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Kev

DHA VT1 EQ-Bass-Drive

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I recieved the pedal through the post this morning, and have been fiddling away with it pretty much ever since, neighbours must wanna kill me! Built June 08 as dated on the back, i believe it to be the second one built, and the first in a custom colour choice, as wrote on side of pedal.

Here's a piccy of it in all its glory and marvolous paint job:



Iv had this pedal for half a day, so this is a total initial reponse first impression review. I will post further opinions if i have any more in the next few days.

okay, so i bought this for a special price of £120 as i was one of the first 5 to order, i believe the price to buy now is £175.
This is a single valve overdrive/distortion unit, and the latest addition to the VT1 range. The features that set it apart from the others in the series are the Di output with level control, and the active eq section with Q mids control. I did own a DHA VT-2 Dual Custom Bass for a while last year, but ended up selling it partly due to financial reasons, and partly due to the lack of eq options with just a passive eq. I ordered this pedal purely because it had an active eq, which greatly interested me, i doubt i will have much use for the Di.

Ease of Use : 7

You aint just gunna be able to plug in any old bass into any old amp and just play and expect to get the sound you want, it take some time to twiddle away and try and get that sound. The setting seen in the pic above are pretty much bang on what i want, using my stingray going into my trace amp. Setting the ip level and gain the right way can be tricky, but sounds great once you get there. The boost and level is simple to use, as is the 3 band eq and the Q mids control. I have yet to try the Di but i imagine since it just has a level control, its not rocket science. Dave sticks in a double A4 sided sheet to talk you through it, and i can see it would be very helpful. Twiddling is needed, so il give it a 7.

Sound Quality and Features : 10

I bought this pedal with the full intention of warming up my signal with a valve and get a nice breakup if i play hard/my bass's volume is cranked. Did i get that? Yes i did. After messing round for what seemed like an age, i got a fantastic tone exactly as i wanted from my stingray, and sounds great, greatly improved my solid state trace's tone. Worked equally well on my passive jazz bass, after altering the ip pad of course. The EQ seems very responsive, a fantastic improvement from the passive eq of the other pedals Dave makes, and interacts brilliantly with the bright switch and the mid Q control. I have it set so the bright switch is on, and i cut treble with the eq as shown in the pic, and that gets my tone right were i want it. Boosting bass and low mids completes my extensive use of the eq, and it sounds great (but no doubt not to the neighbours, having the amp cranked at 10am! :)) The op-amp boost is very useful for lower gain settings, and seems to generally boost the sound making it fuller and bassier, which is great. With the gain cranked, you get a wild high gain distortion, despite only having the one valve it really does pack some punch! Again, iv not used the Di, and probably wont as my zoom pedal has a great Di anyways, so i cant comment on that just yet. Im finding it hard to find something i dont like about the pedal tbh, if you want a valve overdrive sound its pretty much bang on. I hope to be experimenting with different tubes soon, its currently fitted the the 12ax7eh as standard, which i think is a pretty high gain tube, so id love to hear some lower gain tubes too, we'll see! But yep, i cant comment on the Di, but as a valve preamp/overdrive pedal, for me its a 10.

Build quality: 10

Typical DHA tank like structure, huge rugged metal box, secure pots that aint ever gunna wobble, you'll have a hard time breaking this one.

Value for money: 9

Well for the price i got it, 10 all the way, there will never be another valve pedal that can satisfy so much for under £150 imo. For £175? personally, i wouldnt pay that, but thats more because im poor than anything else, the pedal is certainly worth that amount, you wont get anything like it for less than £200 i wouldnt have thought, good stuff!

Customer Service: 10

Dave is a great guy, replies to emails quickly and efficiently, and will sort any problems you may have. Absolutly no worries whatsoever there.

Overall: 10

Yup, iv give it a 10. I bought this for a low gain valve overdrive tone, and thats exactly what i got. Yes it takes time to get the sound you want and perfect it, but the satisfied feeling you get when you get there is great. Add to that the felixibility of a 3 band eq with extra mid control, the possibilities of loads of different gain options with different valves, and Di capabilities, i think you should stop messing round and pop Dave an email now!

Edited by BassManKev

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:) suprised you have not shifted that peavey yet, great bass for the money

gotta say the white n red is quite nice, but i prefer black :ph34r:

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black is the way, gofffic :)
I cant belive no one wants my 6er for £200 either
will keep as a back up for now, maybe re sell at a later date.
Definately gonna save for a pedal like that though, has a suitably extreme metal aesthetic.

