Overdrive pedals with a solid state amp

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by jacoby75, Dec 6, 2014.

  1. jacoby75

    jacoby75 Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2010
    Coldwater, MI
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Guitars, DR Strings
    Hey guys,

    I'm looking for something that will add a little grit to my tone. Something that would be always on to beef up the tone a little, make it just a little dirty/hairy. But I think I'm running into a little problem. The few pedals I've tried so far sound like butt through my GK combo amp. The overdrive just sounds like harsh fizzy nastiness. I've heard some great results online from different pedals, but nothing sounds good out of my amp. When I play in church, I'll just be running direct with no amp anyway, but I'm using the amp now to get a feel for how it might sound. Is the issue just that I'm not using a tube amp?

    I tried a Wren and Cuff Phat Phuk B based on a lot of recommendations here. In the video demo by the designer it sounds phenomenal. Fattens up the tone and gives it a little grit. But with my GK combo, it doesn't have the same effect. It doesn't get gritty at all. When I put the level around 3:00 or higher, it pushes the amp's gain into overdrive, but that just turns into harsh fizzy noise. I will say, though, that I'm going to keep this pedal anyway. While it doesn't give me the grit I'm looking for (at least not out of my amp), it does something magical to the tone. I don't know how to describe it. Much like his description in the video, though, it brings the lows up and accents the highs in just the right place. It really sounds incredible, like I think my bass should sound. But, again, no grit. Maybe when I try running it direct it will give me some grit?

    I also tried an MXR Bass Overdrive and Taurus Abigar. The MXR sounds like a$$, even when dialing in plenty of clean. The overdrive is just fizz. The Taurus sounds better at lower settings, but there's nothing musical about the overdrive sounds. It just sounds harsh.

    Am I missing something? Any advice on getting a good warm overdrive tone going straight direct or through a solid state amp?

  2. monkeyfinger

    monkeyfinger Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Typically, I have to cut some highs, and usually some deep bass. In short, good overdrive is about getting the mids right IMO. One recommendation, put an eq after your dirt.
  3. Oneirogenic


    Nov 10, 2009
    Your amp eq might be a problem too.
  4. bassmusic17


    Jan 15, 2011
    You can try a more transparent OD like a Fairfield Barbershop.
    tsheldon, blindrabbit and petrus61 like this.
  5. willbassyeah


    Oct 9, 2011
    Sounds like something a sansamp will help,
  6. jacoby75

    jacoby75 Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2010
    Coldwater, MI
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Guitars, DR Strings
    Thanks for the advice, guys. I thought about a sansamp, but I've never liked them in the past. I don't like the fake tubeyness, and it colors the bass too much for my tastes. I got an MXR bass direct box + precisely because it leaves my bass sounding exactly like my bass, but gives me added eq control. I might try running that direct into headphones tomorrow and see how it sounds.
  7. BazzTard

    BazzTard Inactive

    so do people in America go to church for a free concert or to pray to their god? I really don't get this whole worship band thing.
    I'm not trying to be funny or rude, I genuinely want to know what it is all about. I'm from Australia, from Greek Orthodox folks so it's all (literally) foreign to me. Our church has old men in beards chanting in that old way, boringsville.

    Sounds like a lot of bassists are enjoying being in these bands, what denominations do this?
    Alex_SG likes this.
  8. monkeyfinger

    monkeyfinger Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    I honestly appreciate your interest in this subject. But I think, for the sake of keeping this topic in line with the forum, that you take your question to the 'Off Topic' forum where it will be more apropos.
    blindrabbit likes this.
  9. willbassyeah


    Oct 9, 2011
    I think it depends on the type of church you go, ime new creation, bethany type of church usually have a band that play the music. More conventional type like the Catholic or Presbyterian churches usually play through a cd.
  10. willbassyeah


    Oct 9, 2011

    Did you try running the blend low?? Just asking as I realise most people who mentioned that sansamp sounds like a fake tube usually use extreme blend setting. The vt bass di might help imo. Other than that I would think the solid gold fx beta, Darkglass vintage, and the sft might help in adding character to your amp
    macmanlou and pudgychef like this.
  11. hintz


    Jun 5, 2014
    wahiawa, HI(Oahu)
    you have a ton of options, I use the DG B7K now, but I used to use the mxr, and I owned a few sansamps. The mxr beats the sansamp, but the B7k wins them all IMO. It can do the transparent thing if you go easy on the eq, and it can do the amp sound if you want it. If your really happy with the mxr and just want some transparent dirt for certain spots I love my fulltone bass drive, but it does emphasize the high midrange a bit.

    if your on a budget the cheaper option would be the hardwire cm2, or even cheaper the Joyo American

    I haven't tried some of the others mentioned,nor do I have much desire to after I got the fulltone(except maybe the VMT...)
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2014
  12. BazzTard

    BazzTard Inactive

    sorry, point taken
  13. I use this with my GK700RBII for exactly what OP describes. Works beautifully.
  14. jacoby75

    jacoby75 Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2010
    Coldwater, MI
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Guitars, DR Strings
    Do any of you guys play straight direct without any amp and use dirt? I reckon a Sansamp would be best for that, but I'm hoping to find a dirt that would work with either my MXR direct box or a regular passive direct box.
  15. Have you tried different amps? I run a Taurus Abigar into a TC BG250-115 and it's very musical. Also, don't dime the dirt. Roll back some of the drive and let the pedal volume alone push your amp.

    Happy hunting :)
  16. Teijo K.

    Teijo K. Commercial User

    Sep 8, 2014
    Jyväskylä, Finland
    Endorsing Artist: CCP
    The first thing I do when playing with dirt pedals on bass, is turning the (possible) tweeter off. The dirt sound gets instantly 67,87% better every time. I too have a GK combo, and after turning the tweeter off, it works fine with most dirt pedals.
    pudgychef and Tazz like this.
  17. Noylin


    May 28, 2014
    You can adjust the Phat Phuk internally to run dirtier, the manual explains it clearly and it's a simple adjustment that takes 5 minutes and a screwdriver.
    blindrabbit likes this.
  18. jacoby75

    jacoby75 Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2010
    Coldwater, MI
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Guitars, DR Strings
    Snap. I totally forgot about being able to bias the phuk. Thanks for that. And thanks for the tips about the eq. That made a huge difference. I bumped the high mids and highs and turned off the tweeter. Muuuuch better. The mxr still sounds like gorilla farts to me, but the taurus sounds pretty great. And the phuk makes a huge difference with every pedal.
  19. strictlybass_ic

    strictlybass_ic Mediocrity is a journey

    Jan 9, 2014
    Northern Indiana
    Haven't tried one myself, but a lot of people like the Joyo American Sound for just this reason. It'll save you a pretty penny over a B7K or Sansamp. For $30-40 might be worth a shot. There's quite a bit of talk about it around here so I'd do a search and see if its a good fit for you.

    Also, nixing the tweeter is always a good call (IMO at least).
  20. BudD


    Jan 20, 2011
    Um. Do you really want to show up at church with a pedal labeled Phat Phuk?