Best Bass Fuzz Pedal in 2019

Introduction: A foreword about the Best Bass Fuzz Pedal

If you are into heavy metal, hard rock or punk, then you surely need the best bass fuzz pedal on the market for your gnarly lows and screaming mids.

But even if you are into more gentle styles, having a great gain pedal can change your whole performance because you sometimes really need a little bit of punch to stand out in the mix.

Bass Fuzz Boxes come in all colors, shapes and sizes, but most importantly – they come in both as a simple one-trick effect and in combination with other effects for complex sound shaping.

The selection is huge and because of that the question is: which pedal should you get?

Let’s find out!

Best Bass Fuzz Pedals

Best Bass Fuzz Pedals For Live Performance

mini bass fuzz pedal

If you want a fuzz pedal that offers great tone, fast and intuitive shaping, a blend knob and a perfect chassis, then what you’re saying is that you want the Aguilar Fuzzistor Bass Fuzz Pedal. This versatile pedal produces a great fuzz sound with no noticeable loss in the bass tone.

Aguilar has once again engineered another great bass product for bassists. They have designed amazing, boutique pedals with great tone and amazing looks. This pedal is no exception. In the compact chassis you get an extremely wide range of dirt.

Instead of a muddy, broken bass fuzz, you can set up the pedal for a crisp, warm bass tone where the lower end still punches through, almost giving it an octave sound with the fuzz on top of the tone. You can either dial in just a touch of fuzz, or a ton depending on your tastes and the song.

The blend control balances the punch of your dry tone with the harmonic growl of the wet fuzz signal. The Tilt EQ makes it easy to dial in a huge range of fuzz textures.

This pedal simply must be part of a touring bassist’s pedalboard, not only because of the great sounds, but because it uses special technology that passes your signal even if your battery loses juice.

 

  • Sound Quality 95% 95%
  • Build Quality 95% 95%
  • Ease of Use 95% 95%
THINGS WE LIKED

  • Vintage fuzz vibe from the silicon transistor design
  • Passes your signal even if your battery dies
  • Exquisite, boutique design

THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE

  • Unorthodox Input/Output Jack placement

best bass distortion pedal

If you’ve ever spent time searching for a bass distortion or fuzz pedal, you’ve surely come across the Russian Big Muff Pi pedal. Sadly, that vintage pedal is very rare and the more modern versions and re- issues just aren’t the same.

The Russian Pickle is the best alternative available for the bassist who wants that vintage Russian sound in a new, cool package.

Sometimes, guitar and bass gear switch places. You maybe know the Fender Bassman, which was originally desogmed as a bass amp, but people figured that it works better with guitars.

The Russian Big Muff pedal by EHX was never intended to be a bass pedal, but apparently that’s the sound bassists were looking for. The Big Pickle doesn’t explicitly mention that it is intended to be used as a bass pedal, which is quite nice considering the origin of the pedal that inspired it.

And just like the Russian Big Muff Pi, the Way Huge WHE408 offers huge sustain, a lot of brutal distortion and is simply loud.

The pedal provides a smooth fuzz with great EQ over all frequencies and all the settings are very useful. On lower settings, the Russian-Pickle Fuzz produces smooth, creamy fuzz tones with a clear midrange to cut through the mix and a fat low-end that keeps your sound thick, rich and full.

If you want to play grunge or desert rock sound, or search for a tone along the lines of Queens of the Stone Age, then you may want to order a Russian Pickle today.

 

  • Sound Quality 90% 90%
  • Build Quality 95% 95%
  • Ease of Use 95% 95%
THINGS WE LIKED

  • Traditional, recogzisable tone
  • Easy to set up
  • Very durable

THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE

  • Lacks some modern feature

best bass distortion pedal 2018

This simple and small fuzz effect is great for players on a budget and those who also want a pedal that works great with both guitar and bass.

The Ibanez Tube Screamer is a pedal that has been re-designed multiple times, but always retained the great metal sound of Ibanez.

The Ibanez Tube Screamer Mini is a more compact version of the classic Ibanez TS9 pedal. Because it was originally designed as a guitar pedal, it doesn’t affect your low-end too much, but instead works as an amazing booster of your mid- and high-end.

If you enjoy playing distorted lead lines between your rhythmic playing, this might be the perfect pedal for you.

The green color of this pedal looks amazing on any pedalboard and you can easily access the overdrive knob, but for live settings, the tone and level knobs are a bit too small, but after setting them at noon, you should be able to change these settings on with your bass knobs.

While it doesn’t provide you with a distorted low-end, your highs a lot of bite and provides tight mids. The pedal is very responsive and generally a nearly perfect replica of its big brothers.

Keep in mind that you need a 9v power supply for this pedal as it lacks a battery due to the size. It is perfect for any bassist who travels or prefers a smaller and more compact pedal.

If you need a fuzzy high- end but want your low-end to stay rather warm, then the Ibanez Tube Screamer series is a great choice!

