Tech 21 VT-Bass

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Purple Reign, Nov 18, 2013.

  1. Purple Reign

    Purple Reign

    Aug 1, 2013
    Does the Tech 21 VT-Bass do the Ampeg SVT justice? Seems a bit too good to be true.
  2. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen Commercial User

    Jul 24, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    They are great. You can do driven SVT without face melting volume. Or you can put them into a driven smaller amp for massive sound.
  3. Mike in Chicago

    Mike in Chicago Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    They are a highly regarded around here
  4. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Play a solid state or hybrid amp with a VT plugged into it and an SVT side by side, and you can definitely tell the difference. But the VT is one of the most popular bass pedals on here for a reason...for a totally SS device that costs like $190 new, I think it does an outstanding job of mimicking what an SVT or B-15 does.
  5. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    Depends on how much of a purist you want to be. All along I've said that nothing, including the VT, will match a vintage SVT stack in full roar, however matched with the right speakers the VT gets plenty close enough for my ears. My fridge-killer rig is a VTRM rack rig over the Bergantino NV610... that cab is (sadly) discontinued, but like the SVT 8x10 it's sealed (no port) and has no tweeter, and some of us like it better than the Ampeg 8x10. That said, I have a pair of punchy 2x10 cabs that also sound fantastic with the VT, even though they are ported and have tweeters. Finally, the VT makes my Hartke Kickback 15 practice amp sound amazing even at apartment volume.

    If you want That Tone and don't mind the expense, bulk, and weight, then go for a vintage/Heritage Ampeg rig. With a VT rig you won't get all the way there, tone-wise, but you'll get close and can save significant weight and money.

    Also -- the greatest advantage of the VT is that gives you clean to dirty power tube tone at any volume. A genuine SVT doesn't have that flexibility... the power tubes are only overdriven at relatively high volume levels.
  6. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    P.S. I should add that I have two VT units. The first I got was the VT Deluxe pedal. It's called Deluxe because it can store six tone presets. Recently, I got the VTRM rackmount unit.

    At the gig I prefer VTRM into power amp rather than VT pedal into bass rig, but that's possibly because I don't like to gig with pedals. At home with my practice amp, the pedal sounds fantastic.

    The new VT Bass DI pedal has some additional features that some TBers like: speaker sim defeat switch, "Bite" switch that adds presence boost and subsonic filtering. I haven't tried this pedal so I can't comment.
  7. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    VT Deluxe is disco'ed? It's still very much available at all the major online outlets and Tech 21 still lists it in their current products.
  8. PhatRon

    PhatRon I blow bass

    Feb 29, 2012
    Lake Stevens, Wa.
    Jimmy, I have been using the Reddi for recording. I know your a Reddi user also. Have you used the vt with the Reddi with good results.
  9. DrC


    Nov 24, 2008
    JimmyM or anyone- would you mind please posting what settings you currently use for the VT Bass for SVT sound?

  10. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    As a distortion unit, yes. As further tone shaping, no. I don't dig the compression of the VT for clean sounds.
  11. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I never use it to simulate an SVT. I just turn knobs till it sounds good to me...bass 12:30, mids and character slightly past noon, treble 9:00 or 10:00, drive to taste, increasing the bass as I increase the drive.
  12. PhatRon

    PhatRon I blow bass

    Feb 29, 2012
    Lake Stevens, Wa.
    Thanks Jimmy, that's exactly what I wanted to know. The clean, the clean!!!
  13. pfschim

    pfschim Just a Skeleton with a Jazz bass

    Apr 26, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    I have the VT Deluxe pedal and have gigged it for most of this year. I would say that it will definitely delivery very good approximations of both a B15 and an SVT, with a nice range of eq and drive options in between - and it fits in a gig bag, so no hauling heavy/huge rigs around to get that sound. Its also just a darn nice pre/tone shaping box too - aside from its Ampeg tonal DNA.

    I got it to give myself some control over backlines which are a notoriously mixed bag of good and bad equipment, and the VTD has worked great for that. The 6 presets on the VTD also allow me to dial settings for several basses and have high confidence when doing a quick bass switch during a gig.

    So, I think for live sound, the VT boxes do deliver the Ampeg goods considering that most of that finely detailed bass tone goodness we fret over endlessly is generally smeared into the mix and mostly lost.

    Where you will probably really get into a difficult debate on the VT vs the "real thing" is for recording applications where the real deal Ampeg gear will really show its tonal colors much more clearly vs the VT.

    as always, just IMO/IME
  14. Alex1984


    Jan 16, 2010
    If it's good enough for JimmyM, it oughtta be good enough for the rest of us.
  15. Purple Reign

    Purple Reign

    Aug 1, 2013
    Should I take my sans amp off my board and replace it with the vt bass or can they both be on there without stepping on each others toes? I was planning on using the DI on the Sans amp with the eq from the vt bass
  16. Fair Warning

    Fair Warning Deliverin' the Goods! Supporting Member

    The VT gives me a huge advantage over bass players without it. I use it 100% of the time since it always adds juicy sweetness to every application, even when it is pre into a real SVT and REDDI. Im currently proud of my sound.
  17. Fair Warning

    Fair Warning Deliverin' the Goods! Supporting Member

    Use them both as a way to increase your range, and yes, to be able to use the DI.
  18. thedane


    Sep 25, 2011
    Ben Lemelin made possibly the best demo to understand how the VT Bass sounds - enjoy it here:

  19. jason the fox

    jason the fox Often rocks and rarely rolls. Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2013
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    Read a lot of good things about this. I use a SansAmp Bassdriver DI now, pretty much for when I need a convenient DI and when I want to just color up my tone a bit. Also makes for a good drive pedal if needed.

    I've been thinking about 'upgrading' to one of these.
  20. KablesP


    Oct 29, 2013
    Mine sounds great through any amp, a Godsend when backline is provided and the head is subpar. As long as the heads powerful enough, this pedal will make a gig enjoyable instead of being pissed off that your tone sucks. (Been there, done that)

    I also did the first real recordings with it the other week and I used it straight into the preamp (Cant remember what the engineer was using) and used the cab sim. The tone was pretty good by itself messing around before I started recording, but it sounded really good once I heard the bass and drums mixed together. Alone, it sounded somewhat sticky in the high end but in a mix it really makes the bass cut through while still being very big in the low end, but not necessarily boomy. These are only rough mixes but maybe I will post a tune.

    The only time I did not want to use it at a gig was when the backline was an Orange BT500 and an 8x10, I think the cab was a Hartke or something. Although the VT Bass didn't sound bad, the Orange just got that grindy, just breaking up sound that I use the VT for. The amp did not have too much headroom but that may have been several things including the cab and the tube in the amp.

    I am considering getting a Leeds pedal as well.