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VT Bass, am i doing it wrong?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by b33r, May 6, 2010.

  1. b33r


    Nov 12, 2008
    well, i've finally succumbed to the amount of hype for the VT Bass here on TB, so i went and got myself one. all i've seen are gushing reviews, but so far, i can't say i've been too impressed.

    firstly, this pedal is noisy. i power it with a 1spot adaptor, but even with a battery, i can't get a usable level of drive out of it without loads of hiss. way more compared to my Catalinbread SFT. how is it that i see so many people calling this pedal silent?

    oh, and about the drive. i can't seem to drive it at lower gain settings. the only way for me to get a mild overdrive is to crank the both the character and drive past noon, and that's already giving me ridiculous amounts of noise. i'm running a passive Lakland Skyline JO4 into it, could it be the low output pickups? i think not, my SFT starts breaking up past 11 o'clock on the gain, and it remains dead silent.

    (i hope you don't mind me comparing it to the SFT, it's just that it's the only other overdrive pedal i have.)

    lastly, i'm experiencing a volume drop after i disengage the pedal. when i turn it off, the volume drops sharply, and takes about three seconds to return to normal volume. i've only been having this problem when i power it with the 1spot adaptor, powering it with a battery seems to solve this problem. however, i'm not the battery type of person, nor do i have enough money to get an isolated power supply like the Fuel Tank Jr.

    other than these problems, i'm starting to think the VT Bass isn't for me. sure, it's a very versatile pedal, but the mids seem to be centered around the upper mids (1000khz), and i prefer a more growly, low-mid oriented tone. anyway, i'm not looking for a tone shaper for my clean tone, i have my SFT for that. i bought the VT Bass hoping to get a good mild overdrive, but when i get to those levels of gain, i get too much noise. and if i disengage it while playing to turn off the drive, i get a volume drop. i won't be using it live any time soon.

    am i doing something wrong here? :meh:

    P.S. if you were wondering "why did i buy it without testing it first?", it's because it's near impossible to get one of these where i live, and when i last saw one at a shop, it was at a ridiculous price, probably equivalent to over USD200. it was long gone anyway, never got a chance to try it.
  2. heavyfunkmachin


    Jan 21, 2005
    i bought it like you and im fairly happy with it... i havent experienced none of your problems... and altough we all ghear things in a different way i might think you got a defective unit...


    sorry that i cant help you out more...
  3. JulienJeff


    Mar 1, 2009
    yes, same as above. Seems like you got a defect one. I don't have the problems you have..
  4. TRob1293


    Feb 1, 2008
    Louisville, KY
    I too have noise with gain over 12:00/1:00 - but with over-drive, the noise gets lost.
    I too have a tough time being happy with the mid knob set this 'high' in the frequency range, but that seems to be the whole purpose of the pedal - 'VT' Bass.
    I have a Sansamp BDDI that I use as a backup to an RBI (RBI tends to cutout at high volumes and drive), and I compare the sounds of the BDDI and the VT Bass: very similar.
    So similar in fact, I feel that I do not need the VT Bass and may be looking to trade it for a different sounding over-drive type pedal.
    I would be looking for something similar in nature, but not 'Sansamp' type tube emulation - some other tube simulation, something with mids in the lower, growly range ;).

    I do not have the volume drop issue you get - points to defective pedal.
  5. b33r


    Nov 12, 2008
    i guess a defective unit might be a possibility. i bought this off a fellow TBer, and we mutually agreed to have him send it in a padded envelope. it probably wasn't enough protection, the metal Tech 21 box looked like it got dented from the inside, might have been a good idea to stuff the box with padding. maybe something could have gotten loose during shipping?

    maybe i'll go have a tech look into it. considering that Tech 21 pedals use cheap parts, it shouldn't be too difficult to repair...right?
  6. i think you have a defective one. I dont have the volume drop like you and I too run mine wth a 1spot. i do get an amount of hiss but i know that this is because of the power supply. mabey you could up grade your power unit.
  7. Jonyak


    Oct 2, 2007
    Ottawa, Ont
    I have non of the problems you have with mine.

    its very quiet.
  8. jpTron


    Apr 19, 2010
    My bass is a bit noisy in the first place, but I haven't noticed any extra noise with my VT on.
  9. Where do you have your volume on the VT BASS.... sounds to me like you have it way to high. Start with it about 8-9, then adjust your drive and character, then re-adjust your volume to match when it is clicked on and off.