 

  • Sound Quality 90% 90%
  • Build Quality 90% 90%
  • Ease of Use 85% 85%
THINGS WE LIKED

  • Affordable
  • Easy to use
  • Works great with both bass and guitar

THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE

  • Small tone and volume knobs
  • Lacks more advanced features
  • Clicking sound on stomp

Top 3 Bass Fuzz Pedals For the Studio

best bass pedals

This pedal is a must-have for any bassist’s recording studio. The complex ZVEX Fat Fuzz Factory is a Vexter Series pedal of highest quality with an added compressor and 3 different Fuzz modes.

If you want a ton of sounds in a single pedal, this ZVEX Fuzzbox is the perfect addition for your rig!

ZVEX is a company that produces only the highest quality of pedals. Alongside the Fuzz Factory, Stephen Carpenter from Deftones uses a Ringtone, Instant Lo-Fi Loop Junky, Seek Wah and the ZVAX Machine.

What is it that all of them have in common? A beautiful design, modern sounds, a lot of tweaks and knobs and a great chassis!

In short, you use the Fuzz Factory for a really heavy, powerful, bass-y fuzz and synth-like high frequency squeals,. The pedal delivers tones straight out of the 1960s, but even if you are softer rock or RnB styls, there’s plenty of tweaking to dial in.

Minor disadvantages that this pedal has are the somewhat high price and the fact that you will need to spend a lot of time getting to know all of the settings on this pedal.

The insane number of sounds that you can get out of it simply requires a little bit of learning, but if you need a reliable pedal for recording, there are only few choices that stand up to the ZVAX Fuzz Factory.

 

  • Sound Quality 90% 90%
  • Build Quality 95% 95%
  • Ease of Use 95% 95%
THINGS WE LIKED

  • One of the most versatile Fuzzboxes
  • Great design
  • Very modern features

THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE

  • Requires a lot of experimentation
  • Not the most affordable pedal

best bass pedals

EarthQuarer Devices doesn’t offer just one, but around 10 amazing fuzz pedals, all with a unique character, but always loud, punchy and shattering!

For the heaviest of doom metal riffs, the Cloven Hoof V2 Dual Fuzz Pedal comes loaded a lot of fuzz, tone and level settings and a nifty “Shift” knob that selects center frequency of the “Tone” control.

There is not a lot to say about the Cloven Hoof as it is a straight-forward fuzzbox that is very intuitive and reliable. The fuzz effect ranges from light drive to really heavy and dirty distortion that can further be boosted by the level knob.

The modern shift knob regulates the output of the mids, so if you want that djent-sound, you can scoop out all the mids with the turn of a single knob.

While not the best pedal for jazz and blues, it is great for Sludge, Stoner Rock and Doom. Apparently, the cloven hoof has four times as much gain as other fuzzboxes.

The Cloven Hoof delivers a grittier, more bass-heavy tone with more crunch that can not be achieved with the standard Hoof.

The insane power of this pedal is the reason why we’ve chosen it as our favorite among the EarthQuaker fuzz and distortion effects, but you have a lot of freedom of choice depending on what you need.

If you want a very simple booster that is insanely loud, go with the EarthQuaker Devices Acapulco Gold V2 Power Amp Distortion Effects Pedal. And if you want an easy way to select between two different fuzz sounds, try out the EarthQuaker Devices Spires Fuzz Effects Pedal instead.

 

  • Sound Quality 93% 93%
  • Build Quality 94% 94%
  • Ease of Use 89% 89%
THINGS WE LIKED

  • One of the loudest and heaviest fuzzboxes on the market
  • Modern, high-end features
  • Not too hard to dial-in

THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE

  • Not extremely versatile
  • Would benefit from a blend-knob

best fuzz pedal

The Mooer MFZ4 Fog Bass is a great fuzz designed specifically for bass. It has many great features packed tight in a small package including a SQUEEZE knob for shaping unique fuzz tone. This exquisite stompbox is a great addition for any recording musician on a budget.

This tiny pedal is by no means a toy – it generates an insane amount of gain and fuzz when turned all the way up and is perfect for dirty metal and punk songs. But at the same time, it has great tracking and offers a unique sound. Due to its size it fits nicely on a pedalboard, but this pedal shines in the studio.

The small knobs could be a nuisance on stage, but they give you a great setup for the studio. Another reason why it is better for the studio is the fact that it doesn’t have a battery compartment and relies on a 9v adapter.

When turned up, the pedal creates a harsh fuzz, but on lower settings it offers a really nice tone that has a good low-end. A great feature is the dry/wet adjustment. Tonally, it produces some unique combinations, but if you add too much squeeze, you risk cutting out some frequencies.

The Mooer MFZ4 is very similar to other Mooer pedals in the sense that it stands up even to some boutique pedals despite its really low price. All in all, this pedal is a great addition that might be too harsh for the average blues player, but would definitely appeal to harsher styles.

The pedal also works great with electric guitars, so if you’re a metalhead who needs something for their downtuned 7-strings, go ahead and give this pedal a try!

