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Fender Downtown Express Bass Multi-Effect Pedal Review

Gear Reviews

Fender Downtown Express Bass Multi-Effect Pedal Review

New from Fender is the Downtown Express Bass Multi-Effect Pedal which is made specifically for bass and was designed by Fender’s Alex Aguilar.

The Fender Downtown Express has quite a few features that I found very exceptional in the way they were designed and interacted with each other. The pedal is great for any genre of music and will fit any style of playing. I found it was easy to use right out of the box, simple controls to understand to get the results you need fast. This pedal is great for use with your rig, or for gigs that have a backline, allowing you to take your tone with you.

There is a master volume control that sits right next to the controls for the 3 band EQ, which consists of your traditional controls for bass, middle, and treble. The middle EQ incorporates an inductor-like feature that was used in bass amps from the 60s and 70s to give you that classic tone.

The overdrive component in the Fender Downtown Express Pedal is made specifically for bass and features a cab simulator. 

The overdrive stays more natural by not losing the bottom end for bass like other overdrives. The controls for overdrive are level, tone, and drive, giving you everything to subtle overdrive to a great sounded gnarly tone.

The pedal also has a true RMS compressor, which evens out the overall volume of how loud you are playing instead of just listening to peaks and bringing them down, making your playing smoother from a volume perspective.

The controls for compression consists of a threshold control for the amount of compression, gain control to control overall volume after compression and blend control for your original volume from your bass and amount of compression control. I wouldn’t recommend going to 100% of the blend because it causes an unnatural effect unless you are looking for that kind of effect; choose a level of blend that is comfortable for you to keep it sounding normal. The RMS compressor is great for slap style, and something else I noticed.

If you want to use the overdrive effect, I found blending that with the compressor an easier way to keep my volume more level when just using the master volume and EQ, then switching to overdrive for another song. Using the compressor along with the overdrive can help keep your volume more level overall for your gig. You also have the option to place the compressor before or after the overdrive with a toggle switch.

The EQ, Overdrive, and Compressor all have footswitches for on/off functions and the Downtown Express Pedal also has a mute footswitch and separate tuner 1/4” output. It has a 1/4” input and output, and an XLR DI output with a switch for how you want to send a signal to the board, sending just effects (FX), FX and EQ, or Pre-FX and a ground lift.

The pedal is constructed from lightweight, durable anodized aluminum and the control knobs are LED illuminated in blue, with the ability to turn the LED’s off. Power is supplied by a 9-Volt DC Adaptor.

Be sure to check out the Fender Downtown Express Bass Multi-Effect Pedal online or a Fender music retailer near you!

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