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Tech 21 VT Bass DI vs. Ampeg SCR DI

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Ross McLochness, Apr 21, 2015.


  1. Ross McLochness

    Ross McLochness Living Room Bassist Extraordinaire

    Aug 20, 2013
    Eden Prairie, MN
    I see there is a lot of steam regarding the new Ampeg SCR DI.
    For those who have tried both it and the Tech 21 VT Bass DI I'd love to hear some opinions. I'm assuming this would be an "apples to apples" comparison. If it isn't please educate me.
     
    St33l likes this.
  2. subscribed!
     
  3. Mostresticator

    Mostresticator

    Feb 25, 2015
    subbed.
     
  4. 4StringsEnough

    4StringsEnough

    Mar 9, 2008
    I've tried both and much prefer the VT Bass (of which the DI version with added blend and bite controls is my favourite). To me, it sounds more like Ampeg than the SCR does. Through the Character control it has more variety of sounds and, if you want a distorted sound then the Tech 21 has one of the best sounds available while I really didn't like the distortion on the SCR at all. YMMV.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2015
    sleepyEDB and AndrewTaran like this.
  5. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    Subscribed, bumped, interested in comparisons ...
     
  6. fasto

    fasto

    Mar 4, 2007
    Amsterdam, NL
    bump ... i also would like to hear some opinions.
     
  7. Thanks for the review. Very helpful. :thumbsup:

    My church provides the SansAmp BDDI as part of the standard equipment for the bass players, so that's what I've learned to use for the last couple of years. But now that I'm seriously considering investing in my own gear, the VT Bass DI is at the top of my GAS list.

    One thing I've never quite understood, though, is the "speaker sim" feature on it. Would you be able to enlighten me on it - what it does and what the practical benefit might be? Thanks.
     
    Mike in Chicago likes this.
  8. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    If I may ... it's bassicaly a filtering or EQ curve that simulates the sound from micing a typical bass speaker enclosure. The main effect is a high end cut that is mostly useful if you use distortion, the sound is less harsh if you cut the highest frequencies.
     
  9. Thanks for the insight. I get it now... I think. ;)
     
  10. Working Bass

    Working Bass Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2006
    London, ENGLAND
    I have never got that if its a high end cut, how come so much clank, and that the high clank is less with the SIM disengaged?
     
  11. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    That's not how I hear it ... to me the sound is a bit mellower with the speaker sim on.

    Or are you maybe thinking of the bite button?
     
  12. Working Bass

    Working Bass Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2006
    London, ENGLAND
    No, the speaker SIM. I hear what is always said about high end roll off, but cant get my head around why so much high end and less with it disengaged??
     
  13. Doner Designs

    Doner Designs Steve Doner Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2012
    Metro Chicago Area
    Doner Designs is an alias for Steve Doner
    I now have both and was unexpectedly blown away by the Ampeg. To my ear, the main Ampeg bass boost seems to be at a lower/deeper frequency and the super-low button adds even more beef.

    I got the Ampeg largely for the headphone and aux-in features but fell in love with the tone right away.

    The aesthetics of the Ampeg are cool too. It's like a brick - very heavy as pedals go (very SVT-like) - you could use it as a weapon. The feel of the thing just reeks of quality.
     
    CharlyG likes this.
  14. My thoughts. First the bad. The Ampeg's input distorts too easily. Adjusting the internal jumper to -15db helped fix this but it also sucked out all the tone. Distorts with my hot P-bass and Active basses however works fine with low output pickups like older pbasses and jazz basses. Not sure how Ampeg let this get past them. I did find a work around. I put a compressor in front of the Ampeg and lowered the gain until the clipping stopped. At this point I started to put the pedal thru a series of test and they were all mostly good. I plugged all pedals directly to the board and listend with my best headphones. I wanted to hear every little nuance. As a stand alone DI my REDDI and Avalon easily trumped the Ampeg however if you want that signature Ampeg sound then look no further. Ampeg got that part right. It growls and has that Ampeg lowend grunt tone for days. I compared the Ampeg to all my other DI based pedals you see in the photo and each pedal sounded good in different ways. The VT Bass has more of a mid bass sound and it mimicks the Ampeg but the Ampeg has a much deeper sound and sounds closer to an SVT then the VT Bass. The Bass Driver has a slightly deeper sound than the VT but still in the same camp as the VT. Ampeg still wins over both Tech 21 Pedals. Next up was the MXR Bass DI which was cleaner sounding than the Tech 21 pedals but not as big sounding as the Ampeg so Ampeg again wins that round. Last was the Aguilar and Sadowsky pedals. Both the Aguilar and Sadowsky are very simular in sound however the Aguilar is cleaner and more flexible. The Ampeg and Aguilar were neck in neck when it comes to that girthy massive low end and the Aguilar has a fatter top end which was missing from the Ampeg but the Ampeg has that growly SVT thing in spades. So I wont call a winner here I will just say depending on the sound you are going for The Aguilar or Ampeg could both work in different settings. I would use the Ampeg for tracking rock and the Aguilar for pop and jazz styles. So the Ampeg is a keeper as well as my trusty Aguilar the others are going on Ebay since they have been trumped.
     