 

  • Sound Quality 88% 88%
  • Build Quality 91% 91%
  • Ease of Use 85% 85%
THINGS WE LIKED

  • Great Price
  • Dry/Wet Knob
  • Amazing for drop-tunings and 7-string guitars

THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE

  • Limited tonal possibilities
  • A bit too strong for some styles
  • Cuts some frequencies at higher settings

Top Bass Fuzz Pedal for Recording and Performance

mxr bass fuzz deluxe

Developed and produced by Jim Dunlop, the MXR M84 Bass Fuzz Deluxe is arguably the most superior bass fuzzbox on the market. Inside this fashionable box a bassist has a fantastic vintage circuit and separate controls for the dry and wet signal.

Dialing in the perfect amount of fuzz and wet signal on the stage is undemanding and the wide array of tonal settings makes this pedal a valuable piece of equipment for any studio.

It is not often that one finds a pedal that seemingly has no disadvantages. One of such pedals is the M84 by MXR. With this pedal you can get a very punchy, bold effect sound without ruining your dry tone.

The individual dry and wet controls are arguably a better solution than the blend/level configuration of other pedals, but that is up to personal preference. Nonetheless, if you run this through a good amp, you get the feeling of having two amps perform at the same time which is especially great for power trios and similar ensembles.

With this pedal you probably can’t get the most dirty sound possible unless your amp has additional gain controls, but more often than not, that is not what you want anyway. You either use it for a more diluted hybrid tone or for a punchy mid-range for pushing through the mix while keeping a nice, clear bass.

For live performances, consider covering the LED because it can be blinding in a dark club.

The MXR produces a massive sound in a very attractive chassis that looks way more expensive than it actually is. If you want a lot of girth coming out of your bass without losing the mass of the original rig, then the MXR M84 might be the ideal pedal for you.

 

  • Sound Quality 98% 98%
  • Build Quality 94% 94%
  • Ease of Use 100% 100%
THINGS WE LIKED

  • Boutique Quality for a fair price
  • Preserves unique character of your rig
  • Dry/Wet Configuration

THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE

  • LED might be too bright

BUYING GUIDE: THINGS TO CONSIDER:

What is a Fuzz Pedal and what should it do?

The family of effects that is used to create and shape a dirty, punchy and loud sound similar to a huge amp being cranked up to 11 consists of fuzz, overdrive and distortion effects.

These three effects are similar and their names are often used interchangeably, but they have subtle differences in meaning and sound.

A rule of thumb is that overdrive effects are the mildest of the three, producing warm overtones at quieter volumes and harsher distortion as gain is increased, while distortion effect produce the same amount of distortion at any volume level.

A fuzz pedal alters an audio signal heavily, resulting in a nearly square wave with added complex overtones by way of a frequency multiplier. What this means is that the sound is either very modern or completely deformed. Often it resembles noise generated by computers rather than an overdriven amp.

Sometimes, the difference is very small. Some pedals are designed on purpose in such a way, that they can offer a huge spectrum of settings that covers all 3 sub-types of pedals. And some pedals come with a combination of fuzz and compression, synthesizers or preamps.

If you want to build a massive pedalboard for bigger gigs or recording, you have a lot of choice and you can use many different pedals for the same effect. This will give you the biggest amount of versatility of course.

On the other hand, if you are tight on space and want to do only smaller gigs or don’t have the budget for dozens of pedals, you might want to invest into a pedal that does a lot of things pretty well. This will allow you to get to know a very complex piece of equipment and you will learn to get hundreds of different sounds even from a single pedal.

Due to the way fuzz pedals work, many of them can be used both on guitar and bass. The difference is that those designed for guitar will usually not affect the lowest notes of your bass too much, which can be both good and bad depending on the type of tone you want. With other words, you need to do a little bit of experimenting in your local music store.

Your choice of the bass fuzz will greatly depend on your budget and the size of your pedalboard, as well as on the intended use. A stage pedal should be easy to carry around and provide a fast setup with intuitive controls, while a studio pedal can get away with more controls that offer increased versatility.

If you have an amp that doesn’t have built-in drive or distortion effects, you probably want a more complex pedal. If your bass amplifier already has those functions, try not to use a complex fuzz or turn the distortion on the amp off, as too much gain and distortion is simply going to sound muddy, loud and ear-wrecking.

CONCLUSION

Building a pedalboard often means that you have to find a compromise between space, tonal quality and versatility. Because of that, getting a pedal that has loads of effects pays off in the long run even if you have to spend a little more time and money to get to know it.

If you are a pedal aficionado, you might be interested in getting other pedals. We’ve reviewed a lot of different bass effect and bass guitars in our bass section, so go ahead and check it out!

We are sure that you’ll find a pedal or two that you’ve never heard about before and maybe that is the exact tone you were looking for.

All the best to you, rockstar!

OUR PICK: MXR M84 Bass Fuzz Deluxe
  • Sound Quality
  • Build Quality
  • Ease of Use
4.7

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