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How is the Vintage Microtube as a Transparent Tube Overdrive?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Bassheart365, Oct 5, 2016.


  1. Mosfed

    Mosfed

    Apr 21, 2013
    Chamonix Mont-Blanc
    Partner - CCP Pedals
    Well to get back on track.

    I like DG and own a B7k, VMT and Duality that Doug did a great mod to. I have had nothing but good experiences with Darkglass and would gladly recommend their products to people looking for that kind of sound.

    That said, I do not think that the VMT is a good pedal to cop a tube amp being pushed into overdrive. I haven't owned every tube amp ever made and make my judgement based on 3 SVTs, a vr4 and a few traynor amps that I have had access to over the years. I enjoy the VMT's drive and I should use it more (it's been on the shelf for a bit). But it doesn't sound like a tube drive at all and I often wonder why Darkglass uses the title they do.

    For a tube drive sound I would recommend the Fairfield Barbershop. I also like the Azure Drive, Bearfoot/BJFE Blueberry (but it is a little dark for some), the Honey Bee is a clearer example than the Blueberry and even can get a good tube sound from the Dunwich Volt Thrower on no-clipping with lowish gain.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2016
    blindrabbit, loopee, Snowglo and 3 others like this.
  2. GMC

    GMC

    Jan 1, 2006
    Walmer
    Actually...the OP was asking for a TRANSPARENT over drive...the DG fans read this to mean "insert your favorite overdrive here...."
    I've not made any shots at anyone...you made this personal and the fact that you are a self proclaimed "DG artist" says a lot.
    I take issue with your comment that I was caustic or emotional...you brought that here and I was neither. There seems to be an almost religious fervor over DG products. While I respect their products...they are just stomp boxes. I think that accolade should really go the the Grizzly Over Drive....G.O D. pedal...after all, it's written on the box (joke...ok...)

    I have yet to use a DG product that really does sound like a tube amp...sorry but that's my findings on my set up. I have plenty of overdrive pedals that do. But...as I said before...if you need an Overdrive that cuts through a congested mix...nothing does that better than a DG pedal. BUT IT IS NOT TRANSPARENT...which is what the OP was asking for. I am not criticizing the pedal...just your recommendation of it in this particular thread and context.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2016
    birminghambass likes this.
  3. birminghambass

    birminghambass Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2002
    Birmingham, AL
    Ah TB. So much emotion over inanimate objects.

    My input: love DG gear, no substitute for a B3K when I need that tone. But I think there are better options for a transparent overdrive. Pork Loin, Barbershop, EBS Multidrive, Blueberry all retain the character of your bass better than the VMT in my opinion.
    Disclaimer: I don't build pedals and my only endorsement is Just For Men beard coloring.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2016
    loopee, Snowglo, mrwood4 and 3 others like this.
  4. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Seriously? :rollno: And you wonder why people take issue with your comments.

    I don't claim to be a tube amp expert, but my go-to amp for the better part of a decade was the vintage SVT -- never a blue panel, but I had a round light with toggles and then a 1st gen square light with rocker switches. Had both the fridge and coffin cabs. My favorite SVT tone was cranking it loud on a large stage or outdoors. I'd also mess with the EQ, in particular using the mid set to 3kHz: it slices right through the mix and brightens up bass cabinets (especially tweeterless ones) in a more aggressive way than the Treble control.

    I have never heard a pedal that fully clones the vintage SVT, but the B7K comes as close as any I've tried to my favorite tone from that amp. In particular, the B7K Hi Mid voiced at 2.8k is functionally equivalent to 3k. The SABDDI/RBI Presence control gives that vibe too, but that circuitry has more scoop than the B7K. I'd say the VT Bass is more Ampeggy overall than B7K or SABDDI, but it can't give me the tone I loved from the SVT.

    You or others can disagree with my assessment, but that doesn't make me wrong because no one else is using my tone chain and technique. I typically run an active 5-string P-bass through a boutique Reiner amp (all-tube front end, solid state power section) through the Bergantino NV610 (which I like as much as the Ampeg 8x10). I don't give a crap how the B7K sounds in a clinical situation. All I care about is how it works at the gig in my signal chain. End result is the tube vibe I've been looking for (one of those vibes, anyway)... as close as I've come with a solid state power amp.
     
