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When humankind was still piling up rocks to create celebration stages, bass players were restricted to an amp, a cable television and a tool, while guitar players obtained all the cool toys. There was no bass pedal at that time. It took several years before bass players started to put together their pedalboards, looking for equity with the phase realty guitarists had claimed.
In this article, we’re most likely to balance the formula and take a look at the Best Bass Pedals, from EQ and compression to distortion, filterings system, inflection pedals and more. We will be covering a bit background first, but if you want to get to the equipment, feel free to use the links listed below in the handy Table of Components to jump right there.
History of Bass Pedals
In the early days of rock ‘n’ roll, the bass mainly was a volume pedal, with the drummer controlling the pitch with the bass drum. As the rock ‘n’ roll boom began, the bass took a back seat, as rock ‘n’ roll morphed into the blues. The bass was now the lead instrument, so it needed to be tuned. That’s where the lead guitar took the bassist’s pedalboard, which at the time was just an amp, a guitar and a cable.
In the late ’50s and early ’60s, bassists used volume pedals. Then, in the mid-’60s, Fender came out with the first solid-state bass amp, the Bassman. This meant that bassists could take the guitar and amp out of the way and use the space for other things. This was the first pedalboard, and it was all pedals.
In the ’70s, the bass took a big step forward with the resurgence of rock ‘n’ roll. It was the lead instrument, and bassists wanted to play in tune. Bassists started using effects pedals, but the first to appear were the effects pedals for the lead guitarist. These were called “guitar effects” or “guitar stompboxes.” The earliest pedals included chorus, flanger, phaser, wah, tremolo, vibrato, and wah. In the ’80s, when rock ‘n’ roll morphed into heavy metal, bass pedals resurgence.
In the ’90s, with the rise of grunge, there was a shift in bassists’ attitude. The bass guitar was a solo instrument with grunge, and bassists were very happy to play in tune.
Now we’re in the modern era of bass pedals. This is the era of a bassist with a pedalboard as large as the stage. The pedalboard is not only a means of taking the bass out of the way, but it’s also a means of making the bass sound bigger and better.
Types of Bass Effects
Before we get into the best bass pedals, let’s look at the types of effects available for the bass. There are four basic types of effects, and they are as follows:
Compression: Compression is when a signal is reduced in volume. It can be used to take out unwanted frequencies or to even out a sound. Compression is not a bass pedal, but it is an effect that can be used to help make the bass sound bigger and better.
EQ: An equalizer is a device that takes a signal and changes its characteristics. Equalizers can be used to adjust the frequencies of a sound. An equalizer can also be used to adjust the volume of a sound.
Distortion: Distortion is when a signal is distorted. Distortion can be used to add a new sound to a signal or to even out a sound.
After that, distortion is when a signal is modified so that it sounds different from the original signal.
Modulation: Modulation is when a signal is modified so that it sounds different from the original signal. There are many modulation types, but the most common are pitch modulation and envelope modulation.
Compression is probably the easiest to use out of the four basic types of effects. Compression can be used to take out unwanted frequencies or to even out a sound. Compression is not a bass pedal, but it is an effect that can be used to help make the bass sound bigger and better.
One of the most basic and best bass pedals in this category, the all-analog MXR M81, features a three-band EQ and a pro-level DI that can be toggled pre- or post-EQ. This enables a super-clean level to indicate to the console while using the tone manages to change your amp’s tone, or the EQ’d indicate to hit both the amp and the console, depending upon need.
The central control is sweepable from 250Hz to 1kHz for easy access to a wide range of tonalities. Using MXR’s Continuous Headroom Technology always keeps the clean headroom at the limit. This is an excellent tool for the bassist who lives primarily on the planet of clean signal or prefers to use a different overdrive or distortion pedal.
The dimension is incredibly pedalboard pleasant. This would undoubtedly be a great pedal to function as the facility of a bass configuration targeted at the quiet phase or a “fly gear” for exploring bassists.
|Item Dimensions LxWxH||5.5 x 2.5 x 4.5 inches|
|Item Weight||0.5 Pounds|
- Separate INPUT & OUTPUT level controls
- 3-band EQ section with sweep able midrange
- Studio-quality Direct Out
A classic for many bassists, the Ampeg SCR-DI Bass DI With Overdrive has a great sound and looks. The SCR-DI is a solid-state design, and its two-knob overdrive controls are straightforward to access. The SCR-DI is a solid-state, tube-driven design, and its sound is as good as the Ampeg SCR-4X.
The Ampeg SCR-DI Bass Pedal is very popular among bassists and is available in a wide range of colors and finishes. The SCR-DI is an excellent pedal to use with any amplifier, and it has an excellent sound.
