Overdrive within a bass?

This is probably a stupid question, but has anyone ever fitted an Overdrive (or similar) within the bass itself? With distortion pedals available from as little as £17.50 it’s very tempting to route a cavity in my cheapy P bass and fit the guts of a pedal in there.

1 Like

Musicman sells a bass with a Darkglass AO preamp in a Stingray for $2799 :money_mouth_face:


Why not just use a pedal? You could use it for all your bases then


Raise the pickups up nice and high - $free :upside_down_face:

1 Like

Seriously though - there have been a few attempts at this but I think these suffer the same fate the “TV/VCR” combo units did, the two functions are physically tied so if one goes they are both useless.

There are a few discussions over on talkbass about what your trying to do though, check them out, they have some good points like battery life and circuit amperage etc.


Agree. This is why detached amp heads are better than combos too.

1 Like

That’s what everyone does- where’s the fun in that?

1 Like

That brings me to my other theory- that all instruments over £500 are just for bragging rights!

I’d raise that quite a bit. There’s a pretty substantial quality bump in the $800-1000USD range.

I do agree that diminishing returns starts to set in pretty quickly in the $1k-2k range though.


Like many things, part of what you (want to) pay is also for the brand. Take women bags for example. You can buy a decent one for $40 or a Louis Vutton for $26.000. Functionally they do the same thing.

For music gear I do think that you need a certain degree of quality when you do lots of gigs on the road. Pretty sure the $80 bass I bought for my son wouldn’t last long :sweat_smile:


The brand theory agrees exactly with what I’m saying. I’ve never understood people having to have certain brands and thinking that that makes them somehow better. The only example I can give is in clothing, but my first wife was a garment technologist and travelled to factories all over the world to check the quality of the garments that were being made for the company she worked for. She repeatedly saw cheap stuff being made literally alongside designer stuff.

1 Like

For bass, a lot of the price is linked to the country where it is manufactured. The quality difference might not be worth the price, but there are other considerations… Social, political, environmental…

I will prefer gear made in the European Union for those reasons. I can fully understand that not everyone can afford those and it’s absolutely fine if they get their gear from other places.

1 Like

I don’t think the brand theory applies to pedals. Take Darkglass, the pedals are either manufactured in Finland or the US, so not on the same factory lines in China or Indonesia. This is not the garment industry.

Yes you pay for the name, at least some, but you also pay for the sound which is unique to Darkglass. One overdrive is simply not the same as the next.

1 Like

That is a really good point.