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Rethinking the whole OD/DI combo pedal thing

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by scottfeldstein, Dec 31, 2011.

  1. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Roots and fifths and a little extra. Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    I wanted:

    a) a DI

    b) a pedal to add a bit of tubey goodness

    c) a functional EQ

    I got a SansAmp programmable BDDI. I used it for a few months and ended up trading it for a non-programmable BDDI. I just realized that I wasn't using presets and wanted to reclaim the space on my board.

    So I'm using a SansAmp BDDI. And now I want to get rid of it, too. I don't like it's limited EQ and it's scooped tone. I'd rather get maybe an Aguilar Tone Hammer. Something that was flatter and that had a mid knob on it.

    But then--and this is the point of the post--I thought: maybe I don't really need a DI built into my OD pedal. My bass head has a built-in DI. Pre- or post-EQ, even.

    Maybe I could save myself some board space and some money by getting the DI off my pedal board and just using the one on my GK MB500 amp.

    So. I want like... an Aguilar Tone Hammer...without a DI attached to it.

    Thoughts? Recommendations?
  2. caeman

    caeman The Root Master

    Sep 17, 2008
    Cost-wise, it would seem like you want to leverage your current amp and get an OD pedal.

    Or...sell the GK and BDDI and get a Tone Hammer and bass cab.
  3. singlemalt

    singlemalt Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2007
    White Salmon, WA
    MXR M-80 bass di +

    Color button is nice, the eq warms up the GK sound at low volumes, di is nice and the whole box will run on phantom power from the board.

    Mine is always on.

    I complained about the dirt side of the box, which can be a bottom sucking crappy sounding fuzz, but I finally figured out how to use it. Just a tiny amount of gain and blend and a volume bump give a nice full warm tube sound.

    Bulletproof reliable for the most part, the switch on mine gave out, so I wired it on all the time.
  4. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Roots and fifths and a little extra. Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    You know, I was wondering about this. The OD feature seems like it goes from zero to CHAINSAW!! in about one tiny fraction of a knob twist. I do not want chainsaw. I want a little tubey sizzle. Sounds like you're saying the way to do that is to a) a bit of the gain and b) back off the blend. True?
  5. blastjv


    Jan 8, 2010
    Philly Area
    I think the MB500 sounds very tooby with careful tweaking of the gain/boost knobs. I'm sure you've tried that already.

    If you want OD and are no longer married to the idea of having a DI built in, then you just opened up a WORLD of possiblities (and a HUGE can of worms) for yourself...

    I love my Xotic BB for this. I'd also recommend a Pork Loin.

  6. Yes, that's the way I do it with my MXR M-80! With gain alone, it bordered on ridiculous and I really don't like it. Come to think of it, it is very 'chainsaw' like haha. However, when you blend in the clean, equalised channel... You lose almost no low frequencies (I can't hear any loss) and the resulting sound is a tubey sound with a good amount of grunt. I wholeheartedly recommend having a try with one of them, and you shouldn't experience any scooping at all.

    I have considered dabbling with a B7K but I have no reason to leave my beloved M-80, it really gets me the sound that I need in my band :)
  7. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Roots and fifths and a little extra. Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    I like my MB500 quite a bit, but I use it as a box of watts with an EQ. I decided to get "my sound" largely from my pedal board, leaving my amp as just the watts and EQ required to drive my cabs, which are just for stage monitoring. At least that's the philosophy I'm aiming for with my gear right now.

    Of course, I could swap the MB500 for an MB-Fusion or a Tone Hammer amp head and then I could forgo any OD on the board. That's not likely to be my solution, though. At least not short-term.

    No kidding! I don't know whether I should get a Boss ODB-3 or an Aguilar Tone Hammer....or some other darned thing. I think I'm going to spend some time on youtube with my headphones on...

