Tech 21 Para Driver v2 vs BDDI vs VTBass

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by franvarin, Mar 2, 2017.

  1. franvarin


    May 30, 2013
    Rhode Island
    So, I have all three of the above preamps and I'm going to attempt to share my perspective on them. If you have any combination of the above and would like to chime in that would be great too!

    Para Driver V2
    Well, I caught a sale on this one and wanted to pick it up because of the control it looked like it might have and from doing a bunch of research on it as well. While I have not gigged it yet I can say the following. I absolutely love two things about it. First, the control you have over the mids is awesome. Once you get the hang of the way the sweep works with the blend control and the mid knob. Basically, I found if you set the blend up high the mid sweep has more effect on the tone. you set the mid to the area you want to pinpoint and then use the sweep knob to tailor it. I found I can produce a plethora of tones quite easily. I also love the "Rumble" button. it's basically a HPF. I did contact support to see what frequency is set at. The response said it is set pretty high and was really intended for acoustic bass. I tried it anyway and found it got rid of the lows that just rumble and make the tone muddy. You can dial in back some bottom end easily if you wish with either the mid controls or just a slight tweak to the bass knob. The result, really punchy and clear tone! Yes! just what I was hoping for! The upshot, I love this thing so far.

    One word...classic tone. This one has been around for a long time and has become a staple for a lot of players. I've had mine for over a year and it has never left my board. It takes time to get used to the treble and bass controls. It's really easy to end up with a scooped tone that can get lost in a live mix. Once you get the hang of it, you can get some good tone from this unit. Sounds completely different that the PD v2. That's the good thing they complement each other well. They can be used independently and I found you can run them together. You have to watch the gain if you do that though!

    I've had this one for about a year, mine is a v2 with the Sansamp button on it. I found engaging the button produces some hiss from the pedal...pretty much a bummer. So, I don't tend to use it. I must admit, what attracted me to this pedal was the same thing as many others. The desire to have that vintage Ampeg tone in a pedal and at my finger tips. Well, it was a mystery to me for the longest time. I found the tone was just OK but, then I found a sweet spot with it and pretty much don't vary the tone too much. I basically use a variation of the classic tube settings that come with the pedal. I found I can use this setting for a lot of the slower stuff we play and for some of the driving songs as well. It depends on the song... It's a good tool to have on the board for when it's needed. This pedal gets a lot of love from folks on TB. I don't begrudge them their opinion on it but, to me I like the PD and BDDI better since I find them much more versatile that the VTBass. That's not to say it's not a solid tool to have.

    One last thing... I recently acquired a Tech 21 Oxford. I've also played around with tht too and it looks like that is going to be on my board to be used on songs where I need an aggressive overdrive sound. It's smooth and can compliment my Pork Loin and Aftershock very well. They make a great combination for various dirt combinations. Finally, after going through a bunch of ovedrive and distrortion pedals, I think I've finally found the tone I prefer. I like a smooth distortion/overdrive that is not too abrasive. I get that from various combinations of these three pedals. Winner!

    So, in summary... which is best? I don't look at it that way, I see all of these as excellent in their own way. It depends on what you're going for and if you can get away with having a couple of these options on your board it will provide a lot of variety for you for sure. I intend to keep all of these on my board and use them on specific songs combined with other pedals depending on the song.

    Thoughts? What is your experience with these?
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2017
    Hoigle and Coke Kane like this.
  2. The Paradriver works VERY well with piezo equipped instruments. The Mids, Blend & touch of Drive do good things for my Rob Allen Mouse in a mix.

    My VT v1. pedal sounded sweet for ampless/IEM gigs with my Fender type basses, but didn't suit my Tobias or Mouse, so I sold it & bought the PDDI for more versatility.
    franvarin likes this.
  3. BunchyMutt

    BunchyMutt Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2014
    Bumping this @franvarin - How would you compare the character of the drives, particularly the paradriver?
  4. ugly_bassplayer


    Jan 21, 2009
    VT DI....Swiss army knife. Can save the day in many ways.
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    Primary TB Assistant

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