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dannybuoy

New Tech 21 VT500 Micro Amp

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[quote name='machinehead' timestamp='1440096225' post='2848324']
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.
[/quote]

I've been using one Compact 4 with a TH500 for rehearsals with my band for about a year and everyone says it's perfectly loud enough with and without a DI. I haven't had the chance to try it at gig level yet.

I've just got the second cab and that is now loud with the TH500. My concern was that the VT500 doesn't seem as loud as the TH500 although both are, on paper, rated at 500-watts. My hour of playing was in the garage with the door open so not a fair assessment. I will use the VT500 at rehearsal on Monday and see what happens. I will also bring both cabs and both amps to the SE Bass Bash next month - not a lot of help for you however I'm afraid.

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[quote name='obbm' timestamp='1440097259' post='2848339']
I've just got the second cab and that is now loud with the TH500. My concern was that the VT500 doesn't seem as loud as the TH500 although both are, on paper, rated at 500-watts. My hour of playing was in the garage with the door open so not a fair assessment. I will use the VT500 at rehearsal on Monday and see what happens.
[/quote]

Will look forward to hearing your views on that. Wattage-spec on paper means not a lot, really. But I hope it's not too weedy. If only Tech-21 could produce some sort of pedal or tone-shaper with the VT500 preamp in it that you could use with your own power amp! :lol:

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[quote name='Muzz' timestamp='1440086539' post='2848195']
Thanks for that - this might have been asked before, but is there a HPF set, and if so, at what frequency?
[/quote]

We don't use a high pass filter as that would affect the tone of the instrument. We use a sub sonic filter to protect the speakers from DC voltage.

[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.

People tend to read too much into what a speaker sim actually is. It's really the EQ curve of a mic'd speaker. The speaker sim is designed so our products can be run through a full range speaker system without the fizz, noise and hash that is not present when using a convention instrument speaker which typically starts to roll off around 5K. Since the undesirable high end is already rolled off a passive speaker can't roll off what is no longer there. We utilize a mild high frequency roll off that is designed to work well with a passive speaker system.
[/quote]

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Well just got mine, not used it in a band setting yet, just at home volumes. First impressions are very nice, the sound has that "spongy" sort of decay if you let the notes ring, just like valve - is it transducer - sag. And just like the VT DI in fact, no surprise there though. Always difficult to tell at home practice settings/volume, but I reckon I`m going to very pleased with this. My Aguilar Tonehammers sound great, warm and old-school, but the notes are crisper with none of the afore-mentioned sag, in comparison to the VT 500. I suppose you`d describe the sound of the VT 500 as rounded, no matter how much highs/bite/mids you add.

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[quote name='Lozz196' timestamp='1440439791' post='2850757']
Always difficult to tell at home practice settings/volume, but I reckon I`m going to very pleased with this.
[/quote]

Very interested to know what you think about this when you've used it in a band setting, Lozz. Thanks for the comments.

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Guest bassman7755

[quote name='Tech21NYC' timestamp='1440085725' post='2848188']
The speaker sim on the VT Bass 500 is always active when the SansAmp circuit is engaged.
[/quote]

A standalone amp that you cant disengage the speaker sim on ? seriously what were you thinking ?.

Mind you I used to have the sans amp guitar DI box which sounded brilliant for recording but sold it in the end because the permanently on speaker sim made it useless for playing with a rig. A truly face palm worthy design decision.

Edited by bassman7755

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Perhaps it was merely a marketing blunder calling it 'speaker sim'... whenever I was using a VT Bass pedal, the speaker sim sounded to me like just another element of the tone of the pedal - I had no problem using a VT Bass with speaker sim through a rig - the sound you get from the pedal is very much addressed by the EQ of whatever amp you're using anyway, in effect you're using two preamps, one before the other.

I never thought for a second when using the pedal DI or in the studio it ever sounded like it was actually replicating the 'sound' of a bass being played through a cab. I think people imagine that using the speaker sim with an [i]actual [/i]speaker is 'wrong' in some way, but I really don't think this is the case. If it sounds good, it IS good, and the VT Bass has always sounded good to my ears.

