New Gear Review: Tech 21 VT Bass 500

The VT Bass 500 head uses an all-analog SansAmpTM pre-amp driving a 500-watt RMS Class-D power amp. Adapted from the Tech 21 SansAmp Character Series, the VT Bass 500 offers the sound of classic bass stacks in a compact package weighing just 6.5 lbs.

The Character control provides several choices of sounds from the early ‘60s to classic “super valve” to thick and funky to overdriven saturated distortion. There is a three-band active EQ, a full-range Drive control and the Bite switch adds a presence boost for better note definition. Lastly, the Blend control allows mixing the direct signal with the SansAmp Tube Amplifier Emulation circuitry.

Other features include a switchable SansAmp XLR DI out, effects loop, headphone out, Speakon® speaker connectors and a worldwide switchable power supply.

The Tech 21 VT Bass 500 Bass Amp Head sells for $695 MSRP and the matching 1x12 bass cabinet (pictured) with custom-design 12-inch speaker, woven grill and coordinating piping is also $695.


Barry Rudolph is a recording engineer/mixer who has worked on over 30 gold and platinum records. He has recorded and/or mixed Lynyrd Skynyrd, Hall & Oates, Pat Benatar, Rod Stewart, the Corrs and more. Barry has his own futuristic music mixing facility and loves teaching audio engineering at Musician’s Institute, Hollywood, CA. He is a lifetime Grammy-voting member of NARAS and a contributing editor for Mix Magazine. barryrudolph.com