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What are the best multi-fx pedals for bass players?
We’ve rounded up 7 of the best bass multi-fx pedals to suit all styles.
Although there are many similarities between bass multi-fx pedals and guitar multi-fx pedals, you’re generally going to be more comfortable with a pedal that is specifically designed for bass.
Why? Because a standard guitar multi-fx pedal is not necessarily designed for the bass guitar as an instrument. Plus when it comes to amp and cabinet simulations, chances are you won’t find any bass amps being modeled.
On the other hand, bass multi-fx pedals are designed with bass in mind, paying attention to the nuances that only a bass player understands!
Nowadays you can encounter a great variety of options for bass multi-effects pedals, and in this article, we’re going to help you decide which one is best for you.
What are the 7 Best Bass Multi-Effects Pedals?
The BOSS GT-1B is our pick for the overall best bass multi-fx pedal. It offers versatility, ease of use, many choices of effects and cabinet models, and most importantly, it sounds great! It is a solid choice whether you want to use traditional bass effects or get experimental and create your own sounds.
For those on a budget, the Vox StompLab 2B offers fantastic value that features all you need in a compact form factor. And for those discerning bass players that need the best for their gigs and studio work, our premium choice is the Tech 21 Bass Fly Rig.
Here is our list of the 7 best bass multi-effects pedals.
It features BOSS‘s advanced sound engine and a plethora of amplifier and effects models. Additionally, you can go to BOSS Tone Central and download new patches for free. The GT-1 is a fantastic choice for those looking for an all-in-one effects pedal at an affordable price and is our top pick for this list.
BOSS’s flagship sound engine, fine-tuned for bass guitar
99 presets, with more available for free from BOSS Tone Central
Fast and simple effect crafting with Easy Select and Easy Edit
Portable operation with 4 AA batteries (optional power supply not included)
Some of these effects include limiting, distortion, EQ, and Wah, all the way to more elaborate effects like Harmonist, Bass Synth, and Defretter. Additionally, the GT-1B also features modulations, delays, reverbs, and a built-in looper.
This bass multi-effects pedal is loaded with features, patches, and effects. However, you can have access to even more patch collections from BOSS Tone Central.
These patches were created by professional bassists and come ready to use. These patches are also great starting points for bassists who want to craft their custom sounds. The free Tone Studio editor/librarian software gives you integrated access to all of BOSS Tone Central’s patch collections.
2. Vox StompLab 2B (Best Value)
The Vox StompLab 2B is a compact bass multi-effects pedal that packs a punch for those on a budget. It uses the same sound engine as the one features on the VT+ amps and ToneLabe multi-effects unit by Vox, with over 100 presets for you to choose from.
This effects pedal is also easy to navigate and is our budget choice for those that want power at a reduced form factor and price.
100 preset patches covering all styles
Rugged metal construction
61 tweakable effects to create your sounds
Built-in tuner, headphone amp
4 AA batteries or power supply (sold separately)
The interface on the Vox StompLab was designed with ease of use in mind, making it appealing for musicians of all levels.
This bass multi-effects pedal features sounds that are divided into categories such as rock, blues, metal, and jazz, making it easier to find settings that suit your style of playing.
The Vox StompLab 2B features 10 categories for musical style, each with 10 different presets based on the chosen genre. This unit also includes a built-in expression pedal for real-time control over volume and effects parameters. Vox prioritized ease of use for this bass multi-effects processor, and it shows.
And if you also need variety, then this unit delivers. This pedalboard features 61 different effects and 10 amp models for you to find one that suits your identity.
You can either edit existing sounds or start from scratch by sculpting your tone by stacking up to eight effects in each preset. The Vox StompLab features a great variety of great-sounding amps, pedals, and effects to create your signature sound.
3. Tech 21 Bass Fly Rig (Best Premium)
The Tech 21 Bass Fly Rig features warm analog sounds and the versatility and form factor of a digital multi-effects bass pedal.
It’s easy to use and set up, and intuitive enough to do it without the manual. This multi-effects bass pedalboard offers superior sound and features and is our premium choice for the most discerning bassists.
The Tech 21 Bass Fly-Rig features a unique Character control that sweeps through the most storied vintage and modern tones. Three-band active EQ provides professional grade tweakability for any situation or gig.
It features an active 3-band shelving EQ, with Low, Mid, and High control knobs. The Drive knob regulates the overall amount of gain and overdrive, while Level sets the output volume of the unit.
Character heightens the high-end content as you turn it clockwise, as well as influencing the drive and attack characteristics.
The signal path on the Tech 21 Bass Fly Rig runs from the input into the compressor, octave/filter/fuzz, clean boost, SansAmp, and ends at the chorus. The compression section offers a Comp knob that is used to set the parameters.
The Bass Fly Rig is very easy to set up, with dedicated footswitches for each section allowing you to activate any section with a simple tap.
The SansAmp section features a vast range of sounds from warm, vintage, slightly overdriven amps up to heavily distorted tones and much more. Overall, the Tech 21 Bass Fly Rig offers stellar sound, ease of use, and durability, making it one of the best bass multi-fx pedals on the market today.
4. Zoom B3n
The B3n is a bass multi-effects pedal that offers simplicity and ease of use with a great variety of effects, cabinet models, amp models, and even a looper.
Expression pedal input for advanced control options
Onboard looper with 80 seconds of phrase recording with unlimited overdubbing
Free Guitar Lab computer editing software for creating your presets
The Zoom B3n features a simple arrangement and layout of all its effects, and each of its three effects sections has its own footswitch, high-visibility display, and a trio of parameter knobs. This design makes it easy to tweak your tone on the fly, making the B3n ideal for playing live.
