VT Bass Deluxe as a Pre, using the fx loop, observations and lessons learned
Just wanted to share some realizations and lessons learned using the Vt Bass deluxe to drive a power amp or powered wedge or any other situation where the gain is set up lots above unity gain, while employing the fx loop.
I use the VT Bass Deluxe as the centre piece of my board, I have a wireless, tuner, and compressor in line prior to the input. the xlr out goes to the board, the 1/4" out goes to a GEB-7 eq pedal, and then to a power amp or powered wedge, depending on what size gig I'm doing.
I run a Zoom MS-60B in the effects loop to take care of any other effects I need, as I can turn the effects loop off, scroll thru my presets on the MS-60B to the effect I need and then switch the effects loop back on when I need an effect - and this part of my set up is the reason for my post.
The effects loop on the VT Bass Deluxe is positioned after all the gain staging - so after the Drive and Level pots. This means that if you are running the VT BD hot, to drive a power amp, the effects loop is getting that really hot signal also. Most effects pedals are designed to receive instrument level signal, not line level (+20dB more that instrument level approx). What I was finding is that the MS-60B sounds great when used stand alone, but with the VT BD it was undefined, sometimes distorted, and generally underwhelming to listen to.
I know Mike Putnam does effects loop mods to the VT BD but I'm not sure if the mods he does move where it is in the signal chain of the pedal itself.
However - the 1/4" boost button (which ads 10dB from memory) is after the effects loop, and therefore is vital to setting up your gain properly and getting the best out of your effects loop if you are using the VT BD in this way. If your VT BD is also sometimes used in front of an amp then turning off the 1/4" boost makes it amp friendly without having to adjust all your patches.
Further to this, running something as simple and cheap as a Boss GEB-7 between the VT BD 1/4" out and your power amp allows you to use this as a gain stage also, and you can dial in a difficult room with the eq rather than having to change all 6 patches.
Thanks heaps to Rob at Pro Harmonics in Adelaide Australia who took the time with me to have a look inside my VT BD when I thought it was faulty, and working this out with me at minimal cost
Hopefully this helps some board members that are using this awesome pedal as a Preamp.
Gear: Eden WT800B, 610xlt, 210xst (2) Sunn1200s, Berg NV412 Basses: Musicman SR5, Fender CS 64 Jazz, CS Reggie Hamilton V, MIJ '89 P bass, MIJ '94 Jazz Fretless, Ubass.