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Need Help! Problems w/SABDDI and G&L

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by count_funkula, Feb 19, 2004.

  1. I'm having some really annoying problems using my G&L 1500 with my SABDDI. When I have the humbucker in serial mode, all but the slightest touch on the strings will cause it to distort. This happens mostly on the E string. The output of that pickup is quite high when the preamp is on.

    Our sound guy says I'm peaking out (whatever that means) on the board even when I turn the level down on my SABDDI.

    I would expect to hear complaints from Stingray owners if this were a normal problem. I'm guessing they have a really strong output like my G&L.

    Any ideas? Should I send the unit to Tech 21 and have them check it out or is this bass just not a good match for the SABDDI? That would suck because I love the sound.
  2. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Let me guess, you probably have the bass EQ on the G&L cranked :meh: I can't run my 2500 in series with the bass all the way up, it's just too much low end.

    Do you get distortion when using the SABDDI in bypass mode (i.e. as a normal DI)?

    Do you get distortion when plugged straight into your amp?

    If the answer is NO to either and just turning the volume down on the G&L doesn't solve the problem I would contact Tech 21 and ask them about this. You are probably just driving the input so hard that it's always on the edge of clipping.
  3. VellaBass


    Aug 29, 2003
    London, UK
    Like your soundman said, it sounds like you're clipping - you're sending an already hot, pre-amped signal into another pre-amp. Does switching the G&L to passive cure it? Don't understand why pulling the SABDDI level right down doesn't cure it though..
  4. Yes. I should have mentioned that. When I turn the pre on my bass off the problem goes away.

    The bass control on the G&L is cut only. So when it is in the full position I assume that is comparable to having it set "flat".

    I hate to have to cut anything on the bass because that is the "sound". Switching off the pre takes away the detail that I like. I can also put the pickup in parallel mode without distorting. That may be my best option but it still doesn't sound the same.

    What determines how much signal the input of a preamp can handle? When I ran it straight into my SWR combo there never was a problem. I assume it's something in the way the SABDDI is made. Correct?
  5. atldeadhead


    Jun 17, 2002
    That would be correct if indeed it was a cut only. If that bass takes a battery that would imply a preamp and if that's the case then I'm willing to bet that it is both a bass cut AND boost.
  6. VellaBass


    Aug 29, 2003
    London, UK
    A G&L feature is that tone pots are cut only so it works the same way when you go passive
  7. craigb

    craigb G&L churnmeister Supporting Member

    The output on a G&L is hot, hot, hot. It can overdrive most devices - I've clipped a Yamaha PB-1, a Fishman Platinum Pro EQ, a Dunlop headphone amp, a Behringer V-amp and a Sansamp RBI.

    Like Brian Rost said, you are probably overdriving the input on the Sansamp. Turning the Sansamp down doesn't help, because the clipping is occuring before that point in the signal chain.

    If you reduce the input to the Sansamp (by going into passive mode) you say the clipping goes away. So if you like the sound with the pickup in series, active with the bass all the way up turn the volume down until that goes through the Sansamp without clipping. Then you can adjust the overall signal level and volume with the Sansamp output level and volume controls on your bass amp and PA. Unfortunately the Sansamp doesn't have an input level control to control it at that point like some other devices have.

    I often cut the bass on my L2K to keep the sound balanced - Leo voiced the pickups with extra bass & treble so that a passive cut-only EQ would provide the sounds people might want.

    Since you say the distortion doesn't occur with other amps I won't go into the other problem that sometimes occurs with G&L preamps - a bad chip that causes overdriving/distortion just in the internal pre. You might want to double-check that this is still the case.
  8. craigb

    craigb G&L churnmeister Supporting Member

    Oh yeah, some people drop the pickups down as far as they can go (even removing the springs underneath them) to keep the output under control.

    Me, I leave 'em up there. But dropping them down would reduce the output and possibly the problem you are seeing.
  9. Won't turning the volumn down on the bass itself kill the tone a bit? Does the volumn know allow you to have the exact same sound just at lower volumns? This may be a dumb question but I always play with it wide open.
  10. VellaBass


    Aug 29, 2003
    London, UK
    Well, you could just try it and see what you like. A lot of the G&L tone comes from those chunky PUs. Rememebr that the main thinking behind active basses was to improve the SN ratio by having a pre-amp as close to the PU's as possible. Basically, you've got the on board pre amp and the SABDDI doing the same job, and you don't want all of both of them. If you roll of half the output volume on your bass, you can dial in more level of the Sansamp which will give you more of its tone. It's a matter of blnding the two as you like. If you like the G&L full volume tone then you don't need the Sansamp!

    Hope that helps
  11. Does the G&L have a trim pot? If so, turn it back until the distortion goes away.

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