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Overdrive: Fulltone OCD vs. Catalyst vs. ??

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by moles, Apr 24, 2010.

  1. moles


    Jan 24, 2007
    Winnipeg, MB
    Okay, I didn't want to have to start a new thread on these, but after a few hours of searching (over two days) I still haven't really come across the info I'm looking for...

    Currently I'm using a Boss GT-10B, which overall I'm pretty happy with. For somewhat complicated reasons that we don't need to really get in to here, I've decided that it may be better for the flow of my bands set, to put it into a loop so I can just bypass it and go direct at times.

    This would pretty much leave me with no overdrive/grit sounds on the bypass loop. Time to go shopping ;). Ideally I'd like a nice warm but tight sounding, growly overdrive - something that'll sit in the mix nicely, and just add a bit of punch for choruses and guitar solos, without being over the top. (I've got lots of options on the GT-10B for that)

    I've owned in the recent past: MXR Blowtorch, a newer Big Muff PI, Nano Muff, SansAmp BDDI, Boss ODB-3... I pretty much liked all of those, for what they did (other than the Boss).

    I've tried out the Fulltone Bass Driver, and liked it - I think it might be close to what I'm looking for, But It's Just Too Damn Big for my board - unless I absolutely need to squeeze it on there. On the GT-10B, the "Natural" overdrive module also sounds close to what I'm going for - but again I'm looking for something to stick in the other loop...

    So - digging around the local classified's here, I've seen a couple of other Fulltone pedals up for sale - OCD, and the Catalyst.

    I've read lots of references to the OCD here, but I'm still on the fence about whether it could do a mild, growly overdrive, that won't suck low end, or be too tone altering (ie, a huuge mid punch, or scoop, etc...)

    Can anyone describe how well the Catalyst works with bass? (we're talkin' the Fulltone, not the R&R workshop fuzz...)

    Option 3, since I'm trying to do this semi-on-the-cheap, is a Bad Monkey (Or, is that a Bad Idea?)

    Sorry for the long post - appreciate any comments or insight...
  2. Mark Olson

    Mark Olson Banned

    Mar 19, 2008
    In my experience with them, the OCD is more transparent than the Bass-Drive. I think the OCD would be very good for what you're looking for.

    I wish I could comment on the Catalyst because I'd love to try one out, but unfortunately I haven't gotten around to it yet. If you do end up trying that one out, please let me know what kind of impression you get from it!
  3. moles


    Jan 24, 2007
    Winnipeg, MB
    I think I might just try to snag both - just to Compare and Report. :D I think it's the added tone controls on the Catalyst that makes me think it'd be more versatile...
  4. Mark Olson

    Mark Olson Banned

    Mar 19, 2008
    Yeah that Catalyst definitely looks cool. I'm pretty familiar with the sound of the OCD so a direct comparison between the two would be greatly appreciated!
  5. Crabby


    Dec 22, 2004
    I freakin adore the OCD pedal on bass. I compared it directly with my Fulltone Bassdrive and the OCD was a clear winner. It retained the low end much better, was more transparent, way more tweakable and just simply sounds better. You can't go wrong. The catalyst looks really cool too but I haven't tried one.
  6. matt_bass


    Jan 20, 2008
    May I ask what version OCD your using Crabby? I'm in much the same position as the OP, have a Bassdrive but wat something smaller etc.
  7. Smallequestrian

    Smallequestrian Rock and/or Roll

    Jul 6, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    I tried to the Catalyst at a guitar shop at the same time as I tried the OCD.

    The OCD is way, way more bass friendly than the Catalyst, it was immediately obvious. I had hoped the Catalyst would work, because it was a cool orange ;) , but the OCD is much cooler and one of my favorite bass OD's.
  8. Crabby


    Dec 22, 2004
    I have the latest version OCD pedal which is V4 I believe. I still have not heard a nicer sounding overdrive pedal for bass. Its very transparent and lets the tone of your bass shine through.
  9. Matt Dean

    Matt Dean Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    SF (North) Bay Area
    You might try the Xotic Bass BB pre... it's a tube screamer clone and is a very transparent OD.
  10. rockstarbassist

    rockstarbassist Banned

    Apr 30, 2002
    The Woodlands, TX
    Endorsing Artist: HCAF
    I was gonna bump that for ya as I just got my Bass BB in and it's great!

    I am eying the OCD as well, though.
  11. moles


    Jan 24, 2007
    Winnipeg, MB
    I'm curious about this - specifically how was it better?

    I wound up getting the Catalyst - tried it at a shop before I bought it, with a Sadowsky J that was there, through a Markbass rig. I found it to have almost zero low end loss, and a remarkable dynamic range at low to mid drive settings.

    Since I've brought it home, the low end loss issue has become mildly debateable. In some rooms, I've noticed what I'd call a "healthy tightening of the low end". Most times it's not noticeable at all. Having only had it for a couple of weeks at this point, I'm keeping one ear open on this one though...

    All that said, I'm extremely happy so far with the way it sounds. It's working great as a (nearly) "always on" drive to add some grit and sparkle.

    I still haven't been able to try an OCD - the only thing at the shop I was able to compare the Catalyst to side by side was a Bad Monkey - which in comparison sucked nearly all the lowest bass out of the signal.
  12. BassBrass


    Jul 6, 2009
    Boston MA
    I tried an OCD and traded it for the Xotic BB. For me, the OCD had too much low end loss. The Xotic's bass control allows for the perfect low end push and plenty of midrange. I use it when I'm playing fast and want the notes to have impact. Other than that, a Devi Ever Karaoke Party (a bit cheaper) is my most used overdrive. What it does to mids is glorious. But if I were to use just one pedal (and no VT), it would be the Xotic BB pre.
  13. EricF

    EricF Habitual User

    Sep 26, 2005
    Pasadena, CA
    I enjoy the OCD for dense distortion. It's a lovely beast.
  14. Col E Loc

    Col E Loc Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2009
    Brooklyn, NYC
    Is it just me or is the question "apples or oranges" (where oranges are the catalyst). Catalyst seems to me more like a fuzz than an OD. I've not had the chance to check out the OCD, but i've A/B'd the Catalyst and the Bassdrive (New version), and found the catalyst thickens the tone, where the Bassdrive was adding what seemed like more "dirt"

    there's a switch on the catalyst (Spark & flame?) i found the "spark" setting more or less useless for bass tones - a little to hungry for me.
  15. klk999


    Apr 6, 2007
    Charlotte, NC
    Have you considered the Pork Loin? I love mine. It can go from clean boost to crunchy OD, and sounds great.
  16. Valerus


    Aug 4, 2005
    Austin, Texas
    I will never love another Overdrive.
  17. For reference, I'm sitting in front of both a Fulltone Bassdrive and OCD at the moment. Very similar overdrive character on both. They both drop a bit of bass, fulldrive has a bump in the mids whereas the OCD has a big treble boost and is therefore much "brighter".

    I use the Bassdrive as a mildly grindy boost for solos and the coloration actually works to my advantage and helps me cut through. Never tried the OCD on bass until today. I could get a usable tone out of it, but I prefer the Bassdrive. Don't think I'd want to leave either on all the time, unless I was going for a very lo-fi classic rock sort of sound.

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