10 Best Bass Guitar Effects Pedals (2018 Review)

Bass Guitar Effects Pedals

When looking for bass guitar effects pedals and setting-up a bass pedal rig, it is somewhat similar when you play your bass guitar. You will still need to use your imagination, think melodically, conceptualizing what you’re going to do then followed by application.

Unlike it’s comrade the guitar, the use of effects pedals on a bass can work in two ways. One, is enhancing an already nice groove, slap n’ pop, tapping etc. that you compose. Two, is to muster more tones to create different sounds with the bass adding diversity on the way you play.

The bass naturally is a lower pitch instrument compared to a guitar, violin or a banjo and when played along side with the drums, it has to find it’s way on the mix. Using bass guitar effects pedals can supplement the things lacking on just playing the bass with an amp by giving it more gain and clarity of tone while keeping the smooth sound the bass produces.

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For a complete beginner bass player who has just started to learn to play the bass that wants a pedal. The best way to start is with a multi-effects bass pedal. Why? Because apart from the presets of effects on the multi-effects pedal. There are other features that you can use to help you learn well with. Like, a drum machine and looper to develop timing, precision and start grooving. A built-in chromatic tuner to keep your bass in perfect pitch. Less expensive and it is a good practice unit.

Zoom B1Xon Bass Effects PedalZoom B1Xon Bass Effects Pedal

  • 100 effects, including Distortion, Compression, Modulation, Delay, and Reverb, plus 5 pedal-controlled effects
  • 5 effects can be used simultaneously
  • Built-in expression pedal
  • Memory location and auto save function
  • USB port for power and firmware updates
  • Chromatic tuner
  • Looper 30 seconds recording CD qualtiy
  • 68 built-in rhythm patterns-Drum Machine
  • Backlit LCD
  • Runs on 4 AA batteries, optional AC adapter

Where to buy: Zoom B1Xon Bass Effects Pedal with Expression Pedal $69.99 Amazon

 

I would suggest that you just stick on to this as your first bass effects pedal for it’s use and price range. Above this is already expensive, and impractical because multi-effects is harder to re-sell than the stompboxes below.

Tuner Pedal

The tuner probably is the most essential pedal of all the pedals included in the list, and the only pedal likely not going to be replaced on a pedal train. It may not be the most exciting pedal to buy compared to an effects pedals. But it is a vital pedal on keeping your bass in tune especially to tune it quickly when your in the middle of the stage performing.

Besides from keeping your bass in tune, it also has to have a good display and illumination easily viewed for places like clubs and bars or any place with insufficient lighting. Another use for a tuner is; it can work as well as a mute for your bass.

Boss TU3 Chromatic Tuner PedalBoss TU3 Chromatic Tuner Pedal

  • 21 segment LED meter with brightness control
  • Accurate to +/- one cent
  • Accu-Pitch Sign function visual verification
  • Chromatic Bass mode support for 7-string guitars and 6-string basses
  • Drop tunings up to six semitones below standard pitch
  • Tuner automatically mutes when the tuner is on
  • Supplies power for up to seven BOSS compact effect pedals

Where to buy: Boss TU3 Chromatic Tuner Pedal $98.00 Amazon

Korg Pitchblack Chromatic TunerKorg Pitchblack Chromatic Tuner

  • Compact pedal with large bright LED meters
  • A broad detection range from E0 (20.60 Hz) to C8 (4186 Hz)
  • Calibration is adjustable from 436–445 Hz.
  • 100% True Bypass output keeps your tone intact
  • A 9 VDC output jack is provided power supply to other pedals.
  • Aluminum die cast body

Where to buy: Korg Pitchblack Chromatic Tuner $79.99 Amazon

TC Electronic Polytune 2 Pedal TunerTC Electronic Polytune 2 Pedal Tuner

  • Tune all strings simultaneously
  • New chromatic strobe tuner – 0.1 cent tuning accuracy
  • Brighter LED display
  • Drop-D and capo tuning modes
  • True bypass with silent tuning
  • DC output for powering other pedals
  • 3M Velcro for pedal board attachment

