6 Best Bass Distortion Pedals (November 2022) – Buyers Guide 🥇

In this article we’re going to be discussing the best bass overdrive pedals that exist in November 2022.

Although distortion has been around since the early days of bass guitars, they weren’t all that popular back in the day. In past, this effect was predominately used by electric guitar players but things changed in the last few decades. The bass distortion sound has become an essential ingredient in so many music styles, starting from metal music, punk, grindcore etc. Moreover, it’s also pretty hard to imagine a proper techno bass tone without distortion.

Initially, bass players were using classic distortion pedals that were designed for electric guitar players. With the popularization of bass distortion, engineers started to work on pedals that are designed for basses. As a result, today’s market is full of such pedals.

best bass distortion pedals

What Is A Bass Distortion Pedal?

A bass distortion pedal is a pedal that produces a distortion effect. It is a sound that comes as a result of the deformation of an output waveform compared to its input. Compared to the original tone, the distorted tone comes with significantly increased gain, which is usually described as fuzzy or gritty.

Bass distortion pedals are pretty similar to distortion pedals for electric guitars. The basic principle of work is the same, while the key difference is that sound engineers put more focus on lower frequencies that are typical for bass guitars. On the other hand, most controls and knobs are usually the same or very similar.

Besides distortion, many manufacturers also have other, very similar effects in the same housing. That particularly refers to overdrive and fuzz, which are very close relatives to classic distortion. Moreover, many manufacturers include distortion effects in their preamp pedals, making extremely versatile units.

Bass Distortion Pedals

Our Number One Choice
MXR Bass Distortion
Our Premium Choice
Aguilar AGRO Bass Distortion Effect Pedal
Best Value For Money
Darkglass Electronics Microtubes B7K Ultra V2 Bass Preamp Pedal w/Aux In
Summary
The MXR M85 gives you the opportunity to cover pretty much everything with a single pedal.
Simple and easy to use but at the same time, the amount of tonal colors you can paint with is spectacular
The level of flexibility and versatility is simply impressive with this pedal.
Dimentions
11.43 x 15.24 x 6.99 cm
‎13.64 x 7.11 x 5.84 cm
5.47 x 4.96 x 3.23 inches
Power
9v Power Supply
9v Power Supply
9v Power Supply
Prime
Our Number One Choice
MXR Bass Distortion
Summary
The MXR M85 gives you the opportunity to cover pretty much everything with a single pedal.
Dimentions
11.43 x 15.24 x 6.99 cm
Power
9v Power Supply
Prime
Check Price
Our Premium Choice
Aguilar AGRO Bass Distortion Effect Pedal
Summary
Simple and easy to use but at the same time, the amount of tonal colors you can paint with is spectacular
Dimentions
‎13.64 x 7.11 x 5.84 cm
Power
9v Power Supply
Prime
Check Price
Best Value For Money
Darkglass Electronics Microtubes B7K Ultra V2 Bass Preamp Pedal w/Aux In
Summary
The level of flexibility and versatility is simply impressive with this pedal.
Dimentions
5.47 x 4.96 x 3.23 inches
Power
9v Power Supply
Prime
Check Price

MXR M85 Bass Distortion

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MXR M85 Bass Distortion

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Developed together with Fuzzrocious Pedals founder Ryan Ratajski, the M85 is the latest addition to the company’s long lineup of amazing bass pedals. This particular product brings a couple of important upgrades compared to the previous M84 unit. The most important is that there is now a switch that allows you to choose between two distortion types – Silicone diode or LED clipping. The first one provides you with a more aggressive type of distortion. The latter is more open and more appropriate to a wider range of styles.

The housing of this pedal comes in a typical MXR manner. It is compact and sturdy, and there are four knobs that allow you perfect tone control. This particularly refers to separated Dry and Wet knobs, so you can find a perfect balance between the pedal’s tone and the tone that comes from the rest of the chain.

