VT Bass DI is worthy
I have owned and used the venerable SansAmp Bass DI (v1) for around twelve years. This VT Bass DI is a most worthy successor. Sweetwater got mine to me pronto upon availability.
This is not an effects pedal. It is a highly capable bass preamp built into the direct box format; it includes balanced and unbalanced outputs with appropriate pad or boost for each, SansAmp circuitry, cabinet emulation that is really good, ability to function from phantom power, and a Bite switch that is better explained on the Tech 21 website. The EQ controls are active (note: misprint in manual - the Mid control is centered on 1KHz as opposed to the misprint 500Hz). All the variable controls are analog and interactive thus giving a vast sonic palette.
Since it's replacing my BDDI, the VT box will be principally used to drive a 1 KW power amp which in turn drives whichever speaker cabinets I require. The VTBDI driving a power amp is a great way to a very high-quality bass rig on the comparative cheap.
The VTBDI seems to have incipient compression in any setting thus rendering individual notes more even with each other. This is only slightly perceptible, and I view it as a plus. USA-manufactured Ampeg solid state amps I have owned, particularly the SVT 3, exhibit this trait in a much less musical manner. The Tech 21 box turns that into a positive by not audibly distorting. Bottom line is I can use the 'VT without additional compression. This is very nice.
The tones are deep,powerful, and compact. Perfect for ensemble. Plenty of push. Personally, I prefer a more traditional timbre; Character at eight or nine o'clock, Drive at around ten o'clock, and Blend around noon. Good approximation of SVT/V4B just starting to work a bit. Excellent detail. I play a Fender Hotrod Precision Bass with DR's, so it's all passive. Really big sound using a power amp and a Tech 21 B410 cabinet.
I do like this box.