Edit: IMHO, of course. YMMV, etc... :)

Edited by discreet

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I agree, its just another part of the tone. My earlier comment was based on not liking the VTBass as much as I did the VTDI with speaker emulation turned off. I just found the tone to be a bit nicer to my ears.
I do find it strange that the option isn't on the head, this feature has been quite a talking point over on TB since these pedals came out.

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[quote name='obbm' timestamp='1440097259' post='2848339']
I've been using one Compact 4 with a TH500 for rehearsals with my band for about a year and everyone says it's perfectly loud enough with and without a DI. I haven't had the chance to try it at gig level yet.

I've just got the second cab and that is now loud with the TH500. My concern was that the VT500 doesn't seem as loud as the TH500 although both are, on paper, rated at 500-watts. My hour of playing was in the garage with the door open so not a fair assessment. I will use the VT500 at rehearsal on Monday and see what happens. I will also bring both cabs and both amps to the SE Bass Bash next month - not a lot of help for you however I'm afraid.
[/quote]

Thanks OBBM, appreciate the response.

It would be best for me if I could get a chance to try these before buying. I toyed with the idea of buying and returning if they don't do what I expect but it seems a lot of hassle.

Frank.

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[quote name='discreet' timestamp='1440440695' post='2850769']


Very interested to know what you think about this when you've used it in a band setting, Lozz. Thanks for the comments.
[/quote]
Me too, been toying with replacing my Shuttle 9.2 with a TH500, would like to hear your thoughts on how the VT and TH compare at gig/rehearsal volumes.

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[quote name='bassman7755' timestamp='1440452441' post='2850970']
A standalone amp that you cant disengage the speaker sim on ? seriously what were you thinking ?.

Mind you I used to have the sans amp guitar DI box which sounded brilliant for recording but sold it in the end because the permanently on speaker sim made it useless for playing with a rig. A truly face palm worthy design decision.
[/quote]

My suggestion would be to try the amp first before passing judgement on the design. It was designed to be used with a full range cab or passive cab. The Blend control can be used if you want to reduce the effect of the speaker emulation.

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[quote name='Tech21NYC' timestamp='1440512539' post='2851392']


My suggestion would be to try the amp first before passing judgement on the design. It was designed to be used with a full range cab or passive cab. The Blend control can be used if you want to reduce the effect of the speaker emulation.
[/quote]Wise words.

For me, I like to have the sim engaged on the VTDI all the time, going through my Phil Jones rig. It just 'tightens' the sound up nicely.

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Ah, but plenty of us have used the VT Bass DI into another amp, and can extrapolate that this new amp would probably sound very similar but without the option of disabling the speaker sim!

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Agreed. I was keen to get this, as I liked the VTDI without speaker sim on. Now I've fouud out its going to sound closer to the VTBass which I wasn't as keen on, I'm stating my dissapointmet. Nothing wrong with that. It's not negativity for the the sake of it,

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[quote name='obbm' timestamp='1440097259' post='2848339']

I will also bring both cabs and both amps to the SE Bass Bash next month
[/quote]

Another reason to look forward to the SE Bass Bash!

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Ok, tried mine at rehearsal and it is a very good amp. However, as I`ve also just got an Ampeg SVT3-PRO I was trying both out at the same and for me the Ampeg won. The VT 500 is a cracker though, and to anyone wanting to get as near to the Ampeg sound as possible in a small lightweight amp you can`t really go wrong with this. Connected to my Barefaced Super12T there was no problems with volume - as there shouldn`t be with a 500 watt amp of course. Nice "spongey" decay on the sustain and a good solid presence in the mix.

If the SVT3-PRO hadn`t come along at a very good price I would have been perfectly happy with the VT 500 but the 3-PRO is more solid in the sound to my ears, with more heft. But then, it`s got 5 pre-amp valves in it, and isn`t a lightweight amp so not really comparing like for like. In terms of the lightweight amps I`d recommend the VT 500, can go from warm rounded Motown to gnarly driven punk-tones in an instant.

