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GK MB200 with SansAmp BDDI

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by dougjwray, Apr 2, 2013.


  1. dougjwray

    dougjwray

    Jul 20, 2005
    (I already posted this in Effects, but I figured I might get more responses here.)

    I've been using an MB200 for about a year. Last night I picked up a BDDI. I haven't experimented with the latter yet, but I'm anticipating using it as a preamp into the effects return of the MB200, so that the GK is functioning only as a power amp. (This is because I need more midrange grit than the MB200 provides, but it does provide nice clean power, at a good level for small clubs.)

    My question:
    In the past, when I've used a preamp into a "real" power amp (Crown, QSC), the rule of thumb has always been to crank the level of the power amp all the way up, and control the volume with the preamp. Should I do this with the MB200/BDDI combination?

    My main concern is to avoid frying anything. I can hear when things are distorting, but I don't want a situation where I plug something in and curls of blue smoke immediately start to appear. :eek: :D

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. acleex38

    acleex38

    Jul 28, 2006
    The MB200 doesn't have an effects return.
     
  3. dougjwray

    dougjwray

    Jul 20, 2005
    Okay, that's about the most embarrassing thing I've done so far this year.

    :bag:

    Well, let me ask the same question, but about the 400RB and 1001RBII (they both have effects returns, I own both, and I might use them this way).
     
  4. acleex38

    acleex38

    Jul 28, 2006
    I can't answer it - I've never done it that way, even when I ran my BDDI into my Genz Benz Shuttle 3. I can say that I have used (and really like) the BDDI straight into the MB200 main input as a more traditional stomp-box, but I had to keep the blend down at around 9o'clock to avoid layer too much BDDI scoop on top of the GK scoop. I don't think I ever used the BDDI as a preamp into my old 400RB when I still had it because I liked the GK preamp sound too much to want to skip it.

    Sorry - that doesn't really answer your question.
     
  5. acleex38

    acleex38

    Jul 28, 2006
    oh, and the year is still young. Hell, it's still early in the day. I'm fairly sure I'll do something way more embarrassing by lunch (which gives me an hour and a half).
     
  6. dougjwray

    dougjwray

    Jul 20, 2005
    Thanks for the kind words.

    About the scoop business-- I'm hoping that lowering the low and high end, and upping the level, on the BDDI, will overcome the scoop that so many people complain about. And yeah, the MB200 is already very scooped; in a way, I can see why they voiced it that way-- a tiny amp should not even come CLOSE to sounding tiny. (It's almost more of a psychological thing.)
    Well, in the meantime I'll use the BDDI as a stompbox with the MB200.
     
  7. jumblemind

    jumblemind I also answer to Bryan Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2011
    Knoxville
    Side note of caution: the BDDI is also scooped...one of the big complaints is that it doesn't have a mid control, which is the main reason some people opt for the ParaDriver instead. It will do a good job of giving a different flavor to the GK, though. Just thought I'd note in case you find you're not getting the sound you are expecting.
     
  8. dougjwray

    dougjwray

    Jul 20, 2005
    Thanks for the input...
    As I said, I hope to overcome that by cutting the lows and highs, and then upping the level. Plus, grit can have a way of cutting through, and compensating for a scooped tone.
    I was aware of this criticism before I bought the BDDI. Anyway, I haven't even had a chance to turn it on, so we'll see...
     
  9. gerryjazzman

    gerryjazzman

    Dec 31, 2006
    New Jersey
    The MB200 has an AUX IN that can could be used as an input to the power amp bypassing the tone controls (as per the block diagram in the user manual). They provide it for CD player or MP3 player input but it could be used for anything if the level is right. The only thing is you'll need an adaptor cable with 1/8" plug. Not sure of the level but you could give it a try.
     
  10. dougjwray

    dougjwray

    Jul 20, 2005
    That's true-- good point.
    Back to my main question: I'm still wondering where to set the lone volume control on the MB200, in this case. (All the way up?)
     
  11. gerryjazzman

    gerryjazzman

    Dec 31, 2006
    New Jersey
    If you're talking about going into the AUX in, it looks like it's post-gain control as well so it won't matter. But I'd turn it all the way down in that case to minimize any noise or hiss coming from the internal preamp.

