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Fender Trapper Bass Distortion review

Why do they call it the Trapper? Who can say, but it has two distortion circuits to give options to those who need some low-end growl and thunder

Fender Trapper Bass Distortion
(Image: © Fender)

Our Verdict

A top-quality dual distortion that offers bass players a wide range of dirt tones and won't break the bank.

For

  • Sub-bass boost.
  • Affordable way to combine drive.

Against

  • Hard-to-read control text.

Why take two distortion pedals out when you can take one and save precious pedalboard real estate? The Fender Trapper (how did it get that name?) is a simple but versatile unit. It offers bassists two individual or stacked drive tones, and asks for significantly less of your taxed income than similar units, such as Ashdown's John Myung Double Drive.

Then again, it’s nowhere near as tough in construction, it lacks the VU meters, and it hasn’t been developed in conjunction with a bass-playing legend.

It’s still a charming little unit, though, with two drives – Dist 1 and Dist 2 – each of which has Gain, Tone and Level controls. It can’t hope to offer the massive bass end of units such as the aforementioned Myung pedal, and doesn’t attempt to do so unless you invoke its secret weapon, the Sub-Bass control on Dist 2.

This certainly helps to add a touch of bottom, but again, there’s no really stomach-shaking low-end available. Still, it sounds pretty immense if low mids are your frequencies of choice, and we love its affordability. 

The only thing that bothers me about the Trapper is the white control text on the orange-gold background. The pictures on this page make the lettering seem really clear, but believe me, the metallic finish plus bright lighting overhead makes it hard to read. Then again, I am old and tired.

Specs

  • PRICE: $169 / £129
  • MADE IN: China
  • FEATURES: Dist 1 with Gain, Tone and Level controls, Dist 2 ditto plus Sub-Bass controls
  • WEIGHT: 0.6lbs
  • DIMENSIONS: H, W, D: 4.9” x 3.5” x 1.7”
  • POWER: 9v power supply, not supplied
  • CONTACT: Fender (opens in new tab)

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Joel McIver is the Editor of Bass Player magazine. A journalist with 25 years' experience in the music field, he's also the author of 35 books, a couple of bestsellers among them. He regularly appears on podcasts, radio and TV and occasionally teaches at BIMM.