The rest of the knobs are rather typical. One of them is a classic tone control, while the other allows you to dial the amount of distortion. The pedal features true bypass, so you can be sure that your tone will remain intact when the pedal is off. As we’ve just mentioned, the pedal is very compact and fits every pedalboard. It can run on batteries, though the 9V power supply, which is sold separately, is a much better option.

Who Should Buy This Pedal?

This pedal is perfect for players who like aggressive bass distortion but who also cover a broad range of styles. Also, its compact dimensions make it a fantastic choice for anyone who already has trouble with space on the pedalboard.

Source Audio One Series Aftershock

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Source Audio One Series Aftershock

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Despite that today’s market is full of bass distortion pedals, it’s not easy to find one that’s more versatile than this one, especially in this price range. The Source Audio One Series Aftershock offers three distortion modes, starting from the classic warm tube distortion sound. You can turn the switch to the second position and get a typical heavy distortion, while the third position is for the fuzz tone.

Also, the pedal comes with a USB port that allows you to connect to a computer and create your own presents. You can save them on these three positions and they will keep the same parameters, no matter the knob positions. Speaking of the knobs, you may count on typical control, which makes the pedal pretty easy to use. The pedal can be connected to both desktop computers and mobile devices for sound editing.

Although this is a digital distortion effect, the pedal features a true, analog bypass, which means that your original tone won’t be affected in any way. The External Control Input is another great feature that’s included, which allows you to connect the unit with the expression pedal, for additional control. The pedal runs on a 9V power supply, which is included in the price.

Who Should Buy This Pedal?

This pedal is great for players who need different distortion types but also want advanced tone-shaping options, as well as additional flexibility. It features professional-grade sound quality but the price tag makes it approachable to a much wider range of potential users.

Darkglass Electronics Microtubes B7K Ultra V2

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Darkglass Electronics Microtubes B7K Ultra V2

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The Microtubes B7K Ultra V2 takes the best from the analog and digital worlds, as it combines a classic analog overdrive with digital cabinet emulations. Practically, this is more a preamp than just a distortion pedal, which comes with an independent overdrive switch, as well as with blend control that allows you to balance dry and wet signals.

Furthermore, the pedal is equipped with a 4-band EQ, with switchable mid frequencies, as well as with a ±12dB boost/cut range for each EQ band, so players may count on pretty impressive tone shaping possibilities. The pedal features a buffered bypass and runs on a 9V DC center negative power supply, which is sold separately. It features relatively compact dimensions, considering the number of features and controls, while the housing feels durable and promises years of exploitation.

The pedal comes with all kinds of connectivity features, which allow seamless operation, whether it’s about live performance or recording. We particularly like the direct output with switchable cabinet emulation. What’s even more impressive is that there is a USB port, so you can load different emulations. Finally, there is a headphone output that also includes cabinet emulation.

Who Should Buy This Pedal?

If you’re looking for a classic overdrive bass pedal with tons of tonal shaping options, this is the product for you. If you need more than that, a preamp pedal and a great recording tool with quality speaker emulations, search no more.

Aguilar AGRO

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Aguilar AGRO

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Don’t be fooled by its compact and simple design, this is a fantastic tone-shaping tool. We are talking about a premium product that is popular among many professionals. The sturdy housing promises long exploitation, while powerful controls allow you to dial pretty much everything from mild overdrive to aggressive distortion.

There are four control knobs in total. Level and Saturation knobs are typical controls for distortion shaping. Furthermore, there is the Contour knob that allows you to control middle frequencies, to make distortion more aggressive. Finally, there is the Presence knob, so you can control the attack level.

The ability to manipulate sound so much with just a couple of knobs is what makes this pedal great. Another reason why players love this unit is its sturdy design and the overall feel of premium quality. The housing and knobs feel like they will run forever.

Who Should Buy This Pedal?

The Aguilar AGRO is designed for players who have high requirements regarding tone quality and tonal shaping possibilities, but also like to keep things simple. This unit is simple and easy to use but extremely capable and versatile at the same time. No matter the style and musical preferences, this pedal would be a great addition to any pedalboard.

