The search for more OD continues - 3 Way OD Shootout

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by kbakerde, Feb 10, 2017.

  1. kbakerde

    kbakerde Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2012
    Oh the rabbit hole that is OD and dirt pedals. How many of them I have bought, used, sold, traded, returned, etc, etc, etc. So far there is exactly one that has remained firmly on my board and it is possibly the finest OD I have heard for bass and that is the CAL Grizzly. But I do still want another sound. Using a vintage Bassman, my cleans are clean, so It's great to have a high quality pedal that gives me just that bit of hair, just that bit of oomph that comes from taking an amp and pushing it to the edge. But not over. Recently I had been using my Grizzly as a lower gain OD. Keeping the distortion knob all the way off, and cranking the OD to between 1 and 3. And it sounds really good.

    As I'd mentioned, I always had this idea that I wanted a barely on OD, then I wanted something heavier, grinding distortion, or some kind of Fuzz. I have had SO many pedals, from so many manufacturers to try to achieve this, I'd used Fuzz's, OCD's, Rat's etc etc. But I think I have been coming at this all wrong. I really am not looking for heavy, heavy doomy distortion. I'm looking for a grittier OD. Something with some growl and snarl, but not the super crazy distortion you get on say a Rat variant. Basically I play in a Garage Rock band, and a Pop Punk band, so I don't need to sound like Young Widows or Russian Circles.

    So I was looking at things on my phone this morning before coming into work, and decided to pull the trigger on 3 OD pedals. I am hoping one of them works out and can give me the sounds I am looking for, the others will be returned, or distributed on TB Classifieds.

    Wampler Low Blow - I have read many a post of guys for whom this has become their go to low OD pedal. But it does have a lot of options for higher gain OD and for Distortion as well. There is lots to play with, and while the layout is totally different, something about it reminds me of the Grizzly. Combine that with the fact the V1 Low Blow is on clearance at Sweetwater for $150 and free shipping, and it's worth the shot.

    Tech 21 VT Bass - This is the Character Pedal version. I had the deluxe version of this before, and at the time it didn't give me the sounds I had hoped for. But it is worth trying again, try to get that Nirvana Blew sound going, or something close to it.

    Solidgold FX Beta - Believe it or not, with all the boutique pedals I've played and tried, all the flavors of the month I bought and traded, this has never landed on my board (another one I'd like to demo is the Rusty Box but that is for another day). But every review, every demo and every post I have read says this is a virtually indispensable OD pedal.

    So that is what I am trying. I don't really have a setup I can get good sounds with, so I'll just have to write a post with the results of my trial and shootout. Feel free for any comments or suggestions.
  2. Nunovsky


    Sep 4, 2004
    I guess it's easier if you lay down a list of pedals that you've tried so there ain't no sugestions of the same ones.
    I guess that I'll talk about my most recent setup. I have 3 drive pedals on my board plus the Aguilar Tonehammer DI that has the agro always on to give a little hair to the sound. My sound is not always clean so if I play softer it cleans the sound but if I strike harder or with a pick it breaks up more. Then I have like 3 stages of drive. First stage, to give more attack I use the W&C Suppa Phat Phuk, that has a great low OD sound. In the second stage, like a biffier OD almost distortion I use the Ss/Bs Mini. If I want it to go into distortion mode I stack it with the SPP. In the 3rd stage, I have my fuzz that is the TAFM that I use in both gated and ungated modes.
    If I want to go nasty I just turn them all on and bring the house down.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2017
  3. Korladis

    Korladis Inactive

    Dunwich Ol' Dirty Bass
  4. mmbongo

    mmbongo I have too many basses. Supporting Member

    As a fellow Grizzly fan who has also had hundreds of other OD pedals before the Grizzly took over, I can offer thoughts on two of your new pedals. I have not had the Tech 21.

    Wampler Low Blow, compared to the Grizzly will have a more baked in tone. It kind of reminded me of a Darkglass B3K in that there's a fizz to it and it's somewhat scooped sounding. Didn't really get along with it as I didn't like it as a low gain pedal at all.

    Beta, this is a love it or hate it pedal. Compared to the Grizzly the Beta definitely has a baked in tone that cuts highs and boots bass. Does not do great with high output basses, as that makes it sound farty. It's a fantastic pedal if you want instant Motown, but it's the opposite of transparent.

    Either one of these would be a good addition to the Grizzly as they do totally different things, but neither could replace the Grizzly.

