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The PSA-1 is a 1U rack device that uses analog modelling to simulate the sounds of classic amps. Effectively you can set separate distortion levels for low, mid, and high frequencies. It comes loaded with 49 presets covering various Marshall, Fender and Boogie amps as well as bass amps. The signal path is 100% analog, but you can save settings to one of 49 user memory locations. The programs can be accessed form Up/Down buttons on the front panel, or by MIDI program change.
The Tech 21 'character' pedals use the same sort of technology but with some of the parameters pre-set to suit the kind of amp they are mimicking. Here you have the full range of tweakability.
The PSA-1 can be considered a pre-amp or an amp simulator, but it doesn't have any onboard speaker simulation as such. It can be used into a clean guitar or bass amp, or into a power amp with a suitable guitar or bass cab. For direct recording most of the (dirtier) sounds also require a cab simulator device, IR loader or similar. Even so, I recorded the clean guitar in this clip without a cab sim.
To me, the standout guitar presets are 07 (Hendrix - Marshall), 12 (Stevie Ray - Fender) and 48 (AC30 Queen). There are also a number of bass presets including SVT and Bassman. As is usually the case with presets, you probably won't like them all, so copy one you like to an empty memory slot and tweak away.
There are plenty of connectivity options including front and rear inputs, FX loop, balanced outs, and MIDI in/out.
The unit is in full working order. The only negatives I can find are:
(1) The Up/Down buttons sometimes jump more than one increment at a time (but it's easy enough to go back to where you want to be);
(2) Some of the lettering has worn away on the rear panel;
(3) The mains lead is quite short, but it is terminated with an IEC inlet, so just plug in a kettle lead of suitable length.
I don't have a hard copy manual but you can download it here.
Reason for sale: I have used this much less since getting a Revival Drive!
Price includes insured UK mainland delivery. Not really looking for trades.
Here's a dude showing off some of the guitar presets:
By Baloney Balderdash
Have been wanting one of these for a long while, and I can't really excuse not doing something about it by not being able to afford it, cause it is dirt cheap, about as cheap as guitar pedal effects come.
Finally though I pulled the tricker, and I just picked my new Behringer SF300 Super Fuzz pedal up from the shop where it was delivered to by the postal service for pick up a couple of days ago.
Man, this pedal is amazing.
Might even be the #1 greatest deal there is on effect pedals for bass guitar.
It just sounds absolutely astonishing great.
And the one I got seemingly have no issues whatsoever, well, beside from the obviously fact of it being in a plastic housing as all these dirt cheap Behringer pedals happens to be.
Doesn't bother me the slightest though.
This got to be one the absolute greatest fuzz pedals for use with bass in existence, regardless of price, no short of sublime.
For those of you who do not know this cheap Behringer fuzz is a pretty accurate clone of the now discontinued Boss FZ-2, which again was a take on the circuit from the legendary Univox Super Fuzz octave fuzz (Boss basically just added a 2 band active EQ section, and then threw in a bonus clean boost function mode).
Here's a picture of my exact unit, and the settings I so far have settled for (possibly hard to see on this picture, but I am using Fuzz Mode 1. Fuzz Mode 1 being quite mids heavy, but me partially making up for that by boosting both the bass and treble, and Fuzz Mode 2 being heavily mids scooped, exactly as the 2 modes on the original Univox units. Also the reason why the picture looks a bit gritty is because I didn't bother taking a separate close up shot of the pedal, but just cropped it out from a shoot of my entire bass effect pedals setup):
I use it in one of the parallel effect loops of my Boss LS-2, and it sounds awesome both when mixed with the clean signal, coming from the other parallel effects loop of the LS-2, for a more regular classic kind of high gain fuzz tone with the added articulation and low end from the clean signal, as well as with my high gain distortion setup, which happens to also reside in the opposite effects loop of the LS-2, engaged, consisting of a a vintage style relatively high gain Rat distortion stacked into the fairly dark sounding medium kind of gain overdrive, delivered by my Joyo California Sound, parallelly mixed together with the fuzz in about equal measures resulting in a massively thick, monstrously heavy and ballsy, but at the same time gnarly, blistering, crackling and spluttering, super high gain, earth, or at least ear, shattering, fuzz eruption of vulcanic proportions.
Seriously spanks butts!
Instant stoner/doom rock in a plastic box!
Here's a great demonstration from YouTube by someone else of the SF300 Super Fuzz pedal's capabilities as a bass fuzz :
By Baloney Balderdash
Have you managed to get at least close to what you believe might be the ultimate high gain bass distortion setup, and would like to share how you approached it, or do you just want to share your general thoughts about this topic, then this thread would be a chance to do so.
I for one think I may have found the ultimate high gain distortion tone for me, at least for the musical project I am currently working on .
