Hartke VXL Bass Attack Preamp DI Pedal Meta-Review (Discontinued)
Hartke VXL Bass Preamp
Drawing from their amp building experience, the Hartke VXL Bass Attack houses their distinct tone in a compact two foot-switch pedal form factor.
What makes it distinct is the dedicated "Shape" footswitch which lets you engage or disengage the extended tone shaping options that the pedal offer. And speaking of tone shaping, this pedal comes with a 3-band EQ that lets you adjust treble, bass and interestingly, brightness - which allows for more of the upper frequencies and attack to flow through.
Also noteworthy is its "Harmonic" knob which lets you dial in just the right amount of tube warmth to your bass sound, cranking it all the way up results in fuzz like tone, which is different from the smoother overdrive style sounds that other bass preamps offer.
Wrapping up its features is the pre-post switch that lets you output wet or dry signal to a PA system as you prefer.
- Preamp: VX Tone Shaping Preamp
- Controls: Level, Mix, Harmonics, Shape
- EQ: Brite, Treble, Bass
- DI Function: Switchable Pre/Post DI Output
- Input: 1 x 1/4"
- Output: 1 x XLR (Gold Plated Balanced), 1 x 1/4"
- Power: Optional AC Adapter or 9V Battery
- Dimensions: 7" x 2.5" x 6.8"
- Weight: 2.2 lbs
Here's what we found when analyzing customer and expert reviews: For the price, many users were impressed with the Hartke VXL Bass Attack's sound quality. While the EQ options are not as extensive as others, many users found them to be just right to dial in a wide variety of bass tones, from trebly slap friendly to deep fuzz rock. This is further attested to by users who found that the pedal can complement many different brands and styles of bass guitars.
There were some users who were not too happy to find that they have to purchase a power supply separately, but this is not much of an issue for those who use pedalboard power supplies. There were a few who noticed a small amount of hiss while others wanted a volume knob for setting the level of the pedal in conjunction with their other gear.
Going the easy route? Check out the straightforward and intuitive Hartke VXL Bass Attack.