Subtle overdrive pedal

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by BetterRed, Nov 9, 2018.

  1. Hi all,

    I've been using TalkBass as a resource for a while and recently joined. I've learned a lot since taking a few years out looking after my youngest daughter before she went to school.

    I know beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and all that, but I am looking for a subtle overdrive to add a bit of growl, a peddle that would be left on 90% of the time. I have an Ashdown Lomenzo Hyperdrive which I can sort of tweak, but it isn't subtle enough and in any case, I love the full on distortion I get from it. I've also got a Big Bass Muff which is great, but it's nowhere near and I use it to get a synthy hard fuzz.

    The music I play is a mixture of indie, rock and blues. Always open to offers, I might add. :laugh: ;) I use my fingers, with an early Ernie Ball MusicMan Stingray tuned down to a low C, an Ampeg PF-500 head and an SVT 810e CL cab. I would probably get what I'm looking for with with an SVT CL head, but they're a bit (a lot) out of my price range right now.

    I'm wondering about an Aftershock or MXR M89, the Bass Blogger looks good value and I know of a Blowtorch going fairly cheap. Any thoughts?

    Many thanks for suggestions,

    BetterRed, North Yorkshire, UK
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018
    Das Jugghead likes this.
  2. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Bootlegger guitars : S.I.T. Strings Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2007
    Florida USA
    I use an Ibanez TS9B bass tube screamer and it allows me to add a small amount of tubey overdrive
  3. Interesting, I know of one these going relatively cheaply (compared to new prices) too. A quick search on here tells me it's been recommended for similar scenarios. Thank you.
  4. Dub56

    Dub56 Supporting Member

    May 28, 2005
    My vote:

    The Terraformer does a great job with subtle overdrive. Good pedal to add that little extra bit of grit.
  5. Nice, although would have to get it shipped from Canada by the looks of things.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018
  6. happycamper

    happycamper Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2011
    I think there is a fairfield barber shop in the classifieds that may fit the bill nicely. I have a southhampton fifth gear v2 for what your asking for and I'll never get rid of it. You can find them for around 100 if you wait long enough!
  7. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    Westchester, NY
    Yup, Fairfield Barbershop is what I'd recommend.
  8. Thanks, I've posted a reply on the ad. A bit more than I wanted to spend, but hey, it will be on most of the time and I can only find positive reviews. Oh, and I bet I would be the only bassist in 100 miles that has one, ha.
    happycamper likes this.
  9. 2saddleslab

    2saddleslab Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    I play thru an Ampeg pf800 and have recently added an Ampeg Scrambler pedal. Really like how it adds just the right amount of grind and punch to cut thru any mix.
  10. I've found a Fifth Gear too! Decisions...
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2018
    happycamper, SLO Surfer and cataract like this.
  11. Funnily enough, I had been wondering about the Ampeg Scrambler.
    Spidey2112 likes this.
  12. GrapeBass


    Jun 10, 2004
    Graphic designer: Yorkville Sound
    From Canada
    loopee and BetterRed like this.
  13. GrapeBass


    Jun 10, 2004
    Graphic designer: Yorkville Sound
  14. Edited... It's good, the exchange rate is better.

    Something to sleep on. To be honest, the Terraformer, Barber Shop and Fifth Gear (and quite possibly the Ibanez) all look like they will do the job. None of them are units I can try in a UK retailer.
    GrapeBass likes this.
  15. john_g


    Sep 14, 2007
    How about a Way Huge Pork Loin? I had one and miss it. Great for light overdrive. Only sold it because I got an SVT
  16. cataract

    cataract Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2007
    Columbia SC
    Can’t go wrong with either of the two.
    I had a switchless Barbershop and it was fantastic. Sold it to fund a regular version but that hasn’t happened yet.
    I’ve also owned two v2 Fifth Gears and I always regret selling it— third time’s a charm? It’s super versatile and sounds amazing.
    BetterRed likes this.
  17. Beat me to it. Love my Pork Loin. It can do mild to (relatively) wild.

    What’s your budget?

    Others for low gain -
    Trans-Boost - expensive ($150ish or more) and hard to find, but can have a subtle dirt that you don’t notice until it’s off
    Joyo Ultimate Drive - dirt cheap OCD clone, can do light to heavy
    Joyo American - dirt cheap Fender tones (can’t remember the pedal it clones)
    Pork Loin - versatile, moddable to be better, and simply works in all sorts of scenarios
    Gamma Bass Overdrive - expensive and hard to find, but great for tubey dirt of the milder flavors into medium dirt
    DOD 250 - two knobs and can do plenty with them if you like its tone
    cheechi and BetterRed like this.
  18. xnewyorka

    xnewyorka Owner, John Fox Bass Inactive Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 26, 2006
    NYC Area
    Dealer for Adamovic, Alleva-Coppolo, Bergantino, Dingwall, Richter, Skjold
    I have both. I can't see ever getting rid of either one! You can connect them both, and switch between them for a subtle setting and a not so subtle setting. Or do what I do: I put the Barbershop first and leave it always on. Then the 5th gear comes directly after the Barbershop, and gets switched on to add just a little more dirt.
    BetterRed and cataract like this.
  19. Waltsdog

    Waltsdog Supporting Member

    Feb 21, 2009
    Ottawa, ON
    I went through 13 overdrives last year trying to find one that worked. I tried the Barbershop, pork loin, aftershock etc etc.
    What I finally settled on is a little bit left field. I run a Darkglass alpha omega with the gain set pretty low, it’s the perfect always on light OD for me.
  20. Way Huge Pork and Pickle will give you precisely what you need with better versatility than the Tubescreamer for bass
    BetterRed likes this.
  21. 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.

    Nov 28, 2021

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