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Pigtronix Fat Drive?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by newbold, Jan 13, 2012.

  1. newbold


    Sep 21, 2008
    This looks like everything I want from an OD but don't get from my Disnortion.

    It sounds awesome on the clips for guitar I've heard but for bass?

    Will it have that smooth punchy gristle I seek out

    Kinda like a touch sensitive exstacy drive would probably be like.

    I love the tubiness of my OFO but tonally, I've heard other amazing things without the touch sensitive that I am passively seeking out.
  2. Laurent

    Laurent Supporting Member

    May 21, 2008
    Napa, California
    Sounds like a take on Fulltone Fat Boost.
    I would stick to the original. The Fat Boost is a great pedal for clean to slightly dirty overdrive. I also adds a hair of compression.
  3. JBTucci


    Oct 27, 2008
    I'm also interested in this one - can't believe someone hasn't checked this out yet?
  4. newbold


    Sep 21, 2008
    I like the fat boost as well but this pedal seems to do something else. The fat boost is more like a preamp than a drive pedal.
  5. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
  6. newbold


    Sep 21, 2008
  7. ric4682

    ric4682 Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2008
    I've very interested in this pedal as well. There's a demo somewhere on youtube of someone playing bass through it. From what I remember it wasn't a very good demo but it seems like it sounds great on bass..though I couldn't really tell.
  8. Steveaux

    Steveaux Supporting Member

    Jul 1, 2008
    The Wilds of NW Pa.
    Pigtronix Fat Drive Bass Demo - New for NAMM 2012 - YouTube
  9. Nighttrain1127

    Nighttrain1127 Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2004
    Near Worcester MA
    There is no SD card involved in the Fat Drive there is with the looper they showed with the Fat Drive at NAMM
  10. wow - the demos sound amazing!!
  11. BugZaney


    Mar 7, 2012
    i've got this and use it for both bass and guitar. color me satisfied.
  12. newbold


    Sep 21, 2008
    Have you played other pigtronix distortion pedals?

    Any comparison to their other overdrive offerings?
  13. Laurent

    Laurent Supporting Member

    May 21, 2008
    Napa, California
    Well sometimes one has to eat his or her words. This is the case here for me.
    Long story short I tested this pedal in a store and like it so much I bought it. Regular readers know I have an extensive collection of pedals and gone through many, many more in the past few years.

    First the bad. The guys at Pigronixs get a D for creativity and naming this pedal so close to Fulltone Fat Boost. Their lack of imagination makes them look like they are putting out a me-too product when this is not the case. The Fulltone Fat Boost is mostly a clean boost while the Pigtronix Fat Drive is a distortion pedal. In the realm of details I would give them a poor grade for the huge box (why waste all that cardboard and foam) and the use of plastic plugs for the inputs and outputs of the pedal. Guys this is a pedal it's got to be road worthy; use metal!

    Now the good and the most important. The pedal is glorious sounding on bass. It has a switch that allows going from mellow woolly overdrive and mild distortion to hot distortion with a sizzling cut through top without a volume jump. Very, very well done. The pedal retains bass very nicely and has a nice degree of compression, punch and articulation.

    I was so impressed by it that I had to pit it against my go-to distortion pedals. I pulled the Hematoma from HBE, the Vintage Bass Distortion from TC Electronics and the Agro from Aguilar. The Fat Drives sits really nicely in this group and holds its own. Compared with the Hematoma, it's more articulated and more compressed. The fizzy top, hot distortion switch tone (upper position) on the Fat Overdrive is something the Hematoma does not do well. The Hematoma is loser, less articulated. It get close with the boost on which adds compression but not all the way. The TC Electronics seemed to be able to come pretty close but it had its own flavor. I could get both pedals to sound like each other in some tones but not always. The Aguilar is kind of its own distortion pedal and it is generally brighter than the Fat Overdrive. The Aguilar is really singular sounding and I don't know of any pedal that sounds quite like it. I suspect you love it or hate it. In front of an SVT that pedal really shines.

    Anyways, the Pigtronix Fat Overdrive is not completely unique sounding and it falls into the Tube Screamer family (to my ears - don't know about the actual circuit) but it offers two well calibrated very distinctive voices of distortion and the ability to go from one to the other with just the flick of a switch. Tone wise it's terrific and it's capable of very mild distortion (overdrive, really) to mild fuzz with pretty much everything in between. The pedal can also be used with a 9 volt or 19 volt power supply. I try both and did not hear an earthshattering difference but it's a nice feature. I suspect it adds volume and headroom. The pedal also comes with an 18 volt power supply. Nice of them to throw this in. The tone control is also well done and goes from bassy to bright. Form factor is tiny, essentially a small MXR size pedal. The gain on it is quite significant and offers plenty of muscle to bash the front of a tube amp.

    Bottom line, the relatively modest price delivers lots of value and great bass tone. This pedal has a lot to offer and should be on your list of pedal to try for your distortion needs. It would be a great pedal for the bass player who wants one pedal that does everything well, from warm tubey tones to hot raging distortion.
  14. Laurent

    Laurent Supporting Member

    May 21, 2008
    Napa, California
    I have played the Disnortion pedal and kind of liked it but not enough to buy it. I thought at the time that it was a good all in one pedal but that I had separate pedals which could outperform this pedal. I was a bit unstelled about the three effects running in parallel as opposed to be able to stack them. That aside I thought it was a pretty good sounding pedal and might be a good option for a bass player starting out and wanting to use one single unit.

    The Fat Drive does not sound like the Disnortion.
  15. newbold


    Sep 21, 2008
    I got the disnortion to cover my bases but I find that I'm using it (when I do) entirely different uses than intended. I really like the touch-sensitive OD and the touch-sensitivity of the Fat Drive is what I'm most interested in

    For the record, the Octave up in the disnortion is not parallel to the other 2 units, it's before them. If it WERE parallel and had a level control for the ringmod when engaged with the other 2 distortions as well as a clean blend I think you'd probably have looked no further than the OFO at the time and not moved onto some of those other units that you like so much.

    With 6 stages, I was thinking there could be a really juicy range of tone at lower gain settings. I rarely have my OD's gain past nine o'clock, let alone eleven.

    Thanks for the review.
  16. Laurent

    Laurent Supporting Member

    May 21, 2008
    Napa, California
    Thanks for the clarification. Yes the Octave is before the two other effects. However I am under the impression that the two other effects on this pedal are in parallel as opposed to stacked (one affecting the other).

    And yes the Fat Drive is extremely touch sensitive. It's not the kind of OD that takes over your playing.
  17. newbold


    Sep 21, 2008
    Pigtronix will mod the pedal for a cascading drive option as you've suggested, but much like the empress multi-drive, the Disnortion's fuzz and drive circuits are parallel which allows for a lot of toneshaping.

    So if you want a treble edge to bite over a woofy low-gain OD for a solo or a chorus you have it on tap. It's a great way to blend tones together and I use the fuzz side as more of a hairy pre/boost than a full-on fuzz. I get a lot more mileage out of this configuration than I ever figured I would. I just wanted a bunch of distortions on tap so I could learn what I want. Now all I want is this with a couple of mods, mostly to let me use the Octava channel more and to get more out of the pedal overall.

    Hooray for clean blends and TRS insert points and a bunch of cash for the work to be done.

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