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Underwhelmed by Tonehammer; VT Bass next port of call?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by tonymcbony, Apr 17, 2010.


  1. tonymcbony

    tonymcbony

    Mar 21, 2006
    Hey folks,
    I bought a tonehammer but it doesn't quite do what I'm after.

    I'm after a grindy, fat tone, whereas the tonehammer gives me tone that whilst reasonably bassy isn't fat. The mids are quite hard to dial in where I want, and end up sounding honky rather than sturdy/growly.

    The tone I'd like is deep, growly and grindy but doesn't disappear to far in the mix.

    Overall, I'm wondering if the VT Bass will be a better option for what I'm after, as I'm not really using the Tonehammer as a preamp.

    My rig consists of a Warwick Streamer LX with NP4's and Dimarzio Model J's, a 97 MIM Fender Jazz Deluxe and they're going into an Ashdown ABM500 Evo III + Mag 410t cab
     
  2. RickenBoogie

    RickenBoogie

    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    The VT is very poular around here, but I get the tone you're describing with an EBS Valve Drive. Consider one of those, as well.
     
  3. Christian Waiau

    Christian Waiau

    Jun 16, 2005
    las vegas/maui, nevada/hawaii
    Endorsing Artist: Spector, Aguilar, Darkglass
    I felt the same... I traded my TH for a tech21 RBI.

    IMO its the only tech21 that I've actually liked.. I've tried/owned a BDDI, ParaDriver DI/RPM, and VT bass...
     
  4. pmano

    pmano

    Aug 26, 2009
    Long Island, NY
    Tech 21 SansAmp will give you an amazing crunchy tube overdriven sound and somehow still maintian clear bassy undertone. I use the rack mountable version but I hear the stompbox is good too. One of my all time favorite purchases. I like it with a passive bass though. Everyone will compliment your bass tone with the sansamp. A true, pro, sound.
     
  5. Chronicle

    Chronicle

    Sep 13, 2006
    NY
    Yeah I wasn't crazy about the Tonehammer's "crunch" tone. It's clean tone is AMAZING though for a nice well balanced clean tone. Sounds great for recording and DI'ing at a show. I was blown away by the sound at a show when my friend used it at a gig.
     
  6. tonymcbony

    tonymcbony

    Mar 21, 2006
    Yeah exactly, the crunch tone isn't much to write home about but I know that I'll be getting the Aggie OBP-3 preamp if I think about upgrading preamps in my basses. Sounds great. It's kinda a overbuilt DI/OD to me at the moment.
     
  7. Mark Olson

    Mark Olson Banned

    Mar 19, 2008
    Michigan
    If your amp doesn't do the sound you're looking for, look for another amp? I've spent a lot of money on trying to get the right "amp" sound out of pedals. Doesn't compare to having what you actually want in an amp. And the sound you're describing is an "amp" tone, not a pedal tone.
     
  8. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    or you could do the compromise i settled for when i realized that turning up an svt to distortion would get me fired from gigs...run a vt pedal into an svt ;)

    the vt's a great pedal if you like ampeg, but only if. and ultimately i would agree with mark about having the right amp for the job onstead of correcting it with preamps, but the vt is the next best thing and you can have it distort at a volume that won't get you yelled at or fired. and you can only bring so many bass amps to a gig until it gets ridiculous.
     
  9. Mark Olson

    Mark Olson Banned

    Mar 19, 2008
    Michigan
    I love Ampeg amps but didn't think the VT Bass sounded anything like them. Not with my playing anyways.
     
  10. Well, thats the first time ive ever heard that opinion:D
    Everything ive ever read about them is that they have the ampeg tone down to a t.



    -RTK
     
  11. I had the same findings as the OP with the tonehammer. I tried the VT and the SABDDI and I found them to be overkill when used with my SVT rig, or any other all tube rig. However those two pedals made my 60 watt Hartke sound huge so they may do the trick for you. I would also reccomend the MXR DI/preamp i use it as a backup in case of tube failure during a gig. The distortion channel is cheesy but if you use it moderately you can get some nice results.
     
  12. tonymcbony

    tonymcbony

    Mar 21, 2006
    I really love the sound of my ashdown so there's no prob there.

    I'm more after a grindy tone but it doesn't need to be a set and forget sorta thing, I'd like to be able to switch between modern sounding punch and rocky grind as an effect/overdrive more than anything else.

    If the VT Bass will compliment the ABM 500 and its tube pre as an overdrive I'll be a happy man.

    I've never heard someone liking ampegs but not the vt bass. Interesting. I've listened to heaps of clips of the SVT setting on the VT that I like a lot but I'm not that keen on the B-15 tone. I had a Catalinbread SFT which is modelled on the B-15 and I just couldn't find a sound I liked. Will that make the VT a less viable option for me?
     
  13. pmano

    pmano

    Aug 26, 2009
    Long Island, NY
    Totally accurate, those sans amps sound great thru a SS amp. They are tube amp emulators and they do a great job of it with an already good sounding SS amp. I use the MarkBass which has a great sound on it's own and with the Sansamp RBI set up to SVT (with an Ampeg Cab) you get an amazing crunchy growl and a clear low end undertone at the same time (think Chris Squire on Close to the Edge). That's a sound I prefer, everyone is different, this is what works for me. I've had lots of different set ups, this is my favorite. And that's with an American Standard Jazz Bass.
     
  14. jnewton

    jnewton

    Jun 9, 2008
    Tour
    Endorsing Artist: Dimarzio, D'Addario, Fuzzrocious
    I run an OCD into my tonehammer, I've been pretty happy with the results.
     
  15. irvinz

    irvinz

    Nov 23, 2006
    Australia
    has too much gas
    so ya got the deluxe aye tony :) the mids are actually quite easy to dial in when u get used to it. the gain affects the mids quite a bit. im not sure how to describe what it does as its late and im just recovering from an accident. how growly do you want it?

    the vt bass does a good job. but everything kinda sounds the same through it. imho. which is why i moved it along, lost the character of the bass. do you like using the drive on the ashdown tube pre?
     
  16. RCCollins

    RCCollins Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    San Diego, California
    this. fercryinoutloud, people, try out some different amps before you blow a thousand dollars going through "overdrive" pedals
     
  17. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    well you're certainly entitled to your opinion, but...

    :eek:
     
  18. tonymcbony

    tonymcbony

    Mar 21, 2006
    Haha hey bro, yeah I got Rog's one, which is particularly nice Jazz even compared to MIA's. I think grindy is more the way I'd like it, and I've found nice tones out of the TH but I'm using as an expensive overdrive that doesn't quite do what I want. What accident?? Hope you're ok man.

    I just want to use the VT for songs that need more clank and grind, not keeping it on all the time. I love using the drive on the ashdown tube pre but it's pretty polite. I'm finding it's really hard finding a crunchy, grindy OD for bass; most seem fuzz/distortion or smooth and polite.
     
  19. In my continual advocation of good-sounding, cheap gear...For good tube @ $50 Behringer BDI21...

    For the more "discerning" and for only a few more $$, however, you can go Sansamp BDDI...

    and for good amp simulation, go with the VT Bass.
    I think Tech 21 has hit a grand slam with their character series pedals...
    now you can have decent tube amp sound on just about ANY rig without even having to bother with tubes....(sweet :) )
     
  20. irvinz

    irvinz

    Nov 23, 2006
    Australia
    has too much gas
    look for a guyatone bass driver :)
     

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