Where to buy: TC Electronic Polytune 2 Pedal Tuner $79.61 Amazon

Donner Dt-1 Chromatic Guitar Tuner Pedal True BypassDonner Dt-1 Chromatic Tuner

  • Chromatic which is suitable for wide range tuning
  • LCD display leads
  • True bypass real signal
  • Tuning range A0(27.5Hz)~C8(4186Hz)
  • Precision: ±1cent
  • Detection method Audio Signal Input
  • Tuning method Auto
  • Power DC9V adaptor

Where to buy: Donner Dt-1 Chromatic Guitar Tuner Pedal True Bypass $19.99 Amazon




Equalizer Pedal

EQ pedal is a great pedal to have for tone shaping that compliments every effects pedals on your rig set-up, by dialing-in the desired tone giving the effects pedals a better presence for a greater sound output.

Without using any effects pedals, you can also use the EQ pedal to shape a clean tone and as a booster by cranking up the volume or in any other brand of EQ the level dial. In a nut shell, an EQ will make a regular bass tone technical sound better by enabling more control on the tone and volume that can be used during recordings and performance making it a good piece of equipment to use and include on a rig set-up.

Source Audio SA170 Programmable EQSource Audio SA170 Programmable EQ

  • +/- 18dB range over seven frequency bands
  • Four independent programmable user presets
  • Optimizes the EQ for bass additional freq band at 62Hz
  • Cast aluminum housing
  • 12dB of clean boost
  • Auto-scrolling function
  • Hardwire True Bypass
  • Recall presets, engage/bypass remotely via MIDI
  • DSP 56-bit Digital Signal Processor, SA601 24-bit converters
  • Runs on a 9V battery included or power supply not included

Where to buy: Source Audio SA170 Programmable EQ $149.00 Amazon

MXR 10 Band Graphic EQMXR 10 Band Graphic EQ with 18V Power Supply

  • 12dB of serious cut or boost
  • Ten carefully chosen frequencies along with input and output level controls
  • 18 volt operation for twice the headroom of most EQ pedals

Where to buy: MXR 10 Band Graphic EQ w/ 18V power supply $119.99 Amazon

Boss GEB-7 7-Band Bass EQ PedalBoss GEB-7 7-Band Bass EQ Pedal

  • 50Hz to 10kHz frequency range designed for bass
  • Full range response even for five and six string basses
  • Can be used as a boost or cut pedal using the level control knob
  • Great for bass applications
  • AC adaptor or 9V battery operation

Where to buy: Boss GEB-7 7-Band Bass EQ Pedal $99.00 Amazon

BEHRINGER BASS GRAPHIC EQUALIZER BEQ700Behringer Graphic Bass Equalizer BEQ700

  • 7 bands of equalization
  • Wide frequency range with 15 dB boost/cut per band
  • Status LED for effect
  • Runs on 9 V battery or power supply
  • Electronic On-Off switch

Where to buy: Behringer Bass Graphic Equalizer BEQ700 $24.99 Amazon

Preamp Pedal

A preamp pedal provides your bass sound with a higher volume output and tone shaping ability in turn making a more cleaner brighter sound according to your taste. This pedal gives you another control for balancing the volume and tone ratio for a controlled sound boost to achieve the desired sound you want that works well when combined with the other effects pedals.