    My settings are

    Volume 8
    Character 12
    Drive 10
  10. heavyfunkmachin


    Jan 21, 2005
    btw... i know it gets away form the "amp emulation" thing but parametric mids on vt would be a glorious idea!
  11. stflbn


    May 10, 2007
    Many/Most people's experience with the VT-bass (if operating it at unity gain) is that the Level knob is "usually" ridiculously low to maintain unity gain (same volume when pedal turned off or on).

    I'd suggest to initially try operating the pedal at unity gain (set volume knob so that the volume is the same when turned off or on), and then see how your noise levels seem. Also... using higher Character and Drive settings WILL give you increased noise depending on the noisyness of what you're feeding it... that's just the nature of the beast in my opinion.

  12. b33r


    Nov 12, 2008
    my level knob is at 7 o'clock now, and yes it is at unity gain. i do know that higher gain settings will, of course, result in increased noise levels, but i can't even get it to a mild overdrive without lots of hiss, which is contrary to what many people have described the VT Bass as "very quiet".

    i do get hiss when dialing in clean tones too, even when using a battery. to test things, i'm running my bass direct into the VT Bass, straight into the amp. no other pedals to contribute to noise. maybe it could be due to the relatively cheaper components used in the pedal? i don't know.
  13. jgroh

    jgroh Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007
    I dont have the noise issue but I am also on the fence about my VT pedal. I bought it after reading the hype here on TB and while I can get a great snarly tone when recording into my laptop, live it hasnt wowed me at all. I have a DHA VT1-MK3 Overdrive pedal that gives me the tube overdrive without the tone shaping which I am much preferring. I dunno, it would be great to keep to record with but I dont really record all that often.
  14. The VT is a nice little pedal, although it's not as amazing as people say it is.
    For me the drive dosn't kick in till 12:00 with my passive bass. No hiss though.:confused:
  15. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    I have one, dig it - none of the problems you list. Perhaps you got a bad sample?
  16. BroKenSticKs


    Jan 11, 2010
    I don't seem to have any of the problems the OP does, but i am in the same position as jgroh here.

    I think the pedal sounds fantastic when i DI into my computer. Its also pretty cool on guitar too. When plugging into an amp i'm finding it hard to dial in a good sound. I bought the pedal to use as an always on kinda thing because i wanted to make my amp sound like a tube amp on the edge. It does the sound quite well but it throws my eq all out of wack and i feel lost on what to cut and boost to fix it. Do i mess with my amp? Or just the pedal controls?...bah.....to much crap to fiddle with. I like my amp sound but i want to add a bit of tubey grit. Maybe i need some other form of mild overdrive.

    Sorry not to hijack the thread. I think your pedal is deffective if you are having that weird volume drop.
  17. jgroh

    jgroh Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007
    When recording into my laptop, I generally use the B15 setting that they "recommend", with some more drive. Sounds pretty good. But when I switch it on during a gig, it seems to scoop the sound a bit and makes it more metallic sounding (if that makes sense) When I use my DHA VT1-MK3 overdrive pedal, it keeps the tone of my bass but adds the warmth and grit of a tube amp.

    Maybe I just need to spend alot more time during practices adjusting the settings on the VT, I dunno.
  18. 1009


    Feb 7, 2009
    I don't know if this is an obvious point, but at least part of the issue may be that when you record DI into the computer, the VT acts as the only tone-shaper, because it's the only preamp. If you're using the VT into the input of your amp, then the signal is effectively being preamped twice. I had something like this problem running my VT into my Ampeg B100r combo. Now I'm running the VT into the fx return of a Hughes and Kettner amp, making the VT my only preamp, and I am very happy with the range of tones I'm getting.
  19. JMac- Wiskerface Designs

    JMac- Wiskerface Designs Terror headcase dude

    Jul 8, 2009
    Atlanta, GA
    I agree I think the VT bass sounds the best when used only going through the power section of an amp. I have tried mine both ways and it seemed like I was getting clanky sonic mush when it mixed with the pre amp on my rig. I am going to do some tweaking to see what will make it fly I just haven't had the time to sit down, thump and turn knobs.

    Oh yea, Sounds like you've got a sick pedal my friend.
  20. slapstick13


    Feb 5, 2010
    Im also kind of disappointed with my vt bass. Did not sit well in my bands mix. And I've fiddled with it some many times ive pretty much given up. I bet it sounds great plugged directly into a recording interface/ mixer, but straight into amp for live band setting I prefered the tone of my svt 3 pro(which I think is kind of sterile, thus the reason I bought the vt!)

    So you are not alone if youre not floored and exhilirated with the vt bass. Actually buying this pedal made me realize I should sell my svt 3 pro, since Im not happy with me tone, and upgrade to another amp! So I guess it was good for that. My VT will probably go on sale this weekend.

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