Overdrive - DG Microtubes B3K V2 or Ibanez Tube Screamer (Bass or Regular)

Been thinking about Overdrive and some tones I am missing in this realm in the ‘just a bit to much cleaner than distortion realm’.
After the obligatory bevy of YouTube rabbit holes I seem to come back to these two (well 3 if you count the Ibanez Bass and Regular versions).

Anyone have experience with both? Or either?

I am at a stalemate for which one to try out (and no, not doing the ‘just get them both’ approach, hahaha).


So I think I just answered my own question, forgot about Thomann’s Stomenberg FX.

You can plug your bass into your DI and go live with any of the pedals they have set up.
There is a 200ms delay or so but you instantly get a feel for what a pedal can do from your own home, so dang cool!

Net/net, the Darkglass won out totally for what I was thinking in tone and has more possibilities.



Between the two I would always go for the Darkglass there but they are very, very, very different sounding pedals. This is totally an apples/oranges comparison for distortion here. The TS is much more of an overdrive than the Darkglass, and the Darkglass is a much better pedal for low end.

And before you buy the B3K (which is great), check out the Vintage Microtubes.


I don’t have much experience with any others, but I can speak for the Ibanez TS9B Bass Tube Screamer. I’ve had mine for nearly a year and am very pleased with it. I can’t imagine a need for me to switch to anything else.


Stompenberg doesn’t have the Bass Tube Screamer and the sound you get from running a bass through a Tube Screamer versus a Bass Tube Screamer is vastly different.

I haven’t had a chance to mess with any Darkglass distortion outside of the amp sim included with the Element. I will second @PamPurrs in saying, I love my Bass Tube Screamer.



Darkglass sound (in general, for many of their pedals, not just the B3K): boosted and compressed clean lows, scooped mids, slightly boosted and distorted highs and high mids

TS: low end cut, heavily boosted mids, boosted highs, warm distortion and compression across the range, much more traditional overdrive

They are really, really different sounding pedals

both are great, love them both - but I would not look at this as an either/or.

And check out the VMT :slight_smile:


I did check out the Vintage as well, at least in videos.
I liked it too, but tought it was a bit more of a mellow overall tone than the B3K.

I appreaciate the sound of the Ibanez, but wasn’t as crazy about it for what I was looking for at least. When I Stompenberg’ed the B3K, I found a few tones I was super crazy happy with and exactly what I think I am looking for.

@eric.kiser, ya I know it isn’t the bass one on there, but, the sound concept of the tone is at least in my mind of a similar ilk. It’s super cool, but not exactly what I hear in my head.

I now fully understand why pedals go 'round and 'round in the world.
They are the equivilant of saxophone mouthpieces (except significantly cheaper, thank goodness!!), and both are all about chasing that tone/sound concept in your head.

One of my favorite sax players is Pharoah Sanders. He occasionally goes into Roberto’s Winds in NYC and will wipe them out of vintage mouthpieces. He is in his 80s and still not happy with his ‘sound’, he is still chasing it even though I think his sound was amazingly perfect decades ago.


Excellent comparison @howard!

@John_E If you find something that gets you closer to the sound in your head, buy that thing.


This is pretty much what I heard but had no idea how to articulate this yet.
Thank you @howard.

So many pedals, so few feet.


I only use distortion as a pedal. My preamp and amps both have drive options that can give some serious growl to your sound. Depending on which (pre)amp you got ofc but in that case an EQ pedal might be interesting too.

If had to pick I would probably go with the DG but I do like the TS for my guitar.


Are you saying Sax mouthpieces are MORE expensive than pedals? GASP


My opinion is probably not worth much because i’m a fan of clean tones and rarely use any form of OD on Bass, however, just for the sake of completeness I have a Way Huge Pork & Pickle on my board that I managed to pick up second hand. I can’t really tell you how it compares to other pedals because the only ones I have are for guitar (Crowther Hot Cake being the creme de la creme in my opinion). I can tell you that, from what I’ve seen of Darkglass on YouTube, they don’t turn me on at all as they seem to concentrate mostly on tones for the modern metal fraternity but if you are considering them, you maybe like that sound. What I do like about the Pork & Pickle is that it is an OD and a Fuzz in one pedal so if you need both it saves some space on your board. It also has a clean blend and clean tone so you can preserve your original tone and just dial in very subtle amounts of OD which works for me. A bit of a left field product choice but might be worth checking out.


I absolutely love the off-the-rack Ibanez Tube Screamer.
I have a new one (from about 4 years ago).

You lose some low low bass response, but the compression and mids sound so great and warm and fuzzy!
It’s a favorite of mine.

Can’t speak to the Darkglass.


Just wanted to check that you saw the ONE good video on the VMT. The problem with Darkglass is that it is almost all metalhead demo videos. I just bought a VMT last week and love it.


Both Darkglass petals are super cool (so is the Ibanez for that matter). I did not see this video but it does confirm my initial thoughts (I was very consious to ‘look beyond the metalhead’ in the videos I watched.

To me, this is a bit more mellow than the B3K, and wanted to be able to go a bit further if wanted. I honestly could put them all in a row and smile when I look down, but, that seems rather excessive (hahaha).

I wanted something unique, and that I was hearing in my head, hope that i picked properly, as the B3K is on its way (found on Reverb new cheaper than list by $20, woot.


@Gio I’ll bet you have the TS9, correct? The TS9b that I have is way better than the plain TS9 for low end.


i temporarily had a B3K to compare it to my vintage and i found them to be very similar. which is super high praise for the B3K.


I have 12 different sax mouthpieces, from sopranino to bass, with various ones for alto, tenor and baritone depending on tone, type of music. My cheapest one was $199, most expensive was $900, with most in the $500-800 range. Ligatures anywhere from $40-$150.




Did I mention good quality reeds go for $40-50 a box of 10 (5 for baritone).
This was all my first inspiration for another musical hobby, something cheaper (its all relative I guess).

At least I am not a violinist, $$$$$