If you are familiar with the classic Ampeg bass amps (SVT, B-15 Portaflex, and so on.) and their three-band EQ tone pile, you will be right in your home here, with solid sounds that are undeniably Ampeg. The preamp side also carries over the Ultra-Low and Ultra-High switches from those amps.
|Item Dimensions LxWxH||4.3 x 7.6 x 2 inches|
|Item Weight||2.6 Pounds|
- Bass preamp pedal with EQ, tone controls, and Bass Scrambler Overdrive
- Send your tone direct to a PA or recording system with the balanced XLR output
- Send a split of your signal to monitors or your amp with the 1/4″ outputs
- Creates a wide range of iconic Ampeg bass tones
- Perfect for practice, with 1/8″ aux input to jam along with your music player
This is a simple but effective pedal. It’s a best bass pedal, and it’s also a very versatile bass boost pedal. It’s a 2-band EQ, and it has a high/low switch that allows the user to control the high and low frequencies of the boost.
Of all the pedals we’re looking at here, the Markbass MB Mini-Boost is the easiest and purest. 2 knobs are all you need. The left-hand handle dials in up to 20dB of clean boost. The right-hand handle identified VPF for Variable Pre-shape Filter is a bass guitar-specific mid-scoop filter.
Such filterings systems are often used for put bass methods, having fun with a pick or classic, eighth-note shake on. The more you transform it up, the more it scoops out the mids. Honestly, we do not see why this does not survive on every bassist’s pedalboard. Sometimes, all of us need a bit boost.
- Input: mono 1?4″ jack
- Input impedance: 1 Mohm /6 Vpp
- Output: mono 1?4″ jack
- Output impedance: 470 ohm /6 Vpp
- Boost Gain Level: from 0 to +20 dB
- Dimensions (w/h/d): 3.23″ x 1.5″ x 4.92″
- Weight: 0.51lb. / 230 gr
- Power requirements: +9/+12VDC
The Electro-Harmonix Bass Big Muff Pi is a best bass pedal. It is a dual-mode, 2-band EQ, and it has a footswitch to allow you to control the two bands of the EQ. This is a great pedal to use with any amp, and it has a great sound.
The Electro-Harmonix Bass Big Muff Pi is a dual-mode, 2-band EQ, and it has a footswitch to allow you to control the two bands of the EQ. The Electro-Harmonix Bass Big Muff Pi is a dual-mode, 2-band EQ, and it has a footswitch to allow you to control the two bands of the EQ.
Most importantly, absolutely nothing exceeds like extra. There is a switchable bass boost to send the fuzz totally over the top. For large, unadulterated enjoyable, fuzz bass has reached be right up close to the first.
|Item Dimensions LxWxH||6.25 x 3.2 x 5.65 inches|
|Item Weight||1 Pounds|
- On/Off switchControls for Volume, Tone, and SustainDual outputsMini Switch for Bass BoostRugged metal chassisRuns on 9 volt battery (best with Polaroid 9 Volt batteries) or optional AC Adapter (sold separately).
- The Bass Big Muff Pi Pedal features controls for volume, tone, sustain, dual outputs (effect and dry for recording), and a mini switch for bass boost
- The Electro-Harmonix Bass Big Muff Pi Distortion Pedal is powered by a single 9-volt battery or optional AC power supply (sold separately)
The Darkglass Hyper Luminal Compressor is a great bass pedal. It’s a tube compressor, and it has a switch to control the amount of compression. The Darkglass Hyper Luminal Compressor is a tube compressor, and it has a switch to allow you to control the amount of compression.
This is a great compressor pedal to use with any amp, and it has a great sound. It’s a tube compressor, and it has a switch to control the amount of compression. It’s a tube compressor, and it has a switch to control the amount of compression.
This maintains the signal course analog but enables very flexible manages, consisting of Darkglass’s unique touch manages for compression proportion and compressor choice.
|Item Dimensions LxWxH||10 x 7 x 5 inches|
- Compression Knobs; Ratio Mode Through-metal Senss; 3 Modes; 10-segment Gain Reduction Meter
- Bass Compress Pedal with Blend
- USB Interface
These are just a few of the many options available to bassists. There are many more options out there. In this article, we have just focused on the pedalboard of a bassist. You can get your pedals or find a great shop that sells your favorite pedal brand.
The thing about pedalboards is that they are constantly evolving as technology advances, so do the options available to bassists. You can choose from different types of pedals and different brands. There are many options out there. This article is not the end of the discussion. There are many more options available to you.
Of course, the question remains: Which pedalboard is best for you? That’s entirely up to you. It would be best if you decided what you like best.