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    gerodoth, Mili, AlexanderB and 5 others like this.
  15. Doner Designs

    Doner Designs Steve Doner Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2012
    Metro Chicago Area
    Doner Designs is an alias for Steve Doner
    I think the Ampeg has a substantially deeper done. Would be interesting to know what frequency the bass boost frequencies are for both.

    I'm tempted to sell the VT and pick up another Ampeg (to pair with a secondary amp setup).
     
  16. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    The BDDI isn't listed in the manual, but the bass on the SCR-DI is centered at 40 hz just like their amps.
     
    AlexanderB likes this.
  17. 12bass

    12bass

    Jan 2, 2003
    Victoria, Canada
    The speaker simulation on the VT Bass has both a treble boost around 3 kHz and a treble roll-off around 5 kHz; the "clank" comes from the 3 kHz boost. With the sim bypassed, the response curve is flatter. This has been the subject of confusion since the original pedal was released.

    Graphs tell the story: Tech21 VT-Bass - where's the magic ? | TalkBass.com
     
    superheavyfunk and OldogNewTrick like this.
  18. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    So here's my "taking off the endorser hat" take on how the SCR-DI and VT shake out against each other. I've had the SCR-DI for a while now, way before it hit shelves, and had a good chance to compare them on gigs.

    Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Both sound like Ampeg and employ speaker simulation that rolls off the highs very nicely like a tweeterless cab, though it sounds to me like the SCR-DI rolls off lows at a little lower point than the VT. The big advantage of the VT is a wider range of dirt, going from barely on rumble to all out fuzz, whereas the SCR does a decently hard overdrive but doesn't get into the fuzzier territory. The EQ's are different, but they're both pretty versatile and cop the sounds I like and need. For me, the big difference in the EQ's is that while you might be able to get some sounds out of the VT that you can't get out of the SCR, the VT has a much higher learning curve due to the sensitivity of the knobs, especially when distortion comes into play. On-the-fly changes can really put the screws to you if you're not used to it. But the SCR-DI's EQ is much less sensitive and still allows for a high amount of versatility, and the implementation of the Scrambler circuit is so idiot proof that even beginners can get really good OD sounds that balance with their clean sound within seconds. Being able to footswitch the overdrive in and out is also nice, although if you want harder sounds out of the Scrambler, you're best to adjust the EQ for some more bass, which might make the low end overwhelming for your clean tone. But it still sounds quite good for a little grunt when you use the blend knob and dial in some clean sound with the Scrambler, and it's easier to make your distorted tone unity gain with your clean tone when you do that as well, although it's really not hard to keep unity gain no matter what route you take. And the headphone and music player inputs are sweet for silent practice. Not the most important thing for me, but it's there if you want it.

    I like them both for different reasons and I have no intentions of slagging the VT after years of being very happy with my VT Deluxe and the V1 pedal I had before it. It's a very cool and highly innovative pedal that does everything from clean to fuzz and does it in a legitimately Ampeg way. But while the SCR may not get the immense range of clean-to-fuzz like the VT, it's much easier to change tones on the fly without sending your sound tech into a panic. Beginners, intermediate players, and newcomers to distortion will certainly have an easier time getting usable sounds out of the SCR-DI. That's not to say that you can't get really good sounds out of the box with the VT...just that it's got very sensitive knobs that make huge changes with small twists. I'm sure some will prefer the SCR and some will prefer the VT, but that's how I size them both up.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2015
  19. Doner Designs

    Doner Designs Steve Doner Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2012
    Metro Chicago Area
    Doner Designs is an alias for Steve Doner
    I thought I saw somewhere that the VT and SCR bass boosts both focus on 40hz. I wonder why the Ampeg sounds beefier. Maybe it's voiced with some bass boost even when it's "flat"? I'm finding I like the EQ better on the Ampeg and like the overdrive better on the VT.
     
    Unemploid likes this.
  20. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    The Ampeg's bass knob is centered at 40 hz, but the VT's is centered at 125hz.
     
    Mili and AlexanderB like this.

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