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Clarky

Pedal for 60s warm tubey Motown sound

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Hi, per my title I am after a warm tubey fliptop 60s sound. My amps (Acoustic Image and EA) are clean and great for upright bass but need a bit of warming up sonically when playing electric. From a TalkBass thread I alighted on a Darkglass Vintage Microtubes - but either its my ineptitude with settings or its simply not right for me as it seems to do a great range of overdriven sounds but not the basic warm tubey sound I seek.

Have I picked the wrong pedal and if so which one would you recommend? Or am I just not tweaking the settings correctly?

Thanks in advance

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4 minutes ago, Jazzmaster62 said:

Mojomojo sounds like it would be perfect...

Crikey, they are cheap. Just watched a couple of YT demos but they just focus on gnarly overdrive sounds, frustratingly

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I used to use my DIY clone of a Caitlinbread SFT for that kinda thing... 

 

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Thanks, I am using a Mustang with TI flats for the project I am looking at (I also have ACG and Cliff Bordwell active basses with rounds)

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Clarky, I get that kind of sound with my TH500 amp, but I saw someone getting that rich warm sound using an EBS Valvedrive pedal into a Markbass amp and Super Compact cab.

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Thank you all for the suggestions. I will get watching some YT clips of each. Interestingly noone so far has advised sticking with the Darkglass

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Posted (edited)

@fretmeister and I both have VMT on our DG M900s and @Kev is a pretty BIG DG pedal fan. However, I tend to use my VMT more for out and out drive rather than for a valvey tone, but the other two may have more insight on whether it can be used for what you're after. My view, for what it's worth, is that DG fx, even the VMT despite its 'vintage' moniker, have a trademark modern bright / treble sound, whereas 60s / Motown is much more high-end-rolled-off.

This thread might also be useful...

Final thought, is this the kinda sound you're looking for?

 

Edited by Al Krow
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Posted (edited)

I have three of the pedals that have been mentioned to hand, so here are some very quick-n-dirty Motown impressions:

TC Electronic Spark: https://picosong.com/wKSre/

Catalinbread SFT: https://picosong.com/wKSdM/

TC Electronic Mojomojo: https://picosong.com/wKSdi/

Not a comparison as such - I reckon you could dial them in to sound pretty much the same. More like an illustration that they can probably all do the job. It's the Precision, flatwounds, and rolling off most of the tone that gets you 80% of the way there.

edit: Wait, no-one mentioned the Spark? Try the Spark! 😄

Edited by MartinB
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As well as playing with the settings on the pedal use it in conjunction with rolling the tone knob off and see if you can get to where you want for that sound.

Its really difficult when so and so say must use this and that pedal and try to describe in words what it does, as we all hear things differently.

You can just about get there with that pedal in all likelihood, but it depends on your context of play, some of the slightly harsher top end may be of benefit to allow you to cut through a mix whilst still getting close to the sound you want.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks chaps and thanks MartinB for going to the trouble of recording the clips. SFT sounds most like what I am after from the clips (more low end) but the TC and Orange Burst sure are cheap!

Another consideration is I don't have a DI pedal so the VT Bass DI or ValveDrive DI might be a useful kill 'two birds with one stone' option (although the ValveDrive looks a bit too big for my pedalboard)

Edited by Clarky

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Another vote for the TC Electronics MojoMojo, despite most of the YouTube videos focusing on running at higher gain settings it does a great, smooth, creamy low gain tone that will give you that Motown/valve amp just breaking up vibe. It doesn't get too gnarly or fizzy like some bass overdrive pedals. It has a 2 band EQ and isn't inherently voiced to have all the useful and useable mids scooped out like some of the offerings from DarkGlass and Tech 21. It easily holds its own against pedals costing many times as much. 

The full sized TC Spark Booster is also worth a look, despite the name it does also have some low gain drive built in although it doesn't go as far as full on overdrive, but you're not looking for that anyway! Put the voice switch into the mid bump position, dial in bass and treble to taste and job done. 

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Before spending lots of cash , try a BDI 21 for DI and "warming up" your sound. VT Bass DI is a great solution. 

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Talking of cheap DI’s and indestructible boxes - the old Hartke VXL will get you pretty much there as well

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I think the B3K at low drive does that far better than the VMT.

 

I use the B3K circuit all the time in my big band - low gain, low blend, tone at about 10 o' clock. Gives just enough bite to cut through without sounding bright.

