Electro-Harmonix Bass Soul Food is a truly optimized piece of gear that brings balanced gain to the world of bass. In terms of distortions and overdrives for bass, this thing is one of the best pedals you can find at the moment. Today we’re going to take a closer look.
One way you can recognize EH pedals with almost 100% accuracy is to look at the chassis. If the entire thing is painted, chances are it’s another brand. However, if the chassis features no finish at all aside from the top panel, you might be looking at an Electro-Harmonix stomp box. Bass Soul Food follows this pattern with a very cool looking black label. EH has used several different graphics for this particular pedal, so you might run into another design depending on which version you get. What’s much more important than aesthetics is durability. It doesn’t take long to realize that Bass Soul Food’s chassis is built to withstand just about anything. Whether you plan on using it on stage, in a studio or both, this chassis will keep the pedal working even in adverse conditions. Lastly, power is delivered by using a 9V battery or a DC adapter.
The way EH has laid out controls on Bass Soul Food differs from the industry standard inmore than one way. There are four knobs and a switch to work with. Knobs include a Volume, Drive, Blend and Treble while the switch is actually a -10dB pad. In other words, there isn’t a full blown EQ. However, that Treble knob acts more or less as a Tone knob on most other pedals. It doesn’t curve the entire frequency range, but rather cuts or boosts trebles. The -10dB pad is a great addition for those who have active pickups. Sometimes a hot set of pickups can really put a load on a pedal, which is where an attenuation pad works great. Despite the unusual set of controls, Bass Soul Food has proven to be one mean piece of kit. That becomes crystal clear once you plug it into your signal chain.
After all that we have said so far, the main question that arises is what this pedal sounds like? To be completely honest, this thing is somewhere half way between an overdrive and a distortion. In terms of tone profile, it has a lot of that Klon vibe which is something Electro-Harmonix is fairly proud of. The way the pedal is built makes it bass-friendly out of the box. However, the -10dB pad and a well balanced gain delivery make it even better. Distortion it offers is aggressive, but not to a point where your tone starts to fall apart. It handles low end frequencies quite well, allowing you to down tune your bass while maintaining that clarity. Whether or not you will like the sound of the pedal mostly depends on your taste. With that said, its performance is borderline stellar.
Electro-Harmonix Bass Soul Food is easily one of the most compatible distortion pedals you can find for a bass guitar. It’s full of gain and comes packed with some pretty cool features. Overall, Bass Soul Food is definitely something worth checking out if you want a more refined dist box.