10 Best Bass Distortion Pedals

If you’re a fan of metal, rock, or indie music then you’ll definitely want a bass distortion pedal on your pedalboard!

These bad boys are gonna rock your tunes! So make sure not to place them before any pedals that muzzle their effects.

If this is your first time using one; we’d recommend reading our guide at the end of this article to better grasp the utility of this effects pedal.

In our opinion, the ones below are the best you could find on the internet, from being visually attractive to operating like a beast. Well, let’s get started!

Buy the Best Bass Distortion Pedals in 2020

Electro-Harmonix Bass Soul Food Bass Distortion Effects Pedal
  • Gain stage, treble control and signal path optimized for bassists and guitarists who want extended low frequency response
  • Boosted power rails deliver extra headroom and definition
  • Switchable -10dB pad for instruments with higher output
  • User selectable true or buffered bypass modes
  • 9.6DC-200 power supply included. Also runs on 9 Volt battery

In terms of overdrive for bass and distortion, this beauty is the best of all. This pedal is a truly optimized piece of gear that brings together balanced gain to the world of bass. The gorgeous black chassis is painted and makes this pedal stand out from other brands.

The sturdy metal protection makes the pedal more durable and reliable for the hardcore stage performance to just a small musical night at a bar. It has a Switchable- 10 dB pad for instruments with greater output. It has  True or buffered bypass modes. The controls in this beauty are unique and differ from many other pedals. It has four knobs excluding an on/off switch; the knobs are Volume, Drive, Blend & Treble which works like the tone knob in many pedals.

Gretsch G5022CWFE-12 Rancher Falcon White 12-String Acoustic-Electric Guitar
  • BodyBody Material: Solid Spruce Top with Laminated Maple Back and SidesBody Shape: Jumbo CutawayBody Back: Arched Laminated MapleBody Sides: Laminated MapleBody Top: Solid SpruceBody Finish: Gloss PolyesterNeckNumber of Frets: 21Fret Size: Vintage-StylePosition Inlays: Neo-Classic "Thumbnail"Fretboard: Rosewood with Gold Sparkle and Binding and B/W/B/W PurflingNeck Material: MahoganyNut Width: 1.875" (47.6 mm)Scale Length: 25" (635 mm)ElectronicsSpecial Electronics: Fishman Sonicore Pickup (Unde

Way huge has always done something different from everyone in the market and their unique creations are a clear example of it. Just by looking at this green rhino, you can tell that it is an absolute beast! This device has unusual control when compared to other distortion pedals.

The main inputs include volume, drive, and tone knobs in addition to two smaller knobs, one of 100 Hz and the other 500 Hz which makes up to 12 dB. Voice switch gives the pedal a dual voice availability. A solid metal chassis with an aluminium finish gives the device a high-end touch!

Electro-Harmonix Bass Big Muff Distortion Pedal
  • On/Off switchControls for Volume, Tone, and SustainDual outputsMini Switch for Bass BoostRugged metal chassisRuns on 9 volt battery (best with Polaroid 9 Volt batteries) or optional AC Adapter (sold separately).
  • The Bass Big Muff Pi Pedal features controls for volume, tone, sustain, dual outputs (effect and dry for recording), and a mini switch for bass boost
  • The Electro-Harmonix Bass Big Muff Pi Distortion Pedal is powered by a single 9-volt battery or optional AC power supply (sold separately)

Big Muffs are quite common in the music community, many guitarists have a keen knowledge about this beast and even use them. These pedal look extremely hardcore and sturdy which is why we have picked out this green beast for our best picks. It has three prominent knobs including, volume, tone, and sustain knobs

  • The volume knob sets the output level of distortion
  • The tone knob provides a range of sounds from deep bass to high treble
  • The sustain knob adjusts the amount of distortion and sustain.

In addition to the on/off switch it has a mini switch for bass boost. It also has dual outputs with inputs and outputs located on the side of the sturdy metal body of the pedal. Let’s see the specification:

BOSS Guitar Chorus Effects Pedal, yellow (ODB-3)
  • Get mild overdrive to hard distortion Works for four- and five-string basses Balance control lets you mix signals Can be used as a two-band EQ

Boss has been in business for a long time and you can totally rely on this brand to fulfil your ultimate needs of anything from chorus pedals to bass distortion. But, for now, we will talk about the bass distortion candidate, the Boss ODB-3. Keep on reading to know how this yellow beast made into our list.

You can get features from mild overdrive to hard distortion. The apparatus works for 4-5 string bases. It also encapsulates a balance control which lets to mix and match signals can be used as 2-band EQ as well. The knobs on the face of the pedal include Level, dual-band type EQ, balance and gain. The device is available is classic boss chassis and is also DC adapter friendly.

Source Audio Aftershock Bass Distortion Pedal
  • Dry/Wet Blend Controls; USB; and Free Neuro Apps for iOS
  • Bass Distortion Pedal with Tube
  • Fuzz Overdrive Engines; Drive
  • Android
  • Windows

Get ready to get all fuzzy and dirty with this absolute star of the list. This mesmerizing tangerine beauty is one of the most exceptional pedals out there and we present the reasons to you as forth. The pedal has LED lights with an alternate colour indication regarding the mode in use. The input and outputs are on the side panel.

