Electro-Harmonix Battalion Bass Preamp and Direct Box

Electro-Harmonix Battalion Bass Preamp and Direct Box

Give your bass rig some extra firepower with the Battalion. This preamp and DI combines compression, EQ, distortion, and a gate to sculpt formidable tones.

Overall User Ratings (based on 6 ratings)
Overall:
4 out of 5 stars
Sound:
4.5 out of 5 stars
Features:
4.5 out of 5 stars
Ease of Use:
5 out of 5 stars
Quality:
3.5 out of 5 stars
Value:
4.5 out of 5 stars
Manufacturer Support:
3.5 out of 5 stars
The Wow Factor:
4 out of 5 stars
Overall: 4 out of 5 stars
(6)
Submitted December 21, 2021 by a customer from gmail.com
"Fantastic for the money"
Overall: 5 out of 5 stars
Verified Customer zZounds has verified that this reviewer made a purchase from us.
Disclaimer: I am NOT a pro bassist, nor even especially skilled at it - I'm a guitarist who likes playing bass, and recording parts when I'm writing. With that in mind, I really wanted an all-in-one pedal for my bass that will cover everything I need in case I have to go lay down tracks somewhere without lugging my giant Kustom 1x15 cab around, and this one checked all the boxes: - All-analog - 4-band EQ - Footswitchable OD/distortion with "Blend" control - flexible DI I'll talk about the unit overall, then touch on each feature briefly, so this review doesn't go on forever ;) Is it 5 stars if price was no object? No. But this thing costs less than pedals that don't do half of what it does, or sound as good doing it, so yea.First, the pedal itself is well-constructed. Heavy duty enclosure and footswitches, solid-feeling knobs and jacks, and overall good build quality means I don't worry about stomping on it. Lots of controls, but they're laid out in labeled, color-coded sections to keep things organized. Push-button switches to engage the compressor, -10dB pad, XLR ground lift and bypass, and two stomp switches to engage the pedal and switch distortion on or off.First up in the signal chain: a -10dB pad button for active or high-output basses. Pretty straightforward, but the first pedal I received was missing this button - luckily I had ordered from zZounds, who sent a replacement before I even shipped the first one back. The second one is in perfect shape, and the input pad works as expected.Next is a one-knob compressor with an on/off button and blue LED to tell you if it's engaged. This is one thing that I think many dedicated bassists won't care much for; it works fine, but some people would probably want more control. I've noticed that it slams the signal hard enough to distort if I turn it up past about 10 o'clock on the dial, but I'm using high-output pickups, and I've read that there's an internal trim pot to adjust the signal level going into it, so I'll try that eventually. For now, it works as I expect it should, and wasn't why I bought the thing anyway.After that, you have a 3-way switch that re-orders the EQ and distortion circuits in one of 3 configurations: "Pre-EQ" (distortion before EQ), "Post-EQ" (EQ before distortion), and "Dry EQ" (distortion and clean EQ'd signal in parallel, blended with the distortion's "Blend" knob). This gives you a LOT of flexibility in how you want your distorted signal to sound. Personally I like the "Dry EQ" option best, but play with it and see what you can come up with.From there, depending how you set the 3-way switch, is a 4-band EQ with knobs for Bass, Lo-Mid, Hi-Mid, and Treble. Again pretty self-explanatory, but VERY effective in getting different sounds. There are pedals that cost the same amount of money for just a 4-band EQ alone, and this one does the job really well.Next up: Distortion! Again, I've seen bass pedals with less control than this cost more for OD/distortion alone, and again, this one does a very good job. Knobs for Level, Blend, Drive, and Tone, with a REALLY wide range on each. The drive control in particular will go from just a little gritty texture to full-on stoopid levels of fuzz that nobody could possibly need, and the whole range sounds musical. I like setting it to a fairly crunchy overdrive, then using the "Blend" control to get a lot of the clean EQ'd signal with the "Dry EQ" switch engaged.Last in the signal chain is a single-knob noise gate, which I don't see much use for. The pedal really isn't very noisy, so unless your signal is noisy going in, you might wind up just ignoring the gate like I do. The single threshold knob works fine, but there is a noticeable click when the gate closes - probably fine for live stuff, but I would turn it all the way down for recording.From there, the output section. There's a master output volume control for the wet 1/4" output, dedicated volume, ground-lift and effect-bypass buttons for the XLR DI output, plus separate dry (no-effect) and wet (including stereo headphone support, cool bonus!) 