VTBass + Clean blend pedal.. any experience to share?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by JohnPativens, Jul 9, 2013.

  1. JohnPativens


    Sep 20, 2005
    Hi guys,

    I've been searching for this in the ''official'' VTBass threads but couldn't find any direct experiences about the matter, only opinions like ''they should have put a blend knob in there'' or ''no need for a blend circuit with the VT''.

    I just wanted to know, does anybody of you regularly use a VTB through a parallel loop?

    When I got mine a few years ago, I got it cause it was the only overdrive/distortion I liked. But, I really think it needs to be run in parallel with main clean signal when using it as a distortion box rather than a tone shaping preamp. I never did 'cause I couldn't justify spending more for a good parallel looper than what I spent for the VT itself.

    Also, Tech21 said no SVT comes with a blend knob, that's why they developed the Character series with no such a feature, like the real thing. But they did put that feature on the new VTbassDI, that makes me think there were enough requests from the old VTB users.
  2. taurus1


    Sep 13, 2006
    Vancouver B.C.
    I'm from the "why on earth would you need a clean blend on the VT Bass when it has so much bottom end on tap?" camp.
    I use to clean blend but have grown to really not like it.
  3. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    I like 5, 8, 10, and 12 string basses
    I use the VT bass as one of 4 parallel effects ...


    1 - First I run into an equalizer

    2 - Then I split the signal into 4 parallel signals with a rolls mixer.

    3 - I run one of the parallel lines into the Line6 bass pod where I model an acoustic 360 with a rat or big muff distortion pedal. I use this to get a retro growlly distorted sound. Or I also model an Ampeg fliptop with the Rat Distortion pedal. And I also Model an old Marshall amp. With the bass pod I can get a wide range of clean or dirty sounds and various effects and model different amps and speaker cabinets.

    4 - The second parallel signal goes into a MXR bass di+. I use this pedal to get a clean modern sound. It also has a distortion button that can give a moderate to extreme amount of modern distortion.

    5 - The third parallel signal goes into a Marshall Guv'nor. This gives me an old 60s marshall stack sound. This can go from a small amount of distortion to an over the top marshall sound. This effect can give you a the classic Jack Bruce Cream tone.

    6 - The fourth parallel signal goes into a Tech21 VT Bass pedal. With this effect I get a slightly dirty Ampeg SVT bass amp sound with a tube like growl.

    7 - Then I remix the 4 signals back together and run it into a bass amp, or pa, or studio mixer. Because the signals are parallel I can mix clean and overdriven sounds together and still get effect and a sound that punches through the mix.

    Schematic diagram of my effects.


    sound byte -->> http://www.3dentourage.com/425/effects-fenderbird-1.mp3

    sound byte -->>
  4. Tech21-SansAmp-VT-DI-300x234.jpg
  5. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Blend on the VT? I know some people want it. I can't figure out why, though. Oh well, different strokes.
  6. This is an easy one. Maybe they want both the character of their amp and just a hint of the VT's character.

    Or maybe it's a modern/active player who wants to warm up their DI sound but has always found the VT to completely overtake their tone. Maybe they really love their clean clean amp/preamp AND the VT but it's "just too much" of the SVT thing with engaged.

    Or they could be like me, and already have an overdrive they love in front of it and just wants to experiment. My best results with the BDDI was with the blend 50/60% when stacking in overdrives in front.
  7. Darkglass.

    Oh yeah, I'm going to be *that* guy.

    Having tried both, I waaay prefer Darkglass' Vintage over the VT, *and* it has a clean blend built into the pedal, for a very similar pricetag.
  8. JohnPativens


    Sep 20, 2005
    I think it's all about what you're gonna use it for.
    If you set it up in the signal chain for tone shaping purposes, then I agree, it's just like using the preamp section of your main amp, no need for a clean blend, plenty of low end.

    Anyway, if you try to use it as a distortion/overdrive box like I usually do, then you might need blending the signal.

    I really like the overdrive in those Darkglass boxes. It seems they have a limited distortion range though.
    What I liked about the VTB at first, was that you could get clean tube amp sounds, then slightly overdriven tones to high gain lead distortion.
  9. mouthmw


    Jul 19, 2009
    I moved on from vt to darkglass vmt and it's awesome. You can get clean tube tone from it, slight grit and really pushed tube od. It might not go as far on the distortion ammount as vt bass goes, bu it's a lot more usable dirt and a lot more natural sounding breakup. VT bass has a lot of unusable clanky ear piercing distorted tones in it. VMT is usable in its full range of dials.
  10. JohnPativens


    Sep 20, 2005
    I think the Darkglass Vintage and the VTBass do share some tones.
    They can sound quite similar setting their Era and Character controls with drive.
    You get blend which is a big plus on the VMT, but even cranking Drive and Era knobs it doesn't get very angry.
    Well, I guess you can't get everything, can you? :D
    It sounds awesome though.
  11. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Except for upright tone shaping so I could double and not have to jump through hoops, distortion is all I used the VTD for. Personally, I don't think it needs a blend to do distortion but if someone else does, I guess it's OK ;)
  12. jd_watt


    Mar 22, 2013
    It's a good question - I've been asking myself the same thing. I'd like to keep my standard tone intact and just drop the vt in for some grit on top. I don't really like the sound of the lows distorting. I like the mids and highs to overdrive with a blend.

    So far, my effects loops has been the only option. Wish I could bypass the pedal completely when not engaged (without running another pedal)
  13. I figured out why you don't need a blend, Jimmy.

    A real SVT is your "uneffected sound" hahaha.:D
  14. reddi


    Jan 7, 2010
    Very cool setup!:bassist:
  15. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Mount Prospect, IL
    I run an X-Blender and a VT Bass together. I set the VT Bass to have a really edgy distortion tone with the bass knob rolled to the left heavily. I mix this in with my Spector's clean tone and it sounds great. The heavier distortion tones on the VT Bass seem to roll off the low end a bit. Or maybe I just hear the distortion more than the low end.

    On other occasions, I have mixed the VT Bass with my X-Blender with moderately clean/tube-like tones and have loved the results. I like having the original bass signal in there - I bought a Spector because I like the tone of it and I want to keep hearing it. Mixed together, I just like the results. I can hear both sounds working together - no low end loss or high end clarity lost either.
  16. No, I would agree with you. Simply to try to compensate for it you have to ridiculously crank the lows on the EQ, at least that was my experience.

    There are many reasons why I'm moving on from my VTD, but the mediocre high gain tones is one of them. (Also: the unavoidable "clank," crazy-hyped EQ, and less-than-stellar DI, among others...)
    That being said, it certainly isn't all bad. :) The lower gain dynamic tube grit tones impressed both myself and many of the people I played with/for while I was still consistently utilizing the VTD. And it really does fatten up your clean signal well, although it also colors it immensely.

    Anyway, all that to say, I'll be the second guy to toot Darkglass's horn. :bassist:
  17. Choo choo!
  18. JohnPativens


    Sep 20, 2005
    Yes, that's what I think.

    Also, but this might be just me, pedals with integrated blend/mix circuits always feel different to my ears. When using a parallel looper I hear two signals just like two different layers.
    With integrated blends, not all but the most of those I listened to, I feel way less separation.
    And, in digital multieffects with blending capabilities I usually hear no separation at all.
  19. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Whammo! Been my standard for sound since 78.
  20. Although I really am starting to enjoy my B3K through my GK800RB(just started mic'ing instead of going DI with Tech21 stuff), I don't think I "hate" Ampeg's sound anymore.

    I love the Darkglass sound through my rigs, but I bet it would also kill through an SVT as well:cool: