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Fulltone Bass Drive vs Sans Amp Bass Driver

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Droog, Nov 10, 2003.


  1. Droog

    Droog

    Aug 14, 2003
    PDX
    Think that I am going to get one or the other. What do you all think. Pros/cons? Play hard rock, sometimes need some distortion, not just OD but some grit to the sound. Right now I am leaning towards the Fulltone, but I have heard great things about the Sans Amp. Not going to be able to test drive either so your help is appreciated. If you care to know I play through a 400+ with an American P-Bass.

    Thanks
     
  2. AFAIK, the fulltone is only a (good)drive, whereas the SABDDI is also a DI/Preamp with tube simulation. I own a SABDDI. It's a really good tool. The drive is not really good when cranked up,though.
    If you're just looking for some grind to your sound I guess the fulltone would be enough.
    If you're looking for a complete/versatile box with which you can gig,record etc... without amp, take the Sansamp.


    If I were you I would take both:D
    The drive of the Fulltone combined with the warmth of the sansamp....:bassist:
    I guess A TB'er who has both will help you more than me in your choice:D
    I know Jazz Ad has at least the Fulltone Bass Drive
    larry
     
  3. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    I have both. :cool:
    I agree that it's the best to do. They are close friends and complement each other very well.
    Now, if you don't need a PA and are satisfied with the sound of our tube amp, there is no point in getting a SansAmp.
    If you don't care for heavy drive, a SansAmp is perfect.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    only problem is, if you're wanting to use the preamp features of the Sansamp (bass boost etc), you can't switch the drive off without switching everything else off. Not necessarily a huge problem, just worth bearing in mind
     
  5. RAM

    RAM

    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    I have both and only use the Fulltone. To me, the SABDDI is strong in the DI area and a bit weaker in the distortion. The Fulltone's distortion is amazing.

    Also, the SABDDI alters your tone a lot, whereas the Fulltone adds distortion to your existing tone. In addition, the Fulltone has a lot more flexibility in the overdrive you apply to your signal, and even has 3 different levels of compression in the distortion.

    But, it really depends on your application...;)
     
  6. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Not true.
    Preamp controls (level-bass-treble-blend) remain active even if you turn off tube simulation (drive-presence).
     
  7. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    OK, I didn't phrase it correctly.
    If you're using the preamp controls (presence/bass/treble etc) there's no way to just engage/disengage the distortion without having to manually turn the drive knob down. So if you're envisaging using it live with distortion that's worth bearing in mind - if you'll be switching distortion on/off during songs, it can get tricky.

    I have BDDI and BassDrive, and use the BDDI for tone shaping and DI and the BassDrive for the dual channel overdrive/distortion.
     
  8. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    ... and turn the level up to compensate. I tend to leave my SABDDI on in the signal chain all the time (as the last item before the amp and also for the DI feed) but I adjust the combination of level / drive so that the 'on' volume sounds about the same as the 'off' volume (just in case I accidently tread on it or something).

    I'm using it to emulate a big, warm, articulate amp, even if I'm actually relying on whatever beaten up old thing the venue has available - for adjustable distortion, I use other stuff earlier in the chain.

    I think there's also an MXR DI box(?) that is more geared to acting as a DI / distortion unit rather than a DI / amp simulator - it didn't fit my needs but might be worth Droog considering.

    Wulf
     
  9. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    From what you describe, I think that the Fulltone will better suit your needs. I tried them both, and where I can certainly see the SABDDI's usefulness in certain situations, I was really just looking to add some thick, full overdive to my rig, and the Bass Drive delivered the goods for me. Other than having a custom box made (which I am working on), Fulltone is the OD box for me - unless I am using my Walkabout, in which case I just crank the GAIN for some good tube OD.

    Later, Tom.
     
  10. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    Yup, the MXR M-80. I have one of these also (what can I say, I'm a gearhead). It's two channel so you can have eq only (channel 1) and then kick in the distortion channel.

    The distortion is more of a cutting kind than the mellower drive of the BDDI. I don't use the M-80 distortion, but use the second channel for a secondary eq stage. The second channel applies an eq scoop and then the distortion. The eq scoop is very slap friendly, so I keep the distortion level at 0 and kick in channel 2 when slapping.
     
  11. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    So, would you say that the MXR M-80 might do the job as an all in one distortion / DI box... or is there a definite 'sonic advantage' to running the SABDDI and Fulltone together as you said you do?

    Wulf
     
  12. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    If you want a sharper distortion, the M-80 can do it for you in one box. The distortion on it isn't for me, it can't really get a good overdrive.

    If you want a preamp/DI and an overdrive you can turn off/on during songs then Sansamp + BassDrive IMO.

    If you don't care about preamp/DI, and want an overdrive you can switch on/off during songs, then either one of BDDI or BassDrive. IMO the BassDrive is a better bass overdrive pedal.

    If you want preamp/DI and an overdrive you'll only switch on/off at start/end of songs, then BDDI.
     
  13. The distortion of the MXR M-80 is a bit cold and buzzy IMO. The EQ is superb, and the noise gate is a useful gimmick. And while i'm totally opposite to the scooped-mid sound, the scooped-mid character of the M80 (can also be applied to channel 1 of the pedal) is real sweet sounding.

    I've gone to a SansAmp Tri-AC...3 programmable pedals in one, and can dial in more drive than the SABDDI. Or, I can pop another distortion before it and get another range of sounds. EQ is a little odd (more guitar-friendly), but sounds killer direct or to an amp.
     
  14. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I had a chance to try this one as well, and yes, it can be a fun pedal to tweak. However, I found that it lost some of the low end when engaged. To my ears, the tone of the Fulltone was more full, if you'll excuse the play on words.

    Tom.
     
  15. Yeah, the Tri-AC's lower voicing isn't as low as it could be, but I don't seem to lose much with mine (you do lose some with the Brit or Cali amp settings).
    The EQ's fixed at 125/800/3500, which is OK but not ideal (I doubt that this could be altered, due to the digital nature of the controls).
    I'd love to try a Fulltone, pity no-one has them here.
     
  16. Droog

    Droog

    Aug 14, 2003
    PDX
    Geez guys thanks for the responses. Very helpful info for sure. I think I will end up going with the Full Tone for the short term and will eventually pick up a Sans Amp. I have Countryman DI's for now that I can use if I need to. But the Sans Amp will be nice later on for a portable rig or jams and such. I think the Full Tone will do the job just fine, and then some it sounds like.
    Thanks guys.