I love effects pedals, tone shaping and the mangling of audio signals. I still have an original Arbiter Fuzz Face, a Maestro Fuzztain and the old school op amps version of the Little Big Muff as well as the original Big Muff Pie and other overdrives and distortion pedals too numerous to list, (or that I’m just too lazy to list).
In my opinion there are very few fuzz/distortion pedals that work well on bass. One reason is that usually the pedal will kill the low end of the source and the other reason is that they generally muddy up definition and attack. Both of these criteria are addressed with this pedal. Enter the Submarine Bass Fuzz made by Noise Diet.
The Submarine Bass Fuzz is the brainchild and labor of love of Blake Pickering who just so happens to play the bass in a band called SwampheavY. SwampheavY are, as their name implies Swampy and wait for it…. Heavy. See this post for more info on the band and a sample of what the Submarine sounds like.
The Submarine comes with an on/off switch that is true bypass. This is a plus as most fuzz pedals color your tone even before being engaged. There is a red led indicator light that comes on when the pedal is active that is located just above and to the right of the footswitch, which in my opinion could be located more up towards the top right of the pedal face.
The pedal is powered by a standard boss style 9v adapter. There are two control pots on the pedal, a volume on the top left and a tone knob on the bottom left. Being a simple design does not stop this pedal from getting a wide range of tone and distortion. I was initially skeptical of the range of tone that this pedal boasted by it’s creator and pleasantly taken aback by the general gnarliness that the pedal affords the player.
When the pedal is engaged, the sound has no noticeable drop out of the low end and to my surprise the attack was prominent as well. I chose to put the pedal through some paces. I was curious to see how the pedal would perform with a guitar rig and a guitar. I put the pedal through a range of tube guitar amps ranging from 10 watts to 120 watts.
I also used the pedal through three different bass amps and was very pleased at how well it performed with solid state amps. Most fuzz pedals sound gritty and have a tendency towards an unpleasant digital clipping sound that may indeed have it’s place among some people’s preferences.
The Submarine performed well and at lower volumes had an almost gated sound. This pedal performed well being turned up (on the pedal’s volume) and had some really great artifacts that it produces when used as a full-on-over-the-top fuzz. The pedal exhibits a self-generated oscillation that was pleasing and unique to this pedal. The Submarine is a low end dream as far as tone and it can go from mildly gruff to full-on tubes-a-spitting-and-snarling. This pedal definitely has earned it’s place on my pedal board. At just $159.00 and free shipping, (Washington State Residents add tax) this pedal is definitely worth every dollar to satisfy your tonal destruction fancies.