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Microtubes B3K into a VT Bass Deluxe

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by obsidianbass, Aug 13, 2012.

  1. Hey guys,

    Another long time lurker here - finally getting around to posting! I recently bought a Microtubes B3K (Killer pedal, but I suppose most of you know that already!) and was wondering if anyone might be able to give me some insight into getting them to "play nice". I'm able to get a decent sound running the B3K into the VT bass, but it seems like the VT sort of cuts the low end. If I try to dial it back in on the VT bass, it gets sort of boomy. Basically, is there anyone here rocking these 2 pedals that might have some words of wisdom in getting the best tone possible? Some info: I'm playing a Fender Deluxe Jazz V strung with Chromes into a GK 1001 rb-ii head. Also looking for a fairly aggressive but tight/punchy (not fuzzed out) tone, since I play in a thrash band.

    Also, does anyone who owns the B3K have some trouble setting it to unity gain? I realize there is a level for the wet signal, but it seems that if it's lowered it changes the overall quality of the overdrive (or am I crazy?)

    Thanks all. BTW, yes I searched before posting, but couldn't find anything addressing my situation.
  2. omie

    omie Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2011
    I had a tough time getting the vt to play nice with other pedals when it had any drive dialed in on the vt.
  3. xander8280


    Dec 29, 2011
    DARKGLASS! go lock, I suggest using them both with mildly gain settings each.
    I wish I have a VT or a darkglass. Awesome rig
  4. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist ZOMG! I'm back from the dead! Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2010
    Houston, TX
    The VT will really heat your signal up quite a bit. I own the VT Deluxe so it has a few other features that the regular VT doesn't (effects loop, which you can't really try with your regular VT). Do you have the VT going into the preamp section of your GK or do you bypass it? If you haven't tried it already, I would recommend bypassing the preamp and tweaking the EQ on the VT to see if it comes out good that way.

    When using overdrive/fuzz effects, I typically dial back the Character knob with the VT bass so it will beef up the tone when I crank the gain or dial in some bass on the EQ. Out of 6 possible settings, 0 of mine have the Character knob past 12 o'clock...most don't go past 9. Keep in mind though, the VT is made to sound and act like an SVT head, and it does a pretty solid job of doing so. It may take some tweaking, but I'm sure what you are looking for is do-able. Don't forget to try bypassing that GK preamp!
  5. Thanks everyone! I totally forgot about going into the effects loop of the GK - gotta try that when we practice next time. I'll try lowering the character too. Currently I have it set around 1:00 - 1:30. I guess I'm just worried that I kind of like the B3K on it's own (I'd hate to just have the VT on bypass, it's such a cool pedal!) There must be a way to dial these guys in together so that they sound killer!
  6. Well in my office at least (with a small practice amp), lowering the drive and the character to 9:00 and upping the level on the VT bass to compensate seems to have done the trick! I never really thought to drop the character since I figured the resulting tone might be a bit to wooly, especially since I'm playing flats. Sounds really, really good! I love the sound of this dirt pedal much more than than the dirt from the VT alone. Can't wait to try it out with the full band! Thanks again guys!
  7. Darkglass

    Darkglass Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 10, 2008
    Helsinki, Finland
    Douglas Castro, Founder: darkglass.com
    Hey! First fo all thanks for your biz and for the kind words!
    About your question, I personally don't use a VT Bass, but I do use a lot of Ampeg, and I love the Microtubes+Ampeg combo!

    Being said that, I guess you might like to set the VT Bass with Drive and Character knobs fairly low... so to emulate a clean SVT or Fliptop, and then add dirt with the B3K and adjust EQ to taste!

    As for the Volume, the reason of why you might like the tone of the pedal when set to higher volumes is that we tend to prefer louder volumes generally, is more of a psychological factor... the frequency response the brain interprets also varies greatly according to sound levels, the higher the volume, the more low and high end is perceived!

    Hope this helps ;).

    Kind Regards
  8. DeltaPhoenix

    DeltaPhoenix Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2011
    Trash that VT Bass! B3K's got this!
    Or sell both the VT Bass and B3K and get a B7K.
  9. Lol! I was actually thinking seriously about doing that! The B3k really does sound so good on its own, it's quickly becoming a "always on" effect for me. I feel like I'm stretching to include the VT bass, although the deluxe does have some cool/useful features.

    Also Doug, it's a pleasure to buy from someone who obviously cares about his products so much. You really have made a "holy grail" for bass overdrive. Thanks for the advice, I think that cleaner settings on the VT are just what the doctor ordered, and you're probably right about the level messing with my perceptions. The pedal just seems so gnarly when it's cranked a bit!
  10. Darkglass

    Darkglass Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 10, 2008
    Helsinki, Finland
    Douglas Castro, Founder: darkglass.com
    Oh man is our pleasure to deal with great customers like you! This community is filled with cool and awesome people, and that makes the work so much more pleasurable!

    Thank YOU!

    Regards, Doug.
  11. Well, here's a small update for anyone that might be interested. I've decided the best combination for these 2 pedals in my setup is to run the b3k into the VT bass and to keep the VT as flat as possible. I find if I add any drive to the VT, it sucks the meat out of the b3k's distorted tone. But, even with the VT flat, all I'm really getting is some added clank to the tone. Am I still doing something wrong?

    I find myself just gravitating towards the sound of the b3k alone and I'm thinking of selling the VT deluxe. The VT could come in handy when recording or if my amp dies during a gig though. I'm on the fence. Ah well, the search for tone can be an interesting journey!
    Rev. Cornelius likes this.
  12. Maybe the VT is asserting its cab simulation and character over the B3K and that's why you don't really notice a difference. I haven't tried the B3K yet, but the VT bass is a pedal with a lot of "color," for lack of a better term, on it's own.

    Just a suggestion but have you tried running a clean(ish) tone from the VT into the B3K?
  13. Ba55Man1ac

    Ba55Man1ac Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    I highly recommend reading this thread. It helped me understand the controls on the VT & bring some awesome tones out of it.

    Some other good threads:
  14. gidbass

    gidbass Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    This is what i do, and am very happy with the results.

    Good Luck!
  15. I have tried them both ways, and I find the sound of the b3k going into the VT a little more natural sounding. The VT deluxe has so many uses (I have a passive and active bass so having different presets is nice) as well as being a solid preamp/cab sim for recording yadda yadda...I'll keep messing around with settings on both pedals to see if I can get them to sound the way I want. And thanks for the links Ba55Man1ac, I'll check those out now.
  16. simenandreas


    Jan 23, 2011
    I made two soundclips of the Darkglass b3k! Check it out:

    I think the tone worked out pletty well!

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