    FaithNoMan and MDBass like this.
  5. taylor16

    taylor16

    Dec 25, 2012
    USA
    Hate to pile on but you do (and have in the past) come across as pretentious and somewhat self-serving.
     
    Mosfed, FaithNoMan and MDBass like this.
  6. MDBass

    MDBass Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Dingwall-Fender-Jule-Dunlop-Tech 21-Darkglass-Nordstrand
    You really need to read things more carefully before jumping in half cocked, "bud" ;) It was John's review that I referred to as caustic and emotional, and you were all kinds of condescending in your opening post; the very reason why I immediately started having some fun at your expense.

    It also clearly says what brands I endorse in my sig: it's forum rules about full disclosure.

    You should probably try reading the entire OP again as well :thumbsup: He specifically asked about the VMT, so this nonsense about me recommending it out of the blue is just that, nonsense.

    As is this entire thread derail about the EQ curves and the "doesn't sound exactly like a tube amp" nature of the pedals, since once again the OP already specifically said that he likes DG pedals.

    The post you quoted isn't even directed at you, it was clearly a reply to John.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2016
  7. MDBass

    MDBass Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Dingwall-Fender-Jule-Dunlop-Tech 21-Darkglass-Nordstrand
    I was really surprised no one had mentioned the Fairfield yet; every single one of tese type of threads usually has multiple recomendations for the Blueberry and the Barbershop straight out of the gate.

    I don't have any experience with Barbershop personally, but everything I've seen and heard seems like it's THE "transparent" touch sensitive unit.

    Have you tried the mini, always on version?
     
  8. jumblemind

    jumblemind I also answer to Bryan Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2011
    Knoxville
    Objectively, there was no condescension in the opening post you're referring to. In fact, there was nothing but praise for what the VMT can do. You are the one that brought in some external quote that never appeared in this conversation as a way of baiting and arguing, my friend. I hesitated to ever join in to this kind of thing, but I'm doing so in hopes that it will give more reason for mods to come in here and shut the thing down.
     
  9. MDBass

    MDBass Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Dingwall-Fender-Jule-Dunlop-Tech 21-Darkglass-Nordstrand
    You must have missed it, so here it is:

    "Sorry bud, but you really have some rose tinted specs on where the Darkglass dirt pedals are concerned. I suppose you mean...incredibly transparent if you dial out the pedal to almost nothing? JohnK put one of these pedals on an oscilloscope and traced the baked in EQ curve.
    There was a big boost at around 500K and two mid huge cuts at 300hz and 700hz....trust me...this pedal is NOT transparent at all.
    DarkglassB3K"

    Not sure how can you read that as anything other than needlessly derisive; not a word of praise about the VMT either, and even includes a totally irrelevant appeal to authority talking about how terrible the B3K is (which the OP has already said he likes and isn't what's being discussed) to boot.

    The thread was already back on track and I highly doubt John is coming back, so it should be smooth sailing from here :D
     
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  10. Mosfed

    Mosfed

    Apr 21, 2013
    Chamonix Mont-Blanc
    Partner - CCP Pedals
    Yeah I tried it. I kinda wish they had dropped the sag and added a footswitch. I grabbed one as my barbershop was almost always on. But then I realized that I actually did turn it off occasionally - usually when I was stacking in different effects. So the mini went to the shelf.
     
  11. jumblemind

    jumblemind I also answer to Bryan Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2011
    Knoxville
    Ah, I see the confusion. I think you missed his actual first post in the thread:

    "No you can't [dial out the mids]. The mids control is at a different frequency and Q to the big mid scoop. The EQ "tone" is baked in and outside of a very big graphic EQ...you are stuck with it....and no a blend control doesn't clear it out either....that just dials the pedal's sound out to zero.

    The reason the VMT is so popular is that it's EQ is really well voiced to cut through a busy sound stage. But on it's own or solo...that EQ is pretty strong and a million miles away from transparent. If you want to add a layer of grit to an existing tone that you are happy with...ie the OP's request then the Barbershop is probably the way to go. If you want a dirt pedal to make your messed up chain punch through on a loud sound stage and don't care how it messes with your tone...then the VMT is the way to go."