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Guest bassman7755

[quote name='Tech21NYC' timestamp='1440512539' post='2851392']
My suggestion would be to try the amp first before passing judgement on the design. It was designed to be used with a full range cab or passive cab. The Blend control can be used if you want to reduce the effect of the speaker emulation.
[/quote]

I've used a few T21 products in the past and had to abandon them all due to lack of flexibility WRT to the speaker simulation. You guys have arguably the best solid state drive sound in the industry and yet are determined to hobble certain products in the eyes of at least some of your potential customers for want of including a button than would add negligible production cost, I just don't see the logic behind it. This isn't just about the VTBass, I just cant understand why all T21 products don't have defeatable speaker sim as standard, ideally separate controls for amp output and DI.

Edited by bassman7755

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[quote name='Lozz196' timestamp='1440574260' post='2851974']
Ok, tried mine at rehearsal and it is a very good amp. However, as I`ve also just got an Ampeg SVT3-PRO I was trying both out at the same and for me the Ampeg won. The VT 500 is a cracker though, and to anyone wanting to get as near to the Ampeg sound as possible in a small lightweight amp you can`t really go wrong with this. Connected to my Barefaced Super12T there was no problems with volume - as there shouldn`t be with a 500 watt amp of course. Nice "spongey" decay on the sustain and a good solid presence in the mix.

If the SVT3-PRO hadn`t come along at a very good price I would have been perfectly happy with the VT 500 but the 3-PRO is more solid in the sound to my ears, with more heft. But then, it`s got 5 pre-amp valves in it, and isn`t a lightweight amp so not really comparing like for like. In terms of the lightweight amps I`d recommend the VT 500, can go from warm rounded Motown to gnarly driven punk-tones in an instant.
[/quote]
How would you compare the VT with your TH500 Lozz?

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[quote name='Lozz196' timestamp='1440574260' post='2851974']
Ok, tried mine at rehearsal and it is a very good amp. However, as I`ve also just got an Ampeg SVT3-PRO I was trying both out at the same and for me the Ampeg won. The VT 500 is a cracker though, and to anyone wanting to get as near to the Ampeg sound as possible in a small lightweight amp you can`t really go wrong with this. Connected to my Barefaced Super12T there was no problems with volume - as there shouldn`t be with a 500 watt amp of course. Nice "spongey" decay on the sustain and a good solid presence in the mix.

If the SVT3-PRO hadn`t come along at a very good price I would have been perfectly happy with the VT 500 but the 3-PRO is more solid in the sound to my ears, with more heft. But then, it`s got 5 pre-amp valves in it, and isn`t a lightweight amp so not really comparing like for like. In terms of the lightweight amps I`d recommend the VT 500, can go from warm rounded Motown to gnarly driven punk-tones in an instant.
[/quote]

Thanks very much for that, Lozz, seems like it's close to how I imagined it to be. Which is a good thing. :) But you have also confirmed that which I knew all along, i.e. at some point I will need to buy a heavy box with valves in it if I really want that tone I have in my head. ;)

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[quote name='ern500evo' timestamp='1440577180' post='2852009']
How would you compare the VT with your TH500 Lozz?
[/quote]

Significantly better value for money I'd expect ;) (gets coat...)

Eude

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[quote name='eude' timestamp='1440577522' post='2852014']


Significantly better value for money I'd expect ;) (gets coat...)

Eude
[/quote]
Not a fan of the TH500? They are pricey new, can be picked up for reasonable price second hand though. I've never used one but am tempted to give one a try, heard some nice tones from them.

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What's the fan noise like on this? That's one thing that bugs me about some amps, quietness of the fan seems to not be a design goal for some. I've no problem with it blaring full speed at a gig, but when practicing at home and the thing is barely warm, a noisy fan is most unwelcome. It made me return my TH500 for example, it used to kick in really noisily after 10 minutes of play!

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[quote name='ern500evo' timestamp='1440579742' post='2852038']
Not a fan of the TH500? They are pricey new, can be picked up for reasonable price second hand though. I've never used one but am tempted to give one a try, heard some nice tones from them.
[/quote]

To be fair, I've not tried one, however some players I know who have been lucky enough have noted that it would probably not be my thing. I seem to prefer the faster attack and harshness of a solid state setup.
I was only commenting that the TH500 is significantly more expensive, new at least, so if the Tech 21 effort sounds as good, and is as well built, then I know where my money would go... :yarr:

Eude

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