 

Pedal wise - if you can find an old Zoom Power Drive PD-01 then you can get a lovely round tone on that. Gain to taste and treble down.

 

In fact there is one on ebay at the moment: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/zoom-power-drive-pd-01-rare-overdrive-pedal/192981858593?epid=1323321713&hash=item2cee9d7921:g:RQoAAOSwc2NdJFeh

 

 

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Al Krow said:

@fretmeister and I both have VMT on our DG M900s and @Kev is a pretty BIG DG pedal fan. However, I tend to use my VMT more for out and out drive rather than for a valvey tone, but the other two may have more insight on whether it can be used for what you're after. My view, for what it's worth, is that DG fx, even the VMT despite its 'vintage' moniker, have a trademark modern bright / treble sound, whereas 60s / Motown is much more high-end-rolled-off.

This thread might also be useful...

Final thought, is this the kinda sound you're looking for?

 

PS, this Grizzly Bass clip sounds great but the price is a little hefty versus the other suggestions here

Edited by Clarky

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Clarky said:

PS, this Grizzly Bass clip sounds great but the price is a little hefty versus the other suggestions here

Totally agree. 

It's a classier and more capable pedal, with two interacting drives, than some of the others e.g. the very capable Mojomojo (which I have also previously had on my board) but, as you say, it's a LOT more spendy! 

Low end is all too often lost with a lot of drive pedals and clean blend becomes essential if you're not going to end up sounding toppy. But obviously leaves your low end not benefiting from the drive.  What is great about the Grizzly, and Mojomojo too, is that they both retain bottom end very well. In the case of the Grizzly it does this better than any drive pedal I've come across which allows it to dispense entirely with the need for a clean blend!

Edited by Al Krow
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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Clarky said:

Thanks chaps and thanks MartinB for going to the trouble of recording the clips. SFT sounds most like what I am after from the clips (more low end) but the TC and Orange Burst sure are cheap!

No problem. It actually relieved a bit of GAS, by reminding me what I've already got! 😄
I had the bass knob at about 5:00 (edit - I mean 2:00 🤦‍♂️) on both TC pedals, so they are capable of a bit more low end. The SFT does have something nice going on in the low mids as well though.

One thing I will say about the SFT is that it's very touch-sensitive - you only have to play a tiny bit harder to go from "slight breakup" to "fart noises". For me, this makes it hard to use without a compressor in front.

Edited by MartinB
Mis-read my settings
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11 minutes ago, MartinB said:

No problem. It actually relieved a bit of GAS, by reminding me what I've already got! 😄
I had the bass knob at about 5:00 on both TC pedals, so they are capable of a bit more low end. The SFT does have something nice going on in the low mids as well though.

One thing I will say about the SFT is that it's very touch-sensitive - you only have to play a tiny bit harder to go from "slight breakup" to "fart noises". For me, this makes it hard to use without a compressor in front.

Hmm, your last point is a good one. Still pondering!

So far - SFT apart - the Grizzly Bass sounds most like what I have in my head but a DI would be useful if it were an option to combine the two. Think I need to check out soundclips of the VT Bass DI - the EBS ValveDrive would be perfect if half the size!!!

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@Clarky The TC MojoMojo has loads of low end available, there's certainly no loss of the bass frequencies with it. It doesn't need a clean blend, they only really come in to their own when you're into the realms of distortion. For a subtle Motown-esque drive you're unlikely to need it. 

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Posted (edited)

I've not had one myself, but the TCE Spark Booster is getting a lot of love on this thread with three BC'ers placing orders for one to take advantage of the sale price at GuitarGuitar - just £39 (normally £59):

A couple of comments to pull out from that thread, which suggests that it could also hit the mark (provide the spark? 😁) for what you're after:

On 10/07/2019 at 18:28, Jazzmaster62 said:

Spark Booster sounds like what you're after. Less dark than the Mojo, less coloured and less gain. It's my always on pedal for edge of valve break up. 

On 10/07/2019 at 20:32, dannybuoy said:

Make sure you get the full size one, the mini one is a clean boost only! I just ordered one from Guitar Guitar too, since they're on sale.

Edited by Al Krow
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As an aside, I found a clip of the Tube Pilot. Not helped by the fact the guy's set up is already pretty warm and old school before he even engages the pedal. Seems to break up at pretty low levels (9 o'clock)

 

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