1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Overdrive Comparisons (with sound clip)

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by LowG, Apr 12, 2009.

  1. LowG


    Dec 8, 2006
    Milwaukee, WI
    I'm trying out some bass overdrives. I'm looking for an almost-always on pedal for rock music playing. I also tried to limit myself to a small footprint, hence no Fulltone.

    Right now I have an Xotic Bass BB Preamp, a Humphrey Bass Modded Digitech Bad Monkey, and a Boss ODB-3. The clip I posted is me trying to see how close each of these can be made to sound like one another. I just tried to find what to my ears was a good overdrive sound on the most expensive one (the BB) and then tweaked the others to try to come as close as possible to that sound. Since the Boss is the only one with a blend knob, I used it fully wet so it would match up with the others.

    Can the inexpensive guys pull it off? You tell me! Guess which is which.

    The recording is a repeated loop of a bass line using the Boss RC20. I started the loop phrase plucking very lightly, and plucked harder and harder as the loop goes on ‘till I was digging in as hard as is comfortable.

    I recorded it with a Studio Projects B1 mic center cone on my Yorkville 15" cab with an Ashdown ABM500 head. The Ashdown is metering just below the red and is 50/50 tube-SS with some different preamp tube in there that I forget the brand of.

    It’ll go 2 loops clean, then 2 each of each pedal, and ending with another clean phrase. I also edited out the “clicks” of the pedals so you wouldn’t get any hints.

    Overall, I was surprised at how similarly I could get each of them to sound to each other - the differences are quite subtle to me. They do certainly differ in the general range of sound that each of them has, and the eq frequencies for the high and low knobs on each one are definitely centered differently.

    I’m not sure yet which one I’ll keep. I’m sure I can get a usable overdrive out of any of them. I’ll start exploring the extremes of the pedals and focusing in more on the subtleties before I decide.
  2. theunknowndude

    theunknowndude Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2007
    Adelaide, Australia
    thats interesting with the blend fully on on the ODB3,... I'm guessing almost all of them have been similarly eq'd? not really having heard any pedal except the ODB3 today (and never in that setting, usually grindy distorted pick or slap work..) found it very interesting that they sounded so similar,... as to your question on guessing I have no idea :( but considering the ODB3 in future so anything you have to say would be helpful ;) good to know it can be subtle though! :)
  3. LowG


    Dec 8, 2006
    Milwaukee, WI
    No - I had to eq each one pretty differently to get them to sound the same. The Boss had the highs and lows cut, the Digitech had both boosted a fair amount, and the BB had both boosted just a little.

    What I can say about the Boss is that even if it can do subtle, if you let the hi eq and tghe gain up it can get very distorted and aggressive. That's when that blend knob starts getting useful.

Share This Page