This multi-effects bass pedal also features a built-in 80-second phrase looper that allows you to record with infinite sound on sound overdubbing.
The Zoom B3n features an intuitive stompbox-style layout with separate footswitches, knobs, and LCD screens for each section, as well as 68 rhythm patterns to jam along, making it not only great for the stage but for practicing as well. Besides the 67 DSP effects that it features, the B3n also comes with 5 amp models, 5 cabinet models, and a built-in chromatic tuner.
Furthermore, you can go beyond the great variety of effects and amp/cabinet models on this unit with the Zoom Guitar Lab patch management software.
The Downtown Express bass multi-effects pedal features an all-original Fender circuit designed by Aguilar Amplification founder Alex Aguilar. This bass multi-effects pedal is built to last and offers bass players great sound and options.
This multi-effects processor is the work of two of the most respected names in the industry.
Compression, 3-band EQ, and overdrive
Mute switch kills signal for silent tuning
Easy to integrate into your live or studio rig
Direct XLR output
Switch for reordering compressor and overdrive circuits
The Fender Downtown Express was made with bass players in mind. It features a preamp with an active 3-band EQ, overdrive with cabinet simulation, and a compressor.
All of this is nicely organized in a durable and rugged aluminum enclosure, and the three effects mentioned are independent of each other. You can either stack them together or use them completely separately.
Each effect has its own dedicated switch, with the fourth switch designed as a dedicated mute that only sends a signal to the tuner dry output when engaged.
The Fender Downtown Express features LED backlit control knobs for easy use in the dark, making this unit great for gigging bassists. Additionally, this effects unit also features a DI signal path switch on the front, which lets you select what part of your signal goes to the DI.
You can choose to send either the wet signal, the wet signal plus EQ, or a completely dry signal. This multi-effects pedal is a great choice for players that favor analog sound and a simple control layout that is intuitive and easy to operate.
6. Zoom MS-60B Multistomp
The Zoom MS-60B MultiStomp bass guitar pedal was made for the bassists that want the smallest possible solution to a multi-effects processor.
It features all you need for bass effects processing with the size of a single stompbox pedal. And there’s enough variety here to cover most genres, from rock to funk to metal. The MS-60B is Zoom’s option for those that want a severely compacted form factor for bass effects.
Compact multi-effects bass processor
52 stompbox effects
6 high-quality amp models
Large LCD screen and built-in tuner
30 preset patches and 50 user patches
The MS-60B features a combination of six amp models and 52 stompbox and rack effects. This bass multi-effects pedal has something for all styles as its amp models range from modern to vintage with detailed cabinet models.
Every aspect of the bass amp and cabinet can be altered to dial in your own signature rig. Effects made specific for the bass include distortion, compression, modulation, filters, delay, reverb, and more. This multi-effects bass unit lets you use up to six effects and models simultaneously.
The Zoom MS-60B MultiStomp bass guitar pedal features an LCD display that effectively communicates what the unit is doing at all times.
Additionally, this unit features three parameter controls so you can tweak settings quickly. Overall, this is an ultra-compact multi-effects processor for the bass player that wants to keep it light.
7. Valeton Dapper Bass DI
Valeton is a firm recognized for building hardware for other companies. For bass players, they created the Valeton Dapper Bass DI as a DI option that also doubles as a multi-effect bass pedal, offering great bass sound at an affordable price.
This is a very simple unit that will please those that value simplicity and quality. It features 5 analog effects plus a DI, so is a solid option for anyone wanting to avoid digital pedals.
The strip type of shape of Dapper Bass makes it extremely compact and easy to carry. You can just grab it and put it in any bag you are carrying on a daily basis, which is really friendly to all the gigging musicians.
All-analog monophonic octave effect with individual octave/dry signal control
1x¼” input, 1x¼” output, 2x¼” effects loop, ¼” signal through, XLR DI out
The Valeton Dapper Bass DI is an analog multi-effects unit with 5 built-in effects, each with a corresponding footswitch.
It features 5 modules. The first one is Dirty Q, an envelope filter that can combine with the fuzz circuit by flipping the fuzz switch. The Bass Amp module features an active 3-band EQ to tweak your frequencies, and you can add saturation as well. The Octave Module lets you thicken your sound by employing octaves. Finally, the Chorus module activates the chorus effect.
This bass multi-effects unit can give you subtle sounds, all the way to strange and unique tones. The filer module is very sensitive to the player’s touch and you can also add saturation to it to make it even more versatile.
This unit is built like a tank and features a simple and easy-to-use layout. The Valeton Dapper Bass DI offers good build and sound quality, and is a no-nonsense approach to bass multi-effects.
Like most things gear-related, the right choice for the best bass multi-effects pedal depends on your own unique preferences and playing style.
Maybe you like to have as many options as possible, or on the contrary, maybe you prefer a simple approach that gets the job done. There is no one size fits all solution when it comes to gear, and multi-effects pedals are no exception.
You will likely find something for you on the list above, regardless of your level on the instrument, budget, or personal preferences. As always, it is highly recommended that you play through a few multi-effects pedals to see what you connect with.
And try to not get stuck in the debate of analog vs digital, or multi-effects vs stompboxes. At the end of the day, the most important thing is how you play your instrument and how much work you put into it. This is an unpopular fact, but great bassists sound good regardless of gear.