Behringer V-Tone Bass BDI21
Behringer V-Tone Bass BDI21

V-Tone Bass BDI21, Bass Amp Simulator from Behringer in the V-Tone series.

muzikal 10/20/2009

Behringer V-Tone Bass BDI21 : muzikal's user review


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It's analog. The difference is important compared to digital modelers (see below). Editing is made with markers on paper (not bad with 3B). 100% bug-free. Drive, treble, bass, presence, blend (direct sound and pedal mix), volume. Battery or PSU operation. Battery operation is disastrous, you'd better go with a PSU (a sturdy one).


Before kindergarten there's the BD121.


Okay, there's the matter of the power supply. Don't expect a decent sound with a 9V battery. The amperage is too low, sound has no dynamics and it's lifeless. You need to use 9 V 0.5 A minimum or even more. And then it transforms and it delivers bass and treble, and even mids, with a very good output level. It sounds very big with the blend all the way up, with fat lows that need to be tamed and excellent dynamics, even too dynamic. Even my 8040s have a hard time with it. I tested it with an Epiphone Viola, passive bass with two humbuckers, a Studiomaster P7 console and a TwinQ. It's useful to connect it to a ballsy setup that can take anything. The drive is really nice, the Viola makes it sing, even at full blast. The difference with digital modelers is that the dynamic response and timbre of an instrument are well-respected. There's no comparison. With a tube compressor inserted (Fatman), I don't need anything else. The sound is solid as an egg, punchy, powerful, rich in harmonics.


If you made a blind test with more prestigious models, I think more than one would be surprised. On the other hand, the V-amp modeling from the same manufacturer has no soul, no life, no musicality.
The cons:
- Unusable with a 9V battery
- You need to connect it to a ballsy setup that can handle it and doesn't alter what comes out (console, preamp...), disappointing with a Berhinger console.
- Awful look,
- Behringer is behind it - We'll see how it turns out in terms of reliability...
- Obscene price

The pros:

- Fat sound if used with a high amperage PSU
- Nice drive
- Definitive and maybe even pro takes are possible
- The sound adapts well to any effects, especially dynamics processors
Edit from April 8, 2010

I decided to order the Sans amp VT bass.
Here are my impressions, compared to the BD 121:

- With clean sounds, the VT bass has a wider sound, fuller, it's more precise, too, but there's not a big difference compared to the Behringer. The VT bass has more gain and a better signal-to-noise ratio, too.
- It surprised me most when increasing the drive. To my ears, the BD121 takes the lead with a more reedy, more musical crunch and overdrive, and it handles harmonics better. The VT bass remains rough with the "character" control, which emphasizes the mids and high mids with a striking overall tone.
With distortion, the VT bass has a more modern sound, even if you can reduce that coloring with the controls. The Behringer is more vintage.
Bottom line:
For clean sounds, jazz, blues, rock, the VT bass is the way to go.
For crunch/overdrive, I choose the BD121