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Behringer VT999

Vintage Tube Monster Pedal

  • From blues overdrive up to heavy distortion
  • With 12AX7 tubes
  • Switchable noise gate
  • Hard-wire bypass
  • Controls for gain-treble-mid-bass-master
  • Incl. Power supply
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Sound samples

 
0:00
  • Blues
  • Metal
  • Rock

Further information

Overdrive Yes
Distortion Yes
Fuzz No
Metal Yes

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Real valve overdrive and distortion stompbox

MMihai3, 06.03.2017
I am using VT999 as my exclusive hi-gain / distortion effect, boosting it using a high-volume compressor and / or a separate tube dirt / overdrive stompbox, for metal riffs and rock / metal leads. I always used it with humbucker pickups.

- Construction: it is sturdy built, metal box, easy to open the bottom for changing the lamp. The pots are very smooth, they are even in action and free of anything reminding of noise. They should not be touched unintentionally, because they may turn a lot at the slightest touch. The switch is also smooth and noise-free. The box is large for the components inside, however, this appears to dissipate the lamp heat better. The metal box of VT999 is not heated compared to other lamp, more cluttered boxes I tried; one barely can feel a higher temperature when touches the area closest to the lamp.

This box is moddable. The lamp, which has a great impact on the sound, can be changed easily. There are mods for it available on the Internet.

- Sound: in the first place, this *is* a distortion pedal. The only vintage thing I can find about it is, perhaps, the design and the fact it is using a real lamp. Whoever tells it is no more than an overdrive either does not drive it sufficiently (low guitar volume, weak pickups, no booster) or uses low gain tube in it. With moderate input signal, gain between 0 and 1 gives a tube-ish warm sound; beginning with gain at 1, the clipping buzz starts occurring discreetly. No middle ground for round, crunch sound. It goes from overdrive to high-gain distortion; for crunch to fuzzy sounds I am using a different tube pedal.

To mention that the Tube Monster's distortion is raw. The sound is not tweaked to be listenable without an amp or amp / speaker simulator, but that's what it should be, in my opinion: with the proper setup, the distortion sounds good and it is very defined, clear, not muddy. The stock, Bugera tube sounds good, just I found it better for my taste, fuller and subjectively more balanced using Ruby Tubes and Electro Harmonics 12AX7 valves. They sound neither too bassy or too treble in this device, and, looking at the waveform in an editor, their attack is neither cut nor oversized against the sustain.

- Features: the noise gate works all the way. It can be set so high it cuts off all sound. Turning the EQ pots makes a real difference and they are not too extreme, neither in range nor in the bandwidths they affect, in my opinion. The sound with the effect engaged and all EQ pots set to middle has more highs and mids, and less bass than the bypassed signal, but it can be tweaked to get close to it, with some differences in the midrange area.

- Cons: the only minuses I could find with this stompbox are almost insignificant. They are: the the lack of tone neutrality I talked about above, which probably might not be possible to keep in order to obtain a proper distortion sound, then it's the non-resistant pots and, finally, the bending open of the lamp holding spring ends, when the lamp is changed often.
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Oddity

John8116, 03.08.2015
I still have not got to grips with this unit. Initially unhappy with the sound I changed the valve for a youtube recommended one (plenty of alternatives going on there). The sound improved but the volume at 10 was lower than when the unit was off so I put in the original which equals the off volume at around no 7. With bass at almost max, mid 50% and treb down, gain at 4 the sound gets a bit like late 60s but needs some delay to fatten it up. I can't use it with wah unless the end of night tune demands a complete freak out. I have become attached to this unit but a bit like a family member I love but always get totally pissed with when we meet up, I may have to avoid it soon. Any suggestions for something smaller and more manageable would be appreciated.
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Offers include 24% Greek VAT and are valid as long as stocks last. Shipping costs to Greece are 20 EUR, free shipping on orders above 298 EUR. Please click here for international Shipping rates. We do not accept liability for typographical errors or inaccurate information of any kind. *RRP = manufacturer's / distributor's recommended retail price in Germany
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