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Tech 21 VTDI vs BDDI v2

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Blue_Whistle88, Jun 16, 2017.

  1. 1.) Which one do you prefer, and why?

    2.) Which one was made first? It seems like the BDDI incorporated design elements of the VTDI ( at least in the form of knob/button layout), but that could be vice versa for all I know. I'm curious as to which one technically represents the most recent of Tech 21's efforts, so to speak.
  2. Kro

    Kro Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey
    1. VTDI. It's my primary go-to preamp, but I've used BDDIs in the studio in the past, and was very happy with the results. I just like the tone of the VTDI a bit better overall than the BDDI - sounds a bit more natural and organic to my ear, but it's totally a preference thing.

    2. Let's see - I think the BDDI version that's on the shelves now is an updated version of the original BDDI (v2 as you noted) - and that version I believe followed the VTDI, but the original BDDI came first. That's my story, but it's a little hazy, as we're going a ways back at this point. @tech21nyc is active on these forums and would certainly be able to give a better history.

    Anyways, IMO they're both different and classics in their own right. It's not like the VT is the BDDI mark 2. The BDDI has its own independent flavor that some like, and some... dislike, while the VT emulates Ampeg and the SVT (get it? sVT).
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2017
    Blue_Whistle88 likes this.
  3. Ok cool. I've got a VTDI in the post (after trying both years ago in a guitar store), and I do remember the VTDI being a bit more transparent. The BDDI has a more classic sound, but the versatility of the VTDI just blew me away.

    By the way, I managed to find an article that implies the BDDI was release as recently as 2016!

    Tech 21 Introduces the SansAmp Bass Driver DI Version 2

    The VTDI was released in 2014, so it looks like they used the new button layout from that in the BDDI v2.
  4. tech21nyc

    tech21nyc Commercial User

    Aug 17, 2010
    Manufacturer: Tech 21
    The version 2 Bass Driver DI was released last year. The new V2 has the mid control and mid shift. The original Bass Driver was released in 1992 and the Bass Driver DI came out in 1994.

    To me it's not so much Bass Driver DI vs VT bass, it's more like do you prefer chocolate or vanilla.
    Zbysek, Nunovsky and ThudThudThud like this.
  5. tshapiro

    tshapiro Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2015
    Jax Florida
    In this case, I would truly buy both and return whichever one you like least. I did this. I wanted to love the VTDI but didn't like the mid's or the overdrive - kept tweaking with it endlessly. I found a great sound with the BDDI in 2 mins. That being said, your bass, setup, and ear might be different and that's why I would try both since that option is risk free.
    Zbysek and iandoublebass like this.
  6. DonaldR


    Mar 26, 2012
    Now we want a programmable VTBDI and a new programmable BDDI v2 :bassist:
    recode likes this.
  7. iandoublebass


    Nov 30, 2007
    I’m more of a vintage guy, not really a rocker. I thought and I wanted to love the VTDI more but I just AB them and I’m picking the BDDI. I don’t know why. I guess less tweaking. I’m
    Not a big tweaking Guy and it seems it’s easier to dial in a tone I like on the BDDI than on the VTDI. It’s been said before but you need to try both.
    Zbysek likes this.
  8. Nunovsky


