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overdrive or distortion?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by pereek, Jul 22, 2002.

  1. rite need/want need fx pedal for band.
    in the usual metal band.
    dont know wether or not to get a overdrive or a distortion. so here come the quesitons:

    what you guys find best?

    what make do u recomend? (i got about $60)
  2. monkeyfinger

    monkeyfinger Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    An overdrive is a pedal that boosts the clean signal to the point at which it overdrives the input stage of your amp.

    An distortion pedal distorts the bass signal before sending it to the amp.

    Fuzz is distortion with a lot of bottom-end.

    I would suggest a distortion pedal unless you have a tube pre-amp with a good overdriven sound.

    For $60.00 I would look at a rat pedal or for a fuzzier sound the Big Muff Pi. (Rat is supposedly coming out with a bass version. I can't wait to try that one.)

    A lot depends on what you are using for a bass and amp. Also, what kind of music you play, and whose bass distortion sounds you like. Tell me that and I can help you out more.
  3. Si-bob


    Jun 30, 2001
    Hemel Hempstead, UK
    Focusrite / Novation
    Just get a Distorta-Drive or a Over-tortion :)


    for when its neccersary (not very often it has to be said) i use a ProCo Rat.

  4. Ibanez GSR 205
    trace elliot 100 watt amp

    going for the good hard hitting sound but not so much that you can hear the little details.
    We play metal but bass lines just seem to sit on the top dont really mix nicely.
  5. monkeyfinger

    monkeyfinger Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Boss ODB-3
  6. Fulltone Bass Drive
    ...or get outta' town.

    Not Distortion
    Not Fuzz,

    I've owned a Boss ODB-3 for years and it blows wind.

    Otherwise, for cheap money -
    the Ibanez PhatHed PD7

    Ibanez Phat Head PD7 Sample

    Ibanez Tone Lok PD7 Phat Hed Bass Overdrive Pedal

    The PD7 lets bass players get in on the action. Ibanez has loaded this unit with 3 pre-amp style voicings and an attack control switch that accents the amount of harmonic content. It also features Drive, Lo, Hi and Level knobs so dialing in your sound has never been easier. Loaded with growling low-end distortion, the PD7 is an essential addition to any rock bassist’s set-up.

    The Drive control regulates the amount of overdrive being added to the clean signal. Lo and Hi knobs control the bass and treble amount and the level knob regulates the overall volume.
  7. monkeyfinger

    monkeyfinger Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    The Fulltone is more like a TS-9 for bass. I doubt that would give him the grinding metal tone he is looking for.
  8. ok cool. Got a demo of them both and i am listening to them both too. Next question:

    i got a AW3 (boss wah) which i love to pieces.
    I've never owned more than one effects pedal so if i had them both on do you think i could get overdrive wah? probably me being dumb, if so which one ibanez or boss?

    and Donne:
    what kinda switch does the ibanez have? big one like boss's because i fear i'd miss it live or something.

    thanks for everything so far.
  9. monkeyfinger

    monkeyfinger Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Wah and distortion go well together. Most people put the distortion before the WAH, but you should try both ways and see what works best for you.
  10. actinglikeafreak

    actinglikeafreak Guest

    Apr 24, 2000
    Puerto Rico
    If your looking for a cutting edge sound that will cut through guitar, but still have that overall basseness,
    Big Muff PI, my guitarist ha it and i use it from time to time, especially in chorus or solos.
    its a good fuzz pedal, some may say it lacks variations, but its nice compact, simple, turdy (steel made), and LOUD, i fiind a lot o tone for it.

    but then again, thats just talking
  11. Yes the Ibanez pedal does have a big fat switch that takes up more the half the pedal, much like the Boss. Plus the neat design additon of retractable control pots.
    Ibanez calls this the "Tone Lok" feature.

    The Ibanez has a FET (buffered) bypass much like most mass-produced pedals, e.g., Boss, DOD, etc...

    Yes, many Pro's use Boss and Ibanez pedals and think they are just fine.

    I notice the "tone drain" with those bypasses.

