Question-Effect Pedals

Hello, Everyone,

I’ve been playing bass on and off for years and have only played with an amp, a compression pedal and a tuner.

Mostly play rock and blues but some country and pop as well.

So, looking to add some effects.

I will probably add a chorus and delay on the advice of a few guitar players, but a little confused about the differences between Distortion/OD/Fuzz pedals…any advice for a noob?

FYI-I have a Zoom B6, but honestly while it’s fun to play around with, I don’t find it easy (at least for me) to use while playing with other people and being able to change setting quickly…I know you can save favorites, but I think I am just an analog kind of gal. (Note, this means I have no patience to learn how to use the darn thing!)

Thanks in advance for your advice!


This video might be helpful exploring the differences between overdrive, distortion, and fuzz.


Thanks, RuknRole!

I had previously watched another YouTube video comparing them, but I really could not hear a difference. This one helped! :slight_smile:

Since I likely will not be playing metal anytime soon, I think I lean more toward OD, but maybe the OCD by Fulltone would be a good way to go which would allow for distortion as well.

Are there any other OD/Distortion pedals that people have experience with that I should consider?


@Koldunya just got the B6 iirc. Maybe she has some tips :nerd_face:

I wouldn’t go for the Fulltone OCD. Fulltone just stopped their business and the used prices are skyrocketing… Also it’s a guitar pedal so you might cut off lows.

If you want a versatile pedal I would personally go for a bass preamp pedal with a drive option. For example the Behringer BDI21 is a great starter pedal

Check out these threads too for inspiration:


I’m also in the hunt for my 1st overdrive/distortion pedal so hopefully we’ll get a lot of suggestions. Someone suggested the Way Huge Pork & Pickle bass overdrive to me on another thread, and the Source Audio Aftershock Bass Distortion looks interesting as well.

Here is a list suggestion by sweetwater.


Thanks, Paul!

I have a Ampeg SCR-DI that a friend gave me a while back, so maybe I should play around with that first to see if I can fatten up my sound a bit.

I played for years in a band with 3 guitars, but now I have been playing with a trio with occasionally a second guitar added…looking to fill the void. :slight_smile:


Maybe a cheap boost pedal could help to crank your drive. Do you play a passive or active bass?


Thanks, again…RuknRole!

I’ll take a look. I have been watching some reviews, but a lot of the demos seem to play with heavy distortion and that is not what I’m looking for… could be I am being too literal, and you can just turn down the level of grit.
One of the reasons I posted here is because I thought I might get flamed for asking on the Talkbass forum and everyone is so nice and helpful here!


Hey, Paul,

Yeah…that might do it.

I have both, but I recently bought a Fender P Bass …which I absolutely love playing, so I’ll say passive.


Fender P bass rules! I prefer passive too. I also love Ampeg and how the drive sounds. It’s one of my favourite amps.

I play a lot of rock with mainly passive Fender basses. my setup is a compressor and a preamp with a nice drive. That’s all I need really…

Truth be told I have been playing with a tube screamer for a bit of extra OD. There is one specific for bass too. How did you liked yours @PamPurrs ?


Cool…went from the days of a Ampeg full stack to a Ampeg Rocket Bass…sounds great and I can lift the darn thing!

I really appreciate your feedback!


I think Darkglass B3K is next on my list, unless @eric.kiser can sell me an Aguilar option.


That was the TS9b. It was one of my favorites back when I was into pedals.


Yea this guy…


Here is an interesting video on how all overdrives come from 5 types of circuits.


So many choices, heading down the rabbit hole! :crazy_face:


Hi @heart92262! You already have a lot of gear. So, I’m going to talk about various options. There is no one right way to do this. This is going to get long. Feel free to throw in any follow up questions.

Guitar players can get away with a lot more effects than we can. Because of where their instrument sits in the mix, it can be more forgiving. Chorus is fun and it can mix well with other effects. Delay can be a lot of work when it comes to bass. The only time I’ve been able to use Delay on bass was when I was specifically trying to do something with delay on bass. It’s not something where I’ve been able to say, “I’ll just add a little delay here.” Not that it can’t be done, but there is more of a learning curve with using a delay.

Why yes! I love this topic. Think of it as Overdive then Distortion then Fuzz. With Overdrive being the least and Fuzz being the most. There are no real rules to this though. There are pedals that will cover a small part of this spectrum and pedals that will cover everything from just a little bit of grit all the way up to, Oh My God My Ears Are Bleeding!

If you just want to thicken things up with a little bit of grit on your sound, I liked the SGT overdrive on your Rocket Bass amp. Crank it up and see if this gets you close to what you’re looking for. If this works, definitely get the footswitch for it. I don’t remember if it already comes with one or not.

That is a really good friend because the SCR-DI is a great pedal. Lots of options and built like a truck. If the built in SGT overdrive on the amp isn’t enough, you can add the SCR-DI last in the pedal chain before the amp. I will warn you, for all the great things about the SCR-DI, generally the Scrambler overdrive isn’t one of them. Most people find it to be harsh and not the best representation of what Ampeg has to offer. But you never know until you try. Also, if you really want to get distorted, turn on both the Scrambler and the SGT. This is called stacking drives where one drive feeds the next and can get way out of control. I like it.

This. If you like the SGT, but want more of it, something like the TC Electronic Spark Booster Pedal will push it in that direction. This works like stacking drives but since the Spark is a clean boost it won’t further color the sound like using a second drive pedal would.

Yes, most of them will let you go a lot more subtle but subtle doesn’t get as many likes on your youtube reviews.

As everyone should at some point! I have the TS9b Bass Tube Screamer, also. It’s not everybody’s thing, but I think it’s wonderful compressed warm deliciousness. So far, the only thing I’ve liked better is stacking a guitar Tube Screamer and a Bass Tube Screamer. That was awesome.

If they start pushing it for $99 like the others, I will!

Plenty of people love the Agro but some say it sits best “in the mix”. To the point that some people have said using it alone and using it with a band is like using two completely different pedals. Plus, the Darkglass stuff is so versatile, you would be hard pressed to not find a sound you could use in it.


Hello, Eric!

Thank you so much for taking the time for such a detail response!

Excellent feedback and I will certainly take your advice and try using my existing equipment first before I just start buying pedals!

It’s funny that I know so many guitarists but not bassists!

When a guitarist mentioned a delay, I actually questioned that, but he said if you set it to a very short delay it would sound awesome, but I will not rush out and buy one…maybe borrow one from him and play around with it.

As for the Rocket Bass SGT, I’ll spend some more time with trying to dial that in, I haven’t really found a sweet spot with that yet.

I’ll break out the SCR-DI and give it a go…really have not added it the mix.

Any ways, thanks again for helping to enlighten a gal with little effects pedal experience!



Your Zoom B6 is a serious piece of gear tho. I know a multi-fx unit can be difficult to wrap your head around, but when I look at this demo from Zoom the controls feel very intuitive and easier than most multi-fx pedal I have seen.

If you just stick to the effect board setting for now so that you can toy with different pedals in your chain and see which effects you really like or dislike (the effects are usually based on real pedals). Maybe ask a guitar friend to help figure it out? You are pretty much done with pedals if you use this unit.

I also started with the Zoom B1Four multi-fx pedal and moved on to analog pedals after that. There is no right or wrong path, it’s all fun and games until your bank account is empty or you run out of space. :joy:


LOL…I’ve definitely been spending my kid’s inheritance the last couple of years!

I have played around with the Zoom and the presets sound pretty cool, honestly, I haven’t spent time trying to setup my own chain., but you are right and I should stop being lazy and give it a go.

You guys are being so darn sensible! :rofl: