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Microphone Month 5

Tech 21 SansAmp Character Series VT Bass Deluxe Reviews

4.5 stars based on 20 customer reviews
Questions about the Tech 21 SansAmp Character Series VT Bass Deluxe?

Questions about the Tech 21 SansAmp Character Series VT Bass Deluxe?

Or call us at (800) 222-4700

  • from March 6, 2017

    Very nice

    I am very impressed with this preamp--yes, it's a preamp, though you can use it as a stomp box in front of another preamp if you must. I play it into the effects return on my Fender Rumble for practice, but I can also send the signal straight to my audio interface and into my computer via the XLR Out. This would also work for a live gig as a DI box that allows your signal to go straight to the mixing board. It can be powered by 9V, AC adapter, or phantom power via the XLR, so there's some good versatility in terms of supplying juice. Two inputs--A and B--for two separate basses and three presets for each, or if you only need one input then you have six presets to cycle through.
    Tone-wise, it's incredible. I can go from mellow to flip-top to over-overdriven in a heartbeat. It emulates the Ampeg SVT (hence the VT Bass name) very, very well. With some knob-twisting on my Jazz Bass, I can use this preamp dial in some great Geddy Lee-style tones--from Moving Pictures to Counterparts (a la "Leave That Thing Alone") to Clockwork Angels (a la "The Anarchist").
    I don't know that I'll ever need to use anything else in my bass rig--except maybe some effects like delay and chorus (and the VT Bass Deluxe provides an effects loop just for that purpose). Buy one from Sweetwater today and be amazed!

  • from Binghamton, NY April 1, 2016

    Another great product from Tech 21

    I needed a solution to give me multiple sounds, so after using the SansAmp Bass Driver for many years I switched to the VT bass deluxe. This thing gives me all the tones I need, from clean fingerstyle tones to dirty pick tones. We use in ear monitors in my band, and I run the VT bass Deluxe direct to the board with the XLR output. It's easy to use and my band mates all think it sounds great.

  • from OH June 21, 2015

    The heart of my sound

    This is great. There are so many different sounds available in this pedal. The overdrive sounds great and the ability to program in multiple sounds can eliminate the need for an additional OD or even boost pedal. I personally run one clean, one that gets a little overdriven if I dig in, and one distorted each for 2 very different sounding basses. It is incredibly easy to program and tweak as well. I use this in front of a combo amp and as a DI when recording and I couldn't be happier. It is a big part of me getting the sound I thought I'd lost when I stopped carrying a big stack of amps with me everywhere.

  • from Seattle May 5, 2015Music Background:
    40 years as a pro/semi-pro

    Great Sounds!

    The switcher/preamp/direct box does everything I wanted. I use two radically different instruments on stage: A Groove Tools 7 string, and a NS design 5 string upright, and amplify with a rack and stack of over 2000 watts. This unit allows me to switch back and forth instantly, to have 4 individual sounds per instrument (3 presets plus bypass) AND control a complete effects loop!

    It is not just versatile, it sounds great. My amp and speakers are studio-accurate, and with the VT, I can make them sound like a vintage Hiwatt Stack, or an AMPEG SVT, then return to my standard sound with 1 button. It is a super cool unit!!

  • from Houston, Tx January 19, 2015Music Background:
    Musician, Live Sound Engineer

    Tech 21 VT Bass Deluxe

    I didn't think anything would be able to match the sound of my Ampeg SVT III pro. This stomp box does that and more! This is another in a long list of solutions from my Sweetwater Engineer, Ed Nystrom. Fantastic product, great service!

  • from Yorktown Heights, NY January 14, 2015Music Background:
    Bassist, Guitarist, Audio Engineer

    Deluxe is too small a word

    The Tech 21 VT BASS DELUXE is amazing! It may be the best bass pedal purchase I have ever gotten. Really, it sounds like a great preamp on an amp! The character knob is impressive, it can really alter the fundamental sound of the amp. I have mine hooked up from the tech 21 right into the power amp, and it can brilliantly color your signal. The fx loop is annoying, so I just always leave mine on, and switch on my fx when I need them. Preset saving is also amazing! Love this pedal, would buy again if lost or stolen!

  • from Apex, NC December 10, 2014Music Background:
    Gigging musician

    Diverse preamp!!

