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hartke bass attack or tech 21 vt bass

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by cliff em all, Dec 31, 2012.

  1. cliff em all

    cliff em all

    Jul 6, 2012
    hey what do you guys think on the hartke vxl bass attack? do you think i would be better off saving up and getting a tech 21 vt bass or is the hartke awesome as hell?
  2. crapusername


    Sep 26, 2005
    North Kent.UK
    endorsing artist: Dean guitars, Marshall , Rotosound strings
    The hartke is awesome for the money. Can get really valvey.
  3. inmate13


    Nov 4, 2010
    I owned sansamp rbi and bddi and now I bought hartke and I like it more. If you wanna get some dirt, buy another dirt pedal with hartke :)
  4. go with hartke if you like clean sound, tech 21 for dirt ;)
  5. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    You can't beat the retro rig sounds of the VT Bass. Not without real tubes. But, cheaper pedals can do a nice job and are often worth it. If you're leaning toward the Hartke because it's cheap and has a DI, you should also consider the MXR M80. It's also cheap and has a DI...but it's distortion is better than the Hartke and it's almost certainly going to be more reliable. I just got one myself and I'm really digging it. It's my go-to pedal for analog distortion sounds now.
  6. cliff em all

    cliff em all

    Jul 6, 2012
    can you get any dirt with the hartke?
  7. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
  8. Hey Scott, another dirt/preamp thread, we meet again! Ha! lol

    I currently own both the VXL and VT and they're both awesome, it just depends on what you want and how much $ you have to spend.

    The VT is pretty awesome for a scooped Ampeg dirt with lots of color, the Hartke would be more for "clean dirt" if that makes sense... less color on the dirt sound and no huge mids scoop. The DI and Shape circuit have also proven to be quite handy. You can definitely get dirt with it... Not "fuzz dialed to 11 melt your face off" dirt, but it's got a really good rich sounding crunch. And it can get absolutely huge, too. Like, damage your speakers huge. In the last run through on this clip, I had to turn the level down to two for unity volume.

    Hartke VXL rough clip

    If the amount of dirt is simply all you're looking for, the VT does have more gain available. The VT is also a bit more aggressive and you can dial in a more cutting sound, if that's your thing. If you haven't seen this video, it's what finally pushed me over the edge to buy a VT. When I have the Tech21 on my board, I also use it as an always on, and actually my settings are pretty close to what he's got it set at at 2:01, maybe with just a little less gain.

    Tech21 VT Bass

    Also, the VXL does have one weird little quirk... the level knob functions all the time, regardless of the pedal being engaged or not. I've never found that to be an issue though. My VXL is currently an "always on" in my home rig (which I also use for recording) and my VT is currently on the sideline.

    Hope that helps. ;)

  9. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    I know right! I get into modes where I am GASing for a piece of kit and I have to poke my nose into every thread even remotely about it :)

    I gotta say I like the sound of the Hartke's overdrive. It's way better than, say, the Tone Hammer. It might even be a tiny bit better than my M80. But not piece of equipment does retro overdrive better than the VT. Not without real tubes, anyway.

    I decided I could live with not having the very best retro rock sound because in exchange I could pocket $80 and get a good DI in the process, though. Others will make different choices, obviously.
  10. I'm the same way... I research the crap out of everything, and 99% of the time it either leads to a purchase I'm happy with or helps me know something isn't for me. When I don't research... I end up with the Rusty Box. :rollno: lol

    I love my Tone Hammer, but I agree with you... I like the VXL's dirt sound better too. There's just something about it, tough to describe in words. "Rich" and "harmonic" are really the only things I can come up with. Maybe that's why they labeled the dirt knob "Harmonics." lol It's also cool that you can engage the Shape circuit separately from the dirt circuit.

    There's definitely something about the flavor that Tech21 put into the VT Bass. Pretty hot. I've got a old-school Tubeworks Bluetube (currently with a 12AU7 tube in it) and even that doesn't even manage to do what the VT does. I think they specifically meant for the VT to emulate old-school SVT's and B-15's.

    The VXL and VT both have lots of tonal control, it just depends on how much flavor you want with your sound.