    Sure many people don't or won't notice it; or it doesn't bother them. It's very noticeable to me and drive me crazy.

    Also with FET bypasses... if the battery goes dead or the power supply becomes loose, the entire signal is cut off. In other words the bypass is also power dependent.

    With true mechanical bypasses, this never happens because in bypass mode the signal continues without the need for power. You'll never get cut off in the middle of a set.

    This also saves the battery quite a bit.
    Pedals like the FBD have a very, very low power drain on the battery. I use carbon-zinc batteries and they last as much as 4x's longer then Alaklines in a Boss pedal.
  12. Distortion can change the charactor of your bass completely, but overdrive is allot smoother than distortion... When I use real distortion I end up playing along one string with more attack to get out that crunch, or I'll play leggato lines at an 8th or higher in a lower octave. But both effects are a result of clipping, this is the production of large amounts of pre-gain into your amp, leading into some gnarly clipping commonly known as overdrive or distortion (or even in its most extreme phase as fuzz). You don’t necessarily need a stomp-box to create a cool overdrive effect it’s as simple as pushing enough volume into your amp until it generates a slightly distorted sound. That’s when your amp is peaking and certain extreme frequencies in your sound will overload the pre-amp and as a safeguard and limit are clipped out, thus the name clipping. But this requires allot of input volume and you’ll be better off buying an effect or pre-amp built specifically for overdrive. They contain actual clipping circuits to produce a wider variety of overdriven sounds at much lower volumes, plus they may be switched on and off. So either way it’s best bet.

    But when you use a ton of volume or distortion the notches of your playing are shot up as well as your dynamics, this means you get feedback and scratching from the strings, your mistakes become very apparent, and even sometimes your pickups will become micro-phonic. This can create some pretty neat effects, but they are not as desired by bass players who dig a more hands on steady, organic feel. You also get a large amount of noise, especially in harsher distortion or fuzz.

    You can prevent allot of these problems simply, PRACTICE; it’s the best advice I can give anyone when they play with distortion you can even improve your clean playing this way. You’ll notice that your judgment over your playing mistakes will become strict because your mistakes are more apparent. Solution: don’t make mistakes. You can also reduce clipped frequencies by using a compressor or gate after or before the clipping device.
  13. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    Overdrive! ;)

    (Fulltone or EBS, IMHO)
  14. eli

    eli Mad showoff 7-stringer and Wish lover Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 1999
    NW suburban Chicago
    But I thought you liked it?
  15. RyKnoz


    Dec 22, 2001
    For the money your willing to soend($60) I believe the ibanez phat head is the best one in that price range.
  16. EBS MultiDrive (ok it's more than $60 but really nice and can give you overdrive,distortion and fuzz)
  17. Pharmecopia


    Jul 31, 2002
    i would definatley use an overdrive. ibanez makes one thats decent, they have a bass overdrive and a guitar overdrive that works well too.
  18. when i was in your position when i first started playing bass and wanted a good overdrive/distortion/fuzz pedal, the only two names i heard were Electro-Harmonix Big Muff Pi and the ProCo Rat. and now, even after playing for some years and knowing much more about the effects out there, i'd say for overdrive it still only comes down to those two pedals. when i wanted distortion, i wanted a smoother sound, something a lot like Robert Sledge (the bassist of Ben Folds Five), and went with the Big Muff Pi. for your purposes, i think the Rat would fit much better for metal. The Rat isnt quite as bitey, "retro"-esque distortion, IMO...the Rat gets more of what i'd expect for metal distortion tones. but from all the distortion effects i've tried, NOTHING compares to either of these pedals, and they're both in the $40-60 range.

  19. which one are you talking about? perhaps the PD7 Phat-Hed because I tried that one and I had the feeling that it sound way to thin an has a huge loss in bass response, even worse than the odb-3 (with a bit of mixed in dry signal)
  20. Well you DO get what you pay for.
    The ProCo Rat also cuts the bottom end.

    The Fulltone Bass Drive keeps the lows.

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