I know that these days it seems popular to split you bass signal up in a lower clean register and a parallel upper frequency register distorted signal and then mix the 2 signals together, or even use a separate wet and dry rig to do so, but personally I don't really subscribe to that recipe.
As an example of a professional bass player who doesn't use this approach either I know Lou Barlow from Dinosaur Jr. doesn't either.
As far as goes for his heavy overdriven tone, which in my opinion sounds awesome, at least live he overdrive both his lows and highs and then leave his mids clean, though he doesn't exactly isolate the specific frequencies either, starting by splitting his bass signal up in 3 separate parallel paths, one path going to an overdriven Xotic Bass BB Preamp boosting a Ampeg SVT, for kind of his lower register overdrive tone, then a second path going to an old solid state mids heavy Peavey bass amp, which he runs clean for his sort of mid frequency tone, and finally a third parallel path runs his bass signal through an overdriven Marshall JCM 800, for a more upper frequency emphasized overdrive tone .
All 3 signals just kind of mixed and overlapping a lot frequency wise, without any kind of fancy crossover or further EQ filtering going on, just as they come out of the separate cabinets of the 3 amps, and the result os an absolutely crushing, yet quite well defined, fairly heavy overdriven main bass tone.
Anyway back to the topic of my personal take on heavy bass distortion, as said, I think I finally managed to nail the perfect tone for me.
Mind though that this is specifically for a sort of progressive psychedelic stoner rock project of mine that I am currently working on some songs for, and since the plan is for my bass to be the main instrument of this project, with the additional primary instrumentation predominantly consisting of just drums/percussion and vocals, though with some more sparingly added extra instrumentation that exclusively is going to serve a secondary, more flavor oriented, function, also the bass lines for this project typically won't primarily have a supporting function as otherwise is the most common traditional role of bass, but will serve a much more structural dominant and explicit melodic role, and doesn't necessarily strictly has to fill out the traditional sonic spectrum of a bass either, for one it is tuned 2 half steps above regular 4 string, E standard tuning, as in F# standard tuning, F#1 to A2, like the 4 lowest strings of an 8 string guitar, and is further more run through an always on polyphonic octaver, adding a 1 octave up effect in addition to the regular bass signal, giving an effect similar to that of an 8 string "octave" bass, with pairs of respectively bass and octave strings.
This of course does give me some more freedom of choice regarding my high gain distortion tone, compared to if I needed to still primarily fill out the more common traditional role of a bass.
What I managed to achieve is a massively heavy and absolutely thunderous crushing distortion tone with a quite raunchy fuzz-esque quality, but at the same time having a grinding somewhat clanky overdriven edge that actually prevents it from getting too muddy, despite a lot of low end heavy distortion going on, and which contributes to the distortion still having a great deal of well articulated definition.
The first attributes to a Moksy Black Rat, Rat clone, in Vintage mode (classic Rat type distortion), with the gain turned about half way up (which would actually equal to a fairly high gain distortion tone), and the high end slightly rolled off, though still enough to give it some of that typical raunchy fuzz-esque grid of a classic Rat type distortion, stacked in front of a Joyo California Sound, which is a Tech 21 California preamp pedal clone, meant to emulate a Mesa Boogie type amp/drive, and which is fairly dark voiced, set to a medium gain but quite hefty kind of overdrive, both placed in parallel effects Loop A of my Boss LS-2 (parallel effect loops mixer/switch pedal), and the latter attributes to a Joyo Orange Juice, which is essentially a seriously sized down and scraped clone version of the Tech 21 Oxford preamp pedal, meant to emulate an Orange type amp/drive, set to a somewhat clanky and quite grinding kind of medium overdrive, placed in parallel effects Loop B of the LS-2.
Loop A and Loop B is then mixed together at an about a 50/50 ratio, and actually kind of fusing relatively smoothly/seamlessly together, without ending up sounding like 2 distinctly different signals sitting on top of each other (which is kind of my biggest issue with how the popular clean bottom/distorted top approach often end up sounding), but as said, with the grinding, relatively bright sounding, medium gain overdrive from the Orange Juice preventing the quite bottom heavy, raunchy and fuzzy, high gain distortion from turning into a muddy blurry mess, but in fact actually ends up making it sound surprisingly well defined and articulate.
I realize this is a lot of relatively abstract explaining, filled with more or less vague adjectives that people will have no possible chance to get any kind of verification of, but I hope it might still be of at least some interest and inspiration to some people, and I will try to pull myself together to actually record some audio samples of my miked up rig, demonstrating how this actually sounds in reality in the nearest future, and update this post with some links to the uploaded examples of my high gain distortion tone.
In the meantime I hope others will contribute to this thread with their thoughts about and personal approach to high gain bass distortion, and even though I initially failed to provide any actual audio examples to back up my words, I hope others might be more capable of maybe delivering some audio clips or videos to back up their thoughts and claims on this topic.