Best Bass Pedal Review – Top Rated Models in 2018 with Buying Guide
Looking for the best bass pedals might prove to be time-consuming. In order to help you find the best bass guitar pedals, we have examined the most appreciated products available for sale and we have come to the conclusion that the Boss TU3 is the one you should consider if you want to tune the bass quickly. The product supports 7-string guitars and 6-string basses and it can also work as a mute for the bass. Moreover, the “true color” LCD will enhance your experience visually, too. In case this product is sold out, you might want to consider the Electro-Harmonix Deluxe model.
Highly Recommended Choices – Reviews & Comparison
After examining the critically acclaimed products out on the market and multiple bass pedals reviews, we have gathered a list of products to make it easier for you to find that model that best serves your needs. Check their specs to get one step closer to your decision.
Flat tuning is supported with Guitar Flat Mode, which will enable you to drop tunings up to 6 semitones below standard pitch. The unit can also work as a mute for your bass. It supports 7-string guitars and 6-string basses.
This model comes with a unique feature, the “True-Color” LCD that provides the user with a multi-color experience never offered with clip-on tuners before. The high-brightness mode ensures great outdoor visibility. This is further improved by the reflection-display function. Also, the Accu-Pitch sign function delivers visual verification when tuning is complete.
Most customers who’ve reviewed this product place it at the top of the list thanks to its specifications and the high-performance it helps a player reach. The unit can also work decently as a buffer for the signal chain. It comes with a built-in power supply and a DC Out jack that can help you handle a few more pedals.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($87.59)
The unit features various knobs for a complex experience. The blend knob, for instance, can be used to mix the dry and distorted signals. You can use it to enjoy a 100% dry signal, a 100% wet signal, or a mixture of the two.
The tone knob will enable you to add variety to your gig by providing you with sounds that range from high treble to deep bass, just to name a few. You will find some other knobs with various functions such as the HPF, LPF, and Volume controls.
Additionally, the item allows the user to adjust the amount of distortion and sustain thanks to the sustain knob whereas the built-in gate will eliminate unwanted hum. The pedal boasts other features such as a dedicated DI output, a foot switchable filter crossover section as well as a direct output for parallel processing.
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EarthQuaker Spatial Delivery
The unit features various knobs for different functions that will help the user become as eclectic or innovative as needed. It boasts several modes including Up Sweep, Down Sweep, and Sample and Hold. You can use the Range, Resonance, and Filter knobs to enjoy emphasized sweeps in Down and Up modes.
The player can control sensitivity and the reaction of the envelope when using the Range function with pick attacks. You can thus control the width of the frequency sweep. When you combine a higher range with a harder attack, you will get to enjoy a higher frequency sweep and a faster reaction time. If you want to get the opposite, keep the range and the attack low.
In case you are interested in adding more ring and body to the filter voice, you can use the Resonance knob. Most customers who’ve reviewed this product say they are satisfied with the overall quality and the many features the pedal comes with.
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The separate Dry and Effect level controls will enable you to keep your low end intact while dialing in a cool mix of direct and effected signals. The pedal offers a great variety of filter tones you can shape with the help of the Decay and Q controls. The tone will remain intact when you bypass the pedal thanks to its true bypass switching.
Using the Sensitivity knob will help you tailor the pedal for your attacks. You can also use it to adjust to active and passive basses. The power supply circuitry the pedal comes with was built to withstand unlucky polarity accidents and over-voltage.
The player gets to enjoy all these features in a durable body featuring a Phase 90-size aluminum housing that ensures long-term usage. It is also lightweight so you can easily store it or take it with you when on the road.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($149.99)
The pedal is optimized for bass frequencies combining a convenient auto-return switching and a custom EQ circuitry that will help you maintain your low end fundamental intact. Thanks to the auto-return switching, you can step in and out of your wah sounds to try fills and solos simply and seamlessly.
Incorporating a proprietary potentiometer, the unit will help the player apply the wah effect only to the mids and highs. This further means that the user can throw in fills or take solos without affecting the low end.
You get two separate Q and Volume controls that will fine-tune your wah sounds. The simplistic design ensures ease of use and will help the player add texture and groove to the bass line effortlessly. The people who tried it have described the product’s performance as astounding and the build strong and well-made.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($129.99)
EarthQuaker Hoof V2
The pedal comes with various controls so you can enjoy the versatility you’re interested in. They include the Level, Fuzz, Tone, and Shift knobs. For instance, you can use the latter to enjoy classic scooped or modern mids. The tone control will enable you to enjoy bass or treble tones with ease whereas the fuzz knob will allow you to play with heavy to light fuzzes.
The unit features a hybrid Germanium / Silicon hybrid circuitry and pairs the maximum tone with maximum temperature stability delivering a natural and smooth sustain. If you want to alter the overall frequency response, you need to use the Shift knob with the Tone control.
