Pedals that surprised you.

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by kohntarkosz, Feb 2, 2014.

  1. kohntarkosz

    kohntarkosz Banned

    Oct 29, 2013
    Edinburgh - Scotland
    I always think bassists have to scrabble around in the wake of guitarists to find pedals that they know will work with bass. This is changing, but it seems that until fairly recently the prospects were bleak for bassists.

    Anyway, what pedals did you find worked with bass, even when you didn't see it coming? The battered DOD pedal with the battery cover missing, languishing in the back of the practice space? The drunken Ebay purchase that took four weeks to come from China? The piece of vintage gear you had written off for the last ten years until you dusted it down?

    To get the ball rolling... mine is the Boss OD-20.


    Boss killed this one off quickly. Guitarists hated it. Some of the settings (the Rockman emulator especially) make no sense. Like other digital distortions it is somehow harsh AND muddy at the same time. Swampy, slushy, turgid and ugly.

    However, one or two sounds shine with bass. Notably, the Tubescreamer and Klon (lol) sound good and retain the low end perfectly. Yesterday I dragged it along to my ampless band's rehearsal (Roland V drums and pedals into a mixer into a decent stereo PA system). The line-out has a cab sim attached and it sounds really good! The "Bottom" control is in fact a sub-octave synth that tracks really well until the 12th fret on the G string. I was surprised, and will probably take this (over the usual barrage of drive, fuzz and compressor pedals).

    It looks like a kids toy, but it sounds pretty decent on one or two settings.
  2. Guinness20


    Jan 24, 2013
    Liverpool, UK
    Way huge pork loin. People on here really rave about it, but I tried it recently and it was really quite anticlimactic. It just didn't do it for me - I didn't find it to be particularly special. Maybe I was expecting something different from it - I suppose I didn't expect it to be so subtle, and thought it would maybe have a better dirt sound to it. Looks ace though, and the controls are laid out nicely.
  3. kohntarkosz

    kohntarkosz Banned

    Oct 29, 2013
    Edinburgh - Scotland
    Interesting to hear that. I was looking more for pedals that went the other way and punched above their weight. I guess this is interesting to read though!
  4. SunnBass

    SunnBass All these blankets saved my life.

    Aug 31, 2010
    Columbia, Mo
    The Joyo Ultimate Drive is the most pleasant surprise I've experienced pedal-wise.
  5. kohntarkosz

    kohntarkosz Banned

    Oct 29, 2013
    Edinburgh - Scotland

    And I can imagine a guy called 'Sunnbass' would be difficult to please when it came to bass overdrives. :D

    Correct me if I am wrong.
  6. SunnBass

    SunnBass All these blankets saved my life.

    Aug 31, 2010
    Columbia, Mo
    No, you're very correct.
    And to be honest, I'm a little wishy-washy on my B3K.
    But I can honestly say I love my Ultimate Drive. And, at less than $40...
  7. adi77

    adi77 Banned

    Mar 15, 2007
    mxr phase 90, boss oc3, proco rat
  8. jumblemind

    jumblemind I also answer to Bryan Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2011
    Fascinating, most people seem to have the opposite reaction: love the sound but don't like the looks/form factor. I myself was surprised in a good way by the Pork Loin, even knowing it's reputation around here. It's very different from most overdrives in that it is so subtle and dark, doesn't flub out on the low notes, and it has the perfect crunch for the sound in my originals group.
  9. jumblemind

    jumblemind I also answer to Bryan Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2011
    Ok, so my biggest surprise is probably the runoffgroove Ginger that I got JohnK to build me. I didn't even like it at first because I was expecting something different, or I was expecting it to behave like other pedals I've had with similar controls. The more time has gone by, though, the more I've learned how to dial it in with my rig and come to appreciate the range of awesome tones and uses in the pedal, as well as the craftsmanship that really sets it apart from any other pedal I've owned. The ironic thing is I thought it didn't do very well what I wanted when I commissioned it, and yet now that I've took the time, it does that very thing better than any other pedal I've tried.

