Fuzz Review: ElectroniX MESSDrive

BassFuzz-ConElectronix Messdrive version-331 Manufacturer: ElectroniX (zeibek)
Model: Messdrive
MSRP/Paid: $79.99/Donation
New/Used/Loan: New
Battery: Yes
Power Supply: Yes
Size: 2.5″W x 2″D x 4.5″H (Aprox including Jacks and knobs)
Available from: E-bay/Direct

From the maker:

MessDrive Bass Fuzz Effects Pedal
MessDrive is designed for bass guitars, it is not just another fuzz pedal modified to be used with a bass. A well-known problem about those, when the pedal is engaged, the sound becomes thinner as it is coming from a broken guitar amp. Our main goal was to prevent this and make the bass sound like how it should: A bass fuzz pedal that doesn’t kill the low end, in fact adds fat bottoms.

Thanks to the input transformer, it works equally well with both active and passive instruments. The sound is very organic, yet synth-ish at the same time. It takes the character of the bass used and “fuzzyfies” it. That means, it doesn’t sound the same regardless of the bass used, in fact, let the qualities of the particular bass shines through.

Heavy setting is more of a medium gain fuzz, while Mild setting sounds more tamed with the hints of gated fuzz, varrying by the strength of the input signal.

Features:

  • Bass Fuzz effects pedal
  • Volume and tone controls along with the Heavy/Mild switch
  • Input transformer allows it to be compatible with both active and passive basses
  • Takes a 9V Battery (included) or a 9Vdc stompbox power supply
  • Reliable and sturdy full metal construction finished with glossy red paint
  • Heavy duty true bypass switch
  • Ultra bright status led
  • 1/4″ female output, 1/4″ female input jack (Input jack acts as a on-off switch)

Electronix Messdrive Initial thoughts:

This is the second pedal from ElectroniX that I’ve had the chance to sink my claws into. The first was the more advanced version of this same pedal line, the MESSDrive Hybrid+. It was a pedal that I though was very nice in it’s price range, and covered a large sonic territory, perfect for someone who is looking for their sound. While ordering another pedal from ElectroniX (a gemini drive) they offered me a chance to interview a couple of their other pedals.

As is policy here at bassfuzz, I wanted to indicate that 1) This is a gift, and 2) The giving of gifts entitles you to a bump to the front of the line! Getting a surprise visit with the MESSDrive proved to be more eventful than I was expecting because it has a significantly more synth flavor than I can recall from it’s bigger sibling.

Video Overview


 

Samples

Positions for Testing(in o’clocks):

  1. Volume: 9, Tone: 12, Switch: Mild
  2. Volume: 9, Tone: 8, Switch: Heavy
  3. Volume: 9, Tone:3, Switch: Heavy

Note: Headphones or good speakers required. Bass samples!

Active J

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  Mix

P Bass

Position Sample  
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Picture Gallery

Electronix Messdrive Construction and cosmetic concerns:

This is a small form factor pedal with jacks on the side, can be powered with either battery or power-brick, and the paint seems both thick and solid. The design appears to be either a water-slide decal or clear printed label that has been covered in clear coat and seems quite stable. Internal components appear to be standard boutique quality and features true bypass. There is no battery compartment or clip, but the battery is wedged extremely tightly in the case (tight enough it was hard to get out!). The circuit board is floating and electrical trap (removed in this photo) is used to ensure that everything is isolated from the case. I’d love to see this cleaned up a little with the boards and components mounted firmly and optimized wiring runs. This is isn’t to suggest the pedal isn’t solid, because it comes up dead silent in the shake test and the overall noise level of the pedal is very low.

Conclusion:

Snappy little red pedal with a solid low end and a synth vibe that really surpassed my expectations. It somehow manages to have it’s own voice while still transmitting the flavor the character of the bass being used. In many settings there is a fat bloom on the low side that really makes the pedal sound rich. The construction and looks are solid, if not awe inspiring but the small form factor keeps things roomy on the pedal board. As indicated in the ad copy the pedal played well with both my active and passive instruments. Unity is reached pretty low in the volume knob (around 9 O’clock on both of my lower output basses).

As always, if you have any questions, leave a comment or let me know

Note: A rating of 5 = acceptable and should considered a ‘good’ basic score

Sound Category: Synthy, Fat, Affordable
Versatility: 3
Sound: 7
Value: 8
Overall: 6

4 thoughts on “Fuzz Review: ElectroniX MESSDrive

  1. “Unity is reached pretty low in the volume knob (around 3 O’clock on both of my lower output basses).”

    Do you mean 9 o’clock? I’ve owned two of these and they are HOT in terms of output

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