    Fantastic.. Love the multiple outputs, effects loop, solid construction and memory storage recalled at an instant! In my opinion the sounds and flexibility of this preamp exceed anything else in this price range. Well done!! A go to unit for anyone who plays live with an active and passive bass. (Or an upright)

  • from NYC October 13, 2014Music Background:
    Free lance bassist

    Way beyond an A/B pedal

    I originally bought this pedal in order to switch between upright and electric. I wanted to be able to feed the same channel on the board and not put it on the soundman to keep track of which instrument I was playing.
    The presets are perfect for that, having full control over volume and tone in each preset. However, I fell in love with how it improved the sound on both instruments so much that I always use the pedal even if I am just using one instrument on the gig.
    My Fender 5 Classic Jazz has such clarity and at the same time enough punch to really lock in with the drums. With the pedal my upright's warmth really comes out while the notes in upper positions really sing.
    Having the 6 presets really helps. I play in one club with notoriously bad sound. I tweaked the pedal to the point where the band said they can finally hear the notes I am playing. I saved those settings and just punch it in every time I play there.
    I never used any pedals in my 40 years of playing, but it's never too late to learn and improve.

  • from Henryetta, Oklahoma April 1, 2014Music Background:
    17+yrs Bassist/Gitarist/Prorammer percussionist

    Tech 1 know bass tone

    My friends and some producers kept telling about this pedal. I was undecided about buying the TECH 1 VT SansAmp Deluxe, but recently after stepping into a professional studio being recorded with the very same pedal direct only, I was blown away. The reviews say it best and very accurate! So as for my own experience, The pedal is a bassists must have for every reason!... It will totally capture your rigs sound and then some. The Tube sound from this pedal baffles me that the tone isn't coming from actual tubes! So much warm tube, tonal control, and variety that it will totally capture your rigs sound and then some! And there should be no worries about attaining your sound going direct whether recoding, at a gig or wherever one can go direct.After years of searching for that perfect tone this is a huge step forward!
    Also, Great doing business with Sweetwater, once again!

  • from Florida November 27, 2012Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    Best Sound I've Heard

    Honestly, this predal/preamp is the best money I've spent on bass gear yet. I've only ever messed with the tone controls on my bass and amp, never even considered a preamp. However, after reading some reviews and the help of a Sweetwater technician, I decided to try out this amazing gizmo. MY rig has never sounded so good. I managed to get the tone of Justin Chancellor (Tool) and Dean Bernardini (Chevelle) something I've always strived for but, never really fully achieved. I also tweaked some sick, nasty distortion on this thing, making my old boss bass distortion look amateur. I highly recommend this preamp to any and all bass players. You'll never hear a better sound or tone.

  • from Evansville IN July 9, 2012Music Background:
    bass player

    tech 21 character series vt bass deluxe rocks.

    I dig this pedal. Straight into the PA or as a pre-amp for any amplifier I plug into. I've always heard great things about Tech 21 gear & now I know why. 6 presets to program & the pedal recalls where I've set the analog knovs (no tap-tap or need to use the manual to figure out programming). The tone you get from this thing is great for the money spent.

  • from Bandera Texas August 17, 2011Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Live sound Engineer, Musician

    What a Sound

    I originally ordered this so I could use it with live shows. Getting a tone better than something just off the guitar tone. I use it in the studio to.

  • from Brooklyn, ny August 15, 2011Music Background:
    Recording/mix engineer, bassist,keyboardist.

    Amazing product!

    I bought this after reading stellar reviews. I was looking for something to add a little dirt without being obnoxious. This pedal basically never gets turned off. It does clean all the way to raging fuzz without losing bottom end. It's super easy to tweak on the fly. It's built like a tank. It basically took my bass sound, which I already liked and made it sound boring in comparison.

  • from Eugene OR March 3, 2011Music Background:
    Weekend Warrior

    Everything I wanted

    First of all, Sweetwater's service was excellent as usual.

    I got interested in this when I heard rave reviews of the VT Bass, but figured I didn't need another overdrive pedal. With 6 presets, effects loop and DI, this became a must-have. It does everything you think it does, and I've dialed in 6 really usable tones, from light, transparent overdrive, scooped metal, tone-destroying fuzz, etc. Also, any preset "remembers" whether the effects loop was on the last time you used it. This cuts down on tap-dancing for live use, since you can just set it up so when you switch to a new setting, you automatically get your phaser/filter/whatever. Also, when you're messing with a saved preset, the light flashes to tell you how far you've turned a knob away from where it's saved. This is a huge help for experimenting. THe knobs are very reactive, and a little drive goes a long way.