  10. russpurdy


    Apr 16, 2013
    Biyang Mouse
  11. kohntarkosz

    kohntarkosz Banned

    Oct 29, 2013
    Edinburgh - Scotland
    That's a Rat clone right? How does it work with bass?
  12. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    Aug 11, 2012
    Upstate NY, USA
    Voodoo Lab Sparkle Drive. I was not in the market for an OD, but my guitar player was selling it, so I tried it. It turned out to be just the subtle grit machine I had been looking for (and thought I had found) when I bought my HBE Hematoma. For about two weeks, they were both on the board... and then the Hematoma came off.
  13. Guinness20


    Jan 24, 2013
    Liverpool, UK
    I agree with you that it's different from most overdrives. Maybe I just went into it not open-minded enough. It's just that I'm looking at a diamond bass comp, which adds a bit of punch and sparkle to your tone. When I think overdrive, I think more like a b3k. Admittedly a bit more metallic sounding than I'd like, but makes a bass sound mean as hell and helps it cut through. I think I've got to try this out next, sounds promising -
  14. aphexafx

    aphexafx A mind is a terrible thing.

    Dec 10, 2013
    Denver, Colorado
    Designer - Big Machine Electronics
    My Markbass Mini Boost is the best thing I've done for my board and I wasn't expecting that. I bought it for leveling the output of my basses BUT now using it to drive my overdrive and dirt harder has been eye opening, and further, the VPF at the head of my chain has really been great for fine tuning my sound. The boost is super clean with the VPF off. Not as cool as new dirt but I love it.
  15. Bassmike62

    Bassmike62 GAS resistance is utterly futile... Supporting Member

    Good surprise: VT Bass (v.2). For my playing style and dirt taste, this is an almost-perfect pedal.
  16. rob_thebassman


    Jul 26, 2010
    Normanton, UK
    playing bass since 2005
    Danelectro FAB Chorus

    my demo of it
  17. FilterFunk

    FilterFunk Everything is on the ONE! Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2010
    Seamoon Funk Machine. With the envelope closed, it gets really deep, but with open sweeps, it lacks low end. It's nowhere near a Mu-Tron, IMO, even though it's very favorably compared to the Mu-Tron. Expected it to be a lot better than it was.

    Line 6 OTTO Filter. Not highly regarded by most, but I coaxed some really good tones out of this box.

    Arion Bass Distortion. I actually heard a lot of good things about it, but figured it would be just OK. It's a LOT better than just OK!
  18. Turtle71

    Turtle71 Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2009
    Madison, WI
    Another vote for the Joyo Ultimate Drive.

    This pedal really surprised me, it got so much love recently, but I was still a skeptic...until I got I'm a rabid supporter!

    I actually ordered another one for my "bedroom board"! :bassist:
  19. sillyfabe

    sillyfabe keeping the low-end silly since '06 Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2009
    San Bernardino,CA
    Source Audio Orbital Modulator: paid it no mind till Skeet's phaser shoot-out then my cousin got one and let me borrow it. Absolutely killer with an INSANE amount of control and none of it sounds bad to my ears. This replaced about 5 pedals and it sounds better than them. Can't say anything bad about it honestly
  20. nshuman


    Sep 4, 2012
    Montreal, Qc, Canada
    Partner - CCP Pedals
    Fairfield Barbershop. I got it because it was getting an increasing amount of raves on bass. I got it and I was amazed at how good it was. It was what I had been looking for for a long while.

    PorkLoin. This was just as advertised, it may not be my main overdrive anymore but it is still one that I enjoy quite a lot.

    SFX Micro Red Dragon. I was expecting it to be good, but I did not think it would be such a nice low gain OD. It can be made to add such a subtle perfect colour.

    The Joyo UD of course, it is as good as everyone says.

    SourceAudio OFD, Orbital, Manta. these things live up to the hype that they are getting right now. I cannot say enough good things about them.