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Tech 21 SansAmp Character Series VT Bass DI Reviews

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

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

Or call us at (800) 222-4700

  • from New York April 4, 2017Music Background:
    Songwriter, Recordist, Punk, Music Nerd

    Perfect recording solution

    I have recorded bass in a DI fashion for years. I wasted countless hours trying out, buying, dialing in Amp sim plugins and never truly liked any of them. This hardware unit outdoes any amp-sim I've tried. It's all analog, and no need to bog down your system with yet another amp sim. I sometimes run a compressor pedal before the VT, and I have a very nearly finished bass sound at the recording stage. I run the XLR into my Mackie mixer, power it with phantom power, and direct out that channel to my interface. I run the 1/4" out on the VT to another channel on my mixer for zero latency recording, no matter how large my recording session is. This thing is so versatile in sound and in function. It's definitely a forever piece of gear in my studio. Wish I'd gotten it sooner!

  • from March 25, 2017

    very versatile

    Great tube emulation. I run mine all the time, whether direct or with an amp.
    The mid control is just what I needed. I would buy another if it gets stolen.
    Goes from clean to full dirt. Can be used as a stomp box, too. Wonderful innovation.

  • from WA February 21, 2017

    Works great direct to house

    I run mine direct to the house in several churches. No Amp on stage. Mine is always on for more of a slight tube emulation. This is a very versatile little preamp/tone control/DI unit.

  • from NC December 23, 2015

    Incredible pedal, very versatile

    Dozens of tonal options with this pedal and the addition of a blend knob and a speaker Sim and bright switch makes this compatible with any amp or speaker setup. Never leave home without it, even if I turn it on for one song I still have a DI in case my amp checks out mid show.

  • from Youngstown, OH October 26, 2015Music Background:
    Rock, Jazz, Dub/World, Electronic

    Incredible tool

    As an owner of a SVT-III for many years, I am just blown away at how a $210 pedal can get you the essence of the SVT sound (minus the Ultra High/Low switches, of course, but something I can remedy in a DAW with a little EQ). The Character and Drive knobs do precisely what they say it will do, and a huge variety of tones are on tap with just those two controls. It has some really nice growl available for when you need it, and also nails the clean and smooth tones extremely well. I will be recording and playing live with this exclusively.

  • from Chicago September 21, 2015

    Legitimately nails the SVT sound

    I can't believe how good this is. I own an (all tube) Ampeg SVT 2 Pro and have played through numerous SVT-CL's. I can attest that you can nail the sound of a cranked SVT spot on with this little box. When I fly over to Europe to play, it's obviously not practical to bring my heavy rig with me - I have to use whatever crappy solid state amp is provided. I run it in to the FX return to bypass the amp's front end entirely and use the VT Bass as a preamp. Doubly, you can run a line directly to the board which is far better than sending a dry DI signal. Sound guys seem to love these and at the same time I can feel confident that the sound I'm intending is running through he PA. For real, you can make almost any amp sound good with this.

  • from United States December 18, 2014Music Background:

    Love IT

    I'm using this to run my Bass (Fretless Jazz) to a PA and an Active monitor. The tones coming from this box are tremendous. All the sounds I've had in my head. The Character knob is very useful for changing the tone from Thudish to more mid-high end. The blend knob is great for adding note definition. The phantom power is great, the 10db boost on the 1/4" output works great for my passive Jazz pups. I think it is worth the money!

  • from San Nicolas, Aruba July 24, 2014

    Awesome gear

    I've used SansAmp's DI in the past for recordings and like the sound it produced. But this DI combined with the VT Bass sound is amazong. Nice crisp sound with a lot of punch.
    Great gear.

  • from Mansfield, OH October 10, 2013Music Background:
    Actively performing bass player for over 50 years.

    VT Bass DI brings the best of both SansAmp worlds.

    I already own a SansAmp Bass DI and a SansAmp VT, and wished that Tech 21 would someday come out with a combined DI version. Low and behold, they did, and it is a great tool to have. I will be selling my other two units and using this one exclusively. I/we use a Bose L1 system for vocals and instruments for our duet gigs. It's pretty cool being able to dial in three distinct Ampeg sounds and having them emitted from our compact sound system. Kudos to Tech 21, and to Sweetwater for being the first to carry this beast. They emailed me as soon as it was available, and, as always, Jon Gillespie gave great service in shipping the unit the same day I ordered it. I received it the next day. Couldn't be more pleased.

  • from United States September 20, 2013Music Background:
    Bass guitarist for Dance Gavin Dance

    Big upgrade from the original sansamp

    Just got this today and tried it out with my bass rig (ampeg 610 + orange terror bass) as well as directly into protools through an m-audio box. Both sound amazing. The direct out sounds very balanced and the speaker emulation sounds beautiful (never turn it off) it really smooths out the signal. I cannot see myself playing live or recording without this box. It definitely has more character and tone options than the original sansamp.

