Best Bass Pedal Review – Top Rated Models in 2021 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.
Our Top Choice
This product is reliable and ideal for all types of environments and concert halls. It will help you tune your bass effortlessly and it has an eye-catching design. Moreover, the unit features the Ace-Pitch tuner that allows you to flat-tune up to five semitones, as well as the Stream mode, which is ideal for professionals playing various genres
The pedal was mostly praised. However, some said it is not as intuitive as some other products on the market.
The model offers premium performance, and it supports 7-string guitars and 6-string basses, and it rocks a color LCD to simplify things even further. Its visibility is outstanding, especially in brightly lit places.
The Deluxe is both modern and a pleasure to use. It features 0dB and -10dB input, and works great with passive and active pickups. Moreover, it features a few ergonomic knobs like the one that allows you to mix the dry and distorted signals. The machine also offers versatility, and it will enable you to customize your experience entirely.
One customer said he wished the model had fewer knobs or some that were slimmer and more subtle.
Additionally, the pedal features a crossover circuit and will provide you with an impressive array of sounds to choose from, from deep bass to high treble. It is a choice that is hard to overlook considering its price and highlights.
Also To Consider
Check out this improved product. If you are a highly creative person, it won't disappoint, and it comes with various knobs and modes that show off its versatility. Some of the coolest modes are the Up Sweep, Down Sweep, and Sample. We should also mention that you will enjoy the Range, Resonance, and Filter knobs because they are easy to use.
Although the model is feature-packed, a few past buyers wanted an increased variety of uncommon and quirky tones.
The player will be surprised by how much control he/she has over the device. It is also highly intuitive and lightweight so you can pack it even when you are traveling. The Resonance knob is another thing that you are going to use a lot.
15 Best Bass Pedals (Reviews) in 2021
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.
- 1. Boss Tu-3 Chromatic Tuner Pedal
- 2. Deluxe Bass Big Muff Pi
- 3. EarthQuaker Devices Spatial Delivery Voltage Controlled Envelope
- 4. MXR M82 Bass Envelope Filter
- 5. Dunlop Crybaby Bass Wah Pedal
- 6. EarthQuaker Devices Hoof Fuzz V2 · Guitar Effect
- 7. Eventide Space Reverb Pedal
- 8. Electro Harmonix, Bass Micro Synth
- 9. Aguilar Chorusaurus Bass Chorus Pedal
- 10. Fender Downtown Express Multi-Effect Pedal
- Yearly Guide & Report
- Frequently Asked Questions:
1. Boss Tu-3 Chromatic Tuner Pedal
Ideal for outdoor gigs and road practice, this model from Boss is committed to helping you quickly tune your bass while enhancing your visual experience. Boasting a stylish design as well as a solid build, the pedal delivers features such as flat tuning up to five semitones, Ace-Pitch, and Stream Mode.
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.
One interesting feature that it has is the Guitar Flat Mode which will allow you to drop the tonality 6 semitones lower than the standard tuning.
It is a versatile unit as it can also work with 6-string or 7-string basses.
The true-color LCD display will show you everything you have to know about the tune of your instrument.
This display is also good outdoors because it is so bright, so you can basically see it everywhere. And it also has a reflection-display function to help with that.
It has a stylish design and the build is a solid one to withstand all of the stompings it will be going through.
You can employ this device as a buffer for the signal chain, and it can also work as a mute for your bass if you really need that.
This is not the most intuitive pedal and beginners will struggle to understand how it works.Buy from Amazon.com for ($99.99)
2. Deluxe Bass Big Muff Pi
The most recent in the line of Electro-Harmonix bass specific effects, the Deluxe Bass Big Muff Pi Bass Effects Pedal was developed to deliver greater performance to modern bass players and provide them with more tone shaping options. Featuring 0dB and -10dB input, the product works great with both passive and active pickups.
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.
This is a great pedal to use with both active and passive pickups, thanks to the 0dB and -10dB input.
You can use the blend knob to mix the signal as you want, whether you’re looking for a total dry signal, for a 100% wet one, or for a mix between the two.
It also has a tone knob that will let you vary the sound of your gig, as you can use it to balance the treble and deep bass as you want.
There are many available functions, each of them controlled through a separate knob – you get a controller for LPF, HPF, and for the volume of course.
The pedal comes with a built-in gate that will filter out any unwanted humming, and you also get to choose the amount of distortion and sustain you want in the final sound.
