I have been wanting another bass sound for solos. I was thinking of an EQ pedal, because I could set it with a little clean boost, and surely find some EQ-setting well-suited to soloing. Bass-cut or something. I went to store #1 and tried the Boss GEB-7, which worked out pretty great. With everything flat, turn it on, turn it off, it sounded the same. That's a basic thing, but a lot of pedal-makers would get it wrong. Then, messing around with the EQ, it's very powerful. You can get these pedals used for like $40, so it's a strong contender. I also tried a Radial ToneBone, which is a tube distortion with lots of parameters. I'm personally not in need of that right now. Went to GC and that was ridiculous. They have all these effects set up, including the MXR M-80 I wanted to try, but no bass amp. Getting a bass amp over there and finding a way to plug it in without setting off alarms was beyond the abilities of several staffers. They didn't want me to play through the guitar amps, because I would "blow them up." Finally, this gets done, I start playing with the pedal, and one of the buttons is broken. Jesus! They have one more in stock, and let me use that one. Nice pedal. I think I will end up getting it. It offers two potential sounds for my situation, EQ/boost & EQ/boost/distortion. Also, it's a DI and would be a backup in case of my rig failing. The distortion is strong and sharp, but can be blended to taste. I was able to find some sounds I think will work quite nicely. In the GC environment, I couldn't fully appreciate the noise gate, but I imagine that'll be a nice feature. While I was there, I ran into a friend and he told me to check out the Aphex Punch Factory. I get them to hook that up, and wow. Best compressor I've ever used. (It also has a DI, which is why he turned me on to it) You can set it really high and it doesn't sound overcompressed, just fatter and fatter. That would be another way to go, since the goal is really to make the solo step out front, and to have a little sustain to work with. What is an optical compressor? I'll have to look that up. Went to store #3 and tried the sansamp. Didn't really like it for my purposes. With EQ flat, there was no boost possible, and the overdrive was too compressed for me to want to solo with (or something). I liked the idea of the programmable sansamp, to get potentially three sounds, but really I'm not into subtle effects. I could see the use of the sansamp to turn a bland bass sound into a cool one, for general use. But I already really like the basic sound I have, for supportive bass playing. MXR M-80 is like $125 new, and only maybe goes down to $100 used. I'll see if they want to sell me the broken one, and I can probably just replace the button. If they go low enough on that, I'll do it, otherwise might as well just get a new one. They probably can just send back broken gear though. I don't get too much new gear, but in this case it makes some sense.