Dismiss Notice

Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Can you describe the Distortion on a Sansamp Bass DI?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by King David, May 1, 2001.


  1. King David

    King David

    Dec 13, 1999
    Indiana
    I would like to hear what it sounds like, but I can't find cl sound clips anywhere. I guess I'll have to do with an accurate description.

    I am looking for a sound to complement the jazz bass growl. I don't want anything too fierce or death metal like. Just a little growly sound to make it sound a little raspy.

    Can it do that?

    Please describe it's characteristics.
     
  2. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    King - I'd call it more of an overdrive. It's not a hard, flat out, distortion. It lets the notes stay intact without killing their "identity" and dropping out the lows and boosting the highs all out of whack. I don't use it much, but when I do, it just adds some buzz around the edges, like a tube amp clipping.
     
  3. King David

    King David

    Dec 13, 1999
    Indiana
    Unfortunately I do nt really know the sound difference between a tube and solid state. I know that the tube is supposed to be warmer, but What does that sound like? I know i am asking a subjective question. There is no easy quick fit answer. Any attempt would be appreciated. Even sound samples or artist sounds would be helpful.
     
  4. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Well, a tube distortion is good-sounding to most peoples' ears, it's even-order harmonics. SS are odd-order.

    If you're familiar with Justin Chancellor's work with Tool, he uses a distortion unit but usually doesn't dial it up so it sounds "fuzzy." The Tech 21 will do that.
     
  5. Captain Awesome

    Captain Awesome

    Apr 2, 2001
    PDX
    well how would you explain odd- and even-order harmonics?
     
  6. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    primus - I can't really authoritatively explain them. My game is more how sound is produced rather than how sound is reproduced. But I'll tell you what I know, even though I don't understand it as someone like throbbinnut, Joris, or Spacegoat would.

    Tube amps are volt driven. The harmonics they produce are even multiples of the center frequency, e.g., 2, 4, 6, 8,......

    Solid state amps are current driven. Their harmonics are odd multiples of the center frequency, e.g., 3,5,7,9.........

    If you look at both on an oscilliscope, the solid state flattens out the wave but the tube wave is shaped like a triangle.

    Violins, which are associated with "sweet sound, produce even order harmonics.
    Clarinets produce odd-order harmonics.

    The human ear has a much higher predispostion or preference for even-order harmonics than odd-order.

    However, the music being played can make a difference. Heavy metal bassists, for instance, often prefer the flat waveform distortion of solid state amps.

    As I mentioned, I don't dissect it, I just use it.
     
  7. King David

    King David

    Dec 13, 1999
    Indiana
    Huh.....that is interesting I didn't know that. I still don't completely understand it, but that is ok with me.
     
  8. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    King - That's precisely where I'm coming from. That's what I meant when I said my game is sound production, not sound reproduction.

    Sure, it would be interesting to understand completely, and maybe I could tweak gear if I did. But, the people behind the gear have gone to school figuring it out. I don't have the years to invest.
     
  9. Hmm... that's very important... I'm close to ordering one, and one of the features that allure me is its overdrive. I really want to know what it sounds like. I have a Boss ODB-3 and it sounds very FUZZY in my opinion, there seems to be no way to dial something different than more or less fuzz. I mean, it's like a "wall of distortion", from bottom to top, and it can drown guitars very well :) I suppose just about all common solid state pedals would sound this way. That might be useful in some situations, but I've found I wouldn't play all the time with it on, though I'd probably use a more ROUNDED type of overdrive as my "normal" sound, I mean not from bottom to top, but recognizeable LOW notes followed by growling LOW-MID (?) overtones. So did you say BUZZ? If so... Maybe someone had the opportunity to compare the Boss's overdrive sound to the SansAmp's??? Is SansAmp RADICALLY different?
     
