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Which way to go?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by TheRigere, Nov 16, 2012.

  1. TheRigere


    Dec 17, 2005
    Central Florida
    For a long time it was always the joke the guitarists used pedals and bassists had racks lol Now thats not always the case and there are lot of serious pedals out there... I'm kinda of torn right now of which direction to move and would love some opinions.. I used to be a firm believer in that bassists don't need "effects" til you realize that its more about building your "sound" for me I play mostly in a cover band and like to be able to sound like what we are covering, which is a wide range of stuff. I currently have a LIne^ head and those built in effects are about enough to cover and its nice not having the extra gear to lug around, but I as I play more and develop, I'm leaning towards ousting the Line 6, going to a straight amp and building a pedal board that a) allows me to have my "sound" and b0the versatility for effecting it for the need purpose.
    I would like opinions on the following options please:
    1-My current setup
    2-Build a pedal board setup with a good head unit (or keep the line 6 but I figure its stupid to process an already processed sound)
    3-good head unit and LINe6 bass500hd floorboard processor or what ever its called..

    and finally with the pedals, single pedals or combo fx unit pedals or use them both? Any suggestions, pics, or insight would be greatly appreciated..

    (this is really comingto the front now for me, since Ifinally bought a big boy bass...American Fender Jazz V Standard and I finally had that kick ass "rock" sound I couldn't get with my Ibanez)

    Thanks guys
  2. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    It's all just personal preference, but MY ideal is to use a normal bass amp and cab to get the clean, uneffected tone I want, and a small(ish) pedalboard with exactly the pedals that give me what I need for anything. My board is 9 pedals, including tuner and compressor, but I went through dozens and dozens of single pedals along the way, until I found exactly the tones I wanted. A multi-effects pedal has the advantage of covering everything in one unit, but it may be some of those indivual effects onboard are less than you'd hoped. It's a compromise. It's more expensive to buy individual pedals, but in the long run, each one does and sounds exactly how you want them to, and there's no compromises. It becomes a matter of budget, really.
  3. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg Keyboards
    I have always preferred to use no effects at all. I run straight through the amp and rely on the eq and my ability to get the sound I want. Everybody has their own idea as to what they want to sound like. I prefer a punchy tone with a fat bottom and some growl to it. My Ampegs do that just fine. I have heard bands where the bassists were using effects and found that they usually muddy the sound or get lost in the mix. I guess it really depends on the type of music you play and the sound you want.
  4. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    I used to be a no effects guy. Now I'm a crazy pedal monster.

    My philosophy is: clean, hi-fi amp (GK for me). Then a pedal board that gives me a few things...

    1. Compressor, always on, to even out the levels of different notes/techniques.

    2. Slight tubey grit, with or without a retro scoop EQ. Like a VT bass or a SansAmp BDDI.

    After that, I don't know. Lots of guys like chorus. I like envelope filter for some funk sounds. I myself go for source audio multiwave distortion for crazy, synthy sounds. YMMV.
  5. NKUSigEp


    Jun 6, 2006
    Bright, IN
    I think many of us at one point either thought or were told that "bass was bass" and we needed the cleanest tone and had to sit in the back of the mix and play root notes, etc. Maybe a conspiracy between guitarists? Or perhaps a pandemic of jealousy? I don't know...

    But I've become an fx junky in the last two years and like Barry on Storage Wars, I'm more of a collector. Not necessarily for value but just to have one of everything. It would be easier to have a Line 6 or a Zoom B3 (both of which I.have had and liked a lot), but it's easier to twist a few knobs instead of meddling with gear that a computer programmer couldn't even figure out.

    Sounds like you might want to start with something basic like a Tech 21 SansAmp Bass Driver DI. This is an excellent pedal full of all kinds of overdrives and has a DI output to run straight to a PA...no amp needed. Then from there, look into what songs you're playing and what fx the bass player is using on it. For instance, if you're covering a Tool song like 46&2, there's a lot of flanger going on there and he's using the Boss BF-2. So check it out on YouTube to see if that's for you or maybe search for other flanger demos? You can apply that concept to every pedal too. And if there's no YouTube demo, check on here or ilovefuzz.com for opinions.

    Be careful though...it gets expensive.and once the bug has bit you, there's no going back.
  6. newbold


    Sep 21, 2008
    If I had the cash to do it over I'd be spending it on a great amp rig, a great bass, and a few key pedals to work on a tiny board.


    ButI like tonal options so much that what's a Phaser, q-tron, or preamp to that setup anyway?
  7. Jordan S.

    Jordan S.

    Mar 25, 2012
    NSW, Australia
    Blacksheep Effects Pedals
    Aren't we all? ;)
  8. Swift713


    Dec 4, 2006
    Florence, Ma
    I use a super clean, transparent amp, a fairly transparent cabinet and a few pedals. I've got a really nice analog overdrive, a good compressor, and a good multi. The multi is a little fussy to fiddle with but it gives me access to lots of effects that I don't want to buy individually and honestly, this unit (Zoom B3) can pretty nearly replace my OD and Comp.
    That said, it's fun to try out new pedals and flip them, I mean, commitments are for people not pedals.
  9. topo morto

    topo morto

    Mar 22, 2010
    If you really cover a wide range of stuff, it's a job to try to do it all with pedals - you'll need a lot. For tones that aren't "your sound", a multi is fine.

    For "your sound" - well, first, what is it?
  10. TheRigere


    Dec 17, 2005
    Central Florida
    Update... I ended up getting an lh1000 and HyDrive 810 both by hartke and a zoom b3. Surprisingly awesome value on the zoom shockingly and lasted 300+ gigs in two years. Got many many compliments on ho good my rig sounded from several good respected a peg guys..extremely clean and crisp. The zoom is finally dying so I'm building a pedalboard now that I'm more developed as a player and want a more durable floor setup and customized sound.

    Side note to our discussion of how we are always looking for that nice clean sound... I achieved exaclty that then made that mistake lol of listening to isolated bass tracks of favorite songs I previously modeled my desired sound from off the full recording...wow! What a shock to my ears to see how unclean everything was! Everything has some sort of dirty grind to the "clean" bass sound... The only one that was really notice ly clean and sounded like the full band recording was flea.. Kudos to him for cutting thru a mix and keeping his tone