There are so many knobs on it, which make it look overwhelming and maybe unattractive for some people.Buy from Amazon.com for ($156.99)
3. EarthQuaker Devices Spatial Delivery Voltage Controlled Envelope
Designed to help you explore new sounds and innovate while being simple and user-friendly, the Spatial Delivery pedal from EarthQuaker is worth considering if you’re interested in experiencing an increased versatility and taking your overall musical journey one step closer to a destination you could call successful.
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.
With the many functions that it offers, this pedal will help the player express his or her innovative spirit.
You can make use of the various modes to have fun with it, choosing from a Down Sweep, Up Sweep, to Sample, and Hold.
There are three other functions that you can use to emphasize the sweeps, and these control the range, the resonance, and there is a third knob named filter.
It comes with a simple and intuitive layout, with only three knobs. You just have to play with them and see how each change affects the sound.
You can get all kinds of interesting effects using this pedal, from the sounds that a computer can make, to the funny sound of popcorn being made.
There aren’t many different tones to choose from and that is why you will find yourself stuck in a loop of similar sounds.Buy from Amazon.com for ($199)
4. MXR M82 Bass Envelope Filter
If you’re interested in classic analog envelope filter sounds, the MXR Bass Envelope Filter from Jim Dunlop is an option you should not miss out when looking for good bass pedals. The compact pedal boasts a simple design that will ensure ease of use and quality materials that will allow you to use it for long periods of time.
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.
This should be the pedal of choice for those looking for an analog envelope filter sound.
Its simple design will ensure that even the most inexperienced players can still make it work, and the durable body will endure years of abuse from heavy stompings.
You can still keep the low sounds as they are, and at the same time get a mix of effected signals into your music with the help of the separate Dry and Effect level controls.
The Decay and Q controls will help you get a large variety of filter tones, and you will be happy to find out that it comes with a true-bypass function that keeps your tone intact.
This pedal also comes with a Sensitivity knob that will help you precisely tailor your attacks.
Players don’t like the fact that this pedal lacks control over the filter sweep direction.Buy from Amazon.com for ($149.99)
5. Dunlop Crybaby Bass Wah Pedal
Designed by bass players for bass players in need of a performance-enhancer and a greater versatility when playing, the 105Q Cry Baby Wah model from Dunlop is a wah pedal you might want to keep in mind before making a decision. Featuring a minimalistic and stylish design, the product was developed to help you practice and improve your skills, explore and even innovate.
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.
The great thing about this wah pedal is that it was designed by bass players, so it should have all the features you need from it.
Bass players don’t like complicated things, that’s why this model comes with a minimalistic design that will help you improve your skills and practice with ease.
The low-frequency sounds will remain intact no matter what you put this pedal through, thanks to the auto-return switching and the custom EQ circuitry of the pedal.
The auto-return feature will make it easier for you to step in and out of wah and that will help your solos.
You will be able to apply the wah on the mids and highs only due to the proprietary potentiometer of this pedal. This will help you create solo parts without affecting the low frequencies.
There is a drop in volume when the pedal comes from the wah effect to normal.Buy from Amazon.com for ($149.99)
6. EarthQuaker Devices Hoof Fuzz V2 · Guitar Effect
Another option to consider when looking for a bass pedal to help you explore new sonic experiences and a durable body that will enable you to use it for extended periods of time is the EarthQuaker Hoof V2. Boasting a great variety of features that will enhance your performance, this model combines a simple and user-friendly design.
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.
The name of this pedal suggests something really tough, and that is what you get from it – a pedal with a durable body capable of serving you for an extended time.
It comes with a user-friendly design, although it has a large number of interesting features.
The pedal does well in terms of versatility, allowing you to customize your sound from many points of view, and that includes controlling the fuzz, tone, the level, and making use of shift knobs.
Its sustain is a smooth one, with a natural sound, thanks to the Germanium/Silicon hybrid circuitry that allows you to get a steady temperature inside the device, and thus a constant tone.
The outer plating has been created to protect the circuitry no matter how hard you stomp on it.
This pedal is a bit too loud for some, but that will not be a problem for the usual bass player.Buy from Amazon.com for ($179)
7. Eventide Space Reverb Pedal
With this model from Eventide, you will get to enjoy a studio quality sound and a great variety of spatial effects including delays, reverbs as well as unique combinations of effects. Therefore, Space makes a delay pedal you might want to consider before placing your order.
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.
