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Questions about Tech 21 VT Bass 500 head

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by banebass, Nov 20, 2018.


  1. banebass

    banebass

    Jun 4, 2009
    Zemun,Serbia,Europe
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses
    I'm considering buying this head, but have some questions for all of you owning it. I couldn't really find straight answers by reading through the threads.

    When a dummy plug is in the effects loop, does it mutes all the outputs (both speaker outputs and the XLR) or just speaker outputs?

    Does the Level control has an affect on the XLR output or it's just a master volume control for the speaker outputs? Meaning, XLR out level is fixed with a pad switch for adjusting.

    I'm looking for a "warm, tube" sound, not really overdriven. So does it have the power when staying clean compared to all the rest of 500w class D offerings?

    I would very much appreciate if someone could help me with this questions.
    Thanks!
     
  2. tech21nyc

    tech21nyc Commercial User

    Aug 17, 2010
    Manufacturer: Tech 21
    If you put a dummy plug into the effects return only it will mute the speaker outs and XLR when the effects loop is engaged.

    The Level control adjusts both the output of the amp and XLR level. Use the XLR pad switch if you need more or less level at the board.

    It's a loud amp at 500 watts. Just remember that the Drive control also adjust your input gain. It stays fairly clean until about Noon depending upon the Character setting and output of your bass. I can't comment on similar wattage amps. 500 watts should be loud enough for just about any gig. The problem is that many players are trying to work backwards by using less higher wattage speakers and more power. In the end if you want more volume you need to move more air and that only happens with more speakers.
     
  3. banebass

    banebass

    Jun 4, 2009
    Zemun,Serbia,Europe
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses
    Thanks Tech 21 for a clear answer!
    I'm deciding between VT 500 or VTDI and some class D amp, but it's appealing having it all in one unit.
    I just wish it was fixed level of XLR, or separate level control for XLR, so if more stage volume is needed mid gig, I don't mess a lot FOH mix. And, of course, I'm aware of more volume = more speakers! ;)
    VT500 looks very tempting!
    Thanks!
     
    Arthur U. Poon likes this.
  4. Yahboy

    Yahboy

    May 21, 2008
    I own a smaller bro , VT bass 200 combo.
    A nice compact and lightweight combo with great tone.
    Tone are fuller and meaty( 12 in driver ) than my current Hartke KB15 (15 hydrive )and previous Fender Rumble 200 V3 combo (china made eminence 15 driver).
     
    banebass likes this.
  5. tech21nyc

    tech21nyc Commercial User

    Aug 17, 2010
    Manufacturer: Tech 21
    Yes, I get what you're saying. There is no easy answer. Depending upon how you have the unit set or even if you're using a standard DI of just your bass, the level will change at the board. If the band is getting louder on stage that will change everything for FOH and they will probably have to alter their settings anyway. Our designer was reluctant to make the DI fixed as that can have drawbacks as well.
     
  6. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    Well CRAP!!!
    I just received this head today and that's a deal breaker for me.
    Wish i'd have known.
    A dedicated D.I. out should always be pre master level (or, at least, switchable).
    The Quilter Bass Block is being dumped in droves now because of this same issue
    (and why they're supposedly changing this in the 2nd series).
    I can't have onstage volume adjustments messing with the front of house feed.

    Its too bad because I like the tone even better than my VT (original version) and VT Deluxe pedals.
    Aaaarg!!!
     
  7. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Dumped in droves over the XLR out?
    :D

    I'd bet if anything more people have an issue with not having traditional EQ. And that's largely about not wanting to need to learn something new. Because people who understand it seem to get excellent results.

    My preference is for an independent Master but that really hasn't been a dealbreaker in more than two solid years of gigging. Sound people love it.
    :D
     
  8. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    Oh, there's definitely that (EQ) also.
    But I've also noticed a lot of the many sellers that have put theirs up in the classifieds in the last 6 months or more
    are also many of the same who didn't care for the lack of the independent master in the various threads.
    Nothing against the sound. I just won't be trying one until the mark-2 version comes out.
     
  9. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Cool.

    I've followed the Quilter threads and have seen many who've ended up selling their's and most didn't specify that the linked master was the reason. That's why I commented. Plenty have cited the tone controls. Some have even repurchased after initially complaining about the EQ... they spent time learning how it functioned the second time around.

    I use my line out on the majority of my gigs. My preference is to be able to turn my cab, up, down, even off independent of FOH. But I'm not a tweaker so setting my amp with or without a soundcheck has been a non-issue with my BB800. In the scheme of things it's a very minor nit and I wouldn't trade mine to get that feature.
     
  10. tech21nyc

    tech21nyc Commercial User

    Aug 17, 2010
    Manufacturer: Tech 21
    The DI out on the VT 500 is not the same as a standard DI box. Because the unit is emulating a tube amp, changing settings on the amp will ultimately change the overall output level. This would happen even if the level control was fixed. If you're turning up or down the volume of your stage monitor or bass amp the tech mixing the FOH will most likely need to readjust.
     
    jeff7bass and Kro like this.
  11. Skybone

    Skybone

    Jun 20, 2016
    Scotland
    Is it 500w at 4ohms?

    What's the output at 8ohms?
     
