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dannybuoy

New Tech 21 VT500 Micro Amp

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[quote name='fretmeister' timestamp='1440064506' post='2847935']
Not really a fair comparison though - it's not like Behringer do any of their own R&D!
[/quote]

Very true.
I'd also be confident that you could drop a Sansamp Bass DI down a few flights of stairs without anything but cosmetic damage, the Behringer equivalent probably wouldn't fare so well...

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[quote name='fretmeister' timestamp='1440064506' post='2847935']
Not really a fair comparison though - it's not like Behringer do any of their own R&D!
[/quote]

I'd have thought that Tech21 would have recouped all the R&D cost on the BDDI, yet the price still seems to be creeping up each time ive gone to buy one.

Not singeing them out, its just something i have noticed.

Edited by dave_bass5

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[quote name='eude' timestamp='1440064721' post='2847938']
I'd also be confident that you could drop a Sansamp Bass DI down a few flights of stairs without anything but cosmetic damage, the Behringer equivalent probably wouldn't fare so well...
[/quote]

I've punished a few of these over the years and I think you'd be surprised. Some of Behringer's pedals are pretty weak, but I've never heard of or personally experienced a single incidence of a BDI breaking or becoming damaged in use (waits for inevitable anecdotal backlash). Mind you, they can and do go tits-up electronically, the most common fault being a definite liking for battery power instead of mains, but hey. I'd challenge anyone to tell the difference in sound between a BDI and a SansAmp in a blind A/B test.

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My BDI21 has seen more use than the two BDDI's ive had over the years. Partly as its older and also at least two members on here have borrowed it for long periods of time. It still looks in great shape and the knobs all work perfectly.
I haven't dropped it though, although if i did and it broke i could just get another....and another...

I do appreciate the quality a of the BDDI, and haven't really begrudged the cost of them, but for something that been out for so long its a shame the cost is still rising. Its getting in to boutique territory now.
Saying that i do think its much better value for money than my Darkglass VMTD, although i appreciate thats more handmade.

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A BDDI is why I don't GAS after expensive amps these days. No matter what amp I had I always ended putting the BDDI in front of it and usually set amp and pedal flat with the blend and drive on the pedal both set at about 10 o'clock. I just use the level dial on the pedal to match up so there's no boost or loss of volume when it's on. Means every amp sounds pretty much the same. I need to get out more.

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Guest bassman7755

[quote name='dave_bass5' timestamp='1440065236' post='2847943']
I'd have thought that Tech21 would have recouped all the R&D cost on the BDDI, yet the price still seems to be creeping up each time ive gone to buy one.
[/quote]

Tech 21 invented their core analogue modelling circuitry in the mid 80s.

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Guest bassman7755

[quote name='discreet' timestamp='1440058604' post='2847856']
I mostly agree, but it's the sound you're buying into rather than the inherent value of the components.
[/quote]

Absolutely, the right tone is priceless, and you charge what people will pay, not what it costs you make. I'm specifically addressing the economic issue of how they produce the amp for that price - no problem at all if, as is likely, the core preamp circuitry only costs a few quid (I'm guessing £10-£20 at most).

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[quote name='dave_bass5' timestamp='1440060017' post='2847870']
I could never use a MB head without another preamp in front of it. Not now. I used to and always felt it lacked something. Then i got a BDDI (well, started with a BDI21) and never looked back. I find something like these just brings the head to life. I keep most of the EQ pretty flat but being able ot add a bit of warmth and depth really helps with the MB heads (IME & IMO).
I always just go Bass- wireless- BDDI/Darkglass etc - amp. Never had an issue with the input stage, and ive never used the FX loop.
Being able to cut out a few leads and the pedal really appeals to me.
[/quote]

Now this, pretty much word for word, is why I set off looking for a head which could do the 'BDDI and LMIII' thing in one unit. After a lot of faffing about that was also a lot of fun, I ended up with the Streamliner. I have a cunning plan in the offing which involves my secondary MB 2 x 15" stack and swapping the LM out for the VT500 in the combo...bwahahahaaaaaakoffkoffkoffff... :D

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[quote name='Muzz' timestamp='1440075424' post='2848059']
Now this, pretty much word for word, is why I set off looking for a head which could do the 'BDDI and LMIII' thing in one unit. After a lot of faffing about that was also a lot of fun, I ended up with the Streamliner. I have a cunning plan in the offing which involves my secondary MB 2 x 15" stack and swapping the LM out for the VT500 in the combo...bwahahahaaaaaakoffkoffkoffff... :D
[/quote]

I ended up with the G-K MB500 Fusion, same reason. And tried a Streamliner for a while. ;) Now I've got an ABM EVO II and enjoying that.