The device has a selection of three drive engines including Heavy, Fuzz, and Tube, representing distortion, fuzz, and overdrive respectively. In each of these modes, you can shape and cultivate your tone using the main knobs

BOSS Bass Driver Guitar Pedal (BB-1X)
  • Bold, punchy sound that invigorates the original tone and responsiveness of your bass and ampContains BOSS' latest distortion, which adapts to every register and never muffles your low endBlend knob allows for mixing the direct signal with the effect signalIndependent Low and High knobs for ultra-wide tonal adjustmentTwo output jacks: a normal output for a bass amp and a Line Out for a balanced connection directly to a PA or recorderThe Line Out jack provides a modern and enhanced direct sound t

BB-1x Bass Driver by Boss is not an ordinary bass pedal. It is a premium stompbox that crafts the bass sound in a way that makes it bold and intense. It is a bassist’s favourite due to the intense mix of sounds it can produce yet never losing the edge of its lower end. The core tone can be brought out via a mix of sound elements such as the body and punch which project its fine elements of the sound.

Knobs: as mentioned above there are 4 knobs and they all function differently which helps in making various effects and changes to the sound according to one’s own preference:

  • Level knob: this is used to adjust the volume and also to match the clean signal.
  • Blend knob: this helps in adjusting the tone to that of your liking.
  • Low and High Knob: this can be used to get a range of different sounds and textures. You can also, control the frequency and tone through this.
  • Drive knob: you can adjust the dynamic range and other various tonal effects with this.
Source Audio SA141 Soundblox Pro Multiwave Bass Distortion
  • Diverse Sound Palette - Featuring 23 varieties of our unique distortion algorithms with an added CLEAN BOOST + EQ mode.
  • State-of-the-art DSP - Our proprietary 56-bit Digital Signal Processor, the SA601, and crystal clear 24-bit converters.
  • 7-Band Equalizer - Ultra-precise 7-band equalizer for in-depth tone control saved per preset.

Source Audio SA141 Soundblox Pro Multiwave Bass Distortion is the next best thing for bassists all around the world. Whether you are looking to play on stage or by yourself in the studio, it is a perfect choice. It provides the original clarity along with the various frequency ranges given to adjust the tones. The device provides with 23 distortion algorithms.

Controls:

  • Drive knob: turn this knob up to get a higher distortion effect.
  • Effect knob: choose the kind of distortion you want to acquire from this knob.
  • EQ Knob: you can adjust any specific band’s value from this knob.
  • Footswitches: three presets can be adjusted with these Footswitches.
  • Hot Hand Enable: this can adjust the Hot Hand for any specific presets.

Kinds of distortion:

There are seven bands in total and they all provide different functions accordingly:

  • Multi-band normal 0-3: this is a more convenient option that gives the maximum clarity.
  • Individual notes are heard best in this band.
  • Multi-band fold back 4-9: in this band, maximum distortion can be reached.
  • Multi-band octane 10-14: this range can give both octave and unconventional sounds.
  • Single-band normal 15-16: the name speaks for itself. This provides a single band distortion sound.
  • Single-band foldback 17-19: this works best for both unison bends and long notes.
  • Single-band octave 20-22: there is some foldback in the later numbers, otherwise it provides a full octave effect.
Darkglass Electronics Darkglass Microtubes B7K Ultra Analog Bass Pre-Amp (MTB7K-ULTRA)
  • Blend: Mixes the clean input signal with the overdriven signal. The clean signal remains at unity gain while the volume of the overdriven signal is set by the Level knob
  • Attack Switch: Sets the amount of treble content to saturate
  • Grunt Switch: Sets the amount of low frequency content to saturate by selecting between three different bass boost levels before the clipping stage.
  • Direct Output: A balanced version of the ¼” output, useful for running into PA’s or studio mixing consoles. The "Boost" setting emphasizes the treble content extra clarity and presence.
  • The "Flat" position leaves this register untouched while the "Cut" position will reduce the amount of high frequencies being saturated.

It is hardly surprising why dark glass Microtubes B7K Ultra is so famous amongst its users. It is a pedal that provides many different ranges with knobs and this is what sets it apart. Its various characteristics give it an edge in the market. It also helps in tailoring your sound exactly the way you want it to be. Apart from the Master Volume Switch, this device has a footswitch.

The Grunt Switch deals with the low frequency and its saturation while the attack switch has the following three settings:

  • Boost setting – makes the presence of treble more prominent.
  • Flat position – nothing changes through this.
  • Cut position – use this to adjust the saturation of high frequency.

