Mo Bass by Lounsberry (demo... including organ at the end)

Apr 25, 2017
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Mo Bass is the signature analog, true-bypass pedal of Derek ‘Mo’ Moore, the bassist for the Prog band Nektar. As a pre-driver, Mo Bass does not provide more (mo) bass, as some may interpret the name, but enhances the tone – as it does for six-string and organ (which I’ll address that later). In essence, this pedal is a combination of two other Lounsberry pedals, the Tall & Fat and the Organ Grinder. When the drive is set low, there is improved fullness in the tone, besides improved definition and harmonics, as though presence has been added, but without being trebly (the Tall & Fat effect). As the gain increases, there is more warmth and growl (the Organ Grinder effect), although Tall & Fat remains present to a lesser extent.

The demo included uses a bass with all the pickups engaged. This produces a somewhat ‘dark’ tone, which was done purposely, since too dark and the bass may be heard in a mix, but sounds muffled, maybe a bit muddy, whereas the Mo Bass rectifies that situation very well. Without adjusting guitar or amp settings, the clear thump, with a growly top end and smooth, round bottom end, easily brings you into classic Rickenbacker territory (and Mo Moore’s choice of weapon happens to be a Rickenbacker). The pedal seems to tighten up the tone (less flub), and certainly allows the notes to pop through the mix more effectively. With an increase in drive, there is some added bottom end that remains clear and defined, pulling through those low notes without the rumble or boom one would expect with more bass emphasis. Mo Bass also produces that signature Lounsberry warm growl. And on that note, pun intended, I have to say the growl, which is subtle, is excellent. A few bass drive pedals I’ve tried add more hair or distortion, but they sound buzzy and a bit messy, which may be desired for some compositions or styles of music. Mo Bass, on the other hand, sounds organic and non-distracting… a true extension of your instrument and amp.

How does it sound with other instruments? For six-string, if you’re looking for that pedal that doesn’t mess with the tone you’ve establish, and you want that added flourish with harmonics and snap, Mo Bass may be the ticket. This, too, is demoed in the video, with cleans sounding glossy and sparkly, and the crunch cutting through without hesitation. I believe this pedal is particularly ideal for those who prefer and enjoy their amp’s tone without thinking they need a drive pedal. Mo Bass is a different animal from typical drive pedals, as described, and it should be considered for those “I don’t need an overdrive pedal.”

For keys (particularly organ and various synths), it is a no-brainer, since the pedal’s circuitry does include the Tall & Fat and Organ Grinder elements. On low drive, the organ’s notes sound fuller (more rounded) and clearer, as it does with bass or six-string. With the drive up, you get that classic warm growl and smooth distortion that gives some rumble and shake to the notes, and in a good way. Mo Bass takes a regular organ sound and catapults it into rock territory in a flash.

Mo Bass is ideal for more than just bass, which is not common among pedal builders. It is naturally warm and plays like an amp, viz., the effect and dynamics range relative to one’s playing subtleties or aggression. Hand-crated and engineered by Greg Lounsberry in the USA, it uses all discrete components with no ICs or surface mount parts. It operates via typical power supplies or 9V battery (included), retailing for $199 USD.


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