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Yet another VT DI vs BDDI thread... for metal

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by dax21, Jun 25, 2018.

  1. dax21


    Nov 26, 2011
    Plenty of threads already, I know, I went through them and they don't offer much insight for my particular conundrum so please don't hold it against me.

    I've been running a BDDI for about a year now, the v1 without the mid knob. I play in a metal band and I tend to run drive around 11 o'clock, sometimes even about noon, blend around 1-2 o clock, bass flat and high/presence both around 3 o clock, to really get that chunky higher frequency clank. I typically have this as an always-on tone, just so you get an idea of what I'm after. I use EMG DC pickups. Honestly - I'm pretty happy with my sound. It's not perfect but dirt never truly is.

    Now, I managed to get my hands on a VT Bass DI for somewhat cheap, it's arriving at the end of the week. I won't be able to hold on to both and to patiently compare them in live situations so I will have to put one up for sale after couple of days of testing.
    Until then I wanted to ask if anyone here is using the VT DI in a similar context and getting a sound I'm talking about? From the video reviews I've watched it appears that BDDI cannot get into VT territory, but that VT can get the BDDI-ish sound? Would that be correct?
    Main concern at the moment is whether VT DI can get clanky like BDDI, and can it push a power amp? Having those thumpy thick low mids of the VT sounds really appealing as I feel that is something that I ocasionally find missing with the BDDI, I'd like to rely on not just the top end zing to hear myself in the mix live.

    Thanks in advance guys.

    tl;dr Did anyone switch from BDDI to VT DI as an always on overdrive?
  2. dave_bass5


    May 28, 2004
    London, UK.
    I don’t play metal, but have used both. Here’s my take.
    The BDDI can be an almost one tone pedal, but its a tone that I can use for any style of music. The VTBass DI is much better, and I guess more versatile, but every time I used it I liked what I heard, but missed the BDDI. For about 3 years I went back and forward, and each time I loved both, but in the end I just felt the BDDI was more for me, and as an always on pedal I didn’t need it to be versatile, just to do the one tone I need. This is with the v1 and now v2 BDDI. The VTBass DI works as an always on as well, but I felt it could never quite match the heft and depth of the BDDI.
    So yeah, for me the BDDI is my always on pedal.
    wmmj, crguti and dax21 like this.
  3. birminghambass

    birminghambass Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2002
    Birmingham, AL
    I have gigged the VT for the past 6-7 years, the BDDI for the past 10 years. The VT is way more flexible and refined and is preferred when I play blues, country, or in church. The Bass Driver, however, is my tone for heavy rock and metal. Yes it is scooped in the mids, tighter in the lows, and has the extreme treble cut off. To me this helps it sit PERFECTLY in a dense rock mix.
    jonlimo and dax21 like this.
  4. dave_bass5


    May 28, 2004
    London, UK.
    Having used 3 versions of the BDDI I have to say the latest version is a big improvement over the old versions.
    No longer can it be accused of having a mid scoop, unless you want that.
    wmmj and dax21 like this.
  5. SunnBass

    SunnBass All these blankets saved my life.

    Aug 31, 2010
    Columbia, Mo
    Selling my VT was the best decision I've made tonally in the last 4 years.
    Switched to a B7K and never looked back.
    Fast and articulate, with the perfect metal EQ.
    That bad boy into my GK amp is the power.
    Hypocrite and dax21 like this.
  6. dax21


    Nov 26, 2011
    Huh I didn't expect nearly universal pro-BDDI consensus. Thanks for the replies guys.
    Darkglass is not an option at the moment, nor is the BDDI with a mid knob, I imagine that is a game changer for sure. Used market here is limited, tech21 stuff is not too common and the prices are heavily inflated so I have to make do with what is available. I will compare them when I get both pedals in the same room but at least now I know not to expect the VT to be objectively a better choice and an overall improvement for the tone I have in my mind.
  7. dave_bass5


