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mr.sibs

DHA EQ-Bass-Drive VT1

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I have owned this pedal for a couple of weeks now and i'm going to just share a bit of insight that I have had with it. This is a fairly recent addition to Dave's collection, and i bought it in the first of 5 for a nice price. I bought it with the intention of using it as a valve style drive pedal- but as i'l hopefully be able to show it is quite alot more than that really.

First Impressions: 8 it took a little while to get here, but I really loved the look of the pedal, and the size and obvious durability, although i was worried it was too big at first, it need to be that size for the layout. I also love the paint job and
lo-fi character of it, and it has a very intuitive layout in terms of eq and setting too. It came with a simple, easy to understand manual, that I glanced through and got down to business.

Sound:9 - The only reason this isnt a ten is that i think a different valve may give me the slightly deeper gain sound that I want, but the great thing about this pedal is that you can change the valves to your liking!! This isnt the kind of pedal that you plug in, twist everything and hey presto, it needs to be treated as a pre, and that is really what its become like now for me, a valve preamp. Every section is dependent on how you use the input pad, and whether you overdrive it and then compensate with the level (as i do) and the gain section sets the level into the second stage of the valve. The first thing i did was to leave everything flat and experiment with the gain and input. Immediately on high gain/input there was a difference between a full valve drive, which is a very warm distortion, though not fizzy. It wasnt a distortion sound as i expected it from other pedals, it retained alot more of the clarity and headroom. Pulling the gain back you can get a very lush valve tone which is suitable for all of my needs really, it can be either quite transparent or really have a drive to it, but the gain never seems to drastically alter the eq which is great.
The eq is very responsive and not too overbearing. The mid with the Q sweep function was a particularly good idea. I found the DI noisy at first, but the ground lift comes in handy here (think it was the power supply I was using). The bright switch increases treble response nicely, although it hasnt been to my tastes with all settings. The boost I think I will find very useful, and I'm talking to dave about adding a footswitch for it.

Build: 10 very neat inside and out and very sturdy too. With a years cover too you cant go wrong.

Use: 10 As i said previously, I originally was after a valve distortion pedal, but the more I have used it, I have realised that this is going to be a preamp for me, I have started to relax the EQ on my head and let the pedal set most of the tone. It doesnt really need an on/off switch I like the tone so much! As other users have said, this pedal wasnt quite what I expected, but just what I needed in terms of tone. Dave has offered lots of advice and help throughout the process of me trying this pedal which has been great. Compared to other overdrive/distortion effects, the tone this pedal creates sits very nicely with a full band too. Because it doesnt add or take anything away from your eq, it can be as sturdy as you like in your bands overall sound.

Value: 10

This will be a great addition to your sound.

Edited by mr.sibs

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agree with pretty much all that is said here :) however i have never found the DI to be noisy, recording wise anyways, its been great :huh: glad your clearly enjoying it as much as i am!

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[quote name='BassManKev' post='242267' date='Jul 17 2008, 11:30 PM']agree with pretty much all that is said here :) however i have never found the DI to be noisy, recording wise anyways, its been great :huh: glad your clearly enjoying it as much as i am![/quote]


yeah i think it was caused by a noisy power supply further back in the chain, and ive since had better results, yeah its a great pedal for sure

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[quote name='mr.sibs' post='242273' date='Jul 17 2008, 11:41 PM']yeah i think it was caused by a noisy power supply further back in the chain, and ive since had better results, yeah its a great pedal for sure[/quote]

Thanks for the review, I hope the review in next months BassPlayer mag is as good :)

On the DI subject it might be that the some of the noise is coming from the overdrive part of the circuit as it is a valve after all. Try the bass into the pedal and the DI into the desk but switch the effect into by-pass. Any noise you get then will be down to the DI, desk and cables.

It is also important to get the DI levels correct, I found that the i/p level on the desk was very important to the noise level and setting it around the middle (0dB) and then adjusting the DI level on the pedal so that there was not an overload gave the best results.

As you also say any noise generated in the chain before the pedal will all add up.

Dave

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[quote name='BassManKev' post='242267' date='Jul 17 2008, 11:30 PM']agree with pretty much all that is said here :) however i have never found the DI to be noisy, recording wise anyways, its been great :huh: glad your clearly enjoying it as much as i am![/quote]

Hi Kev,

The DI is a balanced XLR type and requires the connection at the other end to also be a balanced DI. Most PC soundcards are not balanced and hence there will be noise. Not sure how you are doing the recording but please check it is a balanced i/p as even if it's an XLR connector it may not be.

The way balanced DI's work is that two signals plus a ground are sent to the desk. One signal is the main one and feeds the non-inverting op-amp input on the desk, the other signal is subject to the same conditions and hence the same induced noise as the main signal but it is fed into the inverting i/p of the op-amp which will mean the noise is cancelled. To save money some desks and soundcard manufactures just use one side of the op-amp which means that there is no gain in terms of noise reduction.


Dave

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no idea about di's tbh :) i have a cable which is xlr one end 3.5mm jack the other, so i just connect di out of the dha to the line in of my laptop. despite this as i say its not noisy so whether its missin the point of di or not it does the job for me :huh:

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[quote name='BassManKev' post='242503' date='Jul 18 2008, 11:01 AM']no idea about di's tbh :) i have a cable which is xlr one end 3.5mm jack the other, so i just connect di out of the dha to the line in of my laptop. despite this as i say its not noisy so whether its missin the point of di or not it does the job for me :huh:[/quote]

If it's a mono jack at one end then it's not a balanced i/p. It's still DI but there is no noise reduction circuit being used.

If you get into PC recording in a big way then you might want to look at external soundcards designed for the job. The difference in sound quality is huge.

Dave

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ye im sure, i was lookin at buyin something like a toneport or somethin for it

the jack at the other end is stereo :)

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i have the dha after the zoom, i basically use it as a tube preamp

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