    All in all, I'm so glad I bought this, and it's replaced 3 pedals on my board, and re-organized it nicely.

  • from JACKSONVILLE, FL September 6, 2016

    Great preamp

    Sounds amazing, is incredibly versatile, and the digital programming is beyond useful. The controls are insanely touchy though and it can be kind of difficult to dial in the tone youre looking for at first. Looking up where "flat" is can be very useful.

  • from March 12, 2016

    Great Pedal

    If your a bass player and don't have one of these, get one!

  • from Alabama March 26, 2013Music Background:
    Gigging Bassist

    Fat to Fuzz, It Hits The Mark!

    I was very back and forth several times between this and the Bass Driver counterpart. I liked the blend of the Driver, but liked the Mid control of the the VT. I have played a Bass Driver DI, and was concerned about the cleaner tones of the VT since most reviews were focused more on the heavy and more distorted tones. This box has incredible flexibility. It can give you nice, fat tube sound, all the way to grind and fuzz. My only reason for not giving 5 stars is the lack of dry signal blend control like the Bass Driver. It would push this pedal from wow to holy cow if I could only dial in a little dry signal to deepen the fuzzier tones.

    I play everything from my regular praise and worship gig on Sundays, to pick up gigs with covers that range from country, 80's, and modern rock. This pedal lets me dial in every genre if' tried so far. In all, a great analog pedal with usable features. No regrets at all.

  • from Nashville, TN July 14, 2012Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Bass Player

    Tech 21 Knows What They're Doing

    Bought this sight-unheard based on my experience with Tech 21 and Sansamp, and the fact that a session bass guy brought one in to the studio. Haven't been disappointed.

    Ease of Use: The user interface is great, and the 6 presets are the reason I bought the Deluxe version. Tiny complaint: if you want to turn a patch off and back on quickly to clear some wacky changes.. oops, you just saved it: double-clicking=save. I would have preferred a long-hold like the Line6 stuff. But that's minor.

    Sound: Excellent. Their manual is right: the knobs cover a huge range, so it's easy to twist yourself into a crappy tone. But careful tweaking has gotten me patches as deep and rich as I could want. I find myself "sinking into" the sound in a way I didn't with other brands of modeling pedals (Boss, Line 6). I use it live and in the studio, with and without an amp, and with a little time to tweak, it sounds fantastic.

    Side note: I tracked electric guitar line-in through this, and the tone was the best I've gotten since I had to return my buddy's multi-thousand-dollar Samamp boutique amp. The distorted tones are thin for electric, but the basic clean/crunch was amazing.

    Upshot: Highly recommended. Get it dialed in, and you'll be happy.

  • from Western, MA November 2, 2014Music Background:
    MFA in electroinic music from Mills College, lots of professional work in mixing, mastering, and recording and gigging as a sideman.

    Really flexible, classic 'Peg tone

    This is a great, flexible DI/color pedal, especially given the number of presets one can easily tweak and store.

    Having owned SVTs and old Portaflex B15, I can say this definitely can conjure a lot of those classic bass tones. Lots of bang for your buck.

    Haven't shot it out out yet with my other DIs, both SansAmp and higher end, but I expect it to fare well in recording situations. Like all such beats, it's all about carefully tweaking parameters for the best fit for your given bass(es) and style(s).

    Not quite ready to retire my trusty Bass Driver DI, as that's still the best pick for certain gigging situations, but I see myself using this piece a great deal, especially for gigs that cover a lot of tonal and stylistic turf.

    Minor niggle? Construction not as robust as on the classic SansAmp Bass Drivers, but it seem rugged enough.

  • from Denver October 5, 2015Music Background:
    Doom/Black Metal

    Excellent tone, very narrow focus

    I was not as pleased with this purchase as many others. The tone is an excellent emulation of a fully driven SVT stack and it shines on super saturated overdrive or clanky midrange tones. I was not able to get a smooth, undriven clean tone or a bright, cutting tone without dropping almost all low end. It depends on what you are after and for me the black Sansamps offer more versatility. No regrets though as Sweetwater is letting me return it.

Questions about the Tech 21 SansAmp Character Series VT Bass Deluxe?

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