The pedal is powered via a 9-volt battery or external power supply and measures 4.625 x 2.5 x 2.25″. The outer chassis was built to protect the inner circuitry through every stomp.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($179)
Even if some players might say reverbs aren’t for bass guitars, this pedal proves such ideas wrong. The studio-quality effects you enjoy, from modulated reverbs to angelic shimmers, make this unit ideal not only for your bass but also for other instruments such as an acoustic electric guitar.
The Space model comes with 100 presets, some of them crafted by Flood and Alan Moulder, Amedeo Pace, and Vernon Reid, just to name a few. The unique effects this unit features were previously available only in Eventide rack processors but you can now enjoy them in a solid package you can use even when on the road with your travel guitars.
Its entire design is crafted to allow future software developments as the USB feature will enable software upgrades. The body is well-built, created to last extended sessions and even road gigs and practice.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($499)
The versatility of the sounds one can enjoy when using the Bass Micro Synthesizer renders it ideal for musicians in need of both classic vintage sounds and wild custom creations. Not to mention everything that’s in between.
The variety of sounds the player has the possibility to enjoy makes it ideal for adventurous musicians interested in experiencing thunderous monosynths with an old-school touch. The pedal has also been appreciated for its sub-octave harmonics and smooth bowed tones, which means it will work well for conservative players.
The unit features ten slider controls that enable the user to dial in a rich variety of analog synth sounds. Moreover, the pedal delivers four independent voices (Guitar, Octave, Sub-Octave, and Square Wave) you can mix. Boasting so many possibilities, this item is just what you need to take your bass sound further and explore new sonic experiences.
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The simplistic design will make it easy for you to control the sonic output. Use the Rate, Width, and Intensity controls to dial in the sound you want to create and the Blend control for the wet/dry ratio. You will keep your low end intact while this knob will dial in the desired subtlety.
The chorus pedal was designed to get you that fat chorus your bass needs while also delivering a warm tone. Its compact build might be misleading yet once you pair it with your bass and use it, the lush sound of the analog chorus will take your experience to the next level.
It offers a mono and stereo output and the gig-saver bypass will allow the signal to pass even if your battery dies. You can easily use this model to add a chorus effect to your best bass pedal board.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($199)
Darkglass Alpha Omega
The flexibility of sonic output is ensured by the two distinct distortion circuits (Alpha and Omega) you can select or blend with the Mod knob and the toggle switches. You can use the Blend knob to mix the clean and processed signals and the level control to get the desired volume of the overdriven signal.
The amount of gain in the overdriven signal is set with the help of the Drive control. The Mod control will help you select or mix between the Alpha and Omega distortion signals. Go for Alpha if you want it punchy and tight and try Omega for a raw and brutal output.
If you need extra definition and presence, the unit features the Bite control to boost High Mids (2.8kHz). Choose Growl whenever you need increased low-end saturation and a fatter tone. This Black/White model is limited edition. Delay no more if that’s what your style requires.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($299.95)
The various controls the bass compressor effects pedal features will help you dial in your sound precisely. The Blend knob enables the player to mix the clean and compressed signals, which makes this model perfect for fast compression adjustment. The item weighs only 1 pound, so you can easily add it to your road accessory kit including guitar amps and other such items.
With the Gain control, you will be able to adjust the gain on the compressor whereas the Attack knob will allow you to set the time until gain reduction begins. Use the Compression control to set the desired amount of compression and the Output to control the volume of the compressed signal.
Besides delivering versatility and offering the player multiple possibilities to explore, the Super Symmetry features 10 blue LEDs that will provide real-time visual feedback so you can be sure to deliver a smooth tone even if there are moments on the stage when you can’t hear yourself.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($298.95)
Boasting a remarkable selection of faithful emulations such as various cabinets and classic bass amps, the pedal will enable the player to create and enjoy a unique sound experience. Moreover, you can make use of up to seven effects at the same time while chained together in any order.
Thanks to the 3 stompbox switches, you can instantly bring effects in and out as the B3n comes with 67 high-quality stompbox DSP effects. They include filter, dynamics, modulation, delay, reverb as well as overdrive and distortion effects. This renders the pedal ideal for both practice gigs and ‘one-man band’ shows.
Furthermore, the unit allows the user to record and overdub phrases up to 80 seconds. This way you can create textured layers of sounds with the effects you like. It makes the pedal perfect for any genre. Plus, the intuitive interface allows fast editing.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($179.99)
The octave pedal will fill up your bass tone rather than change the original tone. It delivers analog tones with true bypass giving you the possibility to mix your direct bass signal with the octave effect. Thanks to the 8-volt Constant Headroom Technology, the player is provided with superior tracking and high headroom.
The unit features two independent analog sub-octave voices as well as a Dry control and a Mid+ switch for optimal results. The Growl knob will get you a throaty tone whereas the Girth knob will help you achieve a deep tone.
You can also keep your sound clean and classic if you turn off the growl and girth knob switch and play with the dry signal. You will thus enjoy that classic tone many players use for slap and pop bass. The item measures 5.8 x 4.5 x 2.8 inches, so you can easily take it with you even when on the road.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($141.18)
The pedal packs 27 bass effects, 5 cabinets, 11 amps, and 5 stompboxes, offering plenty of variety to experience with. The 40 high-quality drum patterns will allow you to explore various possibilities and find the combination that best suits your preferences. The unit also comes with a built-in chromatic tuner and a headphone jack so you will be able to practice in silence.
