Help from Sansamp aficionados....
I finished my tracks on my bands new album last weekend. These last 4 tracks were recorded direct with a Sansamp RBI rack unit and an Avalon DI for some extra girth.
I absolutely love the gritty tone I got. I am definitely buying one to run with my B1500 into my two SVT 810 cabs.
Here's my dilemma, which unit to get? I used to have the old school DI pedal. The one with like 4 knobs. No mid control. I hated it. Sold it.
Now I was looking at the pedal BDDI which looks just like the RBI rack basically but NO mid control!!! Argh that makes me mad. The tone got to where I wanted it in the studio after cranking the mids. SO this unit is likely out.
The RBI rack unit I used in the studio is the obvious no brainer.
The RPM has my interest though. I love having mid and mid shift/sweep controls. I am big into mid shifting/sweeping controls on amps. However there is no friggin presence knob. Is this a big deal?
Tone wise I use a 1994 62' RI P bass. Very hot Stock 62' RI pup. Bass on its own has serious amounts of snot and P bass punch.
I run the mids on the Sansamp at like 2 o'clock. The drive up quite high but I use the blend to really dial it in.
Is the RMP rack unit "better" than the RBI rack unit???
Neither one is "better" (they're priced the same), they're just slightly different in how they handle mid-range EQ. The RBI and RPM have the same bass/treble center points and ranges, 80 Hz/3.2 KHz and +/- 12 dB. The RBI has a fixed mid control at 1 KHz, also +/- 12 dB. The RPM has a sweepable mid control, 120 Hz to 3.0 KHz, +/- 12 dB. The RBI has a fourth EQ control, the presence control, which is essentially an upper mid control. I don't know the frequency center point or bandwidth of the presence control. Some people think it's relatively high-frequency, somewhere between 2 KHz and 3 KHz. All the Sansamp RBI manual says about the presence control is:
"(It) (b)rings out the upper harmonic content and attack. For a smoother high end and for clean settings, decrease to taste."
So the difference is that the RBI gives you 4 bands of EQ control, but we're not quite sure where the fourth one ("presence") lies frequency-wise. The RPM gives you 3 bands of EQ control with the same bass and treble as the RBI and a single, sweepable mid control.
I played and loved my RBI for many years. I just set the presence control where I thought it sounded best using my particular bass and cabs and that was that.
You've gotta decide if you want a fixed mid control at 1 KHz plus that fourth "mystery" EQ control (presence), or if you would rather have one sweepable mid control instead.
OK, here's a little more info about presence controls:
"The negative feedback loop in a true tube amp is a sort of 'damping' (that isn't quite the right electronics term, but it will do) and makes the power section run more linearly, or 'smoothly' - by taking some of the output signal, running it 'backwards' (that's the negative bit) and re-applying it to the input, as a sort of self-regulation."
"If you put what is essentially a passive tone control into the negative feedback loop, you can affect the degree of smoothing at the frequency of the tone control. Turning the presence control 'up' actually turns the selected frequency down in the (negative feedback) loop, and allows that frequency range to be less restricted. A true tube amp presence control doesn't sound the same as simple bass, midrange and treble controls because it affects the dynamics of its selected frequency more than the 'amount' of the selected frequency - which is why you tend not to hear the presence control doing very much at low volume, but once the power section of the true tube amp is really cranked the presence control can become more effective than the normal tone controls."
OK, the effect of a presence control is kinda like a high mid control, but not exactly. And temper all of that with the fact that the Sansamp RBI is not a true tube amp, but rather a simulation of a tube (pre)amp. So whatever effect the presence control has is also simulated.
But hey, it sounds good!
I've had both. They both sound fantastic. If you dug the RBI....get the RBI.
The RPM doesn't have the grindy presence thing, which is a big part of the RBI's personality....but...the drive on the RPM is a bit sweeter and useable. When I think about, just get both! They are both genius, if you ask me. But I'm also a huge Sansamp fan.
I also called my mod guy and he said he should be able to add a mid sweep to the RBI if I want. So there you go.
In any case, stay away from the BDDi based on your initial post. I am losing my patience with mine. It is a mids sucking P.O.S. in the mix too often.
...and thank you ScottBass for the technical info too. :)
the relaxed mids of the BDDI in full-blend mode is perfect for me, but if not for you, look at their brand-new VT pedal DI; it has the grindy sansamp tone, but with a lot more controls, including a real mid knob.
i tried one out and it sounds really good, i'm likely gonna retire my BDDI for one soon. (i run it as a preamp, into a straight-up PA power amp, so the pedal essentially is my bass amp.)
I think I'm going to get a RBI so I can stay rack mount. I'll have it modded with a mid sweep.
I want to run it in front of my B1500 so I can get it mixed with the amp's tone also.
You might also consider the VT Bass Rackmount.
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