Ultimate Pedal Effects Special: Acoustic and Bass Pedals

Find Your Pedal Soul Mate

Why is it that electric guitarists have all the fun when it comes to pedals? We see thousands of pedals in the market that are designed for them, with bassists and acoustic guitarists left scratching their head wondering why they are left in the dark. Well we have been digging to find pedals that are designed specifically for the bass or acoustic guitarists! Here are our top picks.

Radial Bassbone OD

EFFECT: BASS PREAMP + OVERDRIVE | RRP: $749 | DISTRIBUTOR: AMBER TECHNOLOGY

RECOMMENDED FOR:

The serious bass player. While optimal for regular gigging and studio recording, it could also be an efficient and, ultimately, beneficial way to reduce the size of your pedalboard.

 

SOUND AND VERSATILITY:

Here is a pedal that can define the
 entire backbone of a bassists sound. The Bassbone has two EQ channels and an overdrive channel. With two inputs also, there’s the option of alternating between two different basses – each with their own EQ setting – or optimising the use of a single bass guitar with two different tones. Each EQ channel additionally has a mid switch, the choice between three different central frequencies yet another way to personalise your tone.

 

USABILITY:

For a pedal that covers so many basses it’s effortless to operate. The functionally and flexibility it provides when combined with other pedals is tremendous – it even boasts its own effects loop, which can be used by both inputs, and can be activated with the overdrive footswitch. The impedance of each input can also be optimised with the use of a screwdriver.

 

CONSTRUCTION:

Considerably small and neatly designed. The OD and two EQ channels are all colour coded, while the entire unit has been carefully distributed for ease of use. It’s tank-like in structure.

 

OVERALL:

A well-oiled machine and high performer. This can slot right into your pedal chain and immediately ne tune your sound, or comfortably replace an OD, EQ and preamp.

 

BY CHRIS SCOTT

 

Eden CaliforniWAH

EFFECT: BASS FILTER | RRP: $199 | DISTRIBUTOR: ELECTRIC FACTORY

RECOMMENDED FOR:

Bass and guitar players alike who want to add another freaky dimension to their sound.

 

VERSATILITY:

Envelope filters are, to say the least, not everyone’s cup of tea. There are as many players out there that are trying to emulate Bootsy as there are those who are not but if you fall into the former category then the Eden CaliforniWah is probably the first and last place you should look. Not only is it great for saturating in that psyched out, classic envelope sound, with the ability to dial it back to sit behind your clean tone as much as is desired, but it also works great as a top boost if you wind the low point all the way to the top of the dial.

 

USABILITY:

If ‘bao-baoow’ is what you’re looking for then that’s exactly what you’ll find, along with every variation on that theme imaginable. The ‘voice’ toggle is great for adding width to the filter and the controls are simple. With the flick of a switch you are in control of one of the deepest Q’s imaginable.

 

CONSTRUCTION:

It’s a tidy little unit; about as wide as a standard Boss pedal. Custom built to be stomped on in the most fevered moments of the set, it’s all finished off nicely with the calm, dreamy, California palm tree decal.

 

OVERALL:

A sneaky little box containing enough wild and freaky tones to make you consider buying that sequined jumpsuit you’ve had your eye on.

 

BY LUKE SHIELDS

 

Eden Glow Plug

EFFECT: BASS TUBE WARMER | RRP: $289 | DISTRIBUTOR: ELECTRIC FACTORY

RECOMMENDED FOR:

Players looking for that mythic halfway point between full dirt and clean tonality.

 

VERSATILITY:

There’s a lot going on in this unassuming little black box. Housing a single 12AX7 tube, one of the most relied upon in the tube world, you have at your feet the most effective way to have the best of both worlds. Far from the typical set of controls the Glow Plug gives you the ability to regulate how much is pushed into the front of the tube, whereabouts you sit in the low-mid frequency range, the over all volume output and, most importantly, the balance between dry and wet signal. This means that you can mix all the grit and power of the tube in with a good amount of definition from the direct signal for the perfect amount of rumbling, reside, warmth.

