Quick Hit: Electro-Harmonix Nano Battalion Review

A slimmed-down version of EHX’s tone toolbox for bassists didn’t lose any weight in the functionality department.

Recorded with Epiphone Scroll bass into Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 interface into GarageBand.
Clip 1: Input mode, mid switch flat, drive at 2 o’clock, treble at 2 o’clock, blend at 9 o’clock, tone at noon, bass at 2 o’clock.
Clip 2: Distortion mode, mid switch flat, drive at 3 o’clock, treble at 4 o’clock, blend at 3 o’clock, tone at noon, bass at 1 o’clock.
Clip 3: Input mode, mid switch cut, drive at 9 o’clock, treble at 5 o’clock, blend at noon, tone dimed, bass at 2 o’clock.


Nice price, small footprint, impressive drive, EQ placement switch.

No XLR out.


Electro-Harmonix Nano Battalion


Ease of Use:



EHX’s Nano Battalion manages to get much of the company’s original Battalion preamp/DI into a standard-sized pedal enclosure. It packs in a busy control panel, yet it’s user-friendly and can make easy work of dialing up a noticeable breath of fresh air for bass tone in need. One standout feature is the mini 3-way toggle that determines the signal path where the EQ is applied—whether it’s the distorted signal only, the clean signal only, or both. Teaming this functionality with the pedal’s 3-band EQ and blend control is what really expands the Nano Battalion’s sound-sculpting prowess and flavor of the drive.

To my ears, the overdrive leans on the warmer side throughout its wide pallet.

To my ears, the overdrive leans on the warmer side throughout its wide palette. Whether mimicking a mild break-up or pushing a more grind-y distortion, I appreciated its smooth, natural-sounding character, clarity, and intuitive interplay with the EQ. Although I tried, I wasn’t really able to dial in a bad sound throughout my exploration of control combinations. An XLR out would have been a welcome feature, but the pedal’s output can still send a balanced signal for going direct to a board or interface if a TRS cable is used. When you consider the Nano Battalion’s price of just a little north of $100, I’d say it’s a pedal worthy of a good look and listen.

Test gear: Fender Precision, late-’70s Epiphone Scroll prototype, Gallien-Krueger 800RB, Orange OBC212, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4