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Which darkglass pedal to get Mel Schacher from Grand funk railroad

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by chaseth, Jan 30, 2018.

  1. chaseth


    Apr 20, 2009
    I love the sound of the grand funk railroads bassist. It has been described as 'bong rattling' haha. To me it sounds like a ton of tube distortion and speaker breakup. I guess his amp was a 100-300 West amp and a wall of 15 inch speakers. I know that the best is to have a wall of speakers and crank a tube amp to get that sounds but I'm asking for opinions on which darkglass preamp would be best to get that sound at reasonable levels. I know most people will instantly say vintage microtubes but id really only like to hear from people that have tried both a b7k and a vintage microtubes and can tell me for certain
  2. BeauZooka


    Oct 2, 2007
    Seattle USA
    Rayjay, mattbass6945 and Fuzzbass like this.
  3. Lammchop93

    Lammchop93 Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2007
    Louisville, KY
    can you provide a song you like the tone of? darkglass is a pretty modern sounding pedal, so it may not be the best choice for the sound you want. but I have both the VMT and B3K, so I can give my opinion.
  4. Michedelic

    Michedelic MId-Century Modern

    You mean like this?

    i'm going to suggest something outside the box, it may not work for you, but check it out: the West Amps that Mel used(the 'Fillmore' model)employed KT88 power tubes, very stout, perfect for bass, and also used in another amp of that time period, the Sunn 200s/2000s. These tubes remained clean almost all the way up, but when pushed too hard, overloaded with a very raspy buzzy distortion. My first decent amp was a Sunn Sorado, 60 watts/2xKT88, pretty much the same amp as the 200s(into a 2x15" Sunn cab). In my first semi-competent teenage garage band, we covered those three tunes. I would crank that rig up and could mimic that sound. Now, I have no idea of the similarities or differences of the preamp circuitry between West and Sunn that would come into play. However, Earthquaker Devices has a pedal, the Acapulco, that supposedly gets the wide-open ripping sound of a Sunn Model T head(4xKT88's, or sometimes 6550's), the last tube amp the original company made, and a descendent of the 200/2000 series. The "T" was designed for both bass and guitar, and had two districtly different eras of preamp section; but then this pedal is supposedly going after the power amp section sound...the essence of Mel's tone has more to do with the KT88's going into meltdown(legend has it that his roadies, wearing asbestos welder's gloves, would have to swap out fried tubes mid performance). Anyway, check it out, keep in mind there are a lot of variables with demo vids, good luck with your search...

    Also factor in that he used a Jazz bass which later had a Gibson mud bucker pickup in the neck position, plus that rad floppy hat must have had something to do with his tone. Somebody's grandma dug it.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2018
    mattbass6945, vlad_drac and chaseth like this.
  5. dannybuoy


    Aug 3, 2005
    I wouldn't recommend Darkglass for that tone. DG pedals leave the low end clean and uncompressed which is the opposite of what you want.

    You want something that reacts to the full range signal to give you that farty low end, e.g:

    VT Bass
    Aguilar Tonehammer
    Bearfoot Blueberry
    Creation Audio Grizzly
    Xotic Bass BB Preamp
    Solidgoldfx Beta

    I own or have owned all the above as well as the Darkglass range and have a use for both types of sound, so no dissing Darkglass at all (I used the B3K / M900 as the main sound in my last band and it fit like a glove). But if I had to choose one it would be the Vintage Deluxe.

    I found a great example here. I would say the VT Bass gets closest out of the above.

  6. ^^As above, tonehammer gets that sound perfectly. Or really any of the other mentioned. The darkglass pedals are a way other type of sound.
  7. chaseth


    Apr 20, 2009
    Thanks guys. Anything off the red album or the first on time album is perfect. One of my favorite songs ever is "Inside looking out" which is all represented above.
    I have been curious about this SUNN amps for some time now. I have actually even seen a few 200S pop up close to me. I live in Idaho so anything cool and vintage is rare as hen's teeth around here. So while Id be all over buying a sunn finding one might be hard locally and I'm done buying amp heads online and have fedex and UPS ruin them. I do love Ampeg V stuff. What I was hoping to do was use a V2 head which is about 60 watts into a ampeg 8x10e (because i don't own 2x15s yet) and then use a dark glass bk7 or something to goose the ampeg into meltdown.

    My chain is tuner, Ross Style compressor, univox super fuzz, DOD OD250, Wren and Cuff tall font russian, then bk7 currently. Have a 81 gibson victory artist for bass. Any of that fit the bill as you noted?

    One point Id like to make is that I'm a guitar player transversing into the world of bass so a lot of bass stuff is new to me, though the concepts aren't. I like the bk7 but I LOVE RATTILY, EDGE OF TAKING A poopie, VINTAGE TUBE DISTORTION!!! Problem is as we all know you just can't play like that at your local pool hall anymore unfortunately. So I keep wondering if i should trade the bk7 for a vintage microtubes or maybe an ultra to approximate it. Or perhaps one of these other suggestions.
  8. dannybuoy


    Aug 3, 2005
    How about using the DOD 250 by itself without the B7K, does that get you in the ballpark?
  9. chaseth


    Apr 20, 2009
    yea more so fizzy than rumbly with the DOD. I was hoping for more grunt.
  10. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    This kind of classic overdrive is pretty much the opposite of what Darkglass pedals do.
    You want a pedal that distorts a lot on mids, cuts hi range then compensates it with harmonics.
    A SansAmp VT, Ampeg SCR-DI or TwoNotes LeBass will do much better.
  11. Matt Dean

    Matt Dean Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    SF (North) Bay Area
    This... it does overdriven amp perfectly.

    Last edited: Jan 31, 2018
    Fuzzbass likes this.
  12. Pulex


    Apr 13, 2009
    +1 for the VT Bass.

    Here's a quick sample of the VT Bass Deluxe with my Fender Jazz Bass with Fender 90505L flats (tuned to C standard).
    VT Bass settings are: Drive: 12:00, Character: 10:00, Low: 02:00, Mid: max, High: min

    Not perfect but it gets close in my opinion.
    Zon master likes this.
  13. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    I'd also recommend not using Darkglass for that sound. They're great pedals but not going to get you the sound you want.
  14. dannybuoy


    Aug 3, 2005
    Also to the OP - the DI / amp/ Fly Rig versions have a bite switch that lets you turn off the treble boost baked into the original/deluxe models, letting you get a darker sound than what you can hear here.
  15. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    My thought exactly. Maybe try using a Muff or other fuzz, and roll highs and high mids way back.

    The MBD-1 is an excellent suggestion (if you can find one, they aren't currently in production).
  16. I was actually jamming inside looking out the other day. Solid Gold Beta, flats and a tube amp will get you close
  17. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Loved that band way back when. Went down the GFRR rabbit hole on YT. More props for Inside Lookin' Out.
    schadowrider likes this.
  18. Slightly off topic, but worth sharing:

  19. Rayjay


    Sep 27, 2014
    Lahaina, Maui, HI
    I hear what others are saying about the Darkglass line, but personally I think you could nail that tone right on the money with the Vintage Micro Tubes. Great pedal. Having said that, the VT Bass would also leave little to be desired.
  20. chaseth


    Apr 20, 2009
    What is the VT bass? Is that short for something?

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