The expression pedal included will enable the player to enjoy real-time control over wah, DigiTech Whammy effects, and volume. Furthermore, the product features 100 preset locations and the package includes the power supply needed to get it started.
The product measures 6.5 x 8.5 x 2 inches and weighs 1.52 pounds. It is portable considering its many features and the fact that it includes an expression pedal and a drum machine with 40 patterns. Most reviews we have found online are positive, the people who tried it appreciating the overall quality and the performance boost they enjoyed.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($99.95)
This switch and the independent rise and fall time ballistics you can customize will help you take your sound and experience to a whole new level without even using a treadle. Enjoying the effects of this model could be described as ridiculously easy. What you need to do is to hold down the footswitch and let the Whammy Ricochet do the rest.
The unit comes with 7 pitch selections including 2nd, 4th, 5th, 7th, Octave, Double Octave, and Octave+Dry. Once you’ve selected your pitch, you can use the toggle for up/down controls. You can make use of all these controls to enjoy the classic pitch-shifting or to create new sounds.
Thanks to the LED ladder, you can see your shift trajectory at all times and get real-time visual feedback. Furthermore, the true bypass design will help you preserve your tone. The item weighs only 0.8 lbs, which means you can easily store it or take it with you when traveling.
Click to see the price on Amazon!
Yearly Guide & Report
The market is so generous these days that finding the best bass effects pedals to boost your experience might prove to be a real challenge. Just like when you’re on the lookout for a new guitar tuner or a cool synthesizer keyboard, you need to pay attention to certain features to make sure you get what you need.
Even if your budget won’t allow you more than a cheap bass pedal, it doesn’t mean such a model can’t help you improve your experience and help you explore and innovate. As long as you consider the following features, you can enjoy the boost even when on a tight budget.
Overdrive and distortion pedals
The bass pedal offer is so rich that one might get entangled in the great variety of models and features they come with. We have reduced the long list of pedal specs to the basic ones to help you filter the products available on the market.
One of the first things to consider is how much strength you want to add to your signal when playing. A quality overdrive pedal will do just that by causing your signal to distort but in a controlled way. Such pedals are designed to add extra gain to your signal. They are also called distortion pedals.
Most of these pedals feature multiple effects, the most common ones including Gain to enable you to control the fuzziness of your signal when coming out of your amp, Tone to compensate for the extra highs the clipping process might cause, and Volume to keep the effect volume balanced or to boost the signal for solos. You can also get Bass, Treble, and Mid-tone controls.
Wahs and envelope filters
If you’re interested in thinning or widening your sound, then you need to look for pedals that deliver envelope filters and wahs. Using wah pedals will enable you to explore new sounds quite easily. You can widen your tone by rocking your pedal back or thin it and make it more top-heavy by rocking the pedal forward.
Envelope filters will deliver the same frequency-altering effect but automatically. This is the reason why many players call them auto-wah pedals. The difference between this type of pedals and the ones described earlier is that they work automatically and the quality of the wah is influenced by the volume changes of the audio signal.
Reverb and delay pedals
When it comes to bass guitars, delay and reverb pedals mean the same thing. The effect the player gets to enjoy using such pedals could be simplistically described as a sound that is similar to the slight eco coming off the sound impact when you slam your hand down on a table.
Most delay pedals feature the reverb effect, too, so you will find many models that fulfill both delay and reverb effects in just one unit. What they do is to delay the signal a few milliseconds from the pedal interface.
The features you need to consider if you intend to get this type of pedal include the delay time, delay level, and the feedback controls. Using the feedback option will help you set how much delay will be fed back to the input when you go for repeating delays.
Compression and chorus pedals
In case you’re interested in a pedal that would help you normalize your tone and achieve a more articulate sound, you might want to consider a compression pedal. Such a device will “mash down” your entire guitar signal and even the highs and lows so you can enjoy one, even signal.
Although such pedals are used by guitar players more often, they are an option if you want an increased volume without distortion.
Chorus pedals will help you split the signal into two, delivering a clean signal and a changed signal that gets an echo effect because of a small amount of delay and reverb applied. They work very much like octave pedals which are used to create a fuzzed-out effect similar to a synth pedal.
Budget and level of performance
There are many things to be said about bass pedals and how you can use them to enrich your sound experience. Besides the most important features described above, there are two other factors that will decide what gets in your shopping cart.
Obviously, the money you have at your disposal counts a lot when making a decision. But so does your level of experience. If you are a beginner, it might be better to start with something simple and not too expensive until you get the hang of it and know your direction regarding the effects you want for your sounds.
If you’ve found this buying guide helpful, you might want to check our posts on beginner electric guitars, the most popular acoustic guitars on the market, or acoustic guitar strings for an improved sound.