MXR M-80 or Tech 21 Sansamp BDDI?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Sako, Nov 4, 2004.

  1. Sako


    Nov 4, 2004
    Charlotte, NC
    Anyone tried both of these? I have a passive Hwy 1 Fender Jazz and a Fender 400 Pro amp (2 10's + horn). I'm looking for an outboard active EQ/direct box to round out my sound. Does anyone have experience with the M-80 and/or the Sansamp or even a similar pedal? I'm more into rock/blues/funk than metal. Just trying to figure it all out. Thoughts?
  2. Correlli


    Apr 2, 2004
    New Zealand
    My vote for the Sansamp. Adds another Dimension to my sound. nice overdrive. fat tone!
  3. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
  4. bassmatik


    Oct 19, 2004
    +1 for the Sansamp. :)
  5. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    I probably said this in the other thread, but it's apples to oranges. You NEED to hear both, with your rig, to decide.
  6. Sako


    Nov 4, 2004
    Charlotte, NC
    Thanks for the link to the mega-thread -- definitely useful. I want to compare the pedals side by side, but the local shops never seem to have either in stock.

    May have to just order one and play with it.

    Anyone had any experience with a Sadowsky preamp?
  7. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    Yup, there's been lots of discussion on all the Tech21 / MXR / Aguilar / Sadowsky / Fodera / EBS preamp / DI pedals.

    If you search in the pickups and effects forums, you'll find lots of threads. Not trying to be unhelpful, just directing you to where you can find LOTS of different opinions. Basically, they're all good units and it's a matter of what you want/need in a preamp pedal - DI? Distortion? 2 band eq / 3 band eq? 2 channel?

    The Sadowsky was fine, but the MXR was better suited to my live needs. I've owned all of them at one point or another to try them out.
  8. Sako


    Nov 4, 2004
    Charlotte, NC
    Thanks again. I'm new to the site -- just discovering all the features.
  9. pablomigraine

    pablomigraine Commercial User

    Feb 9, 2005
    New York
    VP & Managing Director - Willcox Basses
    I've had both the regular sansamp BDDI and the newer Programmable BDDI. I really love the sound of these things, and they are SOOOOO adjustable, you really get so much more with a 1/4 turn of the dail than you'd expect, and there are alot of tones available buuuuuuuuttt I use the MXR.

    Here's why: The MXR's distortion is VERY limited in comparison to the Sansamp, but it does give you some great sounds, one of which is exactly what I need. But more than tone, it's flexibility I use it for. I only use distortion for 3 of our live set of 8 - 10 songs, and I'm always afraid to run the distortion settings I like thru my cab, for fear of frying my horn. So I setup live like this:

    Bass to MXR input, And unaffected signal straight thru the bypass output into my rig and cabinet. Then I send the affected or wet signal to the front of the house using the DI. I leave the clean side on all the time, and switch on the distortion whenever I need it. This way, I can have a real forward midrange sound from my cabinet, since the bass signal is bypassing the MXR entirely, and a completely different EQ (more scooped and bottom heavy) going to the PA using the Clean side eq of the MXR, and when I switch the distortion on, it just goes to the PA.

    This has been an absolutely ideal setup live, and the sound guys love it, cuz I can set my stage volume and PA gain totally seperatly.

    You just cant do that with the sansamp. And It's perfect for me, but if your needs are different, I'd say go with the sansamp.
  10. the low one

    the low one

    Feb 21, 2002
    As with all effects, what comes out of our amp is quite different to what goes via the DI to the PA. What settings are you using for the distortion? Do you find that you want to hear the distortion or are you happy to just send it to FOH? Do you get some back in the monitors?
  11. Nyarlathotep

    Nyarlathotep Banned

    Feb 5, 2006
    West Coast of Canada
    I vote for SansAmp. Check out the sample megathread (p.6) for some samples I did. There using the Para Driver but should give you some idea about the BDDI sound (the ones marked "(BDDI)" are the "translated" ones)
  12. chrishobbes


    Aug 31, 2005
    I had both, MXR sounds too "modern" for me, but you can have 3 differents settings at your foot (bass w/out effect, clean, distortion). I kept the sansamp, the perfect pedal to have that sweet SVT sound I like
  13. FWIW, I bought both of these pedals two weeks ago at GC and have been A/B-ing them to death since. One of them HAS to be returned within the 30 days grace period; just can't afford to keep them both :(

    Everyone's needs are different. I am looking for a DI/preamp box to go direct to the PA at the rehearsal studios for band practice. I need a box that will give me a decent sound through the PA with some EQ control. It's sooooo much easier to carry a stomp box to rehearsal than an amp. We play a mix of old school funk, jazz/fusion...etc. I primarily play a passive fender Jazz bass.

    Played solo, the SansAmp seems to sound a little better. But in the mix, the MXR sounds just as good to me. IMO, the MXR stands out a little better in the mix, has a cleaner, tighter bottom end and doesn't compress the signal as much. The high end on the MXR is sweet and controllable. The Sansamp noticeably compresses the signal at all but the lowest blend settings. The compression is probably due to the tube emulation. I do not notice compression when using the MXR. If I feel the need for compression, I can add it with a separate compressor and adjust to my taste. This has a big advantage as this compressor can be turned OFF.

    I agree with most of the comments that Smash made in the megathread that Dave Wilson linked above. In the mix, the two units can be EQ'd to sound VERY close to each other. I have no use for distortion in general, and overdrive is not important for my intended application (funk band practice). But I do play blues and rock at the rehearsal studios, so a comparison of overdrive sound is warranted. The OD sounds of the Sansamp sound really good, solo'd AND in the mix. Solo'd, the MXR's overdrive tones (not distortion) are ho-hum at best. But, at last night's band practice I was able to dial in an overdrive tone that sounded very good in the mix ~ as per Smash's comments in the megathread. Good enough for me!

    At the end of the day both units sound pretty close to each other. Again I agree with Smash, and others, that I prefer the sound of my bass played through a good amp verses using these pedals. Both pedals are constructed very well. FWI, the new Sansamp BDDI sports a cheesier battery door than the MXR.

    For my application stated above, both function well. But for me, the MXR has a tighter bottom end and stands out a little better in the mix. I can set up the distortion channel on the MXR for a slight OD, or clean boost. The MXR costs $119.95, vs Sansamp at $179.95. That makes the MXR $60.00 cheaper, for a pedal to be used for band practice. All things considered, the MXR works better for my application and costs less too. :bassist: