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Searching for Two Mild to Moderate Bass Overdrive Pedals

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by mstill78, Oct 26, 2020.


  1. Barbershop + Blueberry

    51.6%
  2. Barbershop + Grizzly Bass

    19.4%
  3. Blueberry + Grizzly Bass

    29.0%
  1. Hello all,

    I will preface this thread by saying that I am aware of a number of previous threads that are related to this topic, which I have taken the time to read. After doing so, I have decided that I wish to pursue two different bass overdrive pedals for the rig that I am currently building; One that is rather mild and will potentially serve as an always on or nearly always on pedal and the other with a little more drive on tap. Touch sensitivity and maintaining the bottom end without a blender pedal are also imperative. Ideally, transparency would be preferred but I do recognize that this is not always fully possible. It should also be noted that I already have a Wren and Cuff Phat Phuk B that could be used to drive the other pedals if needed or desired.

    My three main basses are a Fender AVRI 62 precision with flats, a 1977 Fender Precision with nickel wound rounds and a Fender Custom Shop 64 Jazz with nickel wound rounds. All 3 are played through either a 1978 Ampeg V-4B with an Ampeg 610 or an Ampeg SVT-VR with either an Ampeg 610 or Ampeg 810. I also run a MXR Bass Compressor at the beginning of my signal chain as well as mesa input and output buffers.

    Some of the sounds that I am hoping to achieve with my drive pedals include but are not limited to:

    1) Either a B-15 or a SVT that is being pushed really hard into breakup (without the associated volume)

    2) McCartney's bass tone on Abbey Road, i.e. I Want You (She's so Heavy)

    3) Motown and Stax type vintage tones

    Based upon the research and demo listening that I have done, I have narrowed my search down to three pedals (no need for other suggestions):

    1) Fairfield Circuitry Barbershop
    2) Bearfoot Fx Blueberry Bass Overdrive
    3) Creation Audio Labs Grizzly Bass Overdrive Distortion

    From what I have read, TBers seem to be evenly split with their opinions of the BS and the BB and consider the BS to be more transparent, while the BB is somewhat boosted in some of the midrange frequencies, which may or may not be good or bad. My understanding of the Grizzly from what I have read is that it is the most tonally versatile of the three pedals and has the greatest amount of gain on tap.

    As stated above, I am searching for two drive pedals and I am unsure which two of these three that I should be taking a chance on. The milder of the two may or may not be used as an always on pedal. I was first considering running both the BS and the BB but I am not sure if the BB would have enough usable drive and to distinguish it from the BS in order to cop some of the aforementioned tones that I am after. I am hoping to rely on the experience and opinions of those of you who have been on this journey in the past.

    Barbershop and Blueberry?
    Barbershop and Grizzly?
    Blueberry and Grizzly?

    Thank you in advance for your time and expertise.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2020
  2. dannybuoy

    dannybuoy

    Aug 3, 2005
    Earth
    Out of the above, I liked the Blueberry the best... and was most disappointed with the Grizzly.

    But I've had ALL of those and all I use with my P and flats now is the TC MojoMojo. Definitely add to your list as it's a fraction of the price of the others! Also the Aguilar Tonehammer is a fine choice.

    I know you said no more suggestions, but I honestly think the Grizzly and Barbershop are well overrated!
     
    Dave Hill, Marihino, Sergi and 4 others like this.
  3. grillman

    grillman

    Dec 15, 2014
    I would do barbershop and blueberry. Possibly blueberry first because it has an interesting EQ which can be nice to drive another pedal.

    I will not suggest another drive pedal because you don't want to but have you considered a boost or a volume pedal before only one overdrive? That would allow you to push that pedal harder. Just giving you food for thoughts.
     
    Zbysek likes this.
  4. mmbongo

    mmbongo Regular Human Bartender Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Carolinas
    As the former owner of all of those pedals, I'd say the Blueberry sounds more like what you'd want.

    However, two pedals you should look at are the One Control Hookers Green and a Way Huge Pork & Pickle. Especially the Hookers Green if you want that Ampeg sound. I just happen to be selling one because it's not the tone I'm after, but it does that tone better than the others, and it's designed by the same folks who made the Blueberry. I also recently sold my Pork & Pickle which is a little thicker and lower gain.
     
    halech54 and monsterthompson like this.
  5. Thank you for the feedback. Yes I have also considered pushing a drive pedal with a boost. I have a Wren and Cuff Phat Phuk that could possibly do a good job of that.
     
    grillman likes this.
  6. I haven't considered the Hookers Green but I will certainly look into it, thank you. As someone who is already running two Ampeg rigs, I am very satisfied with my dry signal. I would love to be able to get the tone and breakup out of them run them at lower volumes levels. This is why I am hoping for drives that are as transparent as possible.
     
  7. How transparent is the Hookers Green? Also, does it retain the bottom end when engaged?
     
  8. micguy

    micguy

    May 17, 2011
    (See above post - not my listing, just a coincidence) - the Bearfoot Queen Bee is a Blueberry that will get brighter if you want it to (it can sound like the old one if you turn the treble control down). That, in my usage, makes it FAR more usable than the Blueberry. I've had mine a couple of weeks, and it's on the board for next weekend - it's VERY good.
     
  9. micguy

    micguy

    May 17, 2011
    Not very transparent, and yes, it does preserve the low end. It's also difficult to get it to clean up if you want it to - asking for low gain/mild, I think you'll find it lacking in terms of subtlety. I returned mine - just not that usable to me.
     
  10. Thank you. I appreciate your feedback. After listening to a few demo videos I came to that conclusion as well.
     
  11. I’ve actually been considering this as an alternative to the Blueberry because of the treble control as well. Do you have any experience with the Barbershop and or Grizzly Bass?
     
  12. Do you feel that there is enough of a distinct difference between the two? Does the Blueberry have more gain useable gain compared to the Barbershop? Thanks.
     
  13. micguy

    micguy

    May 17, 2011
    No, I don't. I have bought (and in many cases returned) most of the overdrives discussed on here, but not all of them (yet). Before you ask, the Pork side of the Pork and Pickle is a decent drive as well - you can dial it down subtle (though its a bit tougher to do that than on the Queen Bee), and it'll go much heavier. I'd like the Pork and Pickle even better if it didn't have the Pickle side - as I never use that, it's one switch that, if it ever ends up in the wrong place, would mess up my sound. I have used one, and still own it, but I'm leaning heavily towards the Queen Bee at this point for light dirt with a bit of grunt.

    A great transparent drive is the Greer Lightspeed - preserves the low end very well, very transparent, and can do subtle just fine. I also have a Rockett Blue Note that does that spectacularly, but it takes a mod to make it preserve ALL the low end (it's almost there out of the box - most folks wouldn't notice the tiny bit of low end loss it has).
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2020
  14. Thanks for confirming my suspicions about the Queen Bee. I am very curious to know how it differs from the Barbershop and Grizzly bass with respect to color vs transparency, amount of tastefully useable gain and touch sensitivity. @johnk_10 from reading previous threads on this topic, you seem to have a more than reasonable amount of experience with all three of these pedals. If you are willing to chime in on this, I’d be grateful to hear your opinion on which of these two pedals would be ideal for the intended application.
     
  15. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    +1 Pork & Pickle might be worth a test drive if you can find one.
     
    halech54 and ole Jason like this.
  16. I tried the grizzly. I wanted the same thing as you with my P with flats and P with rounds, and settled on Barber Shop as my always on tubey-ness, and a Southampton 5th Gear as my OD gritty boost. The Grizzly was great, but the 5th Gear was better, super transparent, more touch sensitive. Plus, the 5th gear driving in to the barbershop work VERY well together.
     
    Bassman Spiff and Zbysek like this.
  17. How does the 5th gear do at retaining the bottom end? Any experience with the Blueberry?
     
  18. The 5th gear retains all bottom end, and does a great job driving into my other pedals. I don’t hear any low end loss at all with my set up. I have not tried the Blueberry, but have no desire after settling on the 5th gear into the always-on Barbershop. I thought I’d love the grizzly, and I did. It just didn’t get as much of a transparent, touch-sensitive, tube OD sound as I’d hoped.
     
    mstill78 likes this.
  19. Sounds like I might have another pedal to consider. Are you running tube amps or solidstate?
     
  20. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Apr 17, 2021

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