Best Bass Guitar Pedals – 2019 Ultimate Review

You may have seen or heard about guitar pedals, but maybe not thought about adding one to your bass. The selection of these pedals is very much the same as you would with a guitar. You need to look at what you want to do to craft your sound and choose accordingly. 

That said, there is a bit of a difference in the why behind the use of a bass guitar pedal. With a guitar, you almost need pedals in some respect; to create a good sound with a bass, you can go au naturel and still rock the house. If, however you want to up your bass game, then the inclusion of a few bass guitar pedals may be just what the doctor ordered.

But which ones do you need? There are a lot of options to choose from, and if you are not familiar with pedals, it may seem very overwhelming. That is why in this guide we are going to riff on a few of the most important things you need to know about this subject, as well as give an in-depth list of some of the best bass guitar pedals of 2019. 

Comparison of the Best Bass Guitar Pedals

Product

Rating

Price

MG-100 Professional Multi-Effects Pedal Processor

MG-100 Professional Multi-Effects Pedal Processor Musical Instrument Parts 40s Record 55 Effect Mode 10 Sound Di Box Electric Guitar and Bass Loop Amplifier Tube Pedal

Best Overall

Zoom B1Xon Bass Effects Pedal with Expression Pedal

Zoom B1Xon Bass Effects Pedal with Expression Pedal

Runner-up

BOSS DS-1 Distortion Pedal

BOSS DS-1 Distortion Pedal

Best for the Money

Digitech Dirty Robot Stereo Mini-Synth Pedal

Digitech Dirty Robot Stereo Mini-Synth Pedal w/ 2 Patch Cables

Best Bass Guitar Synth Pedal

BOSS Audio RC-3 Loop Station Pedal

BOSS RC-3 Loop Station Pedal

Best Bass Guitar Loop Pedal

Electro-Harmonix Nano POG Polyphonic Octave Generator Pedal

Electro-Harmonix Nano POG Polyphonic Octave Generator pedal

Best Bass Guitar Octave Pedal

What Does a Bass Pedal Do?

That small little box that you see all the guitarists stepping on to get those impressive sound effects is available for bass guitars as well. These stompboxes, as some call them, are used to electrically affect the sound waves produced by your bass as they pass through the system while you play your instrument. These pedals can be used solo or put together to form a pedalboard. 

With a bass guitar pedal, you will be using these features to improve the quality of your volume, shape your overall tone, and create unique effects. The use of this piece of musical equipment can bring a new fun flavor to your overall bass sound and help you craft a unique sound all your own.

How to Choose a Bass Guitar Pedal?

Choosing anything, whether it is the shirt you are going to wear or the pedal you are going to use, comes with a certain level of uncertainty. After all, what if you choose the wrong one? It could end up ruining your day and, in the case of a bass guitar pedal, your music. 

So, knowing what features to look at when making your selection is a vital part of the whole process. Below we have detailed a few features that we think you should use as your measuring stick while looking at the options you have for bass guitar pedals.

Effects

First and foremost, you need to know what sound you are going for. Many pedal types have different effects, and each will mold your music in their own unique ways. If you need more information on the different varieties available on the market, make sure to check out the section at the end of this article on what sort of pedal you need.

Price

Your budget, unfortunately, always plays a pivotal role. Making sure you know how much you want to spend will help you narrow the field down a bit, making it easier to find just the right pedal for you and your music needs.

Brand

Along with the price, you may want to think about what brand you want to go with. There are a lot of great brands, and the ones that are the most known typically come with a higher price tag. Maybe you simply want to find the brand that your favorite bassist uses; that could be a great way to begin developing your sound as well. We all have idols, why not emulate yours?

Review of the Best Bass Guitar Pedals

So, now that you have an idea of what you are looking at, why don’t we get started? Below is a list of some of the best bass guitar pedals available, and we have curated an in-depth review of each.

MG-100 Professional Multi-Effects Pedal Processor Musical Instrument Parts 40s Record 55 Effect Mode 10 Sound Di Box Electric Guitar and Bass Loop Amplifier Tube Pedal

PROS

  • Easy to use and set up screen
  • Price versus value is quite a bargain
  • Clearly labeled layout for better visibility
  • Versatility of sound crafting available
  • Lightweight and durable design for better portability

CONS

  • Jacks and plugs don’t feel snug
  • No USB available for updated software or patches

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers love the number of options that this pedal brings to their music. It is easy to use and set-up. Though many have a problem with the lack of firmware capability, the overall quality of this device is great.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The versatility of the effects and customization available when using this solidly earn it our best overall selection. Even the most experimental bass player will have a field day utilizing this pedal.

Who Will Use This Most

This is great for those bassists that are looking to be able to use the same pedal for multiple music stylings. It may also be a great choice for the studio performer that needs a compact and versatile option.

Bottom Line

When you are looking for the best overall bass pedal, you need to look for one that is fitted with a variety of options. This will give you a wide range of sound crafting effects that will elevate your music to an all-new level. Therefore, we chose the MG-100, as it offers such a diverse array of options that you will never get tired of customizing your sound.

