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Subtle overdrive suggestions

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by midichlorine, Jul 3, 2020.

  1. midichlorine

    midichlorine Supporting Member

    Jun 15, 2005
    Looking for something with just a touch of hair.
    Not lookin for distortion just a nice light drive.
    Would prefer a blend knob on it as well.

    is the vmt my ticket?
    I have the mxr m89 and drive on it is all the way down and it’s still too much

  2. Allegrus


    Mar 13, 2019
    Ottawa, ON
    Can you narrow down with some criteria? your budget? Commercial vs. boutique offerings? Size?

    The lower cost recommendations are typical TC Electronics Spark (full size one) and personally, I'm still finding good application of EHX Bass Soul Food. There are LOTS of options.
  3. jbybj

    jbybj Supporting Member

    Jun 11, 2008
    Los Angeles
    You could simply stop right here, the Vintage Microtubes will surely satisfy. My recommendation is to take the 40-50 suggestions you will receive, and pick the one that you find the prettiest, that’s in your budget, and is available.
    Wito, Fuzzbass, BOOG and 3 others like this.
  4. jbybj

    jbybj Supporting Member

    Jun 11, 2008
    Los Angeles
    HolmeBass likes this.
  5. jbybj

    jbybj Supporting Member

    Jun 11, 2008
    Los Angeles
  6. midichlorine

    midichlorine Supporting Member

    Jun 15, 2005
    I’ve tried quite a few.
    Boutique is fine.
    I’ve tried, swell b drive v3, I was able to tame it enough.
    Mxr m89
    Zvex basstortion
    Xotic RC and the BB ( one had less gain and that’s the one I liked best)

    just to name a few
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2020
  7. jbybj

    jbybj Supporting Member

    Jun 11, 2008
    Los Angeles
  8. midichlorine

    midichlorine Supporting Member

    Jun 15, 2005
    May try the vmt


    nice boxes, btw
  9. And I

    And I Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2009
    Witchtown, MA
    SoldGoldFX Beta. I have the original and it does exactly what you are looking for (without the blend knob which you won't need with this pedal). They have a mark II now which I haven't tried.

  10. jthisdell


    Jun 12, 2014
    Roanoke, VA
    Reading your post I was going to suggest VMT before you mentioned it as one of your choices. The Blend is the key to what you are looking for.
  11. crankypants


    Aug 12, 2019
    +1 for EHX Bass Soul Food
  12. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    Has it been five minutes already?!( the perceived rate at which someone seems to enquire about light OD) ;)
    I always say 'try Barbersshop' in these situations.
  13. Rojd

    Rojd Supporting Member

    May 29, 2018
    Rocky Mountains
    MXR M77 Custom Modified O.D. Marketed for guitar, but works really well on bass. There's one in the classifieds right now.

    I'll 2nd the EHX Bass Soul Food.
    Hounddog409 likes this.
  14. james condino

    james condino Spruce dork Supporting Member Commercial User

    Sep 30, 2007
    asheville, nc
    Sparkle drive.
  15. dave64o

    dave64o Talkbass Top 10 all time lowest talent/gear ratio! Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 15, 2000
    Southern NJ
    I own a few pedals that I think do a good light overdrive. In order of my personal preference:
    - Bass Soul Food
    - Ampeg Scrambler
    - TC Electronic Mojomojo
    - Darkglass Vintage Microtubes

    All of those except the Mojomojo have a blend knob, but that one does have bass and treble EQ so it’s not hard to get a good drive tone the that still has low end. Regarding the VMT, I always thought the way the Level and Blend knob interact is kind of strange. The Level adjusts the affected tone only and the dry tone remains at unity gain. Then you use the a Blend knob to get the balance you want. It works once you get what’s happening, but I find it odd. YMMV, of course.

    My favorite OD, at least out of the ones I own, is the [sfx] Micro Red Dragon. I use it for a darker, more medium overdrive (on songs we do by Cream, Hendrix, Joe Walsh, The Doors, ZZ Top, etc.), but it can also do a fantastic lighter OD. However, it doesn’t have a blend knob and they’re really hard to find. I was lucky and stumbled across mine on Reverb earlier this year and grabbed right away.

    I’ve been rotating light ODs on and off my board for a few months (the forced COVID-19 break gave me time to experiment), but I keep going back to the Bass Soul Food. It’s been an almost universally despised pedal on TB for a long time but I always liked it. And, for some reason, it seems to be gaining some amount of acceptance here recently, or at least those of us who like it are finally speaking up.

    If you’re playing death metal, it’s definitely not the right OD for you. But as a lighter, warm things up a little, always-on kind of pedal, I like it a lot.

    I’ve never tried a TC Electronic Spark Drive, but I’ve seen nothing but good about it here on TB. Sounds like another great candidate. Same goes for the Solid Gold FX Beta.
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2020
    garrett77 and Hounddog409 like this.
  16. Yeah, there will be no shortage of suggestions. I'm a fan of Amptweaker Bass Tight Fuzz as much as a warm preamp with some slight hair as much as I do it will full fuzz. You can go Geranium or Silicon which changes the character. 60s Geranium with smooth switches, it's subtle and warm. Good luck sifting through the suggestions!
  17. kbakerde

    kbakerde Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2012
    Creation Audio Labs Grizzly Bass. 9V power, and it can do a subtle OD, subtle distortion, or blend. Best thing I’ve found for that slight bit of hair sound.
    Phyzzbin and velalv like this.
  18. RabidMusic

    RabidMusic Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2012
    I use an OCD.
    ihateusernames and guitarflinger like this.
  19. JRMK


    May 28, 2007
    Second that!

    TC Spark is another excellent alternative on a budget.

    Also, DG VMT has very specific toneprint and it will always bump mids + imprint it's voicing over your bass in a way that made me sell my Vintage Ultra (but you might love it, who knows!)

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