Quick Hit: Tech 21 Bass Fly Rig Review

This sleek and slim multi-effects unit keeps it real with some very usable effects.

Tech 21's new Bass Fly Rig is a svelte, solid, muti-effects unit that houses effects found on many bassists' pedalboards. Not only that, it integrates the company's popular SansAmp technology to serve as its heart.

The chorus section is a simple affair with just one knob, but delivers some impressively clean, watery tone. (Holding down the chorus footswitch engages the handy onboard tuner to its right). Next door is the fuzz/octave/filter section, and while I didn't love the fuzz on its own, bringing in the octave alongside and setting the mix, Q, and range dials to about 2 o'clock pressure-washed the walls with thick, synth grandeur. The compressor could be a touch noisy when dipping into the upper range of the tone dial, but it evened things out as it should and added the sustain I was after while experimenting with the octa section. Need a boost? There's a footswitchable pre/post boost mode up to 10 dB.

And then you have tube emulation, dirt, an excellent EQ, and the ability to run direct with the SansAmp section front and center. When you consider that a standalone SansAmp unit will set you back a couple hundred … well, do the math. The Bass Fly Rig isn't a reason to purge and post your favorite pedals on Craigslist, but it has quite usable tones inside (not always said about multi-effect units), it's compact with a smart layout, and is relatively gentle on the checkbook when you think about all you're getting in return.

Test gear: Fender Precision, Gallien-Krueger 800RB head, TC Electronic RS410 cab, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4

Recorded direct using Orange O Bass into Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 interface into GarageBand.

Clip 1: Chorus engaged and set at 2 o'clock. SansAmp engaged with level at 1 o'clock, high 1 o'clock, mid noon, low noon, character noon, drive 11 o'clock

Clip 2: Octave and fuzz engaged with mix at 2 o'clock, Q at 2 o'clock, range at 2 o'clock. SansAmp off.


SansAmp. Easy entry point for exploring different effects. Efficient design/size.

Some functions might make you wish for your main rig, but consider how small this thing is.


Tech 21 Bass Fly Rig


Ease of Use:



An overachieving overdrive that gets way bigger than its name suggests.

Sweet balanced crunch tones. Dynamic. Sparkling, full, and clean at attenuated guitar volume. High-quality build.

Pretty expensive.


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