Tech 21 VT Bass thougts . . .

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by jhan, Jan 10, 2009.

  1. jhan

    jhan Guest

    Tech 21 VT Bass thoughts . . .

    I know, there have been plenty of VT Bass pedal threads here, but I just wanted to give some of my own impressions after about six weeks of using this thing. For moderators: If I'm you think I'm being redundant and/or are sick of this topic and you kill this thread, I'll understand.

    1) Instant, I mean INSTANT freakin' tone. I can dial from Motown warmth to ballsy grit in seconds now. I barely mess with the settings on my rack pre-amp at this point. Don't have to! A real straightforward and usable pedal - like most Tech 21 stuff.

    2) This thing is basically a pre-amp, so watch that Level knob when you engage. Your speakers and ears will thank you for it.

    3) When my guitarist first heard this thing, he did a complete double take and said, "Holy crap, what did you just do?!!" He was floored. He then told me I needed to turn down just a bit. That's a good sign.

    4) I have been on the search for a perfect overdriven tone for a long time. My version of that tone is a slight edge of grit with punchy mids and no loss of bottom. (No muffled garble or buzz-saw effect for me, thanks. Keep your Big Bass Muffs and MXR's!) I'm also a fingerstyle player, and need to compensate for that 'crunch' and clarity that you normally get from a pick. The VT Bass does it ten times over, in spades. My guitarist used to sneer at overdriven or slightly distored bass tones. Now he asks me to use them.

    BTW - I know the best way to get that awesome overdrive is to own a vintage SVT head, but I don't. Instead, I spent $150 bucks on this pedal and have come closer to it than anything I've heard. Close enough for rock and roll = good enough for me. So there!

    5) In addition to my tuner and an ISP Decimator, this pedal is always in my gig bag. ALWAYS. I am not a big effect head, nor am I a tweaker. But this thing is indespendable, at least for live use.

    6) This pedal WILL pick up and amplify any noise in your signal chain. Which is good, at least for me, because I was able to really find out about the noise in my signal chain and get rid of it. Now I have less noise. Not no noise, but a lot less.

    7) The only thing that annoys me is the frequent need to dial the Level knob. Since this is an overdrive pedal, grit = lower the Level knob or else, and back-to-clarity-and-warmth = dial that Level back up.

    If Tech21 makes a programmable pedal that sounds EXACTLY like this one, I'm all over it. Yes, they do have programmable pedals that supposedly do the same thing, but they don't. Not really. Not like this.

    Yes, I am all whoop-de-do about this pedal. I don't get that way about many things. But damn, man. This thing rocks.
  2. gibsualdo


    Jun 19, 2006
    London, England
    Heh, it's effing beautiful ain't it? I'm on my second already and I'll be getting a third, as soon as I've sold a couple of other pedals.

    The way things are going with this pedal, I'll eat my hat if they don't bring out a programmable version in the future. For the time being though, I have to mess around with loops and pay over twice as much. I guess it beats sticking with just a solid-state, until I can afford an SVT or two.
  3. I have found all of the above to be pretty much true. For my passive bass.

    My main bass is an active bass. It's magic is severely diminished on this one for some reason or another.

    Since my passive bass sees very little playing time, my VT Bass is going to be in the classifieds here shortly.
  4. jhan

    jhan Guest

    Indeed, I forgot to mention that my active bass can be a real pain in the neck with this pedal. My passive sounds much better.
  5. phatbass30


    Dec 24, 2006
    Bangkok, Thailand
    Groove is in the heart!!!
    not for me. i use an active bass with my VT. and i found all of the OP said to be true. it works to me like that as well. but my VT is use mainly as a tone shaper, not some kind of a grit pedal or effect. its the bread and butter of my tone. it makes my finger style and slapping fat, clear and crisp.
  6. jaseOZ

    jaseOZ Guest

    Apr 28, 2008
    Ocean Grove. Australia
    great write up...just makes me more impatient for the next australian shipment. I've had one on back order for 3 months now :(
  7. bass_freq

    bass_freq Guest

    Oct 24, 2008
    I finally tried this pedal out at the music store cause they had one in stock, and I wasn't really blown away by it like everyone else seems to be, there was pretty much only one setting I liked on it, any other setting had little to no difference, or sounded bad, still might get one in the far future when I can afford one, cause I do like the tone on the one setting I liked, which is better then what I have.