Ampeg SCRDI Bass DI Preamp with Scrambler OverdriveAmpeg SCRDI Bass DI Preamp with Scrambler Overdrive

  • Wide range of authentic Ampeg tones
  • Dedicated XLR balanced line out with ground lift
  • Affected 1/4″ output
  • Unaffected 1/4″ thru
  • Ampeg EQ pedal with tone choices
  • Classic 3-band tone stack
  • Ultra-Hi and Ultra-Lo circuits
  • Footswitchable
  • Bass scrambler overdrive
  • Separate drive and blend controls
  • Roadworthy die-cast zinc chassis and metal switches

Where to buy: Ampeg SCRDI Bass DI Preamp with Scrambler Overdrive $199.99 Amazon

MXR M81 Bass PreampMXR M81 Bass Preamp

  • Separate Input and Out level controls
  • Mid-range 250hz to 1khzfor extensive tonal flexibility
  • 3 band EQ section with sweepable mid-range
  • Studio quality Direct Out

Where to buy: MXR M81 Bass Preamp $169.99 Amazon

BEHRINGER V-TONE BASS DRIVER DI BDI21Behringer V-Tone Bass Driver DI BDI21

  • Analog modeling bass preamp with DI recording output
  • Authentic V-Tone modeling for vintage tube tones, funky slap sounds, distortions
  • Authentic tube emulation circuitry
  • Ground lift switch
  • Runs on 9 V battery or power supply

Where to buy: Behringer V-Tone Bass Driver DI BDI21 $29.99 Amazon

Bass Guitar Effects Pedals

Here is where you make an already good sounding fingerstyle groove, tapping, playing chords, double thump and slap n’ pop you created to even sound more dynamic. By giving it more definition and clarity on each note. Smoothing everything out especially when you’re doing solos or just for the simple reason that you want it to sound better.

Compressor Pedal

For the different techniques on how to play the bass. This pedal is a workhorse of all bass player and a essential pedal to have on any bass pedalboard. Using this pedal add more snap, clarity and definition to your slap n’ pop, double thump, and tapping techniques. It becomes a lot easier to do this things with this pedal because often times just to hear the notes we tend to raise the volume and tone to make it louder and fuller. Turning out the end product sounds muddy.

The compressor pedals does this by evening-up the pitch of each note on a bass lick making it sound brighter and livelier while keeping the volume and tone on just the right level making it sound smoother with a proper volume.

Keeley KBASS Bass Compression Effect PedalKeeley KBASS Bass Compression Effect Pedal

  • Compressor and Limiting Amplifier
  • Studio Quality
  • Attack Time: typically 15ms for 10dB, 5ms for 20dB, 3ms for 30dB
  • Release Time: typically 8ms for 1dB, 40ms for 5dB, 80ms for 10dB, 160ms for 20dB, 240ms for 30dB
  • 30db of gain
  • Voltage Input: 9.6V
  • Current Draw: 15mA
  • Total Harmonic Distortion: 0.1%
  • Dual LED

Where to buy: Keeley KBASS Bass Compression Effect Pedal $199.00 Amazon

Aguilar TLC Bass Compression Effect PedalAguilar TLC Bass Compression Effect Pedal

  • Threshold control: variable from -30 to -10 dBu
  • Slope control: variable from 2:1 to infinity
  • Attack control: variable from 10ms to 100ms
  • Level control: -infinity to -3dBu
  • Low Distortion: 0.2 %
  • Gig-saver bypass

Where to buy: Aguilar TLC Bass Compression Effect Pedal $190.05 Amazon

MXR M87 Bass CompressorMXR M87 Bass Compressor

  • Constant Headroom Technology for clear, clean performance
  • Attack, Release, Ratio, Input, and Output
  • True bypass
  • Sounds great on bass guitar

Where to buy: MXR M87 Bass Compressor $189.99 Amazon

Electro-Harmonix Bass Preacher Bass Compressor Sustainer PedalElectro-Harmonix Bass Preacher Bass Compressor and Sustain

  • Compact compressor designed especially for bass guitar
  • Input sensitivity ranges from -10 dBu to +2 dBu
  • Attack toggle switch changes the timing of the onset of compression
  • True bypass
  • Die-cast housing
  • 9-Volt battery included

Where to buy: Electro-Harmonix Bass Preacher Bass Compressor/Sustainer Pedal $79.10 Amazon

Joyo Jf-10 Dynamic Compressor Guitar AMP Effect Pedal True BypassJoyo Jf-10 Dynamic Compressor

  • With three controls of Sustain, Attack and Level
  • True Bypass design to minimise tone loss
  • Material: Aluminium alloy
  • Battery Included

Where to buy: Joyo Jf-10 Dynamic Compressor Guitar AMP Effect Pedal True Bypass $20.99 Amazon

Octave Pedal

Using this pedals can give you the popular synth sound that all bass player loves to produce. An octave pedal works by adding the tone on the bass, filling it up rather than changing the original bass tone itself. An effective way to do this is by playing higher on the fret so you can feel the effect hearing the original tone filled up with a deep bass synthesize sound.