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bloody :)

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just been messing round with it again today and thought id try it in my amps effects loop. It sounds great there too, gain on tap appears to be much lower, but its great for real low gain stuff, and when cranked will still sound like the gain at instrument level at bout 12-o-clock. im struggling to decide where to put it now! think im gunna stick with the crunch tone i got when it was first in chain on my board, but it works brillaintly as a valve preamp as well the eq is even more responsive (or feels it) when in the amps effect loop

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you'll enjoy it :) gunna be trying out new valves in it soon, looking at GT 12ax7-m and sovtek 12ax7-wb (i think thats its name)

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[quote name='BassManKev' post='222170' date='Jun 19 2008, 02:21 PM']you'll enjoy it :) gunna be trying out new valves in it soon, looking at GT 12ax7-m and sovtek 12ax7-wb (i think thats its name)[/quote]

have you thought about different gain valves ? 12au, 12at, etc.

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indeed, if none of the ax's do anything special for me, il be trying an at, from what iv seen mullard at's dont go for too much on ebay :)

Edited by BassManKev

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lol indeed :)

just bought myself a mullard valve, il update this page on the results of that when i get it thru the post tomorrow

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well, Mullard tube came today, safe to say i wont be using the EH again. As soon as a i put it in and switched it on, the difference was massive, the eh just sound brittle next to it. The mullard wasnt nos, but from the looks/sound of it it hasnt been used much. its the one with the shield logo with british made printed on it, bit worn off by can make it out. My particular valve is lower gain than the eh, which benefits me if anything, sounds fantastic, so much more character than the eh, more transparent and warmer (better bottom end and less highs) . id still like to experiment with more valves, but i cant see anything beatin the mullard.

Edited by BassManKev

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[quote name='BassManKev' post='227604' date='Jun 26 2008, 08:48 PM']well, Mullard tube came today, safe to say i wont be using the EH again. As soon as a i put it in and switched it on, the difference was massive, the eh just sound brittle next to it. The mullard wasnt nos, but from the looks/sound of it it hasnt been used much. its the one with the shield logo with british made printed on it, bit worn off by can make it out. My particular valve is lower gain than the eh, which benefits me if anything, sounds fantastic, so much more character than the eh, more transparent and warmer (better bottom end and less highs) . id still like to experiment with more valves, but i cant see anything beatin the mullard.[/quote]

Just been talking with our US rep who is also a bass player. He tried Mullards and a few other things and reckons JJs are better than Mullards in DHA pedals. Might be a bass thing as I found Mullards to be the best for guitar and I didn't like JJs. You should find Chris's threads on changing valves they are very good.

It's good fun swapping valves!

Dave

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ye id like to give JJs a go, as well as a cheap sovtek valve 12ax7wb, they both interest me, tis indeed fun!

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[quote name='BassManKev' post='227608' date='Jun 26 2008, 09:00 PM']ye id like to give JJs a go, as well as a cheap sovtek valve 12ax7wb, they both interest me, tis indeed fun![/quote]

Sovtek is EH. EH purchased the old Sovtek site 2 years back. Fender, Mesa, Marshall and few others are rebranded Sovtek.

So you already tried a Sovtek! The 12ax7EH is a high gain version of the 12ax7WB.

Don't bother with any valves from China, they are rubbish. Try looking for NOS Siemans, RCA, GEC, Brimmer, Mullards, Mazda, etc. and you can't go wrong. Also 12at7, 12au7, ECC81, ECC82 work very well with less gain but great tone.

Dave

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ay i know sovtek is eh, but iv heard the the wb is warmer and less about the highs that the eh one is, which interests me.

iv wondered what the Brimmer ones were like, been quite a few on ebay recently. let the summer valve swapping commense :)

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I tried a bit of valve swapping with my VT2 Dual Custom RM, and eventually settled on a Mullard. Here's my brief thread comparing Mullard, RCA and Phillips valves: [url="http://www.finnbass.com/showthread.php?t=2029"]http://www.finnbass.com/showthread.php?t=2029[/url]

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I have now managed to acquire this though the magic of the forum and I'd just like to say- WOW!
If anyone has a chance to order one of these then please do, this pedal does absolute wonders to your sound. I originally was using it to try to get a bit of distortion, but soon realised that the warmth and fullness of tone it brought to my ray was the best thing about any pedal I've ever had! Top marks dave, top marks!

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