Zoom B1Xon Bass Effects Pedal with Expression Pedal

PROS

  • Easy to use
  • Variety of DSP effects
  • Price versus value is quite good
  • Ability to use multiple effects at the same time
  • Memory available to save 100 different settings

CONS

  • Quality of the presets are sub-par
  • Issue with the pedal generating buzz

What Recent Buyers Report

The ability to use multiple effects at the same time is something that many recent buyers of this product rave about. Several have commented that for everything you get, the price tag is incredibly reasonable. Though there are a few issues here, such as sub-par presets and a slight buzz, overall the bassists and guitarists that have purchased this pedal seem to love it.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The level of customization available with this device is outstanding; that is why it made on our list. That, coupled with its wide versatility of effects, gives it a leg up on the rest of its competition.

Who Will Use This Most

This is an excellent choice for any bassist really, but especially the one who wants to have the ability to save presets. It would be perfect for the road musician who plays multiple sets and wants a quick change between effects that will allow them time to build their stage presence without having to stand by their pedal all show long.

Bottom Line

If you want a pedal that gives you more than what you paid for, then this runner-up is a great choice. Fitted with a ton of great features, the Zoom B1Xon will have you set for any show or gig.

Best for the Money:
BOSS DS-1 Distortion Pedal

BOSS DS-1 Distortion Pedal

PROS

  • Installation and use are extremely easy
  • Musician can perfect EQ with one knob
  • Overall design is easy to use and control
  • Features designed to craft a high-quality sound
  • Small footprint makes it great for limited space venues

CONS

  • Issues with durability
  • Lack of sound options

What Recent Buyers Report

Working with a limited budget? Need a high-quality, reliable pedal? If you believe in what recent buyers are saying, the BOSS DS-1 would be a perfect choice for you. There are a couple of customers who have experienced a bit of hum, but most customers love this device.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We noticed it for almost the same reason that most buyers do: that price tag. Getting your gear set for the perfect sound could be expensive, but you can rest assured that this pedal will not break the bank and you will still get the fantastic sound that has come to be associated with the BOSS brand.

Who Will Use This Most

The musician that will get the most from this awesome, budget-friendly pedal is the bassist on the road. It offers excellent performance in live settings, and with that lower price point, you will be able to save some of that money so you can afford to fill up your gas tank. It is also a great choice for beginning bassists looking for a pedal that is easy to use and doesn’t offer so many options that they get lost in trying to figure them out.

Bottom Line

Value versus performance is what is key to this choice on our list. With the level of quality you get, it is no wonder it was a natural choice to make the BOSS DS-1 our best overall budget bass guitar pedal.

Digitech Dirty Robot Stereo Mini-Synth Pedal w/ 2 Patch Cables

PROS

  • Easy to see LED indicator
  • Highly customizable sound
  • Durable and compact design
  • Comes with cable, picks, and connection cord
  • Ability to use two different synth modes at the same time

CONS

  • Not compatible with all types of music
  • Issues with the natural quality of effects

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers love the dual synth mode and the build of this pedal. It is durable and compact, which means it takes up a smaller space and thereby gives more room to add additional pedals. It does have a bit of weakness when it comes to specific effects and the level of the organic quality of the sound, but it is a great choice for any synth bassist. At least that is what recent people who have bought it are saying.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This pedal is an excellent addition to any bassist pedalboard, but especially those looking for a little more digital sound.

Who Will Use This Most

This is an ideal choice for those bassists that live in the synth-rock or pop/hip-hop world. The level of synth capability will help them craft a unique sound.

Bottom Line

If you are looking to add a little 80s-style synth or just a different aspect to your sound that adds a little digital touch, then investing in the Dirty Robot would be a superb choice.

Best Bass Guitar Loop Pedal:
BOSS Audio RC-3 Loop Station Pedal

BOSS RC-3 Loop Station Pedal

PROS

  • Ability to record up to 3 hours
  • Design has multiple jacks/plugs
  • Ability to plug into the computer via USB cable
  • Multiple memory slots for better customization
  • Lightweight, compact body for a smaller blueprint

CONS

  • Only records in 16 bits
  • Limited amount of drum patterns programmed in

What Recent Buyers Report

Other than the limited drum patterns and the fact it only records in 16-bits, this pedal seems to have captured the hearts and imaginations of many of its recent buyers. Fitted with great recording time and a wide selection of memory slots, the BOSS RC-3 is a pedal that many would suggest.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The looping capability of this pedal, through the inclusion of its plethora of great features, is what stands out most to us. The long hours of recording space and the multiple tracks available for storage, mixed with the tracking capability of the RC-3, make this a great option for any bassist looking to add a whole different note to their sound.

Who Will Use This Most

This is a fabulous option for the solo bassist looking to lay down tracks to upload online. The capability of multiple layers of recording as well as the drum patterns gives that solo bassist a wide range of options for their music.

Bottom Line

BOSS has done it again. This looper pedal has everything you want and is built to last like all BOSS pedals are. There is no end to the possibilities with this bass guitar pedal.

