EHX Bass Preacher: I was not a huge fan of the Soul Preacher, but I have always appreciated that EHX makes plenty of products for bass players. From what I can tell, it appears they made two changes from the Soul Preacher to create this bass version.
First, they gave the Sustain knob a wider range of control, meaning there is more room in the knob turn for light to moderate compression. This is essentially like allowing a higher threshold, which is important because the circuit is meant to be a heavy squeezing sustainer, so too low of a threshold means a typical highly dynamic bass guitar signal would get smashed flat. This lighter compression range also means less make-up gain is required, which in turn means less noise.
Secondly, they adjusted the frequency response for stronger lows and reduced highs. There is no loss of low end, and no humps or scoops in the mids, but the highs drop off noticeably above 5 KHz. This also helps filter out some noise.
You'd think with those changes that I'd say this pedal is not noisy, but it is. It can be terribly noisy, depending on how high you turn up the Volume knob (makeup gain). However at low Sustain knob settings (say below 10:00) you don't need to turn the Vol up so high, and the noise is not that bad. The additional good news is that the lower Sustain settings are also where you will find the most useful gentle-to-moderate compression, adding some thickness and sustain without murdering your dynamics.
The tone is fat and musical. The action is smooth, with a slow release and a long swell of gain as each note trails off. The three positions of the Attack time toggle are each very useful settings; most people will find they don't miss the other time settings possible with a full range pot. There is a gain trim pot on the inside, but EHX recommends you do not mess with it.
The construction quality is decent. The housing is the small MXR size, and it runs on standard Boss-type 9V DC. The footswitch is "true" bypass. There is no LED to indicate the amount of compression. While I don't love this pedal because of the noise, it does provide a lot of tone and sustain effect for very little money.
Price in USD: New $79, used probably $40-50.
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