    May 28, 2004
    London, UK.
    To be clear, the mid control knob on mine stays almost in the centre. This is because I actually like the standard BDDI tone. Since I found the magic spot on the blend knob everything just feel in to place. It is very nice to have though and I do add a bit of boost every now and then. I could happily live with the older version though.
    I also went to Darkglass 3 times but always came back to the BDDI. My issue with the DG stuff is that its not BDDI, and I couldn’t justify both.
    I expect you will love the VTBass DI, but may also miss the BDDI. It’s a hard choice if you can only keep one.
    dax21 likes this.
  8. I owned both and for me the vt mids are what did it for me I'm not a fan of mid scoop tone personally. I got hooked on buying pres after getting the vt and ultimatly went for broke and got a custom tube verrellen meatsmoke pre but if i didnt have the option id have just stayed with a vt or got a mesa subway pre with a overdrive pedal.
    dax21 likes this.
  9. 12bass


    Jan 2, 2003
    Victoria, Canada
    For metal, I'd suggest looking into the DP-3X, as it provides overdriven chunk/clank on top of clean, compressed, lows. Unlike the VT Bass, it doesn't "mush up" the lows when distorted. However, it is not a low budget option....

    Jeff O'Connor, BrentSimons and dax21 like this.
  10. jpTron


    Apr 19, 2010
    I've never used a BDDI so I can't compare, but to answer your one question about driving a power amp: Yes, the VT can easily drive a power amp and get really loud while doing so.
    dax21 likes this.
  11. I used both. Because of the ‘versatility’ I used the VT for a long time but I always ended up using a setting that sounded like the BDDI. I still have both... why not?
  12. Northfear


    Mar 15, 2017
    I've never used the "real" Bass Driver (only VST's), but played for some time with VT. Out of curiosity what are the settings that sound like BDDI?
    Character at 9 or 10 with bit of boosted lows and highs?
  13. ^ that sounds about right.
    Northfear likes this.
  14. Nice playing man! :) :bassist::hyper:
    Best wishes,
  15. 12bass


    Jan 2, 2003
    Victoria, Canada
    Not my video... but I agree!
    BrentSimons likes this.
  16. Oh whoops! ;) Well whomever you are, nice chops! ;)
  17. Planespotter


    Oct 11, 2015
    The BDDI seems better suited to your needs. You can’t go wrong either way.
    dax21 likes this.
  18. keatz


    Jan 19, 2011
    I used vt for years in metal/prog rock and loved it. In saying that though I dont use the typical metal bass clank tone(except in really heavy sections where i turn on an OD). Recently traded for a tonehammer di for a more neutral approach since i didnt dig the vt as much through my new orange head. Anyway, I have no doubt you will find a tone you like in the vt. You cant sell both for a b7k?
    dax21 likes this.
  19. dax21


    Nov 26, 2011
    Theoretically I could but I'm already trying to flip a bunch of gear to fund a new bass which is a priority, plus I'm not 100% sold on the djenty bass tones of B7K.
  20. dax21


    Nov 26, 2011
    So, I spent a bit of time with both pedals and figured I should write some impressions in case someone has the same dilemma as I did when opening this thread.
    VTDI can get into BDDI's territory very easily, but it's not exactly the same. If you crank the character fully to the right and cut the mids all the way down it basically sounds dead on as BDDI, with some added, though very quiet boxy middy zing added on top. But that snarly high end is 100% the same, dead on accurate. Low end on BDDI does sound a bit tighter and compressed, but we are talking nuances.
    I definitely prefer the pedal with both cab sim and bite switches on for my purposes, at home through headphones VTDI doesn't lack any clank compared to BDDI but I found that through actual amp there is a bit of a difference after all in those high presence frequencies - I guess I wish VTDI had a presence knob instead of a fixed value bite switch. This is pretty much the only thing that I find to not be to my liking though it can be easily compensated with a slight bump on my on-board treble knob. Note that this is very contextual since I rely on those high frequencies to cut through a bit.
    To go back to the character knob briefly - I like it the best at 3'clock or even slightly higher, everything lower and there is too much roll off in highs though I can see this being very useful for different tones. I'm pretty impressed how it sounds completely counter-clockwise, very nice, deep and fat without farty lows or inconsistent peaks. I will also say that I like how bite switch affects the gain saturation, turn it off and you will find that the lower gain settings have a lot more headroom and suddenly the drive knob becomes way more sensitive in the lower settings.

    I'm almost certain that I will keep the VTDI and put it on my board instead of the BDDI, I just need another rehearsal or two to fully convince myself with its behavior through a loud amp. This pedal is an instant Rex Brown tone.
    wmmj likes this.

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