  • from Woodhaven, NY September 15, 2013Music Background:

    VT Bass DI

    This replaced a B...K . which was a good pedal with a different flavor but the VT Bass DI is more suitable to for what i do. Very versatile and the DI is great. Crunchy, Clang, Drive, Grind, Motown, Deep Funk, a Mild boost to give your guitarist a message ..its all in there. The DI brings the original VT to a new level worth every penny.

  • from North Myrtle Beach, SC August 25, 2013Music Background:
    Gigging Musician, Studio Musician, Songwriter, home recording enthusiast.


    So I have been. Tech 21 user for some time now, and I really like most everything I have tried of the brand.

    My main sound for most gigs has been coming direct from my VT BASS Deluxe. The deluxe is a fantastic preamp/DI with programmable patches which is extremely handy. After I found a couple of go to sounds for my presets, I have left them alone and typically use only one preset per band. This has left me wanting for a smaller version of that tasty DI box.

    I was excited to see tech 21 moving out the VT BASS DI as a smaller single serving option for guys like me. Plus it has one CRUCIAL upgrade from the deluxe...BLEND Control. I had been longing for this feature forever as I love to be able to blend a little straight signal in with my emulated sound.

    I had my VT BASS DI for about three minutes before I found a delicious sound for my precision bass. I dialed in a bit of vintage warmth and away we go. I have the blend control set around 2-3:00 and it gets a very nice p bass chunky tone without being harsh.

    One day later I took my VT BASS DI with me to a short rehearsal and was in love with the small form factor and the tone was just what I wanted. I run direct in to PA with no bass amp for most rehearsals and the tone coming from the FOH is just great with this and all my other Tech 21 products.

    If you are looking for hi-fi funk bass solo stuff, this may not be the box you're looking for. For instance I use the ParaDriver DI often in the studio for projects that want a more "modern" tone. The ability to sweep the mods is a great function for that box, but personally I love the vintage voicing of the mid (1k) on the VT. Products.

    I would not hesitate to purchase this DI if I were you, nor would I buy it anywhere other than Sweetwater. I have never had a single negative thing to report in my dealings with Sweetwater over the years.

  • from Corpus Christi, Texas August 22, 2013Music Background:
    Pro musician

    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.

  • from June 14, 2016

    Great SVT in a DI

    This pedal has almost everything. Responsive eq, great SVT emulation, blend knob, clean DI, phantom power, cab sim.

    The real strength is its ability to morph between warm B15 tones and SVT tones. The blend knob allows you to dial in the amount of tube flavoured grit and tone.

    love the sound of this pedal running straight to my FOH. Basically running all knobs at noon (or thereabouts) leads to a beautifully muscular rock tone.

    I have taken a half point off because I would have loved a headphone out to have been included. That would have made it perfect.

  • from OH June 21, 2015


    I use this in front of an amp and as a DI for recording and it is incredibly easy to dial in an amazing sound. I tried some other pedals/DIs that were fine but not what I was looking for. This one sounded amazing first time I plugged it in. Lots of tone shaping possibilities. The overdrive is great. I personally like it better than the drive on the regular Tech 21 BDDI, but that's just personal opinion. Sturdy construction. Very happy I finally purchased this.

  • from June 11, 2015Music Background:
    Pro Musician


    I had the VT bass pedal before. This sounds just as good, but with more features.

  • from Perú September 12, 2013Music Background:
    Bassist, Sound Engineer

    Never Disappointed

    Every aspect of the DI its usefull, it allways sound great!!
    Why 4.5?, because i would like to have more range of a clean tone, it can easily overdrive your signal, specially with an active bass.

  • from Orange County, California September 11, 2013Music Background:
    Laying down sick basslines for your listening pleasure!

    New SANSAMP DI = Sweet Tone

    I used the previous version of the SANSAMP DI for years, and loved it. This new version adds a much needed mid control and the character control really allows me to dial in each stage just how I like it. The bite switch is useful for certain situations, I turn it off and on depending on the song. I use the SANSAMP DI not only as my stage DI, but also as a preamp, because the tone is that good. I can't wait to take this thing to the studio with me. This is a great pedal, thank you Tech 21!

  • from West Side November 4, 2013Music Background:
    Semi-Pro Musician

    Good and the Bad

    I recieved mine and played it for about 5 rehearsals and the footswitch botton quit working. I'm awaiting my second one and will let ya know how that one survies. I really liked the tone and features but it needs to be bullet proof!!!!!!!!

  • from Los Angeles CA September 16, 2013Music Background:
    Pro Rock Bassist

    Tech 21 VT Bass DI

    I got what I expected, having used a VT Bass V1 for the past couple of years. Now with the "Bite" and the "Speaker Emulation" buttons to help twist your sounds even more than before. I use this pedal when using SS and Tube amps, purely because I sound better when this pedal is on. Having the DI incorporated provides me greater flexibility and options.

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

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