When to use Overdrive on Fender rumble

I have a Fender Rumble 100 v3 and want to know when to use the overdrive function.

I did a gig a few weeks back and had the amp was almost flat out (no overdrive at all, the gain was about 11-12 oclock), and my Fender Jazz bass volumes right up too. It sounded smooth but the sax player said he could hardly hear me, so it wasn’t a dominant sound at all.
It didn’t sound like 100W was being pumped out of the amp.

Thinking about it now maybe I should have turned on Overdrive?
Any feedback I appreciate.


First of all welcome to the Forums, @Smiddi

The Overdrive just functions as an artificial distortion.

If you boost the mid and high level MIDs it can help punch through a little better.

Cheers, Joe


Rather than use distortion, (overdrive) why don’t you try cranking up your mids a bit. See if that works to help cut through the mix a bit better.
Also remember that where you play can have a affect on how you sound. All venues are different and you may have to adjust for every place you play.


Did you get any comments from anyone (a friend, perhaps) that was standing in the crowd? Maybe the sax player just wasn’t standing in the right place to hear you properly?



  • Unless the gig was an aggressive rock/punk/metal gig, overdrive on bass is not - generally
    speaking - the way to go. It makes the sound distorted like fuzzy rock guitars.

This is a great suggestion. Lots of times we bass folk like big low notes and tone. Those sound waves are real slow and people on stage have a hard time hearing them. Mids and the attack on the high end of the frequency spectrum can really help people hear you on stage, or just to cut through a mix in general.

Absolutely agree here too - different rooms and stage set ups can have massively different effects on what folks can and can’t hear.
Similar to…

Also hugely important! If someone in the band is standing beside or behind an amp, or if there’s a loud drummer or guitar player between them and you, it might just be a matter of where they’re standing.

So… no new suggestions here. Just +1 to everything that they all already said.


I am a totally beginner (and don’t even own an amp yet) but would something like this help in situations like this?

Not to start with.

1 Like

Where you the only one amplified? If not, did every one played full/loud?
Change your approach: let every one lower their volume first: stage sound is very different from room/venue sound. Meaning on stage the setting differs from what the audience will and can hear in the venue, look for a balance between these two. It’s one of the reason I use sideways standing on stage monitors as extra, just to hear ourselves on stage. (I use AER AG8 for that, small and lite)


I really appreciate the help guys.

To give some more details:
It was outside in a beer garden.
The sax player was not next to me, and i did (in the gig) end up turning to tone up to max and seemed to work a lot better.
I was feeling a bit drowned out by the other musicians and the bass was too “bassy” (people in the audience told me that after the gig too).
I had the highs, mids and lows all at about 12 (half way). The gain was at about 10 oclock.

Based on your feedback, next time ill:

  • Crank up the mids bit more.
  • Sit next to the sax player.
  • Maybe up the gain a little more too???
  • And only use the overdrive for a rock tone.

thanks so much


The gain on the rumble 100 acts more like a second volume knob rather than what a traditional tube driven gain knob would sound like. So, you turn that gain knob up all you want.

The overdrive is very subtle on the Rumble amps. When you go to next practice, turn it on and see if anyone even notices.

It would be an interesting game to add more and more overdrive each practice session and see how long it takes for someone to notice.

It’s subtle enough that, if you’ve got the pedal that goes with it, you can use that more as a boost rather than overdrive.


To me the Fender built-in overdrive sounded like… overdrive. It’s a nice warm drive sound that you can make distort a little more aggressively but that is not really its strong suit. I ended up never using it and entirely using pedals instead. Which served me well when I sold the amp :slight_smile:


I rarely ever use the overdrive on my Rumble, not on the 100 I had, nor on the 500 I have now. Instead, I use the Tube Screamer pedal (Ibanez TS9b) and it’s quite adequate. I have yet to test it in a gig situation, but I’m sure there wouldn’t be any complaints.


At least with the 100 and 500 there is a separate input gain and then drive and level control for the overdrive; that makes it at least useful and able to overdrive into distortion.

The 25 just has a button. It’s not very useful.