The combination of a VT Bass 1000 head and B410-VT cab makes for a pretty incredible bass rig that gets very, very close to the sound and feel of a classic Ampeg SVT.
Tech 21’s new VT Bass 1000 head incorporates the same amp-modeling ideals of its groundbreaking SansAmp direct boxes of yore, but it goes a step further than past company offerings: It focuses solely on reproducing the brawn and characterful sounds of Ampeg’s storied line of all-tube bass amps, including the mighty SVT.
The VT pumps out 1,000 class D watts at 4 Ω (2,000 watts peak) or 600 watts at 8 Ω (1,200 watts peak), and yet its rugged, 12-pound chassis is considerably easier to move than the notoriously heavy and bulky originals. It has two identical channels, each with its own 3-band, +/- 12 dB active EQ, as well as character, level, and drive controls. The VT also features a 10 dB gain-boost switch, and the included footswitch enables muting, and either selecting between or combining channels.
Tech 21’s new head also has their famous SansAmp DI circuitry—the long-time friend to many a gigging and recording bassist. The rear panel also features a direct in (for bypassing the preamp in favor of an external rig), a serial effects loop, a tuner out, and a pair of Speakon outputs.
We tested the VT Bass 1000 through an 8 Ω, rear-vented Tech 21 B410-VT 4x10 cab with a 500-watt power-handling capacity.
When I plugged in my Fender P bass and set the VT Bass 1000’s EQ flat, the first channel delivered lusciously thick cleans with warm lows. Its springy response to flatpicking was very tube-like, as was its tendency to accentuate midrange and low end under heavy attack. Fingerpicking pulled the highs back and slowed the attack somewhat, but most noticeable was how the low end relaxed and bloomed in a way that was perfect for jazz and R&B. The B410-VT cab delivered the tone evenly at all volumes and served up fat lows.
The VT Bass’s wide-ranging character knobs enable you to completely change each channel’s voicing. Turning up the drive control and setting character in its lower or mid regions yielded a smooth, overdriven purr, and harder picking brought out snarl and grit. The treble was stronger and cut more with higher gain, so I found myself turning down the treble with heavier drive settings. However, I had to really lay into the strings to unleash grinding distortion—even with the drive and character maxed.
Designed to sweep through several decades’ worth of Ampeg flavors, the character knobs are immensely powerful tools for shaping the response and texture of each channel, with even tiny adjustments yielding significant results.
At 9 o’clock, character yields the deep lows and articulate mids and highs of an early-’70s SVT. Dialing it higher smoothed out and warmed up the midrange while filling out the lows. Around 3 o’clock—and with a hefty drive setting—character gave the amp a decidedly tough voice perfect for erecting a dirty wall of thunder.
Some of the VT Bass 1000’s best tones are made possible by how brilliantly its drive and master controls interact. When I set channel one’s volume at a club-friendly 3 o’clock and drive at 9 o’clock, the tone tightened up with crisper highs and taut lows. Conversely, pushing drive higher and lowering the level yielded warmer, spongier tones. The interplay between the two controls is eerily similar to how actual tube amps react.
The VT Bass 1000 and B410-VT combination makes for a pretty incredible bass rig that gets very, very close to the sound and feel of a classic Ampeg SVT. Tech 21 has done an excellent job of designing a preamp that reacts to playing dynamics like an all-tube amp. With copious amounts of headroom, the VT can cover an impressive variety of jazz, blues, rock, and metal tones. All this power and versatility makes the VT Bass 1000 a real winner for players who want the aggression and depth of an actual SVT, but don’t want to deal with the weight, bulk, and unavoidable tube-maintenance issues. Factor in its powerful overdrive tones—which can occasionally get a little unruly on the treble side—and you’ve got an amp that’s ready to take on just about anything.
Kick off the holiday season by shopping for the guitar player in your life at Guitar Center! Now through December 24th 2022, save on exclusive instruments, accessories, apparel, and more with hundreds of items at their lowest prices of the year.
We’ve compiled this year’s best deals in the 2022 Holiday Gift Guide presented by Guitar Center.
Sporting custom artwork etched onto the covers, the Railhammer Billy Corgan Z-One Humcutters are designed to offer a fat midrange and a smooth top end.
Billy Corgan was looking for something for heavier Smashing Pumpkins songs, so Joe Naylor designed the Railhammer Billy Corgan Z-One pickup. Sporting custom artwork etched onto the covers, the Railhammer Billy Corgan Z-One Humcutters have a fat midrange and a smooth top end. This pickup combines the drive and sustain of a humbucker with the percussive attack and string clarity of a P90. Get beefy P90 tone plus amp-pummeling output with the Railhammer Billy Corgan Z-One.
Patented Railhammer Pickups take passive guitar pickups to a new level with rails under the wound strings lead to tighter lows, and poles under the plain strings offer fatter heights. With increased clarity, the passive pickup’s tone is never sterile.
Railhammer Billy Corgan Signature Z-One Pickup Demo
For more information, please visit railhammer.com.
Designed for utmost comfort and performance, the Vertigo Ultra Bass is Mono’s answer to those who seek the ultimate gigging experience.
Complete with a range of game-changing design features, such as the patent-pending attachable FREERIDE Wheel System, premium water-resistant and reflective materials, shockproof shell structure and improved ergonomic features, the Vertigo Ultra Bass takes gear protection to the next level.
The Vertigo Ultra Bass features:
- Patent-pending FREERIDE Wheel System that allows for wheels to be attached on the case in no time, giving you the option to travel with it seamlessly
- Upgraded materials, including a water-resistant 1680D Ballistic Nylon outer shell, plush inner lining and new reflective trim for maximum backstage and night visibility
- Enhanced protection with a shockproof shell structure and heavy-duty water-resistant YKK zippers for protection from the elements
- Improved ergonomics and functionality including added back support and load-lifting detachable shoulder straps with side release buckles
- Flexible storage options with added space for touring essentials
Mojotone will manufacture and market over 60 of their speaker cabinets and amp kits as “Licensed by Fender.”
This partnership marks Fender's recognition of Mojotone’s dedication to its craft, quality of products, and dependability of knowledge. Beginning November 29th and ranging from $327 - $1,016.
Amplifiers were among the first products to wear the official Fender seal. A qualified electronics technician by trade, Leo Fender developed his iconic amplifiers during the mid-1940s putting innovation at the forefront. To this day, Leo’s influence and innovative spirit can still be heard in today’s amps, as that same iconic, clean Fender tone continues to color new music around the world. As a result, the process for completing the exclusive licensing deal required Fender to carefully audit Mojotone’s amplifier kits, wiring diagrams, electronics, hardware, construction methods, and more to ensure this innovation carried on through the partnership. Mojotone’s many years of intense research, quality production, and favorable reputation solidified the deal.
Mojotone has always been determined to provide its customer base with the most sought-after parts with their insider industry-knowledge. They have spent the last 25 years helping musicians recreate what they deem to be the most famous and easily-recognized tones and aesthetics in the music industry. When purchasing Mojotone products, like Fender products, customers can be assured of unmatched quality and craftsmanship.
For more information, please visit mojotone.com.