in the chest with the very first pluck of
the low E. Overall, the pedal had a very
smooth, organic tone and an absolutely
mammoth amount of low frequencies
that shook the walls of my practice space.
Dialing back the fuzz and playing pentatonic riffs conjured thoughts of Blue Cheer and
John Paul Jones’ dirtier Led Zeppelin work.
There was plenty of room for the amp to
breathe in and out with dynamic intensity,
depending on how hard I hit each note.
What was really fascinating was how
well the lows responded to different types
of attack. They tightened up when I used
a pick for fast, Cliff Burton-inspired
chugging, but they also loosened up very
naturally, depending on how fast or slow I
played. While I’m not certain which exact
pedal (or pedals) inspired the Bass Fuzz
Deluxe, the sounds I heard reminded me
of a healthy, vintage Tonebender with a
revoiced gain range, mixed with the heft of
an old Sovtek-built Big Muff.
But, this pedal isn’t just a one-trick pony.
When I moved the dry control up and
dropped the wet so they were roughly at
Pros: Thick, muscular fuzz tones that won’t get lost in the
mix. Separate dry and wet controls are a godsend.
MXR M84 Bass Fuzz Deluxe, $129 street, jimdunlop.com
Cons: Potentially overpowering for players used to sitting
far back in the mix (but isn’t it time to change that, anyway?).
Ease of Use
the same levels, it brought in the Verellen’s
rounded high end and aggressive voicing,
while preserving its bypassed detail quite
well. After fiddling with different amounts
of level from each control, I realized how
effectively they could be used for voicing the
pedal for any particular amp and bass combination—because every rig has varying distinctions in voicing, gain, and response. The
traditional blend control can go a long way
toward making sure these little details aren’t
lost in the mix, but the Bass Fuzz Deluxe
goes for the gusto with separate controls
that make it much easier. In no time at all, I
was able to go from the aforementioned old-school tones to a very close approximation
of Chancellor’s refined, muscular tones.
Though the cliché “not for the faint of heart”
is often overused, it’s definitely apt with the
Bass Fuzz Deluxe. It probably wouldn’t be
your first choice for a blues jam—although
careful tweaking of its dry and wet controls would allow it to serve that purpose.
However, it’s greatest potential centers on
making sure your heavily-fuzzed bass tone
doesn’t get lost in the mix—the bane of existence for many a bassist. You can get some
trebly tones out of it, but nothing razor-sharp in the top end that will tear your head
off. The name of the game here is a full,
driving fuzz that can fill a room with ease,
along with a powerful punch that’s guaranteed to rattle more than a few chests.
Tres “Mang” ifique!
GC50-LD Small Jumbo, Model J- 35, & P30 Parlor
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