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Questions For SansAmp users

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by ScottBlasko, Dec 6, 2013.

  1. ScottBlasko


    Sep 10, 2013
    Hey everyone! I'm putting together my first bass rig and I'm going to center it around a SansAmp RPM or a RBI. I think they both sound good but don't know much about them and which one to get.
    2 questions:
    Pros/ Cons of each and what do you use?
    Also, what is the best route to take as far as a power amp for it?
    Any help would be wonderful!
  2. ledyard


    Jan 31, 2010
    Upstate NY
    get the RBI bro. Hands down. The RBI has more mid control. In my talking to RPM users they generally liked the RBI more. Here this might help:


    As for a poweramp you cant go wrong with a QSC PLX. Find a 1602. Lots of options including 2 ohm's for running a pair of 4 ohm cabs.
  3. youngdog4


    Nov 26, 2010
    the RPM is the one with the variable mid control... I believe you got them mixed up.

    to the op, if you wana be able to dial in any sound you need ever i suggest the RPM.
  4. ScottBlasko


    Sep 10, 2013
    Great! Thanks so much for the info and that link!
  5. Sponsored by:

  6. ledyard


    Jan 31, 2010
    Upstate NY
    The RBI has more overall EQ with the presence control.<<<<< different type of EQ I should say...... The RPM doesn't have a presence IIRC. The presence and gain control on the RBI interact for a variety of sound.
    You can also have a mid sweep control added to a RBI of you know a good mod guy ( I do).

    Basically....what bass, cab, and overall sound are you after?
  7. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    I own the RBI, RPM, and a month ago or so I got the new VTRM. I'm surprised I didn't chime in on the other thread, so I will compare/contrast them here.

    RBI (rackmount version of Bass Driver DI): has 3 band fixed mid plus Presence control. The Presence control is high treble, it adds nice harmonic overtones. Important: it's boost only, so if you set it at noon, you get a lot of treble boost. It's also part of the tube emulation circuitry, so you'll get some tubey grit as you turn it up. I use a tweeterless 6x10 cab, and love the way Presence adds gritty aggressive edge to my tone... without the tweeter, it isn't hissy or buzzy.

    As noted by many the RBI does have some mid scoop built into it, but that can be mitigated by turning Blend back from full. When I use the RBI, I normally keep Blend close to noon (11 to 2 o'clock). But plenty of users run the RBI or BDDI with Blend up full.

    Interestingly, RBI seems to have less distortion than the other two... it'll give tubey dirt but won't do outright fuzz unless you have a really high output bass. Not a problem for me, I didn't get the RBI for that.

    RPM (rackmount version of Para Driver pedal): three band EQ with sweep mid, no Presence. The RBI is the flattest of the three, and the sweep mid gives it powerful tone-shaping ability. The Drive control can get really dirty and fuzzy, moreso than the RBI, but of course it can be run clean.

    VTRM (rackmount version of VT pedal): this has become my favorite because it is the most SVT like (surprise, surprise). It has 3 band fixed EQ plus Character. IMO the magic is in the Character control. It's like a superset of the RBI: when Character is panned left, you get the scooped tone of the RBI (think Ultra-Lo on an SVT). As you dial Character toward noon, the scoop disappears and it's closer to the RPM. As you pan Character right of noon, you get punch and distortion. To me, the VTRM is the most "power tubey" of the SansAmps. Reminds me of back in the day when I'd get to crank my 70's SVT into overdrive, either outdoors or on a really big stage. I've seen bassists crank up V4Bs in smaller rooms to similar effect (and get even more distortion than I used to).

    Hope that makes sense. All three are winners in my book: rock solid construction, excellent price/value ratio. Oh... a little tweak can have a significant effect on tone, so be gentle during the learning process. Or not. :D
  8. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2009
    +1 on scoring an older PLX as the power amp!

    not too heavy, and the 30Hz filter lets you save your speakers (and de-mud the stage) while still having a big low end.

    for me it's a BDDI driving a PLX 3002; one side pumps 900w into my two 8&#937; 15 cabs (and crushes!), leaving the other side for use as a spare monitor amp or anything else.
  9. Mike in Chicago

    Mike in Chicago Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    I've had all three. And I love them all. Now, I have the VT Rack and it is absolutely great. It's by far my favorite of the three. When I go up to practice north, the guitar players son has a rumble 350, I set it flat and now i run a BDDI through the effect and that is great too.
  10. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2009
    that's how i run any "bass amp" i encounter, by just plugging my sansamp into the effects return/power amp in jack and using it as a raw power amp.

    i dig the QSC, but really just about any power amp will work nicely; the exception is apparently the crown drivecores, because they have such "deaf" input sensitivities that a sansamp won't drive them fully.
  11. ledyard


    Jan 31, 2010
    Upstate NY
    I have a question for you Sansamp users....

