HL-1 HAZard LAMPS Pedal: $250.00 USD

The HL-1 HAZard LAMPS pedal brings the unique tonal voice of the LHZ preamp into a pedal format. This pedal is intended for players with passive basses that want to give it the same punch and power as a USA Spector bass with an internal Hazlabs preamp.

This pedal makes it a snap to switch between a Spector and a traditional passive bass during a performance and ensures the passive bass is at the same output level and sits in the same spot in the mix as the Spector.


If you play your Spector bass with the EQ “dimed” (or nearly so) then switch to a passive bass, you know the problem: The passive bass does not provide the same output level and EQ response as the active bass, so it will sound low and thin-bodied in comparison.

The problem is that the tone control on a passive bass only cuts frequencies; it does not boost them.
Passive bass tone controls rolled all the way to MAX is the same as an active bass set at the FLAT position. Switching from a dimed Spector to a passive bass (with effectively FLAT EQ) results in a significant difference in levels and tone that makes it difficult to balance instruments using the same signal chain.

The bass and drums are the foundation of the band. While guitarists often change instruments to provide a diverse variety of tones, it is more challenging scenario for bassists. Changing the sonic profile, dynamics, EQ, and level of a bass during a show changes the foundation of the entire mix.

How do you switch between a Spector with a “dimed” EQ and your favorite passive Fender Jazz without adversely impacting the entire mix?


The HAZard LAMPS pedal gives a passive bass the same active EQ control as a Spector with a HazLabs preamp in it.

A passive Fender Jazz with the HAZard LAMPS bass and treble controls set to the same position as a Spector will provide the same output level, same EQ response, and the same unique “Haz” fingerprint as the Spector.

Your bass will still sound like itself, so a Fender will have its characteristic Fender sound and a Rickenbacker will still sound like a Rickenbacker. But the HAZard LAMPS will have the following impact:

  • The output levels and EQ will be the same as the Spector, so there is no need to adjust anything else in your signal chain to compensate for the difference when switching basses, and
  • The HAZard LAMPS will provide the same subtle harmonic overtones and slight sense of compression when played aggressively as the Spector does. This brings out articulation and nuances that are subtle but help ensure every nuance of your performance is heard clearly.


The heart of the HL-1 HAZard LAMPS pedal is the LHZ preamp, which is a faithful re-creation of the circuit used in late 80’s and early 90’s HazLabs bass preamps renowned for being a signature component of that classic and elusive Spector tone.

The preamp uses a JFET op-amp which generates a tube-like saturation when the bass is played aggressively. Played with a normal or light touch, the preamp provides a clean bell-like tone. But, when played aggressively, this preamp provides a subtle tubelike compression and adds distinctive high-frequency harmonic overtones to the sound.


Simple elegance in design and use is a goal with every product we create. The HL-1 HAZard LAMPS is made to do one thing: provide a simple solution to allow Spector bassist to switch to a favorite passive bass during a show without unbalancing the mix of the band. Period.

There are no extraneous controls: you have a bass and treble knob just like you’d get on the Spector bass with an active preamp, and a stomp button. Even though we don’t need instructions, here are the steps to use the HL-1 HAZard LAMPS pedal.

  1. Plug in power.
    The unit requires either 9volts or 18volts from an external power supply. Do NOT use more than 18volts because you’ll let the magic smoke out and you’ll be the owner of a fantastic-looking paper weight.
  2. Plug your bass into the INPUT jack on the right side of the unit.
    We recommend the HAZard LAMPS be the first unit in your signal chain so that it is as close to a built-in preamp as possible.
  3. Plug the OUTPUT into your amp or other pedals in your signal chain.
  4. Turn the knobs to the desired EQ. There is a center detent at the 12 o’clock position that indicates the FLAT EQ position. The thickness of the dial markings indicate EQ zones:
    a. CCW (thin line) is EQ CUT.
    b. CW (thicker line) is EQ BOOST.
    c. CW (fat line) is the “fun zone” where a lot of Spector users tend to run their basses to get that sound. EQ in this range is often referred to as being “dimed.”
  5. Stomp the button to toggle the unit OFF and ON.
  6. If the LED is ON, the HAZard LAMPS is doing its thing. Time to slappa da bass!
LED = OFFPreamp is disabled and input is physically bypassed to the output. This is the mode the unit should be in when playing a Spector with the EQ dimed.
LED = ONPreamp is enabled and BASS and TREBLE controls are operational.

This is the mode the unit should be in when playing a passive bass. Knobs should be set to the same positions as on the Spector bass to ensure the output levels and EQ of the passive bass output match the Spector.


Enclosure style:152B
Enclosure dimensions:122mm (L) x 67mm (W) x 39.6mm (H)
Power Supply (nominal):9VDC @ 20mA
Power Supply (minimum):4VDC @ 20mA
Power Supply (maximum):18VDC @ 20mA
EQ Cut/Boost: +/-15dB

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