This reverb pedal comes with an incredible number of 100 presets, and some of them are created by producers and artists like Alan Moulder, Amedeo Pace, or Vernon Reid.
The effects found on this device can usually be associated with professional music studios only, but they are all packed in a small design that you can fit on your pedalboard.
You will see that the quality of the sound is exceptional, just like in a studio.
This is not just a reverb pedal, as it also includes delays and other effects combinations. This makes it a complete pedal, great for any bass player.
Some players consider that reverb is not for bass, but they haven’t tried this model yet, with its angelic shimmers and modulated reverbs that sound great on any instrument.
Some knobs have an ambiguous description and you won’t know what they do from the start.Buy from Amazon.com for ($499)
8. Electro Harmonix, Bass Micro Synth
If you’re interested in giving your bass a new range of possibilities such as backward-sounding bowed sounds or percussive stabs, the Bass Micro Synthesizer from Electro-Harmonix is an option you might want to keep in mind. Boasting the same feature set as the Micro Synthesizer, this unit comes with some extra options specially tailored for bass guitars.
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.
This old-school device will give players a wide variety of sounds to choose from, and that is what makes it great for adventurous bassists that want to experiment with mono synthesizers.
You will also enjoy the feel of the pedal and the sub-octave harmonics and smooth tones that it can deliver. That is a great touch for those old-fashioned players.
The pedal will be able to offer you some effects that can’t be found on other devices, and these include backward-sounding bowed sounds and percussive stabs.
This is such a versatile pedal that can please anyone from the bassist who doesn’t want too much change in the instrument’s sound, to the one that wants to get wacky.
You can control every small detail with the help of ten slider controls.
Because it is an analog pedal, you can’t adjust it on the go or save presets that you can later use.Buy from Amazon.com for ($385.94)
9. Aguilar Chorusaurus Bass Chorus Pedal
Designed to spice up your rig, the all-analog Aguilar Chorusaurus chorus pedal is another option you might want to take into account when accessorizing and extending your musical experience. The unit is committed to providing you with a tasty bucket brigade analog chorus in a body that is both compact and stylish.
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.
Those looking for an all-analog device that can spice up the sound of their bass and bring some chorus into the mix will enjoy this pedal.
The body looks really classy with its white paint and black details, and it is also made to endure heavy stompings.
With this simple design also comes an intuitive feeling that this pedal gives you. You have four knobs to use – Rate, Width, Intensity, and Blend.
The great advantage of these controls is that you can keep the low frequencies intact while playing with the knobs to get the desired subtle effects.
This pedal does its job in delivering a strong chorus, while it keeps a warm tone.
You might believe that its compact form means it doesn’t provide any power, but it does create a lush sound.
It doesn’t have a true bypass function and it will produce a humming noise because of that.Buy from Amazon.com for ($215)
10. Fender Downtown Express Multi-Effect Pedal
If you’re on the lookout for a pedal that will help you add effects to your bass guitar, this unit from Fender is packed with features that make it worthy of consideration. The product was built to provide you with bass essentials in a single unit and make it easy for you to tailor your performance.
You will thus be able to shape your sounds with overdrive, compressor, and 3-Band EQ effects, and doing so shouldn’t be difficult, given that each effect comes with dedicated knobs. What’s more, the Order toggle will enable you to reorder the effects you’re interested in and thus customize your tone.
The pedal features LED-illuminated knobs to help you reach the pedal with ease, even on dark stages. Given their nature, pedals should be built to keep up with heavy use, and thus the unit features a lightweight yet durable anodized aluminum construction.
This pedal was built to take your bass guitar performance one step further and help you shape your sounds in a way that matches your personality and reflects your creativity.
The product offers bass essentials, including overdrive, 3-Band EQ, and compressor effects, as well as dedicated knobs for each effect so that you can easily add the effects you’re interested in.
To help you customize your performance even more, the pedal is equipped with an Order toggle that allows you to reorder the effects according to your preferences.
Thanks to the LED-illuminated knobs, you can easily reach the knobs of interest when performing on a dark stage.
Given that this unit is built with anodized aluminum, it should keep up with extended use and serve your needs for a long time.
Check the product’s dimensions and the pedalboard you have to see if this fits as it might require more space than other products in this category.Buy from Amazon.com for ($249.99)
11. Zoom B3n
Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced player, the Zoom B3n Multi-Effects Processor is a pedal you might want to try if you’re interested in exploring a rich variety of performance and playing possibilities. It is committed to working great both in your studio and on the stage.
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.
