What’s the Best Bass Preamp Pedal?

The low-end weight of a bass guitar is an absolutely important part of a great instrumental track and this is true irrespective of the genre of the music that you are listening to. Especially when the Bass line is accentuating a spirited guitar riff, it is of utmost importance. While as a fan and as a guitar player it is easy to discredit the role of a bass line in a song, the effect a good bass line has at soundtrack simply cannot be ignored.

Hartke VXL

VX tone shaping pre-amp/direct box


Famous Hartke shape circuitry


3-band bass, treble and bright control


Harmonic control for tube drive emulation


Gold plated XLR direct output

 

Tech 21 BSDR SansAmp

100% analog


For stage and studio applications.


3 outputs to drive power amps, recording desks, PA mixers.


Active EQ controls specifically tuned for bass, cut or boost 12dB.


Blend control to combine the proportion of direct signal and SansAmp circuitry.

 
OUR PICK

MXR M80

Distortion channel with gain, volume, and blend controls


Color knob


3-band EQ and Phantom power

 

Ampeg SCRDI

Bass preamp pedal with EQ, tone controls, and Bass Scrambler Overdrive


Send your tone direct to a PA or recording system with the balanced XLR output


Send a split of your signal to monitors or your amp with the 1/4" outputs


Creates a wide range of iconic Ampeg bass tones


Perfect for practice, with 1/8" aux input to jam along with your music player

 

Ask any Metallica fan about the ‘And justice for all album’ and they will tell you that the almost nonexistent bass lines in all the songs were a huge letdown. From bass players like the legendary Paul McCartney to Steve Harris of Iron maiden to even Fieldy of Korn, bass players have always influenced the way a band sounds and this is proof of the fact that a bass player’s equipment along with that of a drummer’s beats are actually what set the foundation to the identity of a musical band as we know it.

Today we are going to take a look at a list of what we think are the best bass preamp pedals that you can get your hands on. Lets dig in!

Sadowsky Preamp/DI Pedal


Pro: Phenomenal quality. This is a gig ready pedal this is aimed at professionals. The chances of making a bad choice by selecting this is very low. Very sturdy and made of metal.
Con: The pedal is on the expensive side, there are cheaper options on the market. The Sadowsky’ sound is not for everyone. Duracell batteries do not fit in it for some reason,they are too thick!

A very well made preamp pedal for bass players, the Sadowsky pedal has two foot switches, a mute switch to cut out any sound, especially when you are tuning up your Bass guitar and the other is an on and off switch to Engage the “Sadowsky sound’, an interesting effect that is added to your overall tone. Led lights are integrated onto the pedal, two green ones to warn when the battery is low and the other for when the custom Sadowsky is on. The red one is to confirm the mute status of your channel.

MXR M80 Bass D.I


Pro: The best value for money, pedal. Loaded with awesome features. The distortion and effects add more color to your tone. Robust construction. Value for money at its best.
Con: Hardly any except for the fact that you may need to invest in the AC adapter for this pedal because it drains the battery very soon.

The MXR is such a versatile bass pedal that you simply may end up finding your Dream’ bass guitar tone. That’s right, we are talking about the elusive ‘perfect tone’ that you have been looking for, all these years. The pedal is loaded with features and has a pretty awesome built in distortion. So besides the standard equalization knobs, the pedal also has knobs for you to be able to dial in the distortion with much more control. Last but not the least, the MXR comes with a built in Noise gate. This right here is a fully loaded block buster of an item.

Tech 21 BSDR SansAmp Bass Driver DI


Pro: One the most versatile pedals out there. Tech 21 is known for their bullet proof construction. A must have for a professional bass player given its diverse qualities.
Con: Hard to find cons in a pedal as awesome as the Tech 21 BSDR SansAmp Bass Driver DI.

