Maxon’s rich history in the overdrive realm spans more than four decades, and the company’s contribution to some legendary guitar tones is well known. And now Maxon joins the bass-overdrive game with the new BD10 Hybrid Bass Driver.
The BD10’s circuit is based on Maxon’s OD808 design. The compact pedal’s 5-knob landscape features individual bass and treble controls, a drive control, plus knobs to set the drive and clean outputs levels for precise tweaking. It runs on a 9V battery or standard AC adaptor (not included).
The BD10 covers much tonal territory, but if you’re looking for balls-to-the-wall distortion, this isn’t the place. The BD10 is more about sweet, warm, natural-sounding overdrive. I started out with the low and high knobs at 3 o’clock and noon, respectively, and pushed the drive knob to 1 o’clock and the two level controls to noon. The resulting tones—smooth, beefy, and tube-like—had just the right amount of dirt and boost to let me pretend I was Roger Glover. Almost diming the drive knob and inching up the drive level past 3 o’clock brings thicker, Fu Manchu-style distortion. No matter the settings, I was impressed by the touch sensitivity, clarity, sustain, and naturalistic sound while enjoying how the low end remains intact.
There are many bass overdrives to choose from, and plenty for a lot less coin. But when you consider the BD10’s excellent tones and remarkable tweakability, this little white box is well worth a look.
Test Gear: Gallien-Krueger 800RB head, TC Electronic RS410 cab, 2001 Fender Precision