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Anyone try comparing a EBS Multidrive with a Sansamp Bass Driver DI?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by gfab333, Nov 24, 2002.


  1. gfab333

    gfab333

    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I've already done search of the forum and while there are many individual posts on each pedal, no one has really done a direct comparison of these two pedals to each other (EBS Multidrive vs Tech 21 Sansamp Bass Driver DI). This is regard to obtaining a slightly overdriven tube bass amp tone.

    I tried an EBS Multidrive at a store yesterday and was somewhat impressed by it's ability to emulate a tube bass amp being pushed into overdrive, but not quite clipping or distorting out yet. It added a nice fat growl to your tone. The degree of overdrive, naturally, is adjustable from a slight growl to a nearly full-on distortion sound. As most of you know, these are overdrive pedals, and not meant to function as distortion or fuzz pedals (although you can get a fair fuzz sound out of these pedals, I keep reading here at TB that several actual distortion pedals can do a better job). Unfortunately, the store didn't have a Sansamp Bass Driver to check out.

    Let's hear from anyone who has tried both of these puppies...
     
  2. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    I have both the MultiDrive and the SABDDI, and prefer to use the SABDDI clean as DI to the PA and the EBS for some grit. I don't want distorsion per se, just some "grainyness" in the sound, and I think the MultiDrive is better, and has more possibilities for adjusting the sound. But as distorsion seems to be very much a matter of taste you really should try them both.
     
  3. gfab333

    gfab333

    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Anders,

    Thanks for your comments. I noticed that the Multidrive has only two control nobs and a three way switch, while the Sansamp Bass Driver has many more control nobs including drive, blend, presence, bass, treble and level.

    I don't doubt your opinion that the Multidrive sounds better for overdrive, but I would expect that the Sansamp would have more tonal possibilites because there are more controls which might provide more sonic possilities. What's your opinion on why the Sansamp doesn't perform better given the fact that it has more controls.

    I understand that more nobs don't necessarily mean that the sound will be better, I'm just curious on more details. Thanks.
     
  4. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    OK, I was a bit unclear, I was referring to the different types of distorsion the EBS has. All in all you can get more different sounds out of the SABDDI because of the blend and EQ knobs, but I was thinking of the overdrive only. The SABDDI has one type of overdrive only, but you may of course like it. It's just that I see the SABDDI as a DI/speaker emulator primarily (with a milder overdrive added on) so I'm a bit locked into that mode of thinking perhaps. You would combine the EBS with the EQ of your amp anyway, so there's many possibilities there too. The SABDDI does not perform worse, only differently, and as I said taste will decide which type of overdrive you like.
     
  5. gfab333

    gfab333

    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Thanks Anders. Your comments are helpful.

    Looks like I need to find a SABDDI to try out. This seems to be one of those issues that could be resolved by trying out the items "with your own ears".
     
  6. Chrisrm

    Chrisrm Bass Virtuoso Wannabe

    Feb 10, 2002
    Colchester, CT
    Gfab,
    I have both also. While the SABDDI is a great DI, I'm not crazy about it's overdrive. All those knobs have a lot to do with giving you adjustability options for when you aren't using an amp (i.e. when recording or just playing straight through the pa). I like to use it when recording straight to the board. It's livens up a very stale straight sound. It's overdrive seems a bit weak to me. I can get a very mild overdrive out of it that's not very "adjustable" and rather one dimensional. The multidrive is an outstanding overdrive pedal. Though it only has two knobs and two switches, they are dedicated to tailoring it's overdrive characteristics only. But, then again, it's not a very good DI !! They are two very different pedals, with two different intended purposes. If it's just an overdrive your after, then I would feel the EBS is the better pedal. If it's a DI you want, then go with the Sansamp.

    Chris
     
  7. gfab333

    gfab333

    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    You've confirmed what I was sensing from Ander's posts. If you want a good overdrive that just does "good overdrive", get the EBS. I use a GK 1001rb which has a DI (w/ variable gain and pre / post EQ settings) and has decent tone controls, so I don't need that stuff in my overdrive pedal. Looks like the Multidrive might be one of the Xmas gifts to myself. Thanks!
     
  8. pudgefactor

    pudgefactor

    Mar 28, 2002
    Boston
    I wouldn't even consider getting a SBDDI to be used as an overdrive pedal. I own one and like
    it a lot, but it's overdrive capabilities are very limited. It's much more useful for shaping your
    tonality like an pre-amp EQ. If it's overdrive you want, the multidrive is pretty good. ( I tried it out,
    but went for the Fulltone bass drive instead.)
     
  9. RS

    RS

    Aug 27, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    I have to disagree, while I have never played an EBS multidrive, the SABDDI has a very nice overdrive sound. Sure it won't do an distortion or super buzzsaw sounds but if you want a smooth, tubey, compressed dirty sound it works quite well. It may take some playing with the knobs to get the sound just right for your particular bass, but it is in there. The knobs are very sensitive with a large sweep, unlike most effect boxes.

    Plus its a direct box and a preamp. Multipurpose tools are the proverbial schzinit, know what I mean?
     
  10. gfab333

    gfab333

    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Thanks RS, your comments are well taken. I need to try that SABDDI out. I'll let you know how it goes if I find one.
     
  11. Hey Anders!

    How much is the Bass Driver in Sweden? Can't find it new anywhere.. only used at Börsen :(
     
  12. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    List price (according to Estrad Musik in Stockholm) is 2.995:- ($330 for you 'merrycans).

    They normally have these in stock, but not today apparently...
     
  13. Ohy, well the used one was 2495 at Börsen.. not dirt cheap.. I have to find one to try out before I know if I like it or not. Thanks for the input. :)
     
  14. gfab333

    gfab333

    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Wow, I think they go for just under $200 at Bass Northwest or Musician's Friend.
     
  15. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    Yeah, that's par for the course. I get sick when I see the low prices you guys pay, especially for exotic basses... :(