V-Tone Bass BDI21 Review

manufacturer: Behringer date: 03/22/2015 category: Bass Effects
Behringer: V-Tone Bass BDI21
Provides a truckload of great amps in a single stomp boxfrom traditional bass amps to modern overdriven amp tones that would typically require a multitude of effects units. Authentic tube emulation circuitry can be mixed with the direct bass signal via blend control.
 Sound: 9
 Overall Impression: 8.7
 Reliability & Durability: 7.3
 Ease of Use: 9
 Overall rating:
 8 
 Reviewer rating:
 8.5 
 Users rating:
 7.5 
 Votes:
 19 
reviews (3) pictures (3) 6 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.3
V-Tone Bass BDI21 Reviewed by: dean13666, on october 09, 2008
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: € 36

Purchased from: Music Town (Germany)

Ease of Use: I'm lazy, and I hate fighting with dozens of cables that in the end look like someone puked a plate of spaghetti next to my mic-stand. I plug directly into this pedal and from there into the mix (purists cry, LOL). In less than 5 minutes, I'm set up and ready to play. Authentic tube emulation circuitry can be mixed with the direct bass signal via blend control. Use presence control for definition and upper harmonics or rely on an ultra-musical 2-band EQ specifically tuned for bass guitars. I love to get set up quickly, go get a beer and watch my guitarist set up his equipment. // 10

Sound: I use this with a Yamaha BB414 or an Ibanez SRX300 straight into the P.A., and with a minimum of tweaking to adjust for the different instruments, get a good, fat sound. I've managed to get everything from clean-neutral to cranked-up full blast distortion. To each his own. Presence and Blend controls produce hissing if turned all the way up. // 8

Reliability & Durability: The on/off button is plastic, so it's a good thing I don't Switch much during a gig. Connectors and dials are plastic as well, but show no sign of loosening. As far as gigging without a spare, if you have doubts buy another one. They're inexpensive. // 7

Overall Impression: Pedal includes all the standard extras such as bypass, ground lift and an extra output jack. What bothers me most about this pedal is the lack of white reference points on the dials. One has to look really close (easy to do with a strobe going off, fog all over the place and people jumping around) to see the settings. Would I buy it again? Oh yeah, definitely! As far as price/value goes, it's hard to beat. With this pedal I can keep my set-up simple, but still get a good sound. It can't replace a rack of high-quality Boss pedals, but then it wasn't meant to. // 8

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overall: 10
V-Tone Bass BDI21 Reviewed by: ZigM, on march 22, 2015
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Ease of Use: It's very simple: turn the knobs and stop when you like the sound. There are no patches or memory. It's plug and play. The manual is basic but that's all you need for a unit such as this. The unit has standard input and out jacks as well as a balanced out to go directly into a mixing console. The ground-lift switch is there but I've never needed it.

One minor issue though, and this will not effect my rating: when I had a high pitched buzzing/squealing on the Behringer GDI21, I contacted Behringer customer support. They were utterly hopeless and made the claim that they didn't think that the unit was faulty. But they couldn't provide an explanation for the squealing either. By coincidence, I found out that the power supply caused this squeal. I haven't tested it with the BDI21 yet (I have used batteries so far), but Behringer don't seem to have adequately trained technicians in-house. They appear to have outsourced customer service to someone in the US. // 10

Sound: The BDI21 is a real surprise. I bought it so that I could run a bass into my DAW with some prospect of a half decent sound. As far as the bass sound was concerned, I was taken by the BDI21. It did give the bass a round, tube-type sound. The sound was somewhere between an old Laney tube head that I used to own in the '80s and something like a Trace Elliot or a Gallien Kruger - depending on the settings. The treble, bass and presence knobs were no real surprise. However, the "drive" and "blend" knobs turned the bass from a nice, tubey-sounding bass to a growling '70s monster with overdrive. The more you turn the 'blend' know clockwise, the more "tube" and distortion it adds, For $55.00 it was worth the risk and I won.

But wait, there's more! I am actually a guitar player and only play bass on the odd recording. I was equally surprised that when I plugged my guitar into the BDI21, it made it sound like a real tube amp, straight into my DAW. When the "blend" knob was all the way to the left, it sounded like a Fender Twin. Turned to the right, it distorted nicely and gave a good crunch sound. The tone overall added "life" to the dull DAW recording, similar to an exciter, but better, more natural. Overall, the blended sound was more like an overdrive Fender Twin a la The Shadows or '60s rock bands.

I have now two uses for this: for bass and guitar - for DAW and live, should I ever play live again. // 10

Reliability & Durability: As with most Behringer gear, they usually have a nice design. Durability in this case is not an issue. The plastic top is quite thick, the base is metal with rubber feet and the knobs have rubber grips. As I haven't played live for a while, I couldn't tell whether or not the unit would break. But let's face it, I have seen idiots on stage literally jump on their pedals. Then they get angry because it broke. As far as I am concerned, the pedal will last for years if used with respect.

The other thing to mention is that the battery lasts for a long time as the unit consumes little power. Either the batteries have got better over the years or the unit uses less power. I used it for hours on an almost flat battery without starting to fart or buzz. This makes a 9 V adapter redundant for live gigs - meaning less can go wrong. // 10

Overall Impression: I've been playing since 1974. Yes, I'm old. I play a mix of rock-pop/fusion/acid jazz and have a custom made Richards guitar, a Strat and a modified Ibanez RG550 plus five other guitars. The bass is a custom Fender Jazz Bass. I also use a Korg Toneworks AX1500G, a Behringer wah, Behringer GDI21, a Zoom MS-50G into a Vox Valvetronix and Bugera 4x4 box. I record for most of the time. I looked at other bass pre-amps but wanted something cheap for a few recordings. Like I said before, the unit sounds very good. I'd definitely buy it again if it broke. // 10

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overall: 7.3
V-Tone Bass BDI21 Reviewed by: Nasoj, on july 11, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: C$ 30

Purchased from: Long and Mquade

Ease of Use: This pedal is REALLY simple: no pre-arranged effects, just a bunch of knobs. It's really easy to get a great sound out of this thing. It made my $130 Bronco Bass sound more like a $900 bass. It's pretty good in that respect, but I wish it had pre-arranged effects. // 7

Sound: I'm using with a Traynor 10 watt Bass Mate amp, and either a Squier Bronco Bass, or a Godin Freeway 4. It can be noisy or quiet, depending on which combination of knobs you use. You pretty much just have to know what combo of drive, treble, bass, level, presence, and blend you use. Overall, it's a very simple to use and great sounding. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I'd say Reliability is it's weakest suit. The 2 ways to power it are either to use a 9-volt battery, or a 9-volt adapter. It dosn't come with an adapter. I've only had it about 5 or 6 months, (and haven't used it much until the past month), and the 9-volt battery jack dosn't work. Have to use an adapter. I guy on a youtube review said the adapter jack didn't work on his so he had to use a battery... // 5

Overall Impression: I play alternative and other styles of rock. It's a great match. You can get great distortion sounds for metal, and great clean sounds for jazz! If it were stolen, I would buy another one. Although it might break in a couple years, for 30 bucks, it's awesome. I love the fact that all it has is a drive, treble, bass, level, presence, blend knobs, and an on/off stomp switch. That way, you totally make your own effects! It's awesome! // 8

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