Controls

  • Level Knob: you can easily adjust the overall output through this,
  • Master Knob: you can change the overall volume through this knob. This can also be used to adjust DI levels.
  • Blend Knob: this is where the two sounds-the sounds of clean signal and overdriven signal are morphed.
  • Drive Knob: you can adjust how highly saturated you want the overdriven signal to be.
Behringer Bass Overdrive BOD400 Authentic Tube-Sound Overdrive Effects Pedal,Purple
  • Get tube-like distortion, smooth sustain and super-fat tone
  • This BEHRINGER product has been designed to compete head to head with leading products on the market
  • Unique Balance control to blend between overdriven and dry bass sound for maximum punch
  • Dedicated Level, 2-band EQ and Gain controls for awesome sound shaping
  • Status LED for effect on/off and battery check

If there is one thing that Behringer promises about Bass Overdrive BOD 400 is its versatility with this excellent distortion pedal. From mellow grind sounds to full-blown distortion effect, this pedal provides it with all. From its easy to use features to the quality assured sounds it produces, this is everything a bassist could dream of. Not to forget that Behringer is a very well-known and very well reputed name in the audio industry.

It has a 2-band EQ which helps in getting the tonal effects that you desire. High quality on/off switch for bypassing purposes. A blue LED light informs if it is switched on or off. The balance control allows you to morph overdriven signals with organic bass sounds. So you get the sound you want without compromising on low-frequency effects. The blend knob can effectively mix both dry and dirty signals.

MXR M85 Bass Distortion
  • Based on a classic distortion circuit famous for its nasty sound
  • Separate Dry and Wet level controls
  • Select between Silicon and LED clipping diodes

MXR is famous for producing pedals that look like at least half a century old. MXR’s M85 is no different. At first glance, it might look like a pedal from the 1980s, but in reality, offers all the features that any other bass pedal can provide. The exterior might not be flashy, but its excellent features and functions make it an exception in the market. It is often recommended by people and its several features justify it.

There are 2 types of distortion diodes available on the front. One is a silicon diode and the other is LED diode. Also, there is a button that you can push to select either the silicone option or the LED option. Whichever option is selected, that button light up which can inform you about your selection. When they are simultaneously set to noon, their volumes unify with one another. The LED diode mode has a wider midrange and can feature more ballsy sounds. It also gives it a boost. An LED diode is better suited for more vintage themed sounds and effects. The silicone diode makes the sound slightly more compressed. You can control wet and dry signals. The distortion features a raw effect to it.

What are Distortion Pedals?

Distortion is at the heart of metal and hard rock. Loud, mayhem, and crunch are the words we use to describe this genre. This effect adds a distinctive crunch to the music which makes it worth buying. Distortion is used by famous guitarists around the world, for instance, David Gilmour and Jack White. These facts make these pedals even more attractive, so what are you waiting for? Go through our best picks and select your ideal stompbox.

But first, let’s talk about the effects. In music, there are three main kinds of effect, namely,

  • The overdrive
  • Distortion
  • Fuzz

These are extremely different from one another and have individual special pedals concentrating on only that effect. Distortion pedals are more aggressive than the other two mentioned above. These kind of pedals are difficult to use and can turn your composition upside down. However, the other ones are relatively easy and sustain the authenticity of the tones.

Use of Distortion Pedals:

These pedals are associated with rock and metal bands/music. They amplify the quality of the tones and make it sound aggressive and entertaining for the respective audience. Distortion adds complexity and sustains to your tones. The level of these elements elevates as you increase the distortion on the pedal.

Moreover, these distortion pedals do come in different models that cater to various areas of rock and metal genre. For instance, there are some pedals which are good for classic or hard rock. Bass guitars are generally left in the background and nobody cares about them. But, to be honest, they are the reason that makes you dance and sing like crazy. The wide texture of the soothing bass effect is unique and enjoyable. Therefore, many guitarists tend to incorporate the element of bass in their music to make it sound more heavy and entertaining.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the main difference between bass pedals and guitar pedals?The main difference is that bass pedals have a litter frequency than an average guitar pedal- usually an octave lower to be accurate.

Is it safe to use guitar pedals with a bass?Yes

How do guitar-pedals sound with a bass?It clearly depends on the pedal you are using, a good pedal will modify the frequency in such a manner that it will create a sound rhythm not making the sound overly saturated and fake.

Conclusion

All in all, this listing is quite subjective as many people might agree with some and disagree on another. But, there is one thing to keep in mind and that is choosing the pedals wisely. As we all know bass pedals are not cheap and you may have to save up for a month to get your hands on one. Every pedal has a different share of advantages and disadvantages, but, it is advisable to always know what you are buying. Don’t just rely on others because if one pedal works for a person doesn’t mean it will be ideal for your preference.

One point to note is that these pedals are known to shine when composing a rock or a metal genre. Therefore, research is always recommended before purchasing such things. These pedals are on the pricey side and you really don’t want to get the wrong one. Moreover, there are many in this list that doesn’t work very well under high voltages and there are some instances in which the venue’s voltage fluctuates.

It is important to have the proper equipment to cater to all the unforeseen scenarios and keep on practicing. This world really needs good quality music which can only be achieved once people will research and get to know new things and products around them. Trying on new things gives room to more opportunities for a guitarist and opens the world of new experiences. Therefore, we tend to give our audience the best suggestion to add comprehensive details of the product in their minds.

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