 

USABILITY:

It’s less a question of usability and more about how essential the Glow Plug will be to your pedalboard once it’s locked in. Simple controls give you as much flexibility as you could possibly ask for and, once dialed in you can be assured that sitting in front of even the nastiest solid-state head you’re going to sound warm as a mother’s love.

 

CONSTRUCTION:

Low profile, solid steel chassis and the unflinching build quality David Eden is famous for.

 

OVERALL:

The best way to warm up your tune without unnecessary heavy lifting.

 

BY LUKE SHIELDS

 

Two Notes Le Bass

EFFECT: TUBE BASS AMP TONE | RRP: $499 | DISTRIBUTOR: INNOVATIVE MUSIC

RECOMMENDED FOR:

Many bass players take advantage of DI signals to the PA system for added volume and punch, but often miss out on tone and grit in that signal. This is the pedal that changes all of that, allowing you to leave the big rig at home and let the PA handle the volume. The Le Bass has you covered for the tone.

 

SOUND AND VERSATILITY:

Both modern and classic sounds are readily available in this pedal. As a preamp designed specifically for bass, the Le Bass
 is ready to emulate those big amps you wish you were playing. A modern, hi-fidelity punch can be achieved in one instance, or a more classic, almost distorted and thick overdrive that enters into the realms of a synth tone can be found at the other end of the spectrum.

 

USEABILITY:

This is probably the most readily usable pedal in the entire range as bass player so often run a signal direct to the PA to begin with. What this offers over any other DI those is amp tone, loads of amp tone. It
is like harnessing several great amp rigs and having them all fed into the PA from your bass. The only thing you need to do is choose the tone you’re after.

 

CONSTRUCTION:

As bass players don’t always have pedalboards in their setup, there is every chance this unit might just end up on the floor by itself, and not on a pedalboard. That said, it is ready to be left on the floor, trampled on, kicked about and generally abused without fear of anything.

 

OVERALL:

This is a breath of fresh air for bass players who are so often left out of the pedal design process. Modern and classic tones, MIDI implementation and some serious growl to bring your instrument forward in the mix are all on offer here.

 

BY ROB GEE

 

Hotone Bass Press

EFFECT: BASS VOLUME / WAH / EXPRESSION | RRP: CONTACT FOR PRICING | DISTRIBUTOR: NOISE TOYS IMPORTS

RECOMMENDED FOR:

Bass players, when you have overloaded your pedalboard with too many effects and still need some extra control, or
 if you are looking for a compact pedal solution for ease or portability, the Bass Press is going to come to the rescue offering wah, volume and expression options.

 

SOUND AND VERSATILITY:

The volume part of this pedal is excellent in that it does not ‘suck’ your tone
 as your pull the level back like many passive volume pedals can do. The wah function is quite the opposite and really goes to town on your tone with
a fairly aggressive sweep tailored for bass, keeping the bottom end tight and unaffected.

 

USEABILITY:

You can forget the concern about the size of the pedal being an issue in use. It certainly takes up less space on your pedalboard, but when you place your foot over it in the right position, it behaves and feels just like a full sized wah or volume pedal would. Keeping the heel forward to ensure you rock on the pivot point naturally.

 

CONSTRUCTION:

It’s built into a compact yet tough little housing. The rocking motion is smooth and can be easily tighten to suit your needs if you want more tension. The on/off switch is easy to engage without needing to apply overly ridiculous amounts of pressure with your toes too.

 

OVERALL:

This is a clever way to solve a number 
of solutions for bass players who have limited space. Although you can only set it to one of the three functions, there
 is no reason why you couldn’t have a couple of these on your board for both volume and wah without taking up too much room.

 

BY ROB GEE

 

TC Electronic Bodyrez

EFFECT: ACOUSTIC PICKUP ENHANCER | RRP: $229 | DISTRIBUTOR: AMBER TECHNOLOGY

RECOMMENDED FOR:

For anyone playing an acoustic guitar through a PA system or amplifier that is looking for a more natural sound to their amplified signal, the Bodyrez is here to give you what you are after.

