Gear Review: Tech 21’s VT Bass Pedal.
This pedal is from Tech 21’s Character Series of pedals for guitar and bass. I was looking for a good all around pedal that would give me a lot of different sounds. It’s difficult to find a really flexible bass pedal. Most of them just suck out the low end and you end up with a weird guitar sounding distortion, or worse. I bought the VT pedal a couple of years ago, so I’ve had time to really get a feel for what it can do – and it can do a lot.
As a distortion/fuzz pedal
If you run this pedal in-line (bass, VT, amp) you can really get some hairy distortion and fuzz sounds. You want to keep the EQ section of the pedal mostly flat so it doesn’t interfere with your amp’s EQ settings. The pedal’s EQ section is powerful, so tweak with care. The Character knob emulates different eras of tube amps (SVT, Flip Top, etc) and as you turn this knob left to right you will hear warm and tube-like to full on bone crushing fuzz. The Level and Drive Knobs respectively act like the volume and gain on an amp.
As a Preamp
This pedal really shines when you use it a preamp. Run the bass into the pedal, then out of the pedal into the effects return of your amp. In this configuration, the preamp section is bypassed and only the power section is used. The VT as a preamp is really versatile. The EQ knobs are very precise and with the Character and Drive sections you can recreate some really great tube amp sounds, without breaking your back at load in.
Check out the quick settings guide here.
For more info, here is a review from Bill Leigh of Bass Player Magazine.
Here are some sound samples of the VT Pedal in action.
Trip Wamsley (As a preamp)
Brett Kingman (As a Preamp)
Ben Lemelin (As a pedal in the chain)