Turning off both octave switch and just playing with the dry signal will give you the classic tone that is oftenly used by bass players for slap n’ pop. To sum it all up, the Octave pedal together with the Compressor, EQ pedal, Preamp and Tuner is a good starting point for a bass pedal rig set-up.

MXR M288 Bass Octave DeluxeMXR M288 Bass Octave Deluxe

  • Two independent analog octave voices
  • Mid-switch boosts selectable midrange
  • +14dB of internally adjustable mid frequencies 400Hz or 850Hz
  • Constant headroom Technology CHT
  • True bypass

Where to buy: MXR M288 Bass Octave Deluxe $149.99 Amazon

Boss OC-3 Dual Super Octave PedalBoss OC-3 Dual Super Octave Pedal

  • Polyphonic Octave effects
  • New Drive mode adds distortion to octave notes
  • Includes the original OC-2 mode
  • Bass input for adapting octave sound to bass guitars

Where to buy: Boss OC-3 Dual Super Octave Pedal $128.49 Amazon

Mooer Tender Octaver PedalMooer Tender Octaver Pedal

  • Precise octave modulation pedal
  • Separated volumn konb for sub and upper octave, suitable for different music styles
  • Full metal housing
  • Very small and compact design
  • True bypass switch with DC 9V adapter power supply

Where to buy: Mooer Tender Octaver Pedal $98.00 Amazon

Wah Pedal and Envelop Filter Pedal

For the desired funky tones these two pedals can get the job done. The wah pedal is oftenly used on a guitar but it can also be used on a bass and there’s really not much of a difference on the wah voice it produce on a guitar and bass. The more common way for a bass to achieve a wah voice is by using envelop filter or auto-wah.

The difference between the two is how to generate the wah voice. On a wah pedal it is controlled by an expression pedal to produce the wah voice while the envelop filter is by plucking the bass string lightly or harder to achieve the desired wah voice. Any of the two can work well on a bass guitar and a nice effects to play with.

MXR Bass Envelope Filter Effect PedalMXR Bass Envelope Filter Effect Pedal

  • Classic envelope filter sounds
  • Separate Dry and Effect signal controls
  • Organic analog tone

Where to buy: MXR Bass Envelope Filter Effect Pedal $149.99 Amazon

Electro-Harmonix Q-Tron XO Envelope Follower PedalElectro-Harmonix Q-Tron XO Envelope Follower Pedal

  • True bypass
  • Dedicated effects loop allows you to place any effect or pedal board into the loop
  • FX send and return without changing the envelope drive
  • Selectable low pass, band pass and high pass filters
  • Resonant peak control to adjust the filter’s Q from subtle to dramatic
  • Response switch changes the reaction time of envelope follower from fast to slow
  • Switchable hi or lo frequency sweep ranges
  • Adjustable gain knob and boost switch
  • Sweep direction switch
  • Die-cast chassis
  • 24DC-100 power supply included

Where to buy: Electro-Harmonix Q-Tron XO Envelope Follower Pedal $143.70 Amazon

Digitech DOD440-14 DOD 440 Envelope Guitar FilterDigitech DOD440-14 Envelope Guitar Filter

  • Classic funky quack or swept filter tones that react to your picking dynamics
  • New Up/Down switch allows you to choose which part of the sweep to emphasize
  • True bypass
  • 9V DC power supply jack
  • Crisp blue status LED
  • Lighter aluminum chassis

