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Anyone Switched from BDDI to ParaDriver?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by jaywa, Sep 20, 2012.

  1. jaywa

    jaywa

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    I've been using my SansAmp BDDI for several years and it is getting more and more use as more of my gigs go "ampless".

    I've pretty much resolved the notorious "scoop" effect of the BDDI but am wondering if the extra tone shaping of the ParaDriver may be beneficial since this little box is my only lifeline to the P.A. and we run our FOH ourselves from the stage?

    Can anyone advise me for (or against) making this move based on their own experience?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. tech21nyc

    tech21nyc

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    Manufacturer: Tech 21
    What guitar are you using with the Bass Driver? Active or passive? What settings? Is it too scooped direct or with an amp? The Para Driver will allow you to dial in the amount of midrange you desire. There is more gain available as well because the midrange is "before" the SansAmp circuit. You need to be aware of this. For best results you will need to make adjustments to both the mids and drive when using the SansAmp circuit. You will also not have the "sizzle" that the presence control on the Bass Driver has.

    My suggestion is to just buy one from a dealer with a liberal return policy. You really won't know until YOU try it.
  3. tracer03

    tracer03

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    I tried both, and ended up going with the Para Driver: it definitely doesn't seem as 'scooped' to me, and I like the extra flexibility the mid controls give.

    That said, YMMV, and I would definitely try both out to see which works better for you. I got mine at GC, and was able to run them through my practice amp and my main amp (as well as record with them) so I got a pretty detailed feel for both.
  4. topo morto

    topo morto

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    The paradriver is more muffled-sounding than the BDDI with the controls in neutral positions. You can get it sounding quite flat though, by tweaking the controls and believing your ears, not your eyes!

    That's the only thing you miss - the presence control is (I think) a pre-gain treble control, and the pre-gain swept band on the para doesn't go up as high.

    So, you can get the thickness of the BDDI, but not the bite, though you can get lots of other entertaining sounds. (e.g. you can get close to a lot of what the VT bass can do.)
  5. jaywa

    jaywa

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    Thanks everyone.

    Actually it sounds like the ParaDriver may be just the ticket for me. I'm running a 78 P-Bass hot-rodded with EMG P-J pickups, and always seem to be fighting high-end "clackiness" with my BDDI while still not quite getting the note definition I'm after. Right now I'm running the Presence knob at only about 10 o clock and the treble at 11 o clock and even that's still a bit much "sizzle" in certain rooms. So if the ParaDriver tames down the high-end while allowing me to get more mids into the mix, that sounds like a winner to me.

    Since I already have the BDDI it sets me up pretty well for an A/B comparison if I can get ahold of a ParaDriver with a return policy.
  6. Tunaman

    Tunaman Supporting Member

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    I wasn't a big fan of the paradriver, just didn't do it for me. Wish you the best OP
  7. tech21nyc

    tech21nyc

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    Both units are flat response with the EQ controls at their null point and the blend control off. Once the SansAmp circuit is engaged flat response becomes a more relative term. The SansAmp circuit emulates the sound of a vintage tube amp. Vintage tube amps are not flat response.

    The presence control acts like the presence control of a tube amp. It adds upper harmonic content as well as attack and distortion. It's not really an EQ though it does alter frequencies above 2K.

    To the OP. Depending upon the mixing board you are using have you considered adding some mids at the board. If you can make things work without spending any additional money all the better.
  8. topo morto

    topo morto

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    Yes, sorry - I by 'neutral' on the para I didn't mean with the sansamp curcuit blended out, I meant kind of 'tone controls at noon'.

    How does it work then, if it's not simply a pre-gain treble boost?
  9. jaywa

    jaywa

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    Yeah the bandleader (who owns the board and P.A.) and I have been tweaking the bass channel on our board right along, but I'd like if we could just lock down a default EQ setting at the board and then use my SansAmp to tweak the tone as needed from gig to gig. We play everything from small bars to huge outdoor street dances so the EQ requirements for our P.A. can change a lot from week to week. And the way my bass is wired there isn't a lot of tone shaping I can accomplish on the bass itself. Even though technically it's an "active" bass with the EMGs, the sound shaping is more a blending of the two pickups as opposed to actual boost/cut to frequencies.

    If I were to go with the ParaDriver then I would sell my BDDI and so hopefully my actual outlay wouldn't be more than about $100. Which I think I can get the wife to sign-off on. ;)
  10. kozmikyak

    kozmikyak

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    I've played my electric cello as a bass instrument in bands for about 10 years. I tried the bass Driver, but soon moved to a Sansamp Acoustic DI, the predecessor of the Sansamp Para Driver DI. I moved on from that to a Behringer ADI21, a semi-clone of the Acoustic DI, which has more clean headroom and sounds less "brittle" to my ears. It wasn't the price that made me switch, but rather a preference for its sound. In fact it's a bit fragile and I take advantage of the cheapness by buying a few every so often.

    I've since tried out a Para Driver DI. I prefer the Behringer's sound, but the Para Driver DI is an improvement over the old Acoustic DI to my ears. The ADI21 doesn't have a separate "drive" control to control pre gain.

    It's all a matter of preference. Some bassists do prefer the Para Driver DI to the Bass Driver, for the exact reason you mention--it's easier to control the midrange.

    Despite any feelings you might have about Behringer in general, you might want to try the ADI21. I don't find it through many online music stores, but Ebay has music stores selling them new (not used). For less than $40 shipped it's a cheap experiment.
  11. topo morto

    topo morto

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    :meh:
  12. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

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    I migrated from the BDDI to the ParaDriver, then a pair of Para Drivers, 1 for each of the 2 basses I cable. For my uses, the PD smokes the BDDi in the clarlity department. I've since migrated again, this time back to a Bassbone whichI treat as an AB select, tuner mute and DI. I have the Eq covered at the board and at my monitor amp... Still kept one Pd. I use it at home when recording bassline sketches. I like that pedal a lot. The sweepable mids and ability to dial out the emulation make it quite versatile.
  13. cableguy

    cableguy

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    I have the BDDI and like it a lot. I sent it to Mike Putnum to have a mid control added and it's even better now. RBI in a box........Since I switched to active basses I don't use it much anymore though. I might have to see if I can have an input pad added......
  14. tech21nyc

    tech21nyc

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    I believe the Behringer AD121 is very similar to our original acoustic DI. Since that unit does not offer any amp emulation it probably wouldn't work for the OP since he is using the SansAmp portion of the circuit.
  15. portlandguy

    portlandguy

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    I tried the ParaDriver but went back to the BDDI - love it. The BDDI has a different grind to it.
  16. tech21nyc

    tech21nyc

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    I guess to really know how it works it would be best to look at a schematic of a vintage Marshall circuit. I've seen a number of products over the years that will call a particular control "presence" but it is not always correct if used in comparison to a vintage amplifier. Tube amps were first.
  17. topo morto

    topo morto

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    Cool, thanks.
  18. jaywa

    jaywa

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    Yeah, and as much as I love my BDDI, it's the "grind" that's actually making it not quite the right fit for my current gig. Different strokes for different folks, right?
  19. cybersnyder

    cybersnyder Always groove.... Gold Supporting Member

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    I really like the paradriver, but I miss that high end grind that you can get with the BDDI. I won't go back, but I may add a BDDI for times that I want that sound.
  20. cmassa

    cmassa Hello. My name is Chris, I'm a bass-aholic. Supporting Member

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    I went to the RBI from BDDI. Especially for ampless, everything is in a 6 space rack.

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