    might need to try it in a live band situation at higher volumes to really get the tone/feel of the pedal
  8. Ba55Man1ac

    Ba55Man1ac Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    You're more patient than I am... I finally had enough of waiting and pulled the trigger on one from the US off the 'bay. As much as I want to support local distributors/retailers, they've really got to sort their sh*t out!
  9. Jim C

    Jim C I believe in the trilogy; Fender, Stingray, + G&L Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    Can you maintain the true sound of your bass & amp with this box and only get EQ without adding grit?
    I realize that the modeled Ampeg sound was the goal but am curious if it will just do EQ.
  10. jhan

    jhan Guest

    Jim C,

    For me, this pedal makes my whole set-up sound even better. If I had a zillion dollar Eden rig, I maybe wouldn't need anything. But to answer your question for real: Although no pedal or effect is a be-all-end-all, I think this thing helps to bring out the true character of my rig. And yes, I use this pedal in a 'just EQ' sense without adding grit - all the time. The High, Mid and Low knobs do just what they are supposed to do - better, IMO, than anything else in my signal chain. (That probably says something about the rest of my signal chain!)

    The VT Bass was developed to be a tube emulation pedal. In that sense, Tech 21 claims to be able to get you to a warm tube sound, clean tube sound, over-driven tube sound, etc. In my humble experience, it does just that. I consider this thing to be a tube-emulation pedal, not an overdrive, per se, although the overdrive IMO is awesome.
  11. Jim C

    Jim C I believe in the trilogy; Fender, Stingray, + G&L Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    Have an SVT Pro and a Classic but am currently using a Trace as the tone is better suited for the majority of the material.
    Need an EQ pedal for adjustments when using J bridge only pickup.
    Also would be cool to dial in a bit of tubeness for a song or two.
    Sounds like this could be a good tool to use.
  12. jhan

    jhan Guest

    Jim C,

    You might just need a good EQ pedal, but if you decide to try the Bass VT and you don't like it, you can sell it in about 10 seconds, just like I did here with the extra one I had.
  13. LarryR


    Feb 2, 2003
    Los Angeles

    What rig and bass do you use?
  14. wizay


    Mar 5, 2008
    Thats not going to be a problem selling it, most shops dont have them, because they are all sold out
  15. jhan

    jhan Guest


    - Sansamp RBI
    - QSC GX 5 Power Amp
    - Ampeg 410 HLF
    - Line6 Bass Pod (sometimes)
    - Tech 21 Bass VT pedal, all the time
    - ISP decimator, when needed
  16. wizay


    Mar 5, 2008
    Hey jhan,a little offtopic. But how is the GX amp? Thinking of buying it, cus i dont have the need for an amp that is bridgeable.
  17. SteveC


    Nov 12, 2004
    NE ND
    Didn't do a thing for me.
  18. jhan

    jhan Guest


    The GX5 is pretty good so far. No frills, a lot of nice, clean power. 800-850 watts per single channel driven, 700 watts per channel both driven is plenty for me. I don't need to bridge either, which is why I decided on this model. It doesn't have the features of a Crown XTI, which is what I was looking at initially, but at $420 bucks new, with a free six year extended warranty, I couldn't pass it up.
  19. gibsualdo


    Jun 19, 2006
    London, England
    +1 to my ears at least, the VT sounds awesome with my very active Spector. For me, it works best running straght into my power amp.
  20. firmlybassed


    Mar 6, 2008
    Do you run the VT Bass into your Sansamp RBI??? If so what do you use it for??