Best distortion pedals for bass: thicken up your low end with these aggressive bass stompboxes

Darkglass Aggressively Distorting Advanced Machine on a pink background
(Image credit: Future)

If you’re looking to thicken up your low end, add some serious grit or just add a different flavor to your sound, then you might want to consider one of the best bass distortion pedals.

While an overdrive pedal will push your signal into – well, overdrive – they tend not to alter your tone too much. A bass distortion pedal will add more saturation and character to your sound. Some of the best bass distortion pedals can help thicken up your tone, tighten up the EQ, or cut through a mix. There does tend to be some crossover with bass overdrive pedals, but any of those mentioned here will have plenty of gain on tap.

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Richard Blenkinsop

After spending a decade in music retail, I’m now a freelance writer for Guitar World, MusicRadar, Guitar Player and Reverb, specialising in electric and acoustic guitars, bass, and almost anything else you can make a tune with. When my head’s not buried in the best of modern and vintage gear, I run a small company helping musicians with songwriting, production and performance, and I play bass in an alt-rock band.