    Just as added info, my only dirt pedals are now just the Grizzly and the Source Audio Aftershock. The Grizzly is always on as a low gain transparent OD, and the Aftershock handles...well...everything else. Fuzz, Muff, clank, grind, death, punch, squeak, heavy, light, stank, you name it.
    kbakerde likes this.
  5. kbakerde

    kbakerde Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2012
    I've used a Mini. It's a cool pedal, and I liked it. If found it to be a bit redundant to the Grizzly, but maybe my opinion would change. I'm also just looking for pedals I can send back if they don't jive with me. I haven't tried the Phat Phuk, I might have to give that a try, I'd love to try a BDPG but they are nigh impossible to find. I need to keep my eye on the Fuzzrocious page, I think he let's people order them for like a week in the fall.
    rratajski and blindrabbit like this.
  6. kbakerde

    kbakerde Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2012
    I've had 3 versions of the OCD, just not the tone I go for. But thanks.
  7. Korladis

    Korladis Inactive

    Well, you said you wanted a gritty distortion rather than an all out fuzz, and that's what it is.
    Crazy Otto and blindrabbit like this.
  8. kbakerde

    kbakerde Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2012
    No you're right, I just suck at describing the tone I want.
  9. Jakeman

    Jakeman Swamp Thing Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2006
    New Orleans, LA
    You probably tried it, as it's a pretty common one, but the Way Huge Pork Loin is my always-on OD. Very subtle yet effective. Mod is a must.
  10. Korladis

    Korladis Inactive

    Marshall Shredmaster.
    morgan138 likes this.
  11. kbakerde

    kbakerde Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2012
    Yup, had it a long time ago. Honestly thought about picking it up again, using it for a lower gain OD, using the Grizzly for higher. That option is still on the table.
    mikeyjm2, Nunovsky and Jakeman like this.
  12. mmbongo

    mmbongo I have too many basses. Supporting Member

    Since a few more pedals were mentioned that I've owned or currently own along with the Grizzly.......

    SSBS Mini. More like the distortion side of the Grizzly than the overdrive side. Like you said, no use owning both since the Grizzly covers what the Mini does but with the extra features that only the Grizzly has.

    BDPG. More of a tone shaper than an overdrive but definitely grinds. Goes from deep/dark to thin/raspy in the turn of a dial. Can't replace the Grizzly but can work with it.

    Phat Phuk B. More of a boost/one trick pony. Can add some nice hair but is better used as a dirty boost instead of a main overdrive.

    OCD. Probably the worse pedal I've ever owned. All mids with no low end. Don't bother. If you want that type of sound get a Fuzzrocious Demon.

    Pork Loin. Softer, darker, more 'pillowy' than the Grizzly. Does not offer much 'grind' or 'clank' but is a nice dark low gain OD.
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  13. Korladis

    Korladis Inactive

    Dunwich ODB I think was designed to have more low end so as to work better for bass.

    There's also the Fuzzrocious Bongripper, which is a Cat Tail + Demon in one box.
    rratajski, blindrabbit and morgan138 like this.
  14. morgan138


    Dec 10, 2007
    I actually thought the Demon sounded great in some ways, really good smooth-but-not-too-smooth overdrive. But it does very distinctly cut low end! Never tried a regular OCD so I don't know if they're better or worse in that regard...

    Anyhow, I'm following this thread. I've settled on a Blue Berry for now, but also ordered a Fifth Gear and I figure I'll go with the best of those two (or realistically, find some reason to keep and use both).
    rratajski likes this.
  15. dinoadventures

    dinoadventures Feets don't fail me now!

    Jul 10, 2015
    Dallas, TX
    Damnation MBD1 will give you as little or as much as you want.

    I can and have taken it to go jam blues but it will absolutely bring some seriously thick doom if you want it and it'll do EVERYTHING in between with fantastic dynamics. Just about every knob on it can be tweaked to blend in clean in one way or another... really unique.
    mrwood4, emjazz and blindrabbit like this.
  16. BassBrass


    Jul 6, 2009
    Boston MA
    "SSBS Mini. More like the distortion side of the Grizzly than the overdrive side..."
    I Disagree, the Mini (and the Caricosa) has bias (or is it voltage starve?) control and powerful eq so it can be wider, synthier and darker than straight overdrive. Lots more low end push too. Either Mini or Caricosa (with After at noon, low Before at 8:30) makes a different sound than Grizzly. When I'm feeding delays & loops, the Mini or Caricosa cuts very well even at low drive levels because of the more jagged sound. I never needed Grizzly and Beta on the same board because you can cut the highs on the Grizzly & just use light drive. I'd say the Caricosa has a bit less low mid thickness than the Mini, but that isn't a loss vs clean low end.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2017
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  17. mmbongo

    mmbongo I have too many basses. Supporting Member

    The low pass filter in the Grizzly is one of the reasons it's still my #1, love it!
    Nunovsky likes this.
  18. dannybuoy


    Aug 3, 2005
    Based on your requirements, I'd say try a Pike Vulcan. It doesn't get so much coverage around here because of the fact it's a Darkglass ripoff, but I really like the way it's voiced, especially with a P bass with rounds. Sounds like the bass in the last Sabbath album if you're familiar with that, really pokey growling mids.
    fclefgeoff and Nunovsky like this.
  19. jaysbass2002

    jaysbass2002 Supporting Member

    Mar 26, 2013
    Northern New York
    Two Tone Le Bass. Done!
    Deak likes this.
  20. P-oddz


    Apr 7, 2009
    Milwaukee, WI
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