Electro-Harmonix Nano POG Polyphonic Octave Generator pedal

PROS

  • Versatility of options
  • Easy to use Octave effects
  • Nice quality polyphonic tracking
  • Decreased latency when using pedal
  • Tonal quality is clean and well sustained

CONS

  • Unnatural octave-up tones
  • Issues with overall fidelity of tonal generation

What Recent Buyers Report

The easy to use and simple layout of the three-knob octave control is what most of the recent buyers are talking about. Some that feel that the up tones seem a little synthetic sounding. But all in all, this pedal does the job, and the majority of recent buyers love it.

Why it Stands Out to Us
The unlimited control given by the three-knob design of this is just one of the many things that stand out for us. When you look at the level of control as well as the attention to detail, such as the separate output jacks, you can tell this pedal was designed for ultimate sound crafting capability.

Who Will Use This Most

This pedal is great for any bassist looking for that vintage 60s sound. The level of low-end filtration allows for a rich, full sound and gives you that indie rock vibe with as much control as you want.

Bottom Line

Taking this Electro Harmonix pedal for a spin will be quite the rush. The high-quality sound produced and the intense control you must craft will have you sounding like Hendrix’s bass playing cousin in no time.

What Pedal Do I Need for Bass?

In the end, this question has to do with what you want the pedal for. So, to help you out a little, we are going to look at your options.

Here are some of the different types of pedals that you may want to add to your musical set-up:

Boost

Looking to do some killer bass solos? Then this may be the pedal you need. Boost pedals take the signals produced by your bass and amplify them on their way to your amp. This is the pedal that will give you a clean, crisp, and rich sound.

Chorus

When the two musical qualities pitch and timbre get together, you get an effect that sounds like a chorus. This is the layering together of two sounds to make a more rounded and rich sound. This pedal can be used to do the same thing with your bass by shining a spotlight on individual parts of your bass’ tonal range.

Compression

Compression pedals are used to boost the sound that is too low and crush the sound that is too high for just the right optimal level of amplified sound. 

Delay

These pedals capture the input signal and then delay it while still playing the new sounds too.

Distortion

This pedal takes the bass signal and plays with increasing gain and clipping as well. The end results bring a harmonic and sustained overtone sound.

Reverb

If you want a full sound like that of a choir in a cathedral, then a reverb pedal is the way to go. It takes the sounds provided and offers a reflective quality to the guitar’s amplified sounds.

Volume

The name says it all. These bass pedals give the bassist a heightened control over the volume of the bass

Wah

Wah pedals give an almost human-like sound to the result. This is created by taking the response at the peak and raising and lowering them while filtering the frequency.

What is a Bass Preamp Pedal?

This pedal is where the tone crafting begins. It allows you to control the tone before its amplification process gets started. With these pedals, you can begin to mold your sound while getting a clean, crisp sound.

What Does a Bass Octave Pedal Do?

Inspired by the Octavia effect created by the legendary Jimi Hendrix, the bass octave pedal is great for a lot of different types of music styles. Octave pedals will help take that low-end bass tone and filter into the pedal resulting in a pipe-like noise.

What Does a Bass Overdrive Pedal Do?

These pedals benefits the most from being used with a tube amp. Thy used to give a boost to the gain and play with the distortion just a little. Though like a distortion pedal, the overdrive version doesn’t clip any waveform; rather, it helps increase the warmth of your sound when played gently. They can also be combined with other pedals for some awesome effects.

Conclusion

Overall, finding the right bass guitar pedal for you boils down to what you intend to do with it and the music sound you are going for. Mixing and matching can herald a lot of unique sounds and can help elevate your abilities to new levels too. Understanding what each one does and what to look for when finding the right pedal for you, is hopefully a little easier now with this complete review of some of the best bass guitar pedals of 2019.

People Also Ask

Don’t leave just yet! We know that sometimes when reading these articles, you have questions that pop up. It happens to us all, so we thought we would put together a couple of the most commonly asked questions and answer them for you so that you don’t have to keep scrolling through google search results for the entire day.

Here are some FAQs about bass guitar pedals:

Can a Bass Use Guitar Pedals?

Many pedals can be used for both bass and guitar. So yes, it is possible. The only difference to pay attention to is the low-end factor. Regular guitar pedals will play with high mid-tones, whereas when used with a bass typically people play in the lower tonal range. That said, with the right pedal you can craft some sweet lows.

Can You Use Guitar Pedals for Vocals?

You can use guitar pedals for vocals, and they create some wicked effects too. The only thing you need to consider when doing this is if the type of mic you use will be able to be used with it. You may also want to pay attention to the voltage and reach as well. If the source isn’t strong enough, it may be a bad idea to try to use the pedal.

What are the Best Guitar Pedal Brands?

There are a lot of great brands out there that you can shop from. But here are our top 6 choices:

  • Zoom
  • Digitech
  • BOSS
  • Electro-Harmonix
  • MXR
  • Dunlop