1/4" outputs. Again mostly self-explanatory, but worth knowing they're there - especially the XLR controls. The bypass button gives you the option to output the sound of the pedal through the XLR out, or push the dry signal through with no processing if you want to use it only as a DI. The dry 1/4" out lets you send an unaffected signal wherever you like, and the wet output can go to an amp, audio interface, or even headphones for silent practice - and it sounds good!Cons: Not many, especially considering the price tag. I do think the noise gate could have been skipped to make room for more controls on the compressor, and I would prefer an additional footswitch to toggle the EQ on and off for even more flexibility, but neither of these complaints are serious deal-breakers.Overall: Ummmmm, yea. It's awesome. It's a quality all-analog EQ, OD/distortion, and DI with tons of flexibility at a price that nobody else is even coming close to. It's burly, flexible, affordable, and it sounds great. If it broke, I would get another one.
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Submitted June 13, 2018 by Brett B in Cortland, NY
"It goes everywhere with me"
Overall: 5 out of 5 stars
Verified Customer zZounds has verified that this reviewer made a purchase from us.
This is a great DI box to use in place of an amp. If you need to go directly into house PA or mixing board but want to have a little control over the tone of your bass this works great. The compressor is very basic but does work. The distortion is good and can be controlled quite well. The signal is clean. Does not have an internal battery so I carry an adapter and external battery with adapter also. Does exactly what you want a DI to do.
Musical Background:
Gigging musician and music educator.
Musical Style:
Oldies, Pop, Rock, Blues, whatever the kids or band want to play.
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Submitted April 23, 2018 by Monte A in Bozeman, MT
"Great Value"
Overall: 4 out of 5 stars
EQ -great!Distortion Section - very good with many options and great tone shaping.Noise Gate- precise yet simpleDI-useful, quiet, and versatile Compressor-fair. The least useful feature.Overall a great value!
Musical Background:
30 years of gigging
Musical Style:
Country/rock, classic rock, rock
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Submitted January 19, 2020 by James Scott
"Love the sound, broke in six months, no response"
Overall: 1.5 out of 5 stars
Verified Customer zZounds has verified that this reviewer made a purchase from us.
Excellent sound and flexibility, really love the ability to blend the overdiven and natural bass sounds. good, simple, compressor. XLR output crashed within 6 months. Emailed tech support. literally ZERO response. Very disappointed. We use several of their products but the utter lack of response means we'll be smarter next time.Still gets a 3 for value because it's still usable with the 1/4" but really would like *someone* to reply when I email for help. Cannot recommend, which is a shame because it's a great pedal.
Musical Background:
Serious/semi-pro bassist and vocalist
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Submitted August 30, 2021 by a customer from gmail.com
"Crapped out after a year"
Overall: 3 out of 5 stars
I loved this pedal when I first got it. The tone was great, the distortion was decent, and the compression was nice. This being a DI was one of the main selling points for me as I run direct into a set of Bose systems for gigs. I rarely used the distortion, but always tone and compression.After about 5-6 months the distortion stopped working, it would just pop and cut in and out. Around 6 months after that the DI slot stopped working all together, which rendered the pedal useless to me outside of practice. Figured it would last longer for the price.
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Submitted March 19, 2019 by Ron B in Dormont, PA
"Nice pedal but..."
Overall: 4 out of 5 stars
Verified Customer zZounds has verified that this reviewer made a purchase from us.
It really is a nice pedal. I bought it for my Ergo upright. Gate is good as well as compressor. Both are simple to control. Sound quality is excellent. It has distortion but I’m not into that much. My only problem is it’s not equipped for phantom power or a battery which means I need the wallwart. I needed a single pedal for my EUB and this does that fine
Musical Background:
Pro.
Musical Style:
Rock, blues, jazz, bluegrass and country
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