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MXR Bass Fuzz Deluxe - unity gain issue

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by gregormendel, Dec 28, 2012.

  1. Hey folks,

    I just recently purchased the MXR Bass Fuzz Deluxe and am having some issues getting it to gel with my setup. Specifically, I can't get the pedal to hit unity gain unless I'm blending a lot of the clean signal in, which causes the fuzz to sit further back than I'd like. With no clean blended in, it doesn't even come close to unity.

    I've tried a G&L L2000, a passive jazz, and a ray through my setup, and nothing seems to change. My rig otherwise is:

    Bass -> tuner -> Barber LTD -> Micro POG -> MXR M82 EF -> OCD -> Opto Stomp -> Hartke LH500

    I've tried the BFD first, last, and in the middle of the chain, and there's still no change.

    I absolutely love the pedal's vibe, and it sounds great so far besides this one issue. For those of you who have played/owned the pedal, is this something that you've noticed? Maybe I misunderstood the pedal's intentions, but I'd rather not be forced to use the clean blend, even though i like it's implementation.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Roots and fifths and a little extra. Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    I'm not sure I understand the problem. It has separate wet and dry volume knobs. Can you not just... you know...dial them back such that you get unity gain?
  3. I suppose I should have clarified :) The issue is that with the wet knob at max and the dry knob dialed all the way back, the pedal still falls short of unity gain. It sounds as if there isn't enough db on the fuzz side to use it without relying on the clean blend, and that's an option I would prefer to have.

    I wanted to check what others' experiences were. Maybe this was intended in MXR's design, or perhaps I received a bum unit.
  4. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Roots and fifths and a little extra. Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    Huh. Ok, that's kind of weird, I guess. Do you find it falls short only when the Fuzz and/or Tone knobs are dimed? Like you, I would guess that unity could probably be had with just the Wet volume. But maybe it's supposed to be that way? How far short does it fall?

    EDIT: I should also add, I don't have this pedal, so... maybe others who own it can chime in.
  5. Yeah, it definitely struck me as odd. The pedal falls just short of unity at100% wet. It's really noticeable while digging in, seeing as the fuzz is flattening out playing dynamics. Typically I'd just turn up the level on the fuzz, since that's what you expect a fuzz to do, but I'm just not finding the headroom here to do so.

    At 100% wet, turning the fuzz knob towards max increases the output a hair, but there's a volume dip with all the settings I've tried.

    I appreciate the replies! I know it's tough diagnosing issues if you don't have firsthand experience with gear.
  6. I'm currently using a slightly modified version of the Graham Slam sample setting from the manual and i have no issues with not being able to achieve unity gain...are you using a compressor or a noise gate by chance?
  7. I'm running a compressor last in the chain, and thought that's what the issue was at first. After trying the BFD before and after the compressor, and then turning it off, there wasn't an appreciable difference.

    I have no trouble reaching unity while using the clean blend, and my concern was with reaching unity only using the wet signal. I like the clean blend, but I'd also like the option of going 100% fuzz without a reduction in dbs. Snakeman, have you tried any settings using just the Wet knob?
  8. no i haven't but every setting i have used so far the dry knob never get's above 10:00 and the wet never below Noon...and again no problems with volume


    but as you can see i use a variety of dirt pedals for different songs in our set...as some of them get lost in certain passages where others do not...
  9. I can definitely see that :). I'd certainly be curious to see if you're able to hit unity gain with just the wet signal from the BFD through your setup. As it stands, I have to run the Dry knob at 11 o'clock minimum and dime the Wet to reach unity gain. With these settings, the clean signal still pushes the fuzz back in the mix, so I'm kind of at a loss here.
  10. i'll give it a try tomorrow and report back..
  11. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Roots and fifths and a little extra. Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    I'm also curious if you can get unity gain through just the dry signal or not.
  12. I own a BFD and my feeling is that it is not meant to be used with 0% of clean signal. I read somewhere that by mixing some clean signal, MXR did not need to overload the fuzz with lows, hence keeping an articulate and intelligible sound. I feel they did a great job.
    My two cents: No meant to be used with less than 25% of clean signal which should be already nicely fuzzy anyway.
  13. it's official!....I cannot reach unity gain with just the wet knob engaged...I had to blend the dry knob to a minimum of the nine o'clock position in order to achieve this...anything less VOLUME DROP...

    scottfeldstein..YES unity gain can be achieved with just the dry knob engaged!
  14. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Roots and fifths and a little extra. Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    I'm guessing it's by design, then.
  15. 254 stringer

    254 stringer Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2010
    Waco Texas
    My settings are dry 10:00 wet 3:30 tone 1:30 fuzz 4:00 and if I turn down the dry I have unity as far as volume it is fizzy and lacks the low end that I get when the dry is dialed in but the volume is the same.
  16. vegas532


    Nov 10, 2006
    Pensacola, FL.
    Not your imagination, folks, it's by design. That dry knob is intended to bring some beef in to the signal path.
  17. I appreciate the feedback, you guys are the best! It sounds like everything's normal on my end, then. It would have been nice to have the option of going 0% Dry/100% Wet, but the pedal sounds too good otherwise to make that a dealbreaker. I'll be putting it through it's paces live tomorrow, so I'm pumped to see how it does.
  18. ga_edwards


    Sep 8, 2000
    UK, Essex
    I've found that the tone control has a lot of influence over the perceived volume. At either end of the tone knob sweep it sounds a little louder than in the middle area. In that middle area it definitely seems quieter than unity gain with wet at 100% and dry turned off.
  19. Gmclachlan


    May 11, 2011
    I found the same thing. I'm not crazy about the "stacked" sound some blend knobs have, so I just put it in a loop with an M-80 to add volume. Not the ideal solution.
  20. I just got the BFD, and while I don't mind that feature, I would still like to be able to get the beef with no dry...just for versatilities sake.
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