    Always open for more recommendations though!
  8. caeman

    caeman The Root Master

    Sep 17, 2008
    Overdrive for bass? Hmm. There might be one or two pedals for that. :D
  9. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Roots and fifths and a little extra. Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    You mock me, sir! :)

    But you know what I like? I like the sound of the Genz streamliners. I like the sound of the Aguilar Tone Hammer (pedal. And I imagine the head sounds as good.) I do not like a "chainsaw" distortion or a big fat fuzz tone. I do not like flatulent buzz on a low E if I can avoid it. I just want a touch of high end harmonic distortion that sounds like you slid your bass under an oven broiler and pulled it out with the strings still audibly sizzling. IF you want. And if you don't want, it can be as clean and hi-fi as anything. And I will not tolerate a full-time scooped "shape" button or whatever. If you give me way to turn it on for slap and a way to keep it off most of the time, ok. Otherwise, no. That's what I like and what I don't like.
  10. pudgychef

    pudgychef In Memoriam

    Jan 22, 2005
    Chongqing, China
    would a steamliner like a boost in front of it - add more drive as needed, when needed?
  11. behndy

    behndy Inactive

    Nov 1, 2008
    the M80 is a piece of shiny CRAP for OD.

    it's not cheap, but the Darkglass B3k is AMAZING. keeps your tone, and grind to distortion. beautiful, BEAUTIFUL pedal.

    for a Tubey Tone In A Box you could look at the Rusty Box too. very good stuff there with a delicious eq.
  12. jaglove2011


    Sep 10, 2011
    I bought a boss OD 3 as my first pedal and boy does it sound crappy? Then bought vintage Fx OD and Colordrive and world of difference! But yes low on the gain is the trick. Now look at a dedicated bass fuzz... Hmmm!
  13. xander8280


    Dec 29, 2011
    The bass blogger is very mild on distortion, has that sizzle you're searching for. I use it for just that:D

  14. jaglove2011


    Sep 10, 2011
    Short list
    Woolley mammoth
    Grey stache
  15. blastjv


    Jan 8, 2010
    Philly Area
    Honestly (and no offense intended) I think you need to change your philosophy. ;) The approach I take (and though it may not work for everyone, I think it sounds like it would work for you) is to try to get as close to the sound in my head with the amp alone, and then add external effects as necessary to tweak that sound to my idea of perfection. I really think if you just change your approach you might find that the MB500 has just what you're looking for and you may not need any other pedals to find 'the tone'. That would free you up to just use your pedalboard for 'effects' rather than 'tone shaping' (you might even end up with more room on your board for 'fun' effects. I think I remember that you also have a MXR Bass Comp. I find that the MB500 has a natural compression, at least when paired with the SVT210AV that's just right for me. You may find that with the amp tweaked just right you no longer need the comp...

    Just some thoughts.....


  16. caeman

    caeman The Root Master

    Sep 17, 2008
    I am not a big fan of chainsaw distortion on bass. I think I found the perfect overdrive for my tastes in the FEA Growler. It isn't really an OD, it adds a harmonic in, which creates a nice growl while keeping the tone of the bass beautifully in balance.
  17. TomB

    TomB Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2007
    IME the MB Fusion does not achieve true OD. A nice warm subtle grind (I love it sometimes), but you'd still want a pedal if you're looking for anything fuzzier with it. I think the Tone Hammer 500 has more intentional OD built in, and I'm pretty sure from what I've read it is the same OD as the pedal.

    Since you asked for recommendations, I like the DHA pedals for the very broad range of subtle OD before fuzz kicks in. Though they make DI/EQ combos they also make straight pedals w/power supplies with useful features. I have the MkIII, but I think a MkI would suit me just as well.
  18. Tractorr


    Aug 23, 2011
    Fulltone OCD
  19. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Roots and fifths and a little extra. Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin

    I'm skeptical. I've been around the block on this amp a few times already. There's GIVE circuit isn't going to give me the sound I'm looking for. The SansAmp is a lot closer--I just want to avoid its cab emulation EQ thing.
  20. Unrepresented

    Unrepresented Something Borderline Offensive

    Jul 1, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    I would advise against most of these for a low gain overdrive. They're mostly in the fuzz category.

    I still like my Fulltone BassDrive for gentle gain that offers more harmonic content without coloring the signal too much.

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