  12. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    Of course, to a point. I just wish wish it was like on my Markbass (and most other) heads.
    Switchable, set to "Pre", the tap is after the input gain but before the EQ.
    "Post", the tap is after the EQ.
    Either setting the tap is pre master so onstage volume adjustments won't affect FOH, monitor and recording feeds, etc..

    I play a lot of showrooms here and the FOH guys won't let you use the amp D.I. if your amp volume affects the amp D.I. level. If I have to use a separate D.I. box to prevent it, what's the point of having a D.I. on the amp?

    Switch the pre and EQ in or out if need be. But not having a master for amp volume only, without affecting the D.I. level, is simply a deal breaker for me.
     
  13. tech21nyc

    tech21nyc Commercial User

    Aug 17, 2010
    Manufacturer: Tech 21
    On most amps the pre DI signal is like a standard DI. It's just the direct signal from your bass. The post DI signal on most amps is just adding the EQ section of your amp but there is no amp or speaker emulation. The whole point of our SansAmp technology was to give you the sound of an amp emulated DI signal vs the sound of just your bass pickups. I'm not sure what to tell you. As I said, even if the XLR was pre level control, any changes made to the Drive, Character or EQ controls would still change the level to the board. I guess if the sound tech doesn't understand or just wants to treat every rig the same you can capitulate and plug into the standard DI they provide. At that point the sound coming out of the PA will just be your bass not the amp.
     
  14. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    Well aware of all this. It just makes life a little easier.
     
  15. Get a good DI. I use the Radial Pro passive. Sound guys will thank you. My experience may be unique, but I have generally found the onboard XLR and DIs to be noisy and problematic.
     
  16. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    The point you're missing is I bought the VTBass 500 to try for the tone I hoped it would produce based on my use of their VTBass pedals. It did even better. However, I expected it would have pre or post EQ D.I. options that were independent/unaffected by the master volume, just like my Markbass and many (if not most) similar class D heads do.

    I know not every built in Amp D.I. is great (regardless of independent master volume or not). But I play a lot of large, pro showrooms here and I've got nothing but complements from FOH guys on the D.I. out of my various Markbass heads.

    A separate D.I. box (regardless of quality) misses the point in either case (or head).
     
    Skybone likes this.
  17. jeff62

    jeff62 Supporting Member

    Oct 24, 2005
    Orlando, FL
    So what do your guitarists do? DI or they never touch their amps after sound check? Because if you’re adjusting your stage volume, you’re negatively affecting the stage mix agreed during sound check.

    Maybe amp/speaker emulation just isn’t the direction that best suits you. That’s a different issue than a DI that is variable with the use of emulation. Effectively, the VT setup mimics a bass cab being mic’ed. This has always been my preference regardless of the amp I’m using because then FOH gets the tone of my stage set up (vs. a pre or post DI that is just the dry bass).

    I’ve played plenty of large stages as well and this has never been an issue for the sound guys. They understand that it’s no different than mic’ing the cab. And, IME, all band members already understand that changing stage volume post sound check for FOH is verboten. Of course, the two channels give you the “change my volume” capability and you could account for that during soundcheck.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2019
    jeff7bass and tech21nyc like this.
  18. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    For one, treble instruments never seem to be as affected from sound check to actual show by the sound absorbtion of bodies that weren't there at sound check so my guitarists, keyboardists, etc. don't seem to have much need for a volume change after the house is filled. Bass tends to be a different animal.

    Once the gain structure (not volume) on my channel is set to optimum at the board, FOH guys are grateful that it doesn't change just because I may need a slight volume adjustment from an empty room (sound check) to a full house.

    Its not like the technology isn't there as most heads of this type, like my Markbass', employ it as a viable option already.
    Allowing you to use the amp's EQ/emulation in post mode without upsetting the gain structure already set for FOH.
    That's why on my gigs, a slight on stage volume adjustment isn't "verboten".
    The showrooms are usually big enough that a slight "on stage" volume change won't be noticed FOH.
    Especially since the outgoing gain structure hasn't been changed.
     
  19. jeff62

    jeff62 Supporting Member

    Oct 24, 2005
    Orlando, FL
    But we are talking about stage volume, correct? Even if I agreed (I don’t) that lower frequency sound waves are somehow affected differently than higher frequency sound waves when you insert a crowd, there are no additional bodies on stage to affect the stage mix. And, IME, what you hear is a more a factor of your monitor mix than your stage volume. It just seems that amp and speaker emulation are not your cup of tea because the solutions to your problem already exist elsewhere.
     
  20. tech21nyc

    tech21nyc Commercial User

    Aug 17, 2010
    Manufacturer: Tech 21
    ??? Really? I play lead guitar and and generally for band shows use a mic'd tube amp. When the drums and bass get louder so do I. That will change my level at the board. Everything changes once the system gets turned up and the place fills with people. I've never had a sound tech make an issue of it. The reality is that the skill level of most sound techs is usually not very good. We did an indoor gig at the Hard Rock Casino in AC last year and were told to keep the stage volume very low. Okay. So we do the check and we play soft. We start playing and now all I hear is kick drum coming from the gigantic Meyer subs that are on each side of the stage. It obliterated the entire onstage sound.

    Moral of the story is the sound tech just wants to make their job as easy as possible. They're supposed to be mixing not micromanaging what's happening on stage. It should be a cooperative effort not a dictatorial one. Don't get intimidated by someone that tries to bully you to cover up their lack of skill.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2019
    jeff7bass and Low Class like this.

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