    All of which is fair and accurate in my experience. For the second post you quoted above, fair point on some of the snark, but I took the oscilloscope stuff to be an appeal to fact, not an appeal to authority that would require an ad hominem rebuttal.
     
  12. MDBass

    MDBass Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Dingwall-Fender-Jule-Dunlop-Tech 21-Darkglass-Nordstrand
    Well damn...I don't have room for the full sized one of my board, so I was hoping the mini was perfect. I may have to finally get around AB'ing the Cali TX with the CB to see if I can free up some space.
     
  13. Mosfed

    Mosfed

    Apr 21, 2013
    Chamonix Mont-Blanc
    Partner - CCP Pedals
    I have both the TX and the CB and I only gig with the CB. The TX is amazing but the size and power requirements (if you don't use 18v it's basically just a CB) mean I use it almost exclusively in the studio. Sorry about the lack of good news on the Barbershop mini - it's cool and all but I really would rather have a footswitch than the useless (for me) sag knob.
     
  14. MDBass

    MDBass Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Dingwall-Fender-Jule-Dunlop-Tech 21-Darkglass-Nordstrand
    I didn't miss his first post, and if that's the way he had chosen to reply to me we probably wouldn't even be talking about this.

    Him bringing up John's review at all was an appeal to authority, and the fact that it was in reference to a completely different circuit (and one the OP already mentioned he liked) made it both irrelevant and rather funny.

    Which is why my initial reply was only a tongue in cheek return of his snark and an attempt to get the thread back on track...but he choose to double down instead, and then John himself showed up, so off to the races we went.

    Like I said, I think we're past it now :thumbsup:
     
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  15. MDBass

    MDBass Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Dingwall-Fender-Jule-Dunlop-Tech 21-Darkglass-Nordstrand
    I have it running at 18 on a Voodoo Labs supply, and I feel like I might miss the metering as well.

    No worries about the mini, pretty sure that's the very definition of a "first world problem" ;)

    The Sag knob is designed to emulate power tube sag, correct?
     
  16. Mosfed

    Mosfed

    Apr 21, 2013
    Chamonix Mont-Blanc
    Partner - CCP Pedals
    You know, I was convinced I would miss the metering as well. But the two tone LED on the CB is actually pretty useful. I can tell when I am hitting it lightly, medium, full on etc. I ended up not missing it as much as I had expected. I have room and the powering requirements to use the TX on one of my gig boards and I honestly always go back to the CB. Given I also have a Transboost on that board so I have transformer saturation dialed in elsewhere.

    Yeah - that's what the SAG knob is supposed to do. But it doesn't introduce anything that I like. I go to the Barbershop for one thing - a nice transparent, touch sensitive drive that cuts through the mix and doesn't lose any low end. I don't need it to do medium or heavy drive and actually I don't even like it with an active signal.
     
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  17. Bassheart365

    Bassheart365 Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2014
    Northern California aka Paradise
    "Funk Not Only Moves, It Removes"
    Ok, based on the comments so far, and what I'm looking for, think I'll go with the Barbershop Millennium OD. Thanks all...
     
    Mosfed likes this.
  18. The only real transparent tube overdrive in my mind are a all tube amp with a xotic rc booster or a bb preamp in the amp input. no pedal no pedal will ever do that. I own and like DG stuff...
     
  19. Snowglo

    Snowglo Pro Aris et Focis Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2013
    Orygun
    U.S. Military endorsement since 1984
    I'm surprised this thread didn't make you sell all your bass gear, move to Kenya and play percussion in a Reggae band. :facepalm:

    On a serious note, I just sold my BS ME because I wasn't using it with my new Spector thru a VMTD. The VMTD on low gain setting works well (IMHO) with active pups. However, the BS kills with a Rick. YMMV of course.

    If I was you, I would spend the extra cash and get a Grizzly. OD and distortion options in addition to touch sensitivity. If it doesn't work out, you can sell it here within 15 minutes of listing it. :thumbsup:
     
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  20. MDBass

    MDBass Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Dingwall-Fender-Jule-Dunlop-Tech 21-Darkglass-Nordstrand
    I may be wrong, but I believe the "Barbershop" recommendations were for the Fairfield Barbershop :thumbsup:
     
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