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My very own distortion thread...

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by rayzak, Feb 16, 2006.

  1. rayzak


    Jan 13, 2001
    Louisville, KY
    I know you fellas(and ladies... are there any ladies here?) are probably very tired of the distortion questions, but i've been reading a bunch of info and still have some questions.

    I use an all tube head (Mesa 400+), and use an active and a passive bass. Play mostly rock... from The Beatles to Black Sabbath to Grand Funk to Jane's Addiction to Kyuss to Fudge Tunnel to Tool.... well, you get my drift.

    I'm looking for a distortion/fuzz that will work with any era of heavier rock.
    It must sound good thru passive and active basses.

    What do you suggest?

    I've heard good things about a few... leading the way is the
    Fulltone Bassdrive, followed by:
    Prescription Depth Charge
    Frantone Lo-Tone
    E.H. Big Muff Pi
    E.H. English Muff'n
    Z Vex Wooley Mammoth(although not with active)

    What are your thoughts, experiences, etc.?
    What would you do?
  2. Higgie


    May 31, 2005
    London, England
    One I own and would definitely consider in your position would be the Tech21 Bass XXL. Can get very heavy, with no bass loss.
  3. nad

    nad 60 Cycle Humdinger Commercial User

    Sep 22, 2005
    Not Mars
    The Overlord of Nordstrand Pickups
    Gotta disagree, I owned one and it sucked out all kinds of low end, although you can add some back with the tone knob. Very disappointing in that regard, otherwise a decent pedal that can get downright nasty.

    Homebrew Hematoma, that one doesn't lose lowend and can go from somewhat mild to pretty heavy overdrive.


    The Woolly Mammoth can work fine with active basses if you don't crank the volume, but it's pretty much a one trick pony (read: best used for peeling paint off the walls).
  4. I love my Muff Pi...though it really only has one basic tone, that you mess with to make it trebly or bassy. Very heavy, in your face fuzz. No questions about it.

    I haven't tried the English Muffin, but basically from what i've heard, its a more versatile muff. It costs more, but it can go from a slight overdrive all the way to the harsh fuzz of the muff.
  5. oathbass462

    oathbass462 Guest

    Dec 27, 2005
    i have a Boss ODB-3 Bass Overdrive pedal and you can pretty much go just a little distorted like the beginning of H. by Tool, or you put really nasty distortion to it and make it growl, it goes for like $80, it's definatly a good buy. i also got a cool sound by running it through my brothers Boss Metal Zone.
  6. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private residence...man

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    Add the Digitech Bad Monkey to your list. Won't suck tone and will give you a nice range of od adjustment. I have one and I really like it. Not saying it's as good as, or better than, anything else on the list (though I like it far better than the Boss bass OD, personally) - just recommending it for consideration.
  7. sincity

    sincity Supporting Member

    Oct 16, 2002
    I think your Homebrew Hematoma sounds excellent. Is therea website for that?

  8. opivy3056

    opivy3056 stardust in a light beam Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2004
    Annapolis, MD
    Big Muff Pi USA...hands down.
  9. dumelow


    Feb 8, 2006
    i know this is most common thing to say but best bet is to try some pedals, just go to nearest shop and try a pedal, or if you cant do that, just take a gamble and buy one you like the look of

    i tried a usa big muff in a shop near me, wasnt too keen, but i heard the russian version is more of a focused fuzz, so i bought it, and i love it
  10. nad

    nad 60 Cycle Humdinger Commercial User

    Sep 22, 2005
    Not Mars
    The Overlord of Nordstrand Pickups
  11. I'm using a bad monkey for just a tad bit of grit and it kind of sucks. I bought it because of the hype and hoopla everyone's giving it, and was seriously let down. For lack of a better term, the distortion sounds too "pedal-y," not smooth at all, just nasty, and not nasty in a good way. You can kind of cop a little bit of a Faith No More grindy vibe, if that's your thing. When fundage allows it, I'll probably replace it with a Tubeblower.
    For a really heavy distorted sound, I'm using a Keeley modded Pro Co Rat and it smokes. It has little to no perceiveble low end loss and sounds like a wall of deathy sludge emanating from my amp. Its got a pretty dark sound, but it can also be very warm depending on where you set the distortion and filter knobs. Low gain settings are nothing to write home about. This one's made for a heavy distortion.

    Just my two cents.
  12. rayzak


    Jan 13, 2001
    Louisville, KY
    Thanks for all the replies, guys.
    Some very useful info.

    nad, thanks for the soundsamples.
    That pedal sounds fantastic. It's definetly one of my 'finalists':bassist:
  13. Tedintheshed

    Tedintheshed Banned

    Oct 8, 2004
    Columbus, Ohio
    Well, let me add something here.

    You may be able to find a single fuzz pedal to do all of the above, but it's gonna be a PAIN.

    Imagine having to adjust your one pedal to several sounds. The adjustments won't always be the same either, depending on the room, volume levels and the like. you don't know if it's right until you actually play the song, and while you are you'll probably be tweeking it.

    I know it's not the most economical way to go, but OI have 3 pedals.

    The MXR M-80 Bass DI is what cops my Fear Factory clean/distortion blended sound.

    I just acquired a Sovtek Big Muff Pi. This is what I'll use for My all fuzz tone, like on the beginning of "H." by Tool and on the Metallica we play.

    The Third is my Black Cat Bass Octave Fuzz. For that face-melting tone this is even nastier than a Wolly Mammoth. I use it for that Timmy C. sound, amount others.

    There is an option, although I don't know how well it will work- the new Programable SanAmps will save 3 settings that are allaccesible instanly via one of three footswitches. My experience with the regular BBDI is that the fuzz is prety tame, like an overdriven SVT. But give it a try- you may like it.
  14. Mudfuzz


    Apr 3, 2004
    Another cool thing to do is run a Fuzz [I use a Sovtek Big Muff π or a Vox tone bender for supper evil sickness] into a overdrive [I use a Boss] it takes a bit of tweaking to get it right [the volume control of the fuzz REALLY comes into play here] but it gives you the possibility of some very verying sounds.