This time around we will be talking about Tech 21’s Bass Boost Fuzz. Again I’m taking a huge amount of razing from the guys in my band about using a fuzz pedal. Most people think you’re the bass player you don’t need any pedals you just plug into your amp and go.
For a lot of guys that’s what they do, and that’s what I did for years. But, I’ve always heard bass players with these amazing sounds and tones and lusted after that sound. It can be a vicious cycle of looking for the perfect sound or tone, but it’s a road untraveled for me and at this point in my career. But, it is an area I’ve wanted to explore for a long time.
There are some instances when I’m playing a certain song and I want a dirty sound, but don’t want to mess with anything else I have going to get it. Dooh !!! Fuzz pedal to the rescue!
Welcome Bass Boost Fuzz from Tech 21 !
Let start off with a direct quote from the tech 21 products manual. “The Bass Boost Fuzz pays homage to the fat, gritty sounds of ‘60s fuzz bass (think Larry Graham), a time when bass-specific fuzz pedals were virtually non-existent. Back then, adventurous bassists would use standard guitar fuzz pedals and often have to contend with the bottom end dropping out because they weren’t voiced for the range of a bass guitar.
Tech 21’s all-analog circuitry merges vintage sounds with modern dependability so you get the same sound, all day and all night long. Designed and built from the ground up utilizing the best individually-selected, hand-biased discreet components, the Bass Boost Fuzz provides optimized performance with studio-quiet operation.”
Now we should talk a little about the difference between fuzz, distortion, and overdrive pedals. I’m not going to give a long drawn out description. The fact is it’s all in the name. Fuzz gives you a fuzz sound, distortion distorts your sound, and overdrive overdrives your sound, basically.
There are a lot more things I could throw in there to describe the difference, but basically I want a pedal that does what I want it to do regardless of what name you call it. The Bass Boost Fuzz does just what I want it to do with a little more added in for good measure.
The pedal is very easy to set up and get going without looking at the paperwork. I hate reading manuals unless I really have to. They are usually written by someone with a lot more smarts than I have. And, I don’t want to have to look up all the fancy words they are using, just to feel dumb because I still don’t know what they mean.
I hate pedals that are too complicated. Not to say the Tech 21 Bass Boost Fuzz is not a modern and relevant pedal by any means. I’m just saying that they made it easy figure out and get great sounds, without having to program it or hook it up to a computer and download a bunch of additional stuff. It’s analog at its finest.
This pedal is the real deal, to me it sounds like the 1960’s fuzz sound that I love on all of my favorite albums.
The controls are laid out with easy to read and operate knobs. What they say is what they do.
Powering up this bad boy is easy it takes 9v battery or 9v power supply. The battery compartment is on the bottom and very easy to open. I hate the pedals you have to consult the crystal ball to figure out how to open it. No jamming a pen in there or unscrewing this or rubbing it three times to make it open.
Now, being a bass player, I like to kick it up sometimes and the bass boost fuzz does it for me. There are times when I want the fuzz to stick out and there are other times when I want it to be in the background and not color my sound at all.
My favorite part is the clean knob. I can keep my sound that I get with the Tech 21 VT Bass Di / Preamp (you can check out my review of this pedal here) and dial in the perfect amount of fuzz.
I like to keep my clean sound up front and the fuzz sound just underneath. To me, it gives it a nice blend of fat clean sound and warm 60’s fuzz. Not only can I adjust how much or how little fuzz I want, but I can adjust the tone of the fuzz as well without changing the tone of my original sound.
Now of course you can adjust the level of the output to your amp with the level knob. The drive knob is the one that determines how fuzzy you want your signal to sound. You can set the overall amount with this knob and decrease it if you want by using your volume knob on your bass
I run my bass volume knob full open, so I set my controls for what I want for everything I’m going to be doing that night.
It also has a +20db boost. I use this on my solos, which are few and far between, but I want them to stand out anyway. The boost has its own volume knob so you can get just the right volume you need for your situation. There are times when I need to bump up my sound if someone is taking a solo and the boost is perfect for this.
The pedal itself it all metal except for the battery compartment door which is plastic. The knobs are very high quality plastic and the pots are very clean and turn easy. The push buttons and input/output jacks are also high quality. Now it’s just my opinion but I think this pedal kicks ass !!! It does what I want it to do.
Last but not least is one of my favorite things about this pedal, the paint job. It looks so cool. It’s a blue sparkle finish like the old sixties drum sets or the kustom tuck and roll amps.
The average price for this pedal is around $149.00 I’m sure veteran shoppers like me will be looking for a deal, they’re out there if you look.
As always please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments.