Let’s face it – bass players get shortchanged in the “effects pedal” arena. The ratio of bass to guitar pedals in any given music store is about 273:1, which is downright cruel. Enter the ‘Bass Bully’, the stompbox-creation of Alex Saraceno, father of guitarist Blues Saraceno and founder of Dirty Boy pedals.
The construction and engineering of the Bass Bully has interesting origins. Alex stumbled upon an old bass rig in and LA studio one day and fell in love with the design. The unit was stuffed into a metal box and featured both a boost and fuzz designed for direct recording. Alex bills it as a “global system”, meaning once your bass is turned up and plugged into the pedal, the unit itself becomes your master volume and tone control – not your bass.
Alex warns that the original, old-school transistors and design create a small scratching sound in the pots from time to time – but labeled it a s a non-issue since most players don’t change their settings mid-song. The little box contains a built-in EQ circuit that is of higher quality and sound fidelity than standard bass circuitry boards (remember, as a global system it basically overrides the knobs on your bass).
The unit comes in a light yellow box with five knobs – Boost, Fuzz, Tone, Volume, Setting – and an on/off switch and LED. The classic Dirty Boy logo appears, donning a bandanna cap on his head and tattoos on his arms.
The first knob/effect is the “Boost” option, which is said to add a “glow” to the sound of your bass. The second knob controls the “Fuzz” option – which boasts one of the first truly “bass friendly” fuzz tones out there. If you feel like going crazy (and I recommend it) you can tamper around with the third knob, which acts sort as a hybrid of the first two. Routing from boost to fuzz, this setting will give you a “totally over the top, Farty 60’s …sound”.
Blues Saraceno Demos the Bass Bully Pedal
Click here to see a complete breakdown of the Dirty Boy pedal lineup – including the 2-in-1 Tone Bully, Octo’ 59.