As a working musician, I’ve come to rely on a couple of regular items to keep my tone consistent across all the musical boards; a good compressor, a DI, and a tuner. And if you use effects, having an effects loop is a very handy addition to keep effects in/out of your signal at a moments notice. The problem is that, for the longest time, there wasn’t an ideal solution for my needs. I tried all of the main type of preamp/DI/loop/mute units out there, and they all left my board after a number of weeks. So to say I’m a bit skeptical when something like this comes back around is a fair assumption. Thankfully, the guys at Pigtronix have come up with something that is the closest to what I’ve needed, with the Bass Station.
In comparison to some of the other options on the market, it may look like the Bass Station is simplistic. However, the simplicity of the unit allows you to immediately incorporate into your gigging setup and take full advantage of its features. It starts with the Philosopher Bass Compressor, which in and of itself is one of the most musical compressors I’ve had. The “grit” switch allows you to get some extra sounds out of the unit.
From there the signal goes to the effects loop, which functions exactly like you’d expect. One of the great features (that you take for granted until it’s not there) is that there are separate send/return jacks. A lot of the units use a TRS plug in lieu of a second jack, forcing you to get a separate cable in order to utilize it.
Next up is the boost, providing you with up to 12dB of clean boost when turned completely clockwise. They chose 12dB to allow precise control throughout the entire range of the boost. From there, the signal finally travels over to either the output (and to your amp), or to the DI straight to the front of house. Using this unit in an ampless situation with the DI only was simple and painless. The DI provides a solid signal, with no additional bells and whistles, which is exactly what you want. Like all other Pigtronix pedals, this comes with an 18v adaptor, although you can run it on 9v if you like. But with the additional headroom that 18v affords you (not to mention the adaptor is included), why not take full advantage?
Available exclusively through Sweetwater, the Bass Station from Pigtronix is simple in its design, which translates into the implementation and execution. Providing just the most-needed features in one unit has made this the forerunner in my search for a great unit to be my “entire rig” when I’m ampless, relying only on the DI.