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VT Bass/Sansamp with Tube Amp

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Geddy Claypool, Sep 23, 2008.

  1. Geddy Claypool

    Geddy Claypool SX J-75/Traben Neo 4 -> SVT-CL/SVT-810E

    Aug 3, 2008
    I have an SVT-CL. While I'm in love with the tube warmth, punch, and just the entire sound, I'd like to add a little more "grit" to it. Something pretty subtle, and something that doesn't sacrifice the already great tone of the SVT.

    How well would something like a Tech 21 VT Bass pedal or Sansamp (in whichever form) work in conjunction with a tube amp, being as they're normally used to emulate tube characteristics? I really like the clips I've heard of the VT. But would they enhance the tube tone, "hurt" the tone, or would it not make a big difference?

  2. rcubed


    May 8, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    I only have the Sansamp, but it will definitely get you some grit when dialed in properly.
  3. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    This is a good question. I don't think the VT either takes away from or enhances the clean tones of an SVT or B-15. It imitates them. Dirty sounds, though, seem to benefit from the tube amp. I think that the VT sounds better as an overdrive through my B-15N than my Markbass LMII, although it still sounds amazing with the LMII. But through the B-15, it sounds like it belongs there and has this extra layer of tube warmth. I could be hearing things, but that's my take on it.

    So for your deal, if you're looking to add a layer of grit that's always on, I'd say just crank your gain more and save the $150. But if you want to be able to switch it on and off and do it quickly, the VT is your man.
  4. dannybuoy


    Aug 3, 2005
    A transparent overdrive would be better than 2 pre-amps in series. DHA VT1 or Barber LTD SR are what I'd go for.
  5. jetofuj


    Jun 16, 2008
    I'm not an expert but I'd rather try some overdrive which doesn't colour amp's sound in any way. From the other hand I'd buy VT pedal to add some tube warmth to SS amp.
  6. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Overdrive always colors the tone of the amp. There's no way around it. That's what it's supposed to do.
  7. Geddy Claypool

    Geddy Claypool SX J-75/Traben Neo 4 -> SVT-CL/SVT-810E

    Aug 3, 2008
    Thanks for the help guys. :)

    I like how the gain knob on my head opens it up and "gritifies" the sound, but it doesn't have the drive versatility of the VT, and you have to get it pretty loud before it gets to that point.

    I think I'm just going to sit still for now though.
  8. DanRJBrasil


    Jun 10, 2007
    have you tried the ebs valve drive? I heard a lot of good things about it, but never tried myself though.
  9. Surly


    Feb 2, 2007
    South Florida
    With my SVT (early 80's) I use the Boss ODB and English Muff'n. The Boss is cool for light grit and the Muff'n is cool for light or dirty. I have been tempted to get a Sansamp after hearing so much about them, but like Jimmy said, I can just crank up my amp to get grit. It's pretty easy with a hot, yet passive, pickups. With a lot of my experimenting, I sometimes think all of the distortion sounds very similiar...it's just distortion. Crank up the Muff'n, or just crank up the amp, not too much difference. Also in my mind, the fact that the VT Bass pedal has an "SVT" setting makes me think I should just save my money if I'm just going to get more......distortion....:)
  10. If you're looking for a more transparent drive, a Tube Screamer-style OD would probably work best for you. There are quite a few bass-specific TS clones out there.
  11. Chris Ramlar

    Chris Ramlar

    Feb 8, 2006
    Maybe somekind of boost, and +1 on the English Muffin
  12. EricF

    EricF Habitual User

    Sep 26, 2005
    Pasadena, CA
    I've been using a Programmable SABDDI in front of my SVT-CL for a little while now, and I like the results. My "basic" sound is a slight variation of the "Fat Tube" SABDDI setting. I also use a "B-15"-ish sound, and a volume-boosted "Fat Tube". The only time I don't have the SA on is when I'm using my Barber LTD. I've never been able to replicate the Barber's sound with the SA, and the LTD into the SA is too gritty for the sound I need.

    If you're just looking for some grit, there are a hella-lotta options.
  13. pulse


    Apr 10, 2007
    Berlin, Germany
    I cant stand the sound of my sans amp goin into my SVT II, it sounds awfully harsh and fake,

    could be my particular set up , cabinet & bass etc but it really does not work for me
  14. mattq


    May 23, 2006
    Santa Cruz, CA
    my bddi sounds pretty un-great going through my yba200. and while my traynor isn't an svt, it's still all tube. i only have the bddi for a direct feed to the pa
  15. bassninja7


    Mar 1, 2008
    Napoleon, OH
    i hate to steal this thread, but its on teh same topic:

    so i have a sansamp pbddi and i like my three settings, i was wondering if i could the vt to fatten them up during various parts.

    or god-forbid, should i get rid of the sansamp and get the vt and not worry about fatting up certain parts?

    how much of a difference is the vt to the sansamp?
  16. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    The VT is a barebones stompbox preamp. The PBDDI is a preamp/DI with programming. Tonewise, I think the VT blows the PBDDI away. But you lose the DI and you lose programming capabilities.
  17. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches

    Aug 21, 2006
    Denver, CO
    Some good posts in this thread, yours included. But this line shows without a doubt that you are indeed a Californian.
  18. rcubed


    May 8, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    Corrected. :D
  19. rratajski

    rratajski Commercial User

    Jul 1, 2008
    Mount Laurel, NJ
    I have a SVT-Cl as well and was just messing around with the knobs about a month ago to try and get some grit on it. I also had the same problem with cranking the gain. You have to get REALLY loud to get any breakup, so it's not really an option for this model head. Any breakup that I did get sacrificed the warmth of the bass and mids. Backing off the treble made everything sound like it was under water...So, anyway, I share your pain.

    I actually ended up rolling the tone and sustain back on my GGG version Big Muff (w/ Germanium diodes) to keep that SVT warmth, but slightly fuzz out the tone. Worth a shot to mess with to keep the price below $100 if you want to save some bucks.
  20. pulse


    Apr 10, 2007
    Berlin, Germany
    does the VT bass do the same scooped preamp speaker simulation thing as the PBDDI?

    That is in my opinion why the PBDDI sounds terrible on my SVTII, double preamp stacking with speaker simulation just sounds strange in my configuration

    at home in my studio on my monitors the PBDDI is incredible

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