what compression can and can’t do for your sound; the different types of compressors that are out there; and provide a pile of other solid information that can save you a ton of frustration and probably some money as well. You can find the page here

    Last edited: Jun 12, 2021
    TKontheBASS and scubaduba like this.
  9. SunByrne

    SunByrne opinionated intellectual Supporting Member

    Aug 29, 2019
    Pearland, TX
    For compressors, I want to give a big + to what @40Hz said. The thread by @scubaduba is a very deep rabbit hole, but there's so much good information in it it's totally worth it. I read all that and ended up with a Darkglass Hyper Luminal, but just because that's the way I went does not mean that's what you'll want—it just depends on what you're looking for.

    There are a million OD/distortion/fuzz pedals out there. In order to make a really good recommendation, especially for things like fuzzes, you'll need to tell us more about what you're looking for, because the range of different fuzz sounds is enormous. I guess that's true for ODs and distortions, too, but for my ears the fuzzes are the most distinct. This is why I own five fuzzes (really, I can stop at any time).

    Distortions also have a big range, but to me they vary primarily on one dimension, which is how savage can they get? I just got a Damnation MBD-2 and it gets WAY savage. Highly recommend, but only if savage is the sound you're after.

    If what you're looking for in an OD is something just to add a little grit, kind of mild and tubey, then there are so many that will do this job reasonably well I think it's hard go wrong with any of the more popular options. These can be cheap, too, as both the TC Spark and the TC MojoMojo are budget-friendly and also very good. I have a MojoMojo, but I will admit that I rarely use it because a Darkglass Vintage Microtubes has taken it's place. The VMT sounds a little better, but to be honest, I don't think anyone other than me could really tell that much difference. I'd save your money here and put more toward the compressor you want.
    TKontheBASS and scubaduba like this.
  10. Thanks all for your input...lots of great information and I'm using your links to research! I've been reading and watching some video of bass players using things like Boss and Helix multi-effect processors - I always thought of this as more for guitars but does it have a place with basses as well? Is it worth looking into. I play in a band that does everything from classic oldies to current pop and everything in between (party rock band) - it depends if we're doing a local gig at some of the local live music venues or we're at a corporate event/wedding. We play everything from rock around the clock/Johnny be good to Slither/enter sandman/Little miss can't be wrong/uptown funk.
  11. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Sep 22, 2021

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