    Sep 4, 2004
    This is an old thread but nevertheless I had the Sansamp v1 for many years and it was my go to pedal for a lot of situations. It was my pocket amp and I used it on gigs, recordings, to rehearse, specially when I wasn't using my amp and I bypassed the preamp on whatever backline amp I had to use. I eventually sold it because I wanted another flavour and got me a Aguilar Tonehammer. Two years ago I bought a Bass Fly Rig that uses the VT as their preamp section. I didn't bond with the BFR because of the effects but the preamp was always my prefered section of it. Nevertheless, it was harder for me to get a good direct tone from the VT preamp section than with the Sansamp BDDI. I eventually sold it and bought a Mesa Boogie Subway DI that sounded better to my ears.
    Recently, I went to rehearse with a friend at his house and he had a Tech 21 Acoustic DI and it was so easy to get a great sound from it that I missed my old Sansamp BDDI. I know they are diferent units but since the Sansamp BDDI v2 now has the aditional mid knob with selectable center frequencies which brings the extra flexibility I felt lacked in my former unit, I decided to order one of those.
    I know that it seems that the Sansamp BDDI has lost its former appeal to most bassplayers but I really feel that it's still one of the best preamps ever made for bass.
    Zbysek, Frank_Raider and Zooberwerx like this.
  9. I just ordered a VTDI. I just have a couple of questions:
    1) What do you do with the cab sim when you're using both the XLR and out outputs? Cab sim works on both the outputs, but I usually disable any cab sim when going into any line in or FX return of an amp, just because I use its own (real) cab. Disabling the cab sim would affect the XLR signal too, resulting in very harsh highs coming out of the DI signal.
    2) Reading the manual I discovered that if you turn your blend knob to 0 you don't hear any sansamp tone but you can still use the EQ on the pedal. Can you please tell me how this works? Which knobs work exactly?
  10. Kro

    Kro Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey
    Definitely use the sim, and just adjust your amp's EQ if you need to - but I usually find that isn't necessary. The frequencies that are most affected by the sim will be the high highs - if your amp doesn't have a tweeter, it's likely attenuating them already (so you won't hear a difference from attenuating them more), or if it does have a tweeter and has very high extension, the sim will work as intended on your cab too! :thumbsup:

    SansAmp = Character, Drive, Bite, Sim

    Outside SansAmp Circuit = Level, Low, Mid, High (the formal EQ section).
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2020
    Hypercaffium likes this.
  11. Thanks.
    Wow, that's really interesting. I don't know how many people use this funcion, it's like using a different pedal. I guess it would be a 100% clean and "transparent" preamp and can be set to be 100% flat.
  12. Kro

    Kro Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey
    More or less. There is still a very gradual lows attenuation (very low), and some highs rolloff, even with blend fully off, but it can be dialed in relatively flat.

    If I'm not mistaken this is the closest I was able to get it to flat with the blend fully counter-clockwise.

    2.25 blend ccw.png
    Nunovsky and Hypercaffium like this.
  13. Thanks, it seems that I asked the right question to the right person. :)
    What I see on the picture is blend fully of and all EQ controls set to 12 o'clock?
  14. Kro

    Kro Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey
    I think it was with the EQ roughly at noon, maybe slight tweaks due to component variance (IIRC I had highs just a hair below noon on my pedal).

    I believe in general 12:00 for all three should be close enough.

    Easy way to check: flip it back and forth from bypass and see how much the tone differs.
    Hypercaffium likes this.
  15. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    In some regards, I wish Tech 21 had used either the BDDI or PSA platforms for the Bass Fly Rig but that's just me. This is coming from a guy who uses a ~30 year old "original" silver-face SansAmp rackmount...can't go wrong with the classics!

    Nunovsky and Hypercaffium like this.
  16. Goot to know, thanks. I guess I'll use this function a lot for some "polite" projects.
  17. Kro

    Kro Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey
    Honestly, I never dial back blend anymore. I'd recommend trying to just dial back drive and character a bit and see if you like that for "polite" projects too ;)

    I'm biased though, I like a little wool on everything I play. :laugh:
    Hypercaffium likes this.
  18. I didn't buy a VTDI for its clean sounds to be honest, I use a Q\Strip for that. That said, it's good to have options. Thanks for the infos.
    Kro likes this.
  19. tech21nyc

    tech21nyc Commercial User

    Aug 17, 2010
    Manufacturer: Tech 21
    If you want flat, turn Blend off or just leave the unit in Bypass mode and it will function as a normal DI. Using the Drive with Blend 100% the unit can still be set for very clean tones. Tube amp emulation doesn't have to be distorted.
  20. Kro

    Kro Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey
    *Unless the EQ has been adjusted. ;)
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