This is 99.9% of all that matters
overdrive, distrortion and fuzz refer to different kinds of circuitry. they don’t sound the same and they don’t feel the same to play.
Just apropos… very recently from BassTheWorld:
Overdrive and distortion being different is a good thing to point out and I should stop referring to the Battalion as overdrive as I am pretty certain it’s a separate distortion section and is not overdriving the preamp itself. It can act like overdrive in one of the modes but it is pretty much a separate blendable distortion, especially in the dry eq mode.
The Ampeg SCR-DI is the same with its scrambler section, but it doesn’t work nearly as well or as flexibly.
yes, an overdrive is designed to force distortion from the first gain stage of a tube amp. it’s something very common in guitar amplification, way less with bass amps.
anyway an overdrive circuitry clips by itself. it’s called a soft clipping, somewhere between a hard compression on the edge and a distorsion. there are circuitries designed to push the first gain stage without actually adding their own distortion : boosters. I have a lot (love them on guitars) but I never found a nice use with basses so far.
@terb My son has a Vox AC15 that sounds kinda bland at low volume but sounds amazing at higher volume when the tubes are being driven. The problem is, he can’t play that loud at his place without causing problems with neighbors. If he gets a boost pedal would that let him get the great sound from the tubes being driven but be able to play at lower volume?
I love the Vox AC15 (my main amp being a boutique version of the '63 AC30) but it’s unusable if you’r just noodling in your appartment … it’s incredibly loud.
He could maybe look for an AC4 (I have one too) but even at 4w it’s pretty hard to manage with neighbors.
I think the best solution for real low-volume Vox tones is to get a good modeling amp sim. I used my Pod HD500 for this, worked great. it sounds way better than an AC* at low volume.
To answer about the booster : a booster would crank the input stage so he’ll get some distortion, but the low volume will make the power tube sound pretty bad. it won’t work so well overall.
Thanks, @terb. Oh well. I was hoping to find an easy, inexpensive solution.
If someone is looking for a nice, warm, vintagey overdrive that isn’t too extreme, I just saw this one and it has some interesting sounding tone.
They also have a more “extreme” version.
Yep. I’m looking forward to that!