Offering a wide variety of options, this model is great for those that want to get to experiment more, but it is also easy to use by beginners.
It is one of those models that do well in the studio but can also be used with no fuss on the stage.
Because it is a digital model, you will get many emulations with it and that includes the reproduction of the sounds of cabinets, or classic bass amps.
You can use up to seven effects at the same time, chaining them in any order you want, and that will certainly give you the possibility to get any sound you can imagine.
You get 67 high-quality DSP effects in total and you can switch between them with the help of three stompbox switches.
It is a digital device, however, it doesn’t have a USB recording interface and that reduces its usability in the studio.Buy from Amazon.com for ($219.99)
12. Dunlop M288
Another alternative when interested in modifying your sound with a bass pedal is the MXR M288 Bass Octave Deluxe. Developed to get you that popular synth sound, this stylish and easy-to-use model will add tone to your bass and help you get creative with your sound.
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.
This is a stylish model that will look great on any pedalboard, and it will also be easy to use, helping any kind of player to get the sound that he or she wants from the bass.
It is an octave pedal that doesn’t change the original tone but rather adds new things to it.
This pedal is an analog one so it will give you an old-school and clean sound.
It also comes with a bypass function allowing you to get rid of the unwanted noise when not using it. This also allows you to mix the bass signal with the octave effect nicely.
You get high headroom and superior tracking with this device thanks to the 8-volt Constant Headroom Technology it comes with.
It is difficult to find the right balance between the low and medium frequencies with this device.Buy from Amazon.com for ($149.99)
13. DigiTech BP90
Taking your gigs and practice sessions to the next level was what DigiTech had in mind when developing this compact multi-effect pedal for bass. Featuring a great variety of effects and playing possibilities, this model is worth keeping in mind when interested in optimizing your experience.
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.
When looking for something that can give you many effects and playing possibilities, you should consider this multi-effect pedal.
You get an impressive number of 27 general bass effects, 11 amplifier effects, 5 for cabinets and 5 types of stompboxes, each of them giving you the opportunity to experiment in different ways.
This device also gives you 40 different drum patterns so you won’t need a drummer to help you get your rhythm.
Coming with a built-in chromatic tuner, the pedal will help you adjust your bass’ intonation on the fly.
You also get a headphone jack for when you want to play some heavy stuff without disturbing your neighbors.
You also get an expression pedal that will help you have control over the wah effect, the volume, and others.
A bit too complex and not intuitive. Furthermore, to get the drum patterns running you need to study it a lot.Click to see the price on Amazon!
14. DigiTech Whammy
With the Whammy Ricochet model from DigiTech, you will customize the sounds you create making use of a compact unit featuring a user-friendly design. Instead of flavoring your sounds with a bulky treadle, you get to explore and innovate by using the unit’s momentary footswitch.
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.
This is a great model for beginners looking for a whammy effect, as it is so compact and easy to use.
There is a footswitch that you can use to engage the effect when you want, and that gives you the possibility to innovate and explore.
You can customize the switch and the rise and fall time ballistics along with it, so you can get just the type of sound you want.
You don’t even need to change anything if you want to keep it simple. Just let the preset as it is and press the footswitch for a nice whammy effect.
There are 7 different pitch sections that you can use with this model, and they give you the possibility to make your bass like it is playing octaves or even double octaves.
If you play the bass fast in the polyphonic mode there are some subtle glitches that can be heard at times.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. (interested in reading more? Check out our articles on beginner bass guitars, best bass guitar under 1000, and bass drum pedals)
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.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: What does a bass pedal do?
A bass pedal is used by bassists to give certain effects to the sound of their instrument. They are usually electronic effects that are created to be used with an electric bass and delivered through an amplifier. Pedals like these are usually built in a stompbox-style, and that means they are made of metal boxes (or hard plastic in some cases).
These boxes have a foot-operated button or pedal switch that is used to turn the specific effect on or off. They are simple to use and they should be sturdy enough to withstand constant stompings. You will find that most of these pedals also come with different knobs or additional buttons that will let you take control of the overall volume, tone, and they’ll also let you modify the effect.
There are analog effect pedals and digital pedals. The first of them have been around for quite a while and some old-style players prefer them for their natural sound. Digital effect pedals are newer and they can offer more in terms of versatility. However, digital pedals are often not that sturdy and their sound isn’t that natural and smooth. You can also find effects already built-in amplifier systems.
Q: Do bass players use pedals?
Of course they do, and that’s why effect pedals for bass exist. The looks guitar players give to bass players when they lay down their pedalboards full of effects is always interesting. But guitar players aren’t the only ones limited to using pedals.
Usually, bass instruments don’t do that great with coloring and different effects because of the nature of the sound they produce. That is why most people aren’t used to effects on basses – because not a lot of people use them. With the right effect, however, you can make your bass sound great.
Speaking of great effects, compression is one of them, and it’s an effect rarely used on guitars. It is a nice touch to the sound of the instrument because it doesn’t color its tone too much. It only affects the dynamics and that is why it’s great for bass. When you start building your pedalboard you should have such a pedal there.
Distortion is another effect to consider. It works as it does for a guitar player, but it also offers you the “blend” possibility, so you can have a better mix between the colored distorted tone of the instrument and the dry bass sound.
Q: What order should I put my bass pedals in?
Players that have been experiencing with pedals for a long time suggest that the best pedal order is the following: wah or filter first, then compression, overdrive, and modulation, and at the very end pitch-based effects, delay, and reverb.
Why is that? Because wah and filters have a wide dynamic range and frequency response and most players want to keep that in their mix. But don’t forget that at extreme points these effects can negatively affect and damage the overall sound. That is why compression pedals are placed right after them, to tone down on some of the speaker-breaking frequencies.
Next, you want to place the overdrive, distortion or fuzz effects. This is because many players often forget these pedals turned on even when they don’t need them, and these pedals will cause some noise in the chain. But because they’re placed there, they won’t accentuate the noise too much.
Modulation and other pitch-based effects will go between the overdrive and the delay. That is because their circuits will cause some noise due because of the analog-to-digital conversion. Placing them there will make sure this noise won’t be amplified unnecessarily. Last, in the chain, place the delay and reverb pedals.
Q: How do I hook up my bass pedal?
Before you start connecting anything, turn all of the devices off. You should do that every time you’re trying to connect or disconnect something in the chain. Only tube or valve amps should be left one while moving cables around, but they should stay in standby. Next, hook the amplifier and the pedal to power.
Switch them on and off to make sure they have power. The next step is to connect the bass to the input jack. Effect pedals are simple, as they usually only have an input and an output. Located usually on opposite sides, they will a standard quarter-inch cable. Locating the input port, plug in your bass there.
Then, connect the pedal with the amplifier with a cable running from the pedal’s output port to the amplifier’s input one. The cable used is the same, a quarter-inch one. The input of the amplifier should be the same you would normally plug the bass directly into. After you’ve done that, turn the amplifier on and don’t forget to set its levels.
When trying a pedal for the first time it’s recommended that you keep the amplifier settings to a neutral position.
Another option from Darkglass is the Super Symmetry Bass Compressor model. What makes it part of our selection is the fact that this pedal packs all the power of those studio compressors you love in such a compact unit. The product blends the old-school feel and modern transparency for an outstanding experience.
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.
Often times pedals don’t have that much power, but this one has the power of a studio compressor, and it is all in a compact shape.
With this device, you will get everything from the old-school looks and feel, to the modern effects that some bass players love so much.
The pedal will help you dial in the sound you want with precision thanks to a large number of controls at your disposal.
Players looking for fast compression adjustment will be pleased with how this pedal performs and with the blend knob that lets you mix the clean and compressed signals.
Weighing only one pound, this is the perfect tool for going on the road, and with its compact design, it will fit really well on the pedalboard.
You can’t save any presets with this model and that’s too bad for the versatility it offers.Click to see the price on Amazon!
Darkglass Alpha Omega Bass Preamp and Overdrive Limited Edition
Often called the most flexible direct box created by Darkglass, Alpha Omega Bass Preamp/Overdrive is worth considering if you want to enjoy a clean signal with or without EQ as well as a great variety of modern metal bass textures and even vintage flavors.
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.
The Omega Bass Preamp is considered by some the most flexible pedal in its category, and that can only be an advantage.
It can serve you for many purposes, whether you want a clean signal without any EQ, or if you want to get some EQ in the mix.
You also get some vintage bass sounds, as well as many more modern textures.
It comes with two distortion circuits, named Alpha and Omega, and they ensure a flexible sonic output. You can also blend the two signals together with the help of the Mod kob and the toggle switches.
You also have a knob that controls the volume, and one that is used for blending the clean signals with the processed ones at the level you want.
For such a complete product, it comes as a surprise that it doesn’t come with a power adaptor.