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Amp / cab simulator options

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by martijn_2m, Oct 3, 2010.

  1. martijn_2m


    Aug 23, 2005
    Hi everyone,

    Question about amp/cab simulation ..

    I intend to play amp-less a lot in the next year. I play an acoustic fretless bass with a very nice pre-amp onboard (LR Baggs) and an electric upright with an Aguilar ToneHammer. Have been going directly to FOH with this setup using a Radial passive DI for the acoustic bass and going from the Tonehammer directly. Tone wise and flexibility wise this works great and sounds great.

    However one thing that I am not happy about is the 'direct' sound. I would like to get more of an miked cab sort of sound without having to lure the 4*10 and amp on stage.

    I have checked the T21 SansAmp Paradriver DI online (can't try it anywhere near where I live) but I can't find real clear tone samples (actually want to hear the amp simulation without much of other coloration that the thing is capable of). I heard the DI in this unit is not as good as a JDI Radial. So I have doubts (justified?). The VT Bass (deluxe) is too Ampegy for my tast (love ampeg but it is not my sound). I don't like the bass pod's too much either.

    So, are there other options? Does anyone know some good soundclips that feature the paradrivers amp simulation?

    Any tips or shared experiences would be appreciated.

  2. CharlieC


    Aug 20, 2010
    New York, NY
  3. martijn_2m


    Aug 23, 2005
    excellent! that is great stuff CharlieC. I am going to check it!
  4. tech21nyc

    tech21nyc Commercial User

    Aug 17, 2010
    Manufacturer: Tech 21
    Here is a video of the Para Driver DI. With the controls set straight up you can get the uncolored or flat response of your instrument and just use the drive control to introduce the amp emulation. The blend control can also be employed to blend in the amp emulation with your straight sound if desired.

  5. martijn_2m


    Aug 23, 2005
    Thanks a lot. Will listen a few times carefully. What can you tell me about the DI part of this unit compared to a JDI Radial passive DI?
  6. pokengkong


    Apr 6, 2010
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Endorsing Artist: MTD Kingston Basses
    For years, I used a Zoom B2 for bass amp simulation. It sounds great. Much better than the all the Line 6 stuff. The problem is that it looks like a toy. It even has a drum machine built in, which makes things even more cheezy. The $99 price tag is another vote for "cheap". There are 13 amp built-in, from Acoustic to SWR to SVT and Hartke. The Fender Bassman 100 patch was one of my faves. Because of the toyish look, I was getting too self-conscious and switched to something more legitimate, the Sansamp Bass Driver Programmable. Although the Sansamp sounds great, I still miss some of the great tones of the Zoom. I wish Zoom stuff looked more legitimate. I hear Prince uses their effects, but other than him, most people feel their stuff is for amateurs.
  7. tech21nyc

    tech21nyc Commercial User

    Aug 17, 2010
    Manufacturer: Tech 21
    I really wouldn't get too caught up in which DI will be better as you are already sending a low impedance signal to the board. The DI's main function is to interface an unbalanced high impedance signal to the balanced low impedance input of a mixer or recording console. Since you are already using 2 preamps your signal is already low impedance. As far as balanced signals go they are really meant to reduce the noise that is created when you boost the gain for a microphone over a long cable run. Microphone level is generally considered -30dB, instrument level is -10dB and line level can be 0dB to+4dB and beyond. Without knowing the specific specs of your preamps I can conservatively guess your output is at least 0dB. No problem there.

    I can't really comment on the other manufacturers products though I'm sure they are excellent. Our Para Driver is really a floor version of our rackmount RPM preamp. I guess the main difference the PDDI would have is its input impedance is 4.7megOhm and was designed to work with instruments that utilize piezo pickups. These pickups have very high impedance and can sound harsh and quacky if the input impedance is incorrect. Now if your bass is active this may not be an issue.

    You seem most concerned about the DI aspect here but in general most acoustic instruments tend to be somewhat problematic as far as frequency response and feedback are concerned. That is where the sweepable semi-parametric EQ comes in handy. As I recall the Aguilar unit has this capability as well. Whether our PDDI will work better for you is obviously something you must decide for yourself.

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