 

SOUND AND VERSATILITY:

This is an odd pedal that doesn’t necessarily jump out at you when you engage it. It has a subtle affect to your acoustic guitar’s amplified tone that doesn’t in any way detract from the beauty of your instrument, but at the same time it doesn’t sound like you are running an effect in the chain. However, when you turn it off, you will certainly notice the difference, as you’ll find there is a certain something missing all of a sudden.

 

USEABILITY:

It couldn’t be simple, set it up in line between your acoustic guitar and amp, kick it on and wind up the amount to the desired level. Then, it is just a matter of letting your guitar sing and be heard in a more natural clarity.

 

CONSTRUCTION:

Like all TC pedals, this little unit is built like a tank. A compact design with offset inputs and outputs to keep the pedal as narrow as possible and just one simple, smooth potentiometer. The silent switch is a delight to engage time and time again, although, most users will simply leave it on at all items.

 

OVERALL:

Once heard, it is pretty hard to go back 
to any guitar sound without the Bodyrez included in the signal chain. If you want to get a more realistic and natural acoustic sound from your under-saddle pickup, this is the link in the chain that you cannot live without.

 

BY ROB GEE

 

RMI Acouswitch Junior By Lehle

EFFECT: ACOUSTIC PREAMP + DI | RRP: $649 | DISTRIBUTOR: EGM DISTRIBUTION

RECOMMENDED FOR:

The discerning acoustic player, for whom only the best will do.

 

VERSATILITY:

With its droll olive façade, the Acouswitch Junior looks like a simple piece of machinery. It appears however, that Lehle have taken every gripe you’ve ever had with a DI as a directive. It has an XLR out, ground lift, tuner and direct TRS outs and recessed dials so you won’t slip from the sweet spot. The 4-band EQ has deep enough Q’s that notching out annoying frequencies is a breeze. A and B inputs have individual boost controls for different signal strengths and the master boost allows for that bit of extra push. You can even run it at up to 15v if you feel the need to really push your folk band to new levels!

 

USABILITY:

The chassis is super low profile so it’ll always be exactly where you left it and wide enough that tripping over one switch to get to the other is no concern.

 

CONSTRUCTION:

As with all Lehle products, there’s no stone unturned as far as build quality is concerned. The switches are so quiet you barely know you’ve touched them, and are bound together by all gold circuitry meaning absolutely no degradation along the signal path.

 

OVERALL:

Simply put, the best DI for any situation. Guitar, keys, bass, strings, it’s got them all covered.

 

BY LUKE SHIELDS

 

Mooer Baby Water Acoustic Delay And Chorus Pedal

EFFECT: ACOUSTIC DELAY/CHORUS | RRP: $129.95 | DISTRIBUTOR: JADE AUSTRALIA

RECOMMENDED FOR:

The regular acoustic player and performer. For folk, pop, alt-country or any other acoustic guitar-driven genre.

 

SOUND AND VERSATILITY:

When working across the five modes
– chorus, triple chorus, echo, chorus-delay, and delay-chorus – you can find everything from the slight roundness of a classic chorus, to a dry digital delay, and a more multi-layered sequencing of the two effects. What’s most pleasing across the board is that the sonic richness and earthiness of an acoustic tone remains largely intact.

 

USABILITY:

By squeezing so many functions into
 a single miniature pedal this pedal, to
 an extent, forgoes simplicity. One knob doubles up as rate/time, while another controls depth/feedback. As far as getting the most out of each mode, erring on the side of caution is the best method to finding a balanced tone.

 

CONSTRUCTION:

Another addition to Mooer’s Micro Series, this is one considerably small pedal. The knobs are smaller again, but get the job done. The light blue finish is fresh, and reflective of its unique function.

 

OVERALL:

This isn’t going to be for everyone. But for acoustic guitarists who want to add more dynamics – tone and effect – to their sound, this will more than suffice. 
It offers a myriad of uses, and can create lush acoustic soundscapes that enrich and embellish the right acoustic frequencies – an impressive feat in its own right.

 

BY CHRIS SCOTT

 

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