Here's something I discovered just the other day. Use your VTB1 as a tube front end. Plug into the HiZ input on the front, turn the tube drive all the way up and turn down the output so you don't overdrive the toneport. Warms things up in a subtle, musical way. Also experiment with different picks. I don't like the sound of nylon picks very much. My current fave is Jim Dunlop Gel picks.