What makes good bass distortion so expensive?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by rabid666, Jul 2, 2008.

  1. rabid666


    Sep 30, 2006
    I've been looking for a subtle distortion/overdrive pedal, but I don't want to spend much more than seventy dollars. All of the reasonable decent things I've tried have a really twangy and bright distortion and either cut out or ignore the lower end. What about bass distortion is so damn expensive?

    I play an ibanez 300 through a single 18 and I like its really dark, deep sound, no matter how "muddy" it might be. Can anyone point out some distortion that will make it sound mean that's not so expensive?

    bye LiKe :D
  2. Ibanez PD7-about $45 on musiciansfriend.com
  3. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Two things...the first being the need of a blend circuit so you get clean sound with the distortion, and the fact that expensive ones sell anyway so there's no incentive to lower the price.
  4. lowendgenerator

    lowendgenerator All panic, no disco. Supporting Member

    Mar 26, 2006
  5. eyvindwa

    eyvindwa Supporting Member

    Aug 1, 2007
    Oslo, Norway
    Also, try the MessDrive from MusicElectroniX.
  6. WarriorJoe7

    WarriorJoe7 Inactive

    Mar 12, 2004
    Syracuse, NY
    its so expensive because of the tubes
  7. dannybuoy


    Aug 3, 2005
    Digitech Bad Monkey sounds good on bass and is really cheap. Or you could test out the new Danelectro Cool Cat series 'transparent overdrive' pedal and let us know how it sounds!
  8. cigi


    Aug 22, 2006
    Maybe U can buy a used RAT?

    Mine sounds great with bass.

    The digitech bass overdrive sounds nice on their samples on the digitech website.

    And it is expensive because good gear costs good money.
  9. Psychicpet

    Psychicpet Guest

    Mar 13, 2004
    Friend and Endorsee of Larry
    good dist. for bass needs to have circuits that are good for low end freq's and don't roll off or cut off all together lower freq's. like most guitar dist. pedals have a tendency of doing.

    tweaked circuits and 'niche marketing' I do believe are the perpetrators for the additional d'argent :smug:
  10. cavemanfr


    Jun 3, 2005
    +1 on the PD-7. I was just playing through mine and was thinking how killer the low end was. And the tone lok controls are pretty cool. Set it and forget it. For the price it's hard to beat.
  11. beyondthe48

    beyondthe48 Guest

    Apr 29, 2007
    why so expensive?

  12. Jonyak


    Oct 2, 2007
    Ottawa, Ont
    but this "circuit", which ends up being the exact same as for guitar, less a couple of changed capacitor values, costs no more to actualy make.

    part of it may be the smaller market of buyers.
  13. bongomania

    bongomania Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    IMO the thing that makes bass dirt more expensive is the fact that there are way fewer bass "consumers" than guitar "consumers", so manufacturers see a minimal return on their mass-production investment in bass-specific designs. The cost of a pedal is not just its parts, but the research/design, the factory tooling (templates, reprogramming part of the production line, adding parts bins, training workers, etc.), and creating all-new packaging. If it costs the same to create a guitar pedal and a bass pedal, but they sell 300 bass pedals compared to 3000 guitar ones, the bass one will get discontinued. Also it may actually be slightly more expensive to design and build a bass pedal, as it requires a lot of careful design effort to actually retain the low end, and sometimes it actually requires more parts (as with a blend circuit) or bigger parts (as with input/output capacitors).

    So a lot of times bassists have had to turn to the "boutique" market, which costs more.
  14. bongomania

    bongomania Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Meaningless and flat wrong. Our hype has no bearing on gear prices.
  15. speak_onion


    Jun 22, 2007
    Queens, NY
    I disagree, kinda. I think that our hype can drive up used prices on some discontinued stuff. But even if prices are not affected by our hype, I think people feel pressure to spend more because of what they see on internet forums. People might never have heard of the expensive boutique pedals they end up buying if they didn't see them here. Or at least they wouldn't want them so bad without hearing awesome clips or reading awesome reviews. I'm not saying it's a bad thing, but I think there's no way the boutique pedal market could exist at this size (if at all) without the internet, and specifically internet gear forums.

    Oh, it occurs to me that maybe you meant that Talkbass specifically has no bearing. Maybe (maybe not), but other places like HCFX and TGP definitely do.

    And to the OP: DOD 250 or DIY.
  16. bongomania

    bongomania Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    I can see what you're saying, but there's a difference between what people decide to spend, and what manufacturers charge. The question wasn't "why did I blow $400 on a boutique bass overdrive", it was "what makes it so expensive?" Boutique gear costs more with or without internet forums. In fact it would probably cost even more without the forums, because advertising would become much more expensive. Furthermore, guitarists pay through the nose for their boutique pedals as well. It's not like they aren't shelling out $400 for BJFE pedals for guitar. The problem as I see it is really a question of the easy availability of cheap mass-production guitar pedals versus bassists often having to turn to the boutique market.

    I do agree about the used market though, I feel personally responsible for driving up the Ebay prices on flat-green older DOD FX25's last year.
  17. rockstarbassist

    rockstarbassist Inactive

    Apr 30, 2002
    The Woodlands, TX
    Endorsing Artist: HCAF
    I played the Ibby PD-7 for years.
    Nothing in the price range comes close.
  18. rratajski

    rratajski Commercial User

    Jul 1, 2008
    Mount Laurel, NJ
    I agree w/ cigi. I used a new RAT on bass and was really into how dirty my tone sounded. Then I upgraded to a Vintage Reissue RAT (w/ "the chip"). I got both for a decent price on eBay.
    Highly recommended!
  19. speak_onion


    Jun 22, 2007
    Queens, NY
    Word. You ruined prices on that pedal. The dub scene has still not recovered. :cool:

    And about the other thing, you're right. That's why I said "kinda." :)
  20. musicelectronix


    Jul 8, 2007
    Hüstın, TX
    Lead Designer, Zeibek Boutique Pedals
    I, for one, have to agree with this statement :) I purchased one around the same time with the discussions for 20 something bucks shipped. About 2-3 months later, a friend got one for 40 something bucks and he was raving about how he scored it so cheap :)

    More on the subject, bass pedals considerably cost more to me and I do not reflect it as much to the end user prices. It costs more to design a bass pedal AND I sell much less. For example, I probabily sell LessDrive 4 times as much the MessDrive in a month. Quite frankly if people do not mention it here on occasion, I would have sold less and it would be much more expensive, on the contrary to this comment:

    I can't say I agree with the public perception of the pedals, but it really is undeniable. When a newbie pickups a guitar, the second thing on her/his mind is to get a good distortion/overdrive pedal to go with it. When a newbie bassist gets a bass, she/he probabily is done with the gear for quite some time. Distorted bass signal can be considered a taste or an improvement; but when it comes to guitar, it's a bare minimum these days.

    On another note, it's not like boutique guitar pedals sell cheap.