    Do any of you run your Sansamp into the front of your heads? (those of you that don't use poweramps obviously)

    I run a B1500 and soon as I grab a RBI I am guessing plugging it straight into it will just give me more tonal variation especially since the B1500 loves pedals.

    Which also I was going to suggest to the OP....you can buy a Carvin B1500 also. 1500 watts at 4 ohm and 1900watts at 2 ohm. Its a great amp on its own, extremely compatible with pedals ect... plus a serious poweramp for a Sansamp. You can score nice ones for $450 shipped usually. $100 or so more than a PLX 1602 but then you have a separate head too. With more than enough power for any cab. I run 2 ampeg 810's with mine.
  12. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2009
    try it of course, but sometimes running an entire bass preamp into another entire bass preamp is too much, leaving the sound kinda murky; also, you get knob functions fighting each other, what happens when you turn the mids up on the amp and down on the RBI?
  13. ledyard


    Jan 31, 2010
    Upstate NY
    Yes, absolutely. I can see where it has potential to be a huge mess.
  14. kellyrojo


    Feb 16, 2011
    South Carolina
    Mine sounds better through my amp front input than effects return. I don't know why but I have tried them both extensively and its the case. I set the amp eq flat and just eq with the sans amp. It sounds awesome. It is an ampeg head with a hartke cab. I also put it in front of a bg250 for smaller gigs and it really warms it up. The blend knob is really key never above noon for me
  15. cableguy

    cableguy Supporting Member

    Jun 4, 2009
    North Bend, WA
    His name wouldn't be Mike would it?:D

    I have owned, RBI, RPM, BDDI, VT bass, & Oxford. Of the rack mounts the RBI was my favorite. For some reason I'm in the minority in that I prefered the BDDI over the VT bass. So much in fact I sent it of the Mike Putnum to have a mid control added. So basically I now have a RBI in a box. I also had Mike do a "Jimmy mod" on my Oxford for a little more low end. Different kind of vibe but still awesome. The thing is with the Tech 21 stuff, if you buy used on TB, you can generally sell for what you paid. Try a bunch until you find what you like. Just remember with the tech 21 stuff, the blend knob is your friend. Also a little EQ goes a long way.....
  16. dls119


    Jun 27, 2013
    Northern Virginia
    Is there any specific aversion to the BDDI or are you just looking for rack-mounted gear?
  17. cableguy

    cableguy Supporting Member

    Jun 4, 2009
    North Bend, WA

    I always carry my BDDI with me as a back-up even if I don't use it.
  18. srxplayer


    May 19, 2004
    Highland, CA
    I run a modular rig and I run a BDDI in to the front end of my BMax-T tube preamp. This has provided me with the most versatile set up I have run so far and have been pretty pretty much GAS free for years. I love the tone I get with this set up. However, the new rack mount version of the VT is making me a little GASSY. You can't go wrong and with any of the rack mount Sansamps. They really are the best value for the buck systems on the market.
  19. I own two RPM and the VTRM.
    My findings are identical to Ken's (Fuzzbass).

    One of my RPM is used for our eDrum rig.
    My rig is the RPM + VTRM, foot switched in the Either/Or configuration.
    Only 1 Sansamp is active at any given time, the other is in Passthru mode.

    All Sansamp rack preamps have more than sufficient output voltage to drive even the most insensitive of power amps.
    I have multiple PLX that I use with mine, and they easily reach full power.

    The VTRM is truly a "bassists" preamp, because it sounds pretty crappy with my keys, unless run Flat.
    The RPM is far more versatile for my keys, due to the parametric mids, and ability to run Clean.
  20. ledyard


    Jan 31, 2010
    Upstate NY
    No, Jerry. FJA mods in Syracuse NY. He's the man.
  21. kellyrojo


    Feb 16, 2011
    South Carolina
    Bonus on the BDDI ( or any other sansamp).. I was using it to fatten up my tone in front of my amp per usual last night. The pin head guitarist I was playing with had an amp that kept crapping out. Sacrificed my sansamp to him. This is going to sound like S he says. PLugs it in straight to PA and had a pretty amazing tone. He couldn't believe it....it sounded better than his vintage Fender amp to me--ha ha. Sansamp savess the day

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