What to say about this classic soft synth? It's unusual. It has a very distinctive way of programming, with a simulated bass guitar and the ability to adjust such things as pick placement, bridge tightness, pickup location, and volume/brightness. One might think that this is a physical modeling synth, but honestly I don't know. The sound is nice, but doesn't sound particularly authentic to my ears.
What this synth is NOT is a fat bass engine. The sounds that come out of VB-1 are undeniably thin. If you want an earth-shattering sub bass or a bass with warm analog punch, keep looking. This synth is totally digital and totally thin.
But is it without merit? Not at all. I find VB-1 to be usable as a 'unusual' synth. You see, I'm a sucker for oddball synthesizers, and VB-1 is definitely an odd ball. I love the fact that I program it using a totally different metaphor than yet-another-virtual-analog. The synth engine, while not very authentic, is unusual enough that, with a little fx processing, one can make some pretty evocative sounds. Usable in a broad set of situations? Nope. But usable in the occasional niche situation? Yes, sometimes.
The fact that this was one of the earliest soft synths should cause one to cut VB-1 a little slack - but in my case, I couldn't care less about history. What I want is a synth that sounds good and works well *today*. Fortunately VB-1 is still a usable tool for niche situations, and is priced right.