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[quote name='Muzz' timestamp='1440075424' post='2848059']
Now this, pretty much word for word, is why I set off looking for a head which could do the 'BDDI and LMIII' thing in one unit. After a lot of faffing about that was also a lot of fun, I ended up with the Streamliner. I have a cunning plan in the offing which involves my secondary MB 2 x 15" stack and swapping the LM out for the VT500 in the combo...bwahahahaaaaaakoffkoffkoffff... :D
[/quote]

Funnily enough on my quest to do the same i too got a Streamliner. at the time i had a SA450 and BDDI but wanted to.....Streamline things ( :-) sorry). I must admit i wasnt knocked out by it, but i had sold the SA450 by then. I put it up for sale and was offered the F1 as a straight swap. I even got to use both for two gigs over a weekend. One head per set, so i had a really good test. I actually couldn't decide and ended up buying the F1 lol. To my ears the STL500 was very close to the SA450 with BDDI/BDI21 although the output clipping light kept flashing on the STL
After a few more gigs i did sell the Streamliner. Part of me didnt want the risk of a tube going (i know they dont in general) and the other was i felt it wasnt as clean loud as i could get with the MB heads. It was the 500watt version though and i had felt i should have gone for the 900watt version.

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[quote name='discreet' timestamp='1440077399' post='2848076']
I ended up with the G-K MB500 Fusion, same reason. And tried a Streamliner for a while. ;) Now I've got an ABM EVO II and enjoying that.
[/quote]

Shame i never even got to plug my GK MB800 Fusion in :-(

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Yeah, I went through a few... two Mesas, two Ashdowns, three MBs (including an F1), a TC, a GK, even another Tech21... I'm gassing like mad for the VT500, but it'll have to be good to shift the Streamliner, where all the others have failed...

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[quote name='dave_bass5' timestamp='1440078606' post='2848090']


Shame i never even got to plug my GK MB800 Fusion in :-(
[/quote]

Why not, out of interest?

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[quote name='Merton' timestamp='1440079772' post='2848106']
Why not, out of interest?
[/quote]

It arrived at work, but when i took it out of the box i felt the workmanship on the front was terrible. I immediately got in touch with Thomanns and they said send it back and i would get a replacement. This is did without ever actually plugging it in.
Two days later i got an email from them telling me it was out of stock, with no idea when they would have more. So, i never got to play through one.

This is what it looked like. Maybe i was a bit fussy but at £500+ i would expect a bit better.

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The speaker sim on the VT Bass 500 is always active when the SansAmp circuit is engaged. It is bypassed when the Blend control is turned to minimum. The Drive, Character and Bite functions are also inactive when the Blend is set to minimum. The Level, Low, Mid and High controls are always active no matter where the Blend control is set. The Bite switch is a pre-shape presence boost and is the stock VT Bass tone.

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Thanks for that - this might have been asked before, but is there a HPF set, and if so, at what frequency?

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Oh well, i think thats me out. I dont know why i would want a speaker sim when im using a speaker.
Maybe this was why i never got on with the VTBass v1 i had for a few weeks a few years ago.

Edited by dave_bass5

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[quote name='Tech21NYC' timestamp='1440085725' post='2848188']
The speaker sim on the VT Bass 500 is always active when the SansAmp circuit is engaged. It is bypassed when the Blend control is turned to minimum. The Drive, Character and Bite functions are also inactive when the Blend is set to minimum. The Level, Low, Mid and High controls are always active no matter where the Blend control is set. The Bite switch is a pre-shape presence boost and is the stock VT Bass tone.
[/quote]

Awesome. I really loved the speaker sim on the VT DI, glad to hear it`s on the VT 500. Can`t wait til mine arrives.

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[quote name='dave_bass5' timestamp='1440086932' post='2848199']
Oh well, i think thats me out. I dont know why i would want a speaker sim when im using a speaker.
Maybe this was why i never got on with the VTBass v1 i had for a few weeks a few years ago.
[/quote]

It would be useful to emulate the high end rolloff of an Ampeg fridge with modern tweeter-equipped bass cabs...

But you should be able to switch it off to open up the top end if you are already using a tweeterless cab. But then when Tech 21 introduced a button to disable the cab sim on their pedals, it added a low pass filter, defeating the object (IMHO)! They kind of remedied the situation with the VTDI, relegating that filter to a separate bite button. Now on this amp we have the bite button but no cab sim button. Oh well.

I don't like the way the VT cab sim sounds with fuzz in front of it by the way. Always sounded unnatural more like a resonant LPF instead of a natural cab rolloff. The Darkglass Vintage 'cab sim' (apostrophied as it is not marketed as a cab sim even though it effectively is one) sounds much better with fuzz in front to my ears.

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I've just spent a hour playing through my new Mini-Rig, a VT500 and two PJB Compact 4 cabs. With the two cabs it is quite loud but through one there was a significant drop off in volume compared with the TH500. For band rehearsals I've been using the TH500 through a single Compact 4 and it is loud. I shall try the VT500 on Monday night and see how it performs.

Edited by obbm

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I tried a VTDI and did prefer it over the mk1 VTBasss I had. I can see that if it's part of the overal effect then it should be there, but as my cab doesn't have a tweeter and is voiced for a more vintage tone anyway I think I will pass for now.
Back to looking at the Ashdown RM800.....for now.

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[quote name='obbm' timestamp='1440093546' post='2848285']
I've just spent a hour playing through my new Mini-Rig, a VT500 and two PJB Compact 4 cabs. With the two cabs it is quite loud but through one there was a significant drop off in volume compared with the TH500. For band rehearsals I've been using the TH500 through a single Compact 4 and it is loud. I shall try the VT500 on Monday night and see how it performs.


[/quote]

I'm very interested to hear how the PJB Compacts perform volume-wise. I've mulled over getting a pair but I'm worried about the sensitivity and probable low volume.

Frank.

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