It is hard to find any bass player who simply does not love this bass pedal. It is a great DI box. The Tech 21 has a wide array of controls and is a professional device through and through. Extremely capable of driving vintage tube amplifiers really well, this is one such pedal that puts out a wide range of tones, some even from the yester years. This is a very versatile device that even puts life into old bass guitars with passive pick ups. The pedal has five knobs including the standard EQ controls and your imagination and your ears are the only limit to the Tech 21’s ability to put out some great tones.

MXR M81 Bass Preamp


Pro: Very simple to use and extremely effective. Works very well with guitars that have active or passive pickups. Signature metal body construction, MXR style.
Con: If only there was built in distortion circuitry, this one would have been our best bass preamp pedal!

Another great offering from the stable of MXR, the M81 is basically a lot of power, stuffed into a small package giving you massive tonal flexibility. The bass, mid and treble are the standard knobs on this one and the M81 also has separate knobs for the input and output signals along with the ability to control the mids. This is a very simple set up that is a shrewd way of being able to control tone.

Demeter BEQ-PB Bass EQ Preamp Pedal


Pro: This pre amp pedal comes from the prototype that was released in 1981. This is a time tested device that is also equipped with a footswitch for bypass.
Con: There are better priced alternatives on the market that do the same thing as this pedal. No built-in Distortion.

A brilliant compact bass preamp pedal that is very simple and concise, Demeter have done a wonderful job of taking the ‘no nonsense’ road. Designed to sound natural, the EQ controls do their job well on this beautifully calibrated pedal. Offering you a crisp tone, this pedal is designed it add a lot of character to your Bass guitar tone.

Hartke VXL Bass Attack Pre-Amp/Direct Box


Pro: The ability to dial in a mind-blowing number of tones, thanks to the Harmonics Knob. Tonal control is an absolute bliss on the Hartke pedal. Designed to suit multiple styles of bass players be it finger/slap or picked. Bright control to control the brightness of your tone. Brilliant value for money given the price.
Con: It won’t be long before you start to wish there was a toggle switch to help you jump between two tones that you took so long to dial in.

The Bass Attack is a wonderful bass preamp pedal that is somewhat of a middle ground between a Direct Box, a pre amp and a stomp box. It has the features of all these three devices and some more. Another great pedal designed to provide more tonal control than your amp and the tone knob on your bass guitar allows you. The pedal has a knob called the harmonic’ and this is for introducing gain and thickness to your tone which works very well. This control is the absolute highlight of this pedal and we love it. We are certain you are going to as well!

Eden World Tour Direct Box Preamp Pedal USM-WTDI-U Amplifier Accessory


Pro: Excellent sturdy construction. Phenomenal lows tones. Works great with Alternate Tuning situations. Good value for money.
Con: A custom distortion knob would have helped.

Say hello to a real rockstar! The pedal that won the Bass player magazine’s editor award. Along with the standard eq knobs, the Eden direct box has gain, enhancement, compressor and a master control. You are hardly going to stumble upon a muddy tone with the Eden plugged in. A true tone master and our pick for best bass preamp pedal on this list!

Ampeg SCR-DI Bass Multi-Effects Pedal


Pro: Top notch construction and a no compromise approach to tonal quality. Handles vintage and old school sounds very well. A comprehensive all in one tool kit for a bass player.
Con: The scrambler circuitry runs parallel with the EQ. This means that if you are a bass player who likes to put the overdrive/scrambler effects in front of your preamp then this is an absolute disaster for you. When the scrambler kicks in,it destroys the EQ settings you have dialed in because the signals run parallel and you hear them both coming from the speaker!

The Ampeg is a working class hero. It has most of, if not all the features of an absolute high-end preamp pedal and it comes at an extremely lucrative price. Ampeg SCR-DI is a high-quality bass pedal, evident from the generous use of metal, in its construction, both body, and switches. This baby delivers the vintage SVT tone day in a day out. Designed to give you tonal excellence, this pedal is almost like a Christmas gift for your bass guitar!

*Any prices mentioned in the article were at the time of publishing and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.