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Too many fuzz pedals and compressors? Probably...

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Rumblefisher, Mar 6, 2014.

  1. Rumblefisher

    Rumblefisher Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    Astoria, NY
    Hey all. Like many of you, I find the bass absolutely necessary to be happy...as a creative outlet, because I love the sound, because I love to obsess about the "perfect" gear, etc. Talkbass let's me indulge in that one particular aspect of bass playing. I have, over the last few years, been fortunate to have the opportunity to buy some great stuff. I don't gamble, drink, do drugs...buying this gear is my main vice :D

    Getting to the point, I have the following pedals:
    creepy fingers doomidrive
    spaceman gemini
    spaceman sputnik
    spaceman saturn (low gain OD)
    spaceman mercury iii (harmonic boost)

    Diamond BCP-1

    What I'd like to know is, is there a point in having this many of the same kind of pedal (compressor and fuzz)?

    Is there any danger to my amp/bass in having so many stacked compressors and fuzz?

    I know that their spacing is important...for argument's sake let's say that they are spaced one after the other... C-F-C-F etc.

    As far as I've used them, so long as I keep the stacked compressors on low settings, they don't kill the tone. I've yet to turn them on all at once because, well, I just got a power supply big enough to accomodate that but don't want to fry anything.

    Please try to refrain from the obligatory "gee that's a lot of pedals send me some and you'll be fine" type comments :)

    Love this place, love trying to help my fellow bassists, and occasionally I need some help as well :D
    Thanks i advance!
  2. I don't think there is any inherent danger in running multiple fuzz and/or compressors in serial. The only danger is that same old danger: too much gain, especially with a lot of bass freq. boosting, and you could blow a speaker through over-excursion. Other than that I don't think it's an issue.

    A separate aesthetic issue remains about how much compression really sounds good on a bass, and realize that the fuzz pedals also impart some compression of their own, along with a healthy dose of gain.
  3. Rumblefisher

    Rumblefisher Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    Astoria, NY
    that's true...forgot that fuzz pedals compress. so are all those a waste to have on the same board then?
  4. russpurdy


    Apr 16, 2013
    I doubt you'd want to stack more than two or three fuzzes tops. They will all start to overdrive each other and turn into a muddy mess. I don't believe you will risk damaging anything but it sure won't sound very good. I don't understand why you would need to many compressors running at once as they are most likely all designed to work with a pure bass signal (not one that is already compressed by another compressor). If I were you I would do one of two things....

    1. Pick one or two compressors and a few fuzzes for your board. Use them for awhile and then swap them out for something else. This is what I do with fuzz and OD, I keep a few on the board and then rotate them out for something else after awhile.

    2. Pick one or two that you really like and sell the rest. Use the money to pick up some other effects to experiment with. Envelope Filter, Pitch Shifting/Octaves, Chorus, Delay, Etc. I've always found that when I have a bunch of dirt and not much of anything else I get antsy for other kinda of sounds.
  5. I agree with Russ's advice. I could see using a compressor as a tone shaper at the front of the chain and another toward the end acting as a limiter, keeping any nasty peaks at bay, but no more than that. I've been known to use up to three fuzzes, but not very regularly, and they have quite different characters so the sum works.
  6. russpurdy


    Apr 16, 2013
    If you want to experiment with running all your fuzzes together put your lowest gain stuff first and your dirtiest fuzz last. Try and keep everything cleaner than you would If you ran them on their own. See if its a sound you like and if you can deal with the immense amount of hum and noise that will occur. If so, rock on. If not, try only using a few on the board at a time.
  7. callofcthulhu


    Oct 16, 2012
    Run them all at once and decide for yourself.

    If it sounds great then obviously it's not too much. If it doesn't, maybe there's just not enough!

    I bet it sounds awesome though.
  8. JonnyAngle

    JonnyAngle Dropping Acid Pedal Etching .com Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 24, 2008
    Maple Grove, MN
    FYI the pedals are always on. Whether you have the signal going through them (LED on) or the signal bypassed (LED off) it will make no difference for your power supply
  9. JimmyThunder

    JimmyThunder Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2008
    New Hampshire
    Everybody needs another fuzz. Especially a rare 70s Maestro one, if you can find one.
  10. My advice is that you get rid of the pwnzor and sell it to me :bag: :D

    But seriously, use as many pedals as you like to achieve the tone you find pleasing!
  11. Rumblefisher

    Rumblefisher Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    Astoria, NY
    thanks all for the help so far.
    any additional comments are welcome :)