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How to connect my dbx 160a

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by mikeb2112, Mar 7, 2016.

  1. mikeb2112


    Mar 7, 2016
    First let me apologize to everyone for creating this thread. I've searched the forum and found many discussions with many opinions on the best way to connect bass effects equipment, but being a newbie at this only confused me more. I'm hoping someone can give me a very easy straight forward explanation on how to connect my equipment. Here is what I have...

    -Ampeg BA-210 Combo Amp
    -Tech 21 Sansamp RPM
    -dbx 160a

    I have 2 bass guitars, a fender jazz bass with passive pickups and a custom made bass I purchased from a friend with EMG active pickups. Both the Ampeg and the Sansamp have a -15db and -20db switch respectively for the active bass. Also, both the Ampeg and Sansamp have Send/Return effects loop connections. The Sansamp also has a 50/50 switch on the effects loops, but I haven't read up on the yet to see what it does?

    I'm hoping someone can give me some easy to follow directions on how all this should be connected to get the best use and sound out of all the units. What I'm hoping for is something like...

    Connect the output from this unit to the input of that unit, then the output from that unit to the return on this unit, etc., etc., etc. Once it's all together, plug your bass into this unit and use the -20db (or -15db) on this unit if your playing the active bass, etc.

    I would also be interested in any suggested settings you can offer for the Sansamp or the dbx 160a. I'm looking for the type of sound that Geddy Lee has now with his jazz bass's.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. I would go bass-> Sansamp-> DBX-> Among. No effect loops. Just all wired in series, plain and simple. Been using a DBX 160a for 15ish years and always ran it in that manner. I've even plugged into the DBX and run that straight into a power amp, and even that works.
  3. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    I would go bass --> Sansamp --> dbx --> fx loop RETURN jack on the amp. That way you take the Ampeg's preamp out of the picture, since the Sansamp is doing all the preamping and EQ you want. Running two preamps with EQ in series is a good recipe for muddy tone and extra noise.

    You'll need to adjust all of the input and output volume knobs on each device in order to find the best signal-to-noise ratio with the least (unwanted) distortion. The idea is for each device to send the strongest signal they can to the next device, up to just before the point where they cause that next device to distort. The dB pad switches on the Sansamp and Ampeg are just a way of turning down the input volume to avoid unwanted distortion--they really don't have anything to do with active versus passive.
    thejacknut and bassbrad like this.

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