  10. The Sansamp excells more as a direct box and less as stompbox in front of your preamp. I've gotten some usable stompbox tones by backing off the bass undt treble and cranking the volume, emulating a sort of midrange boost or something. I know the newer rackmount actually has a mid knob but you can sort of fake it with this trick. The Bass driver DI is meant as a full range box and if you're not careful when using it live, it can end up sounding like wearing glasses over your contact lenses, if you get my drift. Two preamps doubled up, not always good. In the studio as a DI it's fantastic. I was crushed to realize my $3500 Mesa stack didn't really sound as good as the $200 Bass Driver direct into the board with my Warwick/Alembic mutant bass. Serves me right, eh? The sound of the Bass Driver is great; warm, fuzzy, crunchy if you like; very permeable. I love it. I usually end up useing a Rat, Prunes and Custard or even my DOD Bass Grunge for out and out grind in a live situation. Sometimes, what sounds good solo doesn't always jive in a band. Something midrangey and biting( maybe even grating) can be exactly what you need to slice through guitars......
    The Sansamp is very versatile, if you work with it, you'll get what you need. It took me a while. Fun, though...
     
  11. King David

    King David

    Dec 13, 1999
    Indiana
    Well, I broke down and bought one this weekend. I bought it for $155. I believe I got a great deal. They had a list price sticker on the pedal itself of $195. The price tag on the box said $225. I think the $225 is the real list price. I think they may have made a mistake, or they just wanted to get rid of it.

    I really like it. When the eq are set flat it still favors the bass end, but that can be fixed. It does sound compressed, but that also makes it sound cleaner. The bottom line is I like it. The distortion is not real apparent. I would not buy it for the distortion factor if I wanted a ton. I believe the Boss pedal is better for a little more aggressive distortion, but this is not what I wanted anyway. It mainly makes it sound fuller. I don't think the Boss pedal is as useful. I have a Boss bass eq pedal, that I can augment the mid range with or just use it as a stomp for a different sound.
     
  12. Glad you enjoy it, David.
    Well, I didn't really mean I need aggressive, apparent distortion (I already heave one of Boss's), quite the conrary, I need just some organic "growling".
    So, in other terms, is BDDI's disto like "BZZZZZZZZ" (like some insect) or "GRRRRRRRR" (like a dog)?? :)
    Sorry if this sounds stupid ;)
     
  13. King David

    King David

    Dec 13, 1999
    Indiana
    I would say that set about mid way (that is what works for me without getting some static noise) it sounds I guess, more like a dog. It is more of a lower, deeper fuzz than a higher sound. Sound is so hard to describe. I would say it does what I want it to do. It complements the jazz growl without sounding like distortion or like an effect.
     
  14. Thanks, that sounds like it's great. Too bad I can't get one here easily and for cheap :(
     
  15. King David

    King David

    Dec 13, 1999
    Indiana
  16. Yep, but I'm not in the States. I live in Ukraine. I asked Tech21 what would be the shortest way and they forwarded my message to some German retailer, and they (the retailer) offered me a variant but that would cost about $330 including international shipping :(
     
  17. catwig1

    catwig1

    Mar 4, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Hey, here in the UK the SABDDI goes for 189 British Pound = 276.205 US Dollar street price. You can maybe haggle them down another 10 quid but that's it :( But everything is more expensive over here.

    Matt

    Using my BDDI at least once a week
     
  18. ahpook

    ahpook

    Jul 13, 2001
    yep - the uk price is a real stinger, but i took a deep breath as got one - mighty fine it is too.
     
  19. catwig1

    catwig1

    Mar 4, 2001
    Brighton, UK

    I agree, worth every penny. I just brought it up to make the 'Merkins sorry for us :)


    Matt
     
  20. my thoughts EXACTLY! I was always a little disappointed with the SSBDDI when I used it as a stomp box in front of the preamp in my amp. It muddied up the sound and killed the midrange. Then I just realized, no matter what Tech21 says, it's just not meant to go in front of the preamp of a bass guitar amplifier. If you can use it in the effects return, that's great. It's shines most when just used as an active DI to the board, and then use the dry (unaffected signal) to your rig. So that's my advice, just keep it away from your bass preamp unless you have a REALLY wimpy one.

    Used as I do, it's an awesome tool. I LOVE to hear myself thru the PA when using it.

    Mark