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GarethFlatlands

DHA VT1 Std Bass

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I picked up this from Simwells from the for sale section as per this thread:-

[url="http://basschat.co.uk/topic/156228-dha-vt1-std-overdrive/"]http://basschat.co.uk/topic/156228-dha-vt1-std-overdrive/[/url]

[b]First Impressions:-[/b]
First thing I did as a big nerd was to pop the back off and inspect the insides. Don't let the hand drawn case markings fool you, the insides are built on a solid looking PCB with a lot of unused component spaces. Presumably the same PCB is used for the higher end models as well and this more basic model uses a similar circuit but without the extra bells and whistles. In any case, it looks very well made and the housing and controls feel nice and sturdy. There was an LED which I initially thought might be for clipping until I plugged it in and saw it lit up the tube in a pleasant blue when engaged. Nice touch! The unit came with a JJ tube which pleased me as my amp uses JJs and Matamp swear by them so I was glad it was something decent and not a cheap one to save costs.

[b]Sounds:-[/b]
I don't have a bass amp at home so went straight into my computer and through a cut down version of Amplitube to provide the bass amp sound. I wanted to try it through my MXR M80 but why can you never find a 9v when you need one? Anyway, Amplitube has a passable solid state bass amp sim and I dialled in a decent tone and hit the pedal. First thing, the power supply was very noisy. I was hoping I could get away without needing a better one, but no such luck. Despite the noise, the pedal sounded great. I still got a lot of the bass and amp sound but the pedal added a nice amount of grit to the top on lower settings. And while my MXR and previous Sansamp sounded buzzy and unusable at higher gains, the DHA sounded as good maxed out as it did at the lower ends. The 'i/p pad' control was basically an input level control and could be used to push the tube to break up. I was able to get a nice, thick distortion sound which begged to have some Rage and Muse basslines played through it while keeping the sound of my bass. Overall then, very good. Dare I say on a par with the Darkglass B3K videos I've seen on youtube? No, as I don't have one of those pedals to try it out against but similar from memory. More on this later when I've had more of a play and a re-listen to the demo videos.

[b]Cons:-[/b]
Well it's not the prettiest pedal in the world and the need for a 12v psu requires an extra plug as few power supplies cater for 12v. It's probably also a fault of the setup I initially tried it on but the levels needed tweaking a bit too much for my taste when changing settings, and without the 'bright' and 'boost' switches on, it sounded very weedy. I will explore these more when I get to my bass amp but I thought I should mention them to give an accurate first impression, although I stress it's probably more my skills with Reaper at fault than the pedal.

Overall then, a keeper for me for sure. The best bass distortion I've tried for sure. Time will tell if I come to resent the lack of tone control or blend function but for someone with a very small setup (tuner > this > DI) it's a very nice sounding and easy to use distortion box. I'll update this when I've tried it amplified and maybe had a play with different vavles.

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I`m going to use mine "in anger" for the first time on Thursday at band practice, so I`ll add to this then. So far, at home rehearsal levels, I`ve been very impressed with mine. Great natural valvey-type warmth and when pushed, grit, much more authentic to my ears than any other pedal I`ve used/heard.

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Used mine for the first time in a band situation last night. It really does add warmth and tube-grit. Unless everything is on full, the grit is breakup style, not fully distorted, like many other pedals, whose gain I`ve found uncontrollable. The Level control is very good, and easy to set. I also tried it with the Gain set virtually off, and in these cases, it seems to slightly thicken the sound, and also round off any high end. At the moment my strings are quite new - which I don`t really like, waiting for them to deaden down a bit - and the VT1 does a good job of removing the upper-end twang.

All in all, a very good pedal, but I`ve found that I prefer the sound of my Ampeg PF500 on its own, so I`m selling the pedal. No reflection on the pedal mind, if you want a pedal that adds in tube-style breakup to your sound, this pedal would be a good purchase.

Marks out of 10
Ease of use - 9
Sound quality - 9
Value for money - 9
Manufacturing quality - 10
Positives - good sounding pedal, makes you feel like you`re standing in front of a huge valve rig.
Negatives - shame that it won`t run from a Boss PSU, but any 12v will do, I got one from Amazon for about £10. Also, controls could be marked, so as to remember exact settings.

Edited by Lozz196

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With power supplies for Dave's stuff I've found that older 'transformer' types do a much cleaner job than modern 'switched mode' (smaller and cheaper) ones as they're a bit noisy. My dha VT2 I'm using an old 12v supply from a flat screen monitor (as it's centre positive) and the pedal is dead quiet. Happy days.

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well i use the VT2 eq with an ampeg PF -500 into a 1 x 15 & 4 x 10 and it makes a hell of a difference to the sound IMO. Much more valvey warmth than straight into the ampeg, plus a great option to dig in to the overdrive with the "red" channel. I would never sell mine (unless i got an ampeg VR of course!)

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Agree with that, in no way would I knock the VT1, it really is the best I`ve used at doing that job - adding valvey-warmth. I`ve just found that I prefer the PF-500s tone on it`s own.

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I have just been using mine for the first time in ages today and running it off of 9v (with a polarity reversing cable) and it works fine.

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