Where to buy: Digitech DOD440-14 DOD 440 Envelope Guitar Filter $99.80 Amazon

Dunlop 105Q Cry Baby Bass WahDunlop 105Q Cry Baby Bass Wah

  • Optimized for bass frequencies
  • Separate Q and Volume controls
  • Auto-off switch

Where to buy: Dunlop 105Q Cry Baby Bass Wah $129.99 Amazon

Morley PBA-2 Dual Bass Wah with Two Wah ModesMorley PBA-2 Dual Bass Wah with Two Wah Modes

  • Switchless dessign
  • Traditional wah and funk wah
  • True tone bypass
  • LEd indicator
  • Cold rolled steel housing

Where to buy: Morley PBA-2 Dual Bass Wah with Two Wah Modes $89.97 Amazon

Chorus, Delay, and Reverb Pedal

If you’re looking for modulation effects so you could play jazz to funk jazz music or simply for sound diversity. You play a lot of fingerstyle groove, harmonics with a bit of slap n’ pop and tapping to it; the chorus, reverd and delay modulation pedals can bring that flavor into your pedal collection. For drama on the notes and shimmering effect on the melodies with depth. This sounds is easily captured and noticeable when using the chorus, reverb and a delay.

MXR M83 Bass Chorus DeluxeMXR M83 Bass Chorus Deluxe

  • Analog bucket-brigade technology
  • Separate Bass and Treble controls
  • Flanger and X-Over for added tonal flexibility

Where to buy: MXR M83 Bass Chorus Deluxe $169.99 Amazon

Boss CEB-3 Bass Chorus PedalBoss CEB-3 Bass Chorus Pedal

  • Compact chorus pedal especially designed for bass guitar
  • Applies chorus sound to the high frequencies without altering low frequencies
  • Effect Level, Low Filter, Rate and Depth knobs permit precise tonal shaping

Where to buy: Boss CEB-3 Bass Chorus Pedal $99.00 Amazon

Electro Hamonix BASS Clone Bass Chorus Effect PedalElectro Hamonix BASS Clone Bass Chorus Effect Pedal

  • Compact chorus based on the legendary Small Clone with added features for bass
  • Provides precise sound shaping control
  • True bypass switching
  • Compact die-cast package
  • 9-Volt battery included

Where to buy: Electro Hamonix BASS Clone Bass Chorus Effect Pedal $68.00 Amazon

MXR M169 Carbon Copy Analog DelayMXR M169 Carbon Copy Analog Delay

  • Rich, all-analog delay
  • Up to 600 milliseconds of delay time
  • Modulation controls emulate tape echo tones
  • Bucket-brigade technology

Where to buy: MXR M169 Carbon Copy Analog Delay $149.99 Amazon

Donner Ultimate Delay Bass Guitar Effect Pedal Stereo 11 ModeDonner Ultimate Delay Bass Guitar Effect Pedal Stereo 11 Mode

  • 11 modes delay tone
  • Maximum 4s Delay time
  • TIME(delay Time),FB (feedback), MIX and FX
  • Stereo input and stereo output
  • Preset saving function
  • Aluminium-alloy classic high quality components
  • True bypass transparent tone
  • LED indicator

Where to buy: Donner Ultimate Delay Bass Guitar Effect Pedal Stereo 11 Mode $79.99 Amazon

NUX Time Core Deluxe Delay PedalNUX Time Core Deluxe Delay Pedal

  • 7 Delay types
  • 40ms – 2000ms
  • 40 seconds looper
  • Nux Original TSAC Technology
  • 32bit DSP, Hi-Performance 24bit 44.1kHz AD/DA converter
  • True Stereo Signal Processing Audio In/Out Routing Sensing
  • Tone Lock function save preset
  • True Bypass
  • Powered by one 9V Battery or Optional 9V Adaptor

Where to buy: NUX Time Core Deluxe Delay Pedal $99.99 Amazon

MXR M300 Reverb Guitar Effects PedalMXR M300 Reverb Guitar Effects Pedal

  • Six meticulously crafted reverbs in one pedal
  • Dry path is 100% analog
  • Relay true bypass and delay trails modes

Where to buy: MXR M300 Reverb Guitar Effects Pedal $199.99 Amazon

Electro-Harmonix Holy Grail Max ReverbElectro-Harmonix Holy Grail Max Reverb

  • Spring, Hall, Plate and Reverse reverb
  • 9.6DC-200 power supply included
  • True bypass for maximum signal path integrity
  • Compact, rugged die-cast chassis

Where to buy: Electro-Harmonix Holy Grail Max Reverb $159.00 Amazon

TC Electronic Hall of Fame Reverb PedalTC Electronic Hall of Fame Reverb Pedal

  • TonePrint Enabled
  • 10 reverb types
  • Stereo in & out
  • True Bypass
  • Analog-Dry-Through
  • Decay, Tone and Level controls
  • Easy battery access

Where to buy: TC Electronic Hall of Fame Reverb Pedal $124.50 Amazon

Distortion Pedal and Overdrive Pedal

These pedals works as a boost with just a slight tweak at the gain adding a mild growl while still keeping the original base tone without totally distorting it. This pedals are interchangeable and depending on how your going to use them. distortion pedal can give you a much distorted tone shaping while overdrive gives you a boost with a subtle growl on the tone.

Electro-Harmonix Deluxe Bass Big Muff Pi Bass Effects PedalElectro-Harmonix Deluxe Bass Big Muff Pi Bass Effects Pedal

  • Pad on the input that’s switchable between 0dB and -10dB
  • Blend allows a player to mix to taste the direct and distorted signals
  • Three outputs: a 1/4″ effect out, 1/4″ direct (buffered dry) out and XLR DI out
  • Foot-switchable
  • Crossover circuit in conjunction with the Blend control
  • Built-in noise gate with an adjust threshold
  • Compact die-cast chassis
  • 9-Volt battery included

Where to buy: Electro-Harmonix Deluxe Bass Big Muff Pi Bass Effects Pedal $120.30 Amazon

MXR M89 Bass OverdriveMXR M89 Bass Overdrive

  • Warm, harmonically rich overdrive
  • Clean signal blend control
  • True bypass

Where to buy: MXR M89 Bass Overdrive $129.99 Amazon

Boss ODB-3 Bass OverdriveBoss ODB-3 Bass Overdrive

  • OverDrive pedal specifically designed for bass
  • Onboard two-band equalizer
  • Balance knob controls dry/overdriven sound
  • AC adaptor or 9V battery operation

Where to buy: Boss ODB-3 Bass Overdrive $109.00 Amazon

Playing With Effects and Without Effects Pedals for Bass

Comparing it with an electric guitar that needs effects to further their reach and more likely to play with effects pedals. The bass guitar can be played with or without effects pedal. It is a stand alone instrument that relies heavily on creativity to achieve a great bassline and the use of effects is to enhance the already great sounding bass lick.

So why use an effects on a bass? If you want better volume and tone control, clarity and definition on your bass sound, to add diversity of sound for your bass to explore different ways to play the bass. Using effects pedals can do that for you.

Other Benefits of Using Bass Effects Pedal

Effects pedals also fixes some issues and relieve the stresses on the way a bass player play. Like when hitting the string harder and plucking it forcefully to magnify the notes to make it sound louder especially for advance techniques like slap n’ pop, tapping and double thump.

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There are plenty of effects pedal out there that you can use and not only confined in this list. This is just one recipe where to start which makes it subjective. The scope is just the tip of the iceberg, I strongly suggest to study more about the pedals. You can do that by reading other reviews, comments, and suggestion as well as watching youtube videos to see demos of different pedals.

Another good source of information is facebook groups and bassist forums. For sure they will gladly help you. They can give a piece of advice, tips n’ tricks and what they think about playing with bass guitar pedals.