TECH 21 Character Series VT Bass DI Review – Plug and Go with a Classic Sound

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Make recording and live performance a breeze with a professional bass preamp DI. When I don’t have time to mic an amp, I like to plug-in direct. The TECH 21  Character Series VT Bass DI gets the job done, plus some sweet extra functions that you want to know about.


  • This DI rocks. Straight to the board for live shows or recording without losing the authentic tone of a stack of speakers and an amp, the combination of a DI and emulators is super functional.


  • The tone is great for biting through with a pounding high- end, but if you want a big clear low end, it comes up short. Also, take note, it is your DI, so it must go last in your chain.

Plug and play in recording or live environments when you don’t have your bass amp.

Without DI, an electric bass direct signal is a hot mess. This unit uses proven Sansamp technology to match your line levels and impedance. Blend in as much or as little pre-amp and emulators to get the tone you want.


The speaker simulator gives you a tone that matches a perfect mic’d speaker cabinet. Conveniently, there is a button to turn off this function when you are going into an amp.1/4″ input and output with a 10db boost and a parallel output. This gives you the option of simultaneously sending a balanced signal to your amp. XLR Output sends a microphone cable to the mix. Phantom power and electrical ground. Pre-amp controls will allow you to shape the tone in a way that normal DI’s aren’t equipped to handle.


This DI gives you an amazing amount of flexibility with some well thought out controls. You can get a range of tones from the warm sound of a vintage tube amp all the way to a fuzz. If you play an aggressive rock n’ roll style, you can cut through the mix.

What’s it sound like? Imagine yourself with the tone of Tim Commerford of Rage Against the Machine.

Levels- Low, Mid, and High gives you ample EQ flexibility Drive- Pump up the drive and get rocking with a high gain, grungy sound. Bite- This is a button that will put the snap in your sound and help your rhythms stand out. The manufacturer calls it the ‘dirty earthquake’. I’ll take that!

Character Knob – This gives you a fat, growling low-end sound of a classic power rig. Blend – One of the unique and most useful features of this DI. Blend the direct, balanced signal with the added effects of the pre-amp and emulator. Go full-on for a smothered fuzz or just sprinkle your straight tone with a kiss of that Ampeg sound.

Sound Quality

The TECH 21 Bass DI is a great way to get the sound of a rocking bass rig with a 10-inch speaker stack. Mic’d perfectly and driven with a high-end gain sound.

If you are looking for a crystal clear, deep tone, these won’t get you there. Even then, the DI has great electronics and a sturdy build that will make it a useful addition to any gig bag.