Behringer Overdrive/Distortion

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Behringer Overdrive:Distortion

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For decades, Behringer has been known as a company that makes quality products at very affordable prices. Even today, it’s hard to beat many of its products in this aspect. The Behringer OVERDRIVE/DISTORTION is one of them. Codenamed OD300, this pedal is designed for electric guitars but it works great with basses too.

The company has several distortions and overdrive pedals dedicated to basses but we find this product a great choice because it deals with low frequencies very well. It is a versatile unit, with a wide range of tones that are super-easy to dial.

Just one look at the housing and it becomes clear that this unit closely mimics Boss pedals in terms of the overall layout. There is a massive footswitch that feels it could last for ages. The organization of control knobs is also quite familiar. There are four of them and all are quite typical. There are Level, Tone and Drive knobs, as well as the Mode knob that chooses between overdrive and distortion, as well as anything between. The pedal can also run on batteries, though we would always recommend using a 9V power supply, which is sold separately.

Who Should Buy This Pedal?

The price tag unambiguously suggests that this pedal is for beginners, who are usually on a very tight budget. However, the build quality, as well as the tone quality, indicate that it can be a pretty useful tool for more experienced players as well, especially as a backup unit.

Ampeg SCR-DI Bass Amplifier Preamp

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Ampeg SCR-DI

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This pedal is actually a 2-in-1 product. It is primarily a preamp pedal, but it also comes with an integrated Scrambler overdrive. Of course, the controls of two units are separated and the overdrive section comes with just two knobs and it is super easy to use. Those two knobs are called Drive and Blend and you can use them not just to set the level of distortion, but to find a balance between dry and wet signals.

The other section is a typical bass preamp. There is a 3-band EQ, as well as a volume knob. Also, there is the Aux knob, just like the Aux in, which is a fantastic tool for your practice sessions. Speaking of inputs and outputs, there is a typical line out, as well as a balanced XLR output, so you can go directly into PA. This pedal also allows you to split of your signal to monitors or your amp. Finally, there is an output for headphones, perfect for silent bedroom practice.

Despite being a 2-in-1 unit, the pedal features quite compact dimensions and won’t occupy too much space on your pedalboard. You can run it on batteries, though a 9V power supply, which comes separately, is a much better choice.

Who Should Buy This Pedal?

The Ampeg SCR-DI Bass Amplifier Preamp is a great choice for anyone who looks for a pedal that replaces both the preamp and distortion pedal. It is a versatile unit that can go directly into PA, but it can also be a great tool for home recording and practice.

Our Number One Choice

MXR M85 Bass Distortion

There are many reasons why this pedal is our first choice. This highly reputable company has been making bass distortion pedals for a long time and this unit connects classic tone with modern technical solutions. The pedal offers two different types of distortion, while controls let you dial pretty much any distortion tone you can imagine. The MXR M85 gives you the opportunity to cover pretty much everything with a single pedal, which is usually not possible. Finally, the pedal features excellent build quality and promises years of great service.

Buy On Amazon

Our Premium Choice

Aguilar AGRO

The ability to offer such an impressive range of quality tones in such a simple layout is what makes this pedal our premium choice. It’s simple and easy to use but at the same time, the amount of tonal colors you can paint with is spectacular. What’s more important, all of them sound excellent. When simplicity and easiness of use meet exceptional sound quality, you get one of the best bass distortion pedals around.

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Best Value For Money

Darkglass Electronics Microtubes B7K Ultra V2

The level of flexibility and versatility is simply impressive with this pedal. You can dial an impressive range of quality tones and, at the same time, things are pretty simple and easy to use. The pedal comes with three types of distortion, while players can also save their favorite settings, no matter the knob positions. It is a logical choice for tone freaks and also a fantastic studio tool.

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That concludes this full buyers guide on the best bass distortion pedals. Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions regarding the products you have seen in this article. Check out our other bass buyer guides such as the best Bass Synth Pedals.

Here at Guitar Effects Pedalz we also provide full reviews of the best online guitar services so you can learn guitar online with our Guitar Tricks Review

Last update on 2022-11-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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