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Alembic Club » Miscellaneous » Archive: 2009 » Archive through March 29, 2009 » Distortion Pedals « Previous Next »

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Advanced Member
Username: hb3

Post Number: 345
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Tuesday, February 17, 2009 - 5:26 pm:   Edit Post

Hi! My friend, the balloon bass guy, has been buying a lot of pedals lately, and it made me think of distortions pedals for Alembic basses. We were looking at the Woolly Mammoth, and I saw a clip on Youtube where the guy said they "don't work" on active basses. What does this mean? Why is that?

So looking at the new boutique distortion pedals, I was wondering if anyone had any opinions, both on the pedals themselves and on pairing them w/ Alembics.

For instance, I was looking at the Red Witch Fuzz God II, and that seems to be an amazing sounding, and very esoteric -- for lack of a better word -- pedal. It's got that quasi-synth sounding feedback thing -- a knob that creates a tone you can bend the pitch of by tweaking the knob. It's very aggressive, but like I said, there's this sort of esoteric quality...it's creamy, even though it's got a bite.

(Message edited by hb3 on February 17, 2009)
Senior Member
Username: jacko

Post Number: 2121
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Wednesday, February 18, 2009 - 4:26 am:   Edit Post

Alot of pedals will have an active/passive button. i guess they don't like the signal an active bass puts out - same as having a Pad button or socket on the amp.
I recently bought a Bass Big Muff pi and I'm very happy with it.

Senior Member
Username: olieoliver

Post Number: 2122
Registered: 2-2006
Posted on Wednesday, February 18, 2009 - 5:59 am:   Edit Post

Something else to consider, I find my Alembic basses to not be as hot as my other active basses. In fact I usually play them through the passive input on my amp.
I don't have a "strictly distortion" pedal but my Basspod has several distortion options on it and it works great with all my active basses.

Senior Member
Username: hieronymous

Post Number: 531
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Wednesday, February 18, 2009 - 7:24 am:   Edit Post

I don't really understand the issue, but it appears to be related to low impedance instruments and fuzz pedals. There is a thread about it here on the Z Vex forum.

Also, it appears that Z Vex is releasing a fuzz with adjustable input impedance here in this thread. I'm looking forward to trying it!

My personal favorite distortion that seems to work with my Alembics too is the Fulltone Bass Drive.
Senior Member
Username: hydrargyrum

Post Number: 462
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Wednesday, February 18, 2009 - 8:55 am:   Edit Post

I own a number of zvex pedals, and yes, they didn't work out with active electronics. Lowering the gain on the pickup trimpots wasn't enough to fix the issue either. I too am curious about the new pedal that is being released. It was my understanding that his "Box of Rock," and "Box of Metal" were also active electronics friendly.
Username: peoplechipper

Post Number: 6
Registered: 2-2009
Posted on Tuesday, March 10, 2009 - 11:07 pm:   Edit Post

Greetings. I've been using a sansamp bass DI(the one with drive) as an overdrive to kick the front end of my Acoustic 370, and it works very well. I actually liked it more than the Fulltone Bassdrive, though it's possible I missed the magic spot on the Fulltone...I also use a Marshall guv'nor II when I want more, and a Prescription Electronics Yardbox when I REALLY wanna scare people; a rare fuzz that works with bass! Tony.
Senior Member
Username: dnburgess

Post Number: 595
Registered: 1-2003
Posted on Wednesday, March 11, 2009 - 12:36 am:   Edit Post

We just finished a shootout of 20 bass distortion pedals for Australian Guitar Magazine. The top five ranked on sound were Aguilar Agro, GK Deisal Dawg, EH Big Muff Pi (not the bass version, we wasn't tested), Moollon Bass Driver, EH Graphic Fuzz.

The Sansamp and the Fulltone were in the bottom half of the field.
Intermediate Member
Username: eligilam

Post Number: 161
Registered: 2-2006
Posted on Wednesday, March 11, 2009 - 3:11 am:   Edit Post

For me, the SansAmp works like a dream for that barely-distorted aggressive rock tone (sort of like Tim Commerford of Audioslave or the infamous Moving Pictures G.Lee tone).

If you're going for pure, unbridled bass distortion (ala Anasthesia: Pulling Teeth by C.Burton or The Real Thing by Faith No More's Bill Gould), I think the EH Big Muff Pi is king.

Just my 2 cents. Send audio snippets when you can!
Username: peoplechipper

Post Number: 12
Registered: 2-2009
Posted on Wednesday, March 11, 2009 - 10:32 pm:   Edit Post

Yay! New pedals to try!! of course that may mean tearing apart my pedalboard...funny, the guys at my local music shop(where I used to work) thought the eh graphic fuzz was kind of a waste...maybe they didn't find the sweet spots...Tony.
Intermediate Member
Username: darkstar01

Post Number: 149
Registered: 6-2005
Posted on Wednesday, March 11, 2009 - 10:47 pm:   Edit Post

to be fair, i didn't read this thread, but the amt communist pig bass distortion is THE BEST pedal i have ever used. period. check it out.

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