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The Sonicake Bass Preamp Factory is spot-on for bassists. The price is fantastic ($79.99 USD or less), and you get a lot under the aluminum chassis. There’s plenty of headroom, particularly if you engage the Drive (usually my volume never exceeds 10-o’clock), the sound is very clean and unadulterated, thanks to a specially designed buffer, and there’s a ground-lift for those noise issues. But let’s check out the fun stuff.

The 3-band EQ is excellent, and like the Acoustic Factory that I reviewed, the entire spectrum of Bass, Midrange, and Treble are all useable without sounding out of place. In fact, with the Bass and Treble 12-noon, and the Midrange cranked, you get an impressive Metal bass tone, and that’s without the Drive engaged. The Bass Factory also has a classic-based optical compressor that is very smooth and gradual throughout its range. Some compressors squeeze so hard, that you never go past 12-noon, whereas the Bass Factory compressor is more subtle and practical throughout. I prefer it around 10-o’clock, so that the notes sound fairly consistent in output and with some tightness.

The Drive is quite good, and even when turned all the way down there is some added power and push, similar to how a Tube Screamer with its gain all the way down still enhances an amp. What I like about this drive is that it is very smooth and only begins to break-up around 12-noon, which then produces a moderate growling distortion. Even up full the effect remains under control; conversely, I do not place the Orange Bass Butler’s gain past 11-o’clock as it sounds too wild or messy, particularly in a busy mix.

Some other features of this analog pedal include placing the EQ pre- or post-effects (before or after the Drive and Compressor, which is subtle, but noticeable), both ¼-inch and balanced XLR outputs, and it requires only 70mA power. Lightweight, portable, functional, and affordable.
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