     
  12. dougjwray

    dougjwray

    Jul 20, 2005
    Well, you might be right after all. I didn't realize just how scooped the BBDI is. To retain sufficient punch from the GK, I needed to have the BBDI's blend knob at around 9:00 and the bass just about all the way down. :meh:
    The Para Driver might be the way to go... or I might scrap the entire SansAmp idea. But I will use the BDDI on a gig on Saturday, before I give up on it.
     
  13. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon.

    Why not just go:

    Bass --> BDDI --> MB200, set the volume thru the MB200?

    Personally, I always use my BDDI as a pedal into my preamps.

    I would not personally not crank a pre when using a BDDI as I use the BDDI for boost as well as distortion.
     
  14. dougjwray

    dougjwray

    Jul 20, 2005
    That's the way I tried it with the MB200, since the GK doesn't have an effects return. I had the amp at the usual level, and adjusted the level on the BDDI to unity.
    The BDDI is probably fantastic by itself (straight to the PA), or used in conjunction with a tinny-sounding amp. It does have a great, fat sound... but with the MB200, which is already fat, it's not as helpful. (As far as I can tell, so far.)
     
  15. tech21nyc

    tech21nyc Commercial User

    Aug 17, 2010
    Manufacturer: Tech 21
    How do you have the GK set? Since it doesn't have an efx loop and you are going straight to its preamp you should start by turning the contour off and having the amp set flat. I would also recommend turning the presence on the Bass Driver off to start. That amp has an input pad which you might want to use since the Bass Driver can overload the input.

    People complain about the mid scoop but keep in mind the pedal was originally designed to be used as a DI to the board. Bass amps as well as bass cabs are not usually flat response.

    You should be able to use the lower mid or mid controls to give you some added midrange if desired after you tweak the pedal. If you require more midrange control than that you might want to consider the Para Driver.

    Running a preamp type pedal like the Bass Driver into another EQ section that is not set flat will usually give you a false impression of what the pedal actually sounds like.
     
  16. dougjwray

    dougjwray

    Jul 20, 2005
    Thanks very much for your info.

    I did start out with the GK flat, and played with the controls on both units... although I didn't have the BDDI's presence all the way off at any point. I'll try that. I was careful not to overload the input of the GK.

    I think part of the problem is that the MB200 itself is lacking in midrange EQ, for me. I know, it has two bands... but, for example, I love my old 400RB, which is just plain voiced differently. Even with extreme EQing on the MB200, and the contour out, I feel like I'm missing some punch-- maybe in the 500-800 Hz area. So, I was hoping that the BDDI's mid-shaping (by turning down the bass and treble and raising the level to compensate) might strongly goose the MB200 where I'd like it to be goosed. I figured the drive would help a bit with this, too.

    Please don't think I'm dissing the BBDI, by the way-- it's a great product, and probably too subtle, if anything, for what I need. I might need a cheap overdrive pedal which sucks out all of the low end. :D Just kidding.

    Anyway, I will be experimenting with it a bit more, particularly on a gig in a few days.
     
  17. tech21nyc

    tech21nyc Commercial User

    Aug 17, 2010
    Manufacturer: Tech 21
    I didn't think you were dissing our Bass Driver. If it works for you great, if not move on. My purpose is to help you make it work for you if possible.

    You didn't mention your speaker cab. Were you using the same cab with the 400RB? My old bass player used the 400RB and a Hartke 410 cab for years and it always sounded great and it never broke a sweat.
     
  18. dougjwray

    dougjwray

    Jul 20, 2005
    Yes, same cab: a GK 210RBH. I, too, used to own an old Hartke 410; it was great, but I ended up with two of the 210RBHs, for the sake of my back.
    I also used to have a pair of Mesa Boogie 115s, loaded with EVs, and they were nice, too... except that they tended to have a harsh midrange "bark"-- something the BDDI could've tamed beautifully, no doubt.
    Anyway, thanks again for the help.
     
  19. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    Hey, can you run a preamp into the effects loop on the 1001 RB and also plug another effects chain into the preamp on the head? Or would something blow up? And have like 2 channels to where you could just unplug one bass out of one and plug one bass into the other for a sort of dirty/clean channels mix? I think this wouldn't work but I had to ask out of curiousity.
     
  20. If you plug into the effects return jack the internal preamp is disconnected. Don't know if you could run a different preamp into the effects send and have them blend?
     

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