Quick Hit: Maxon BD10 Hybrid Bass Driver Review
A new bass overdrive with excellent tweakability and natural-sounding tones.
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