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Original SansAmp Bass DI help

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by bluesax, Feb 17, 2012.

  1. bluesax


    Feb 17, 2012
    Hey All,
    New to the forum and pretty new to bass. Today I picked up a SansAmp Bass DI. Not the Bass Driver with knobs on the outside but one of the old original Bass DI's with the adjustments made inside. So, I searched the web and found an old thread from TalkBass that referred to a geocities article about mods, tweaks, etc. Unfortunately, geocities doesn't exist and I find nothing else anywhere. Searched a few forums here but most talk about the bass DRIVER. So, any ideas where I might find info? Also, looking for an owners manual/booklet if available. Thanks for any help. Peace
  2. Post a pic and maybe someone will recognize it.
  3. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    If all else fails, contact Tech21 and they'll zap you whatever you're looking for including application tips...and limitations.

  4. bluesax


    Feb 17, 2012
    Good idea, Darius. Here are some pics of the box. Hopefully somebody has experience with it. I'm also going to contact Tech 21 tomorrow.

    Attached Files:

  5. What on earth were they (not) thinking? They should give you a free upgrade to one with the knobs they remembered to put on.
  6. crguti


    Feb 14, 2011
    Smurf Village
    holy cow... that's a very old BDDI.
  7. Crater


    Oct 12, 2011
    Dallas, TX area
    What do you need a manual for? There's only 4 adjustments. Just for a start, I would try setting the trim pots to the same settings I set my SansAmp: "blend" control at 100%, "output" at 50%, "presence" at 50% and "drive" at 20% or so.

    That's the special secret version only sold to soundmen. :bag:
  8. Ba55Man1ac

    Ba55Man1ac Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
  9. You have to wonder how many of these gems they sold before they gave in and put the trim pots on the outside. Planned obsolescence or did the guy just have no idea what he had created in the first instance? It sure took off in a big way.
  10. tech21nyc

    tech21nyc Commercial User

    Aug 17, 2010
    Manufacturer: Tech 21
    There were actually 2 versions of that older style DI. The idea was that it was more of a "set and forget" type of unit. The internal controls are for presence, drive, level and blend.

    The intended use was either as a standard DI to convert your bass signal to low Z and send it to the board and the parallel through would connect to your bass amp. The other use was to send the SansAmp tube emulation sound to the mixing board, providing a mic'd bass amp sound instead of just the sound of a DI bass.

    If you want, PM your email address ad I can send you a PDF of the manual.
  11. TimCompton


    Feb 8, 2013
    I recently picked up one these older Tech 21 Bass DI boxes with the internal adjustments, Would anyone out there in Bass Land help a novice out on a manual ? Any and all help would be most appreciated. Thank You all !!
  12. Those 4 white plastic trim knobs control it.

    Drive is the sansamp tube overdrive emulation, clockwise for more of it.
    Presence is an EQ, probably around 2khz, probably boost only, experiment.
    Level, duh, that'd be level of the DI I expect.
    Blend will be how much of the original bass signal is passed through the DI.

    PM the tech21nyc guy for the pdf! http://www.talkbass.com/forum/member.php?u=174604
  13. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    sounds right to me (and i'm a soundman, too.) that's the straight-up "rock bass" sansamp tone.

    the problem here is getting that sound to your stage amp; you'd need an XLR splitter and a way to get that XLR signal into your amp. (the 1/4" parallel out is likely just the same as the input signal).
  14. I think those old ones had more mids and presence than the next gen ones.
  15. tech21nyc

    tech21nyc Commercial User

    Aug 17, 2010
    Manufacturer: Tech 21
    The original Bass DI which was introduced around 1990 was a product that was really meant for the sound man to use in place of a traditional DI. It was never meant to run into an amp. The idea was that you would plug into the Bass DI and send the uneffected parallel output to your bass rig (just like a traditional DI) and use your bass amp as your onstage monitor. You would then send the amp emulated output of the Bass Driver to the mixing board and have the sound of a mic'd vintage amp without the hassles of mic'ing.

    Part of the reason the controls were on the inside was so it would "look" like a traditional DI but it also meant you could dial in "your" bass tone and not have to worry about the soundman changing it. After awhile customers requested having the controls on the outside etc. (see we do listen to what players have to say) and the product eventually morphed into the Bass Driver DI which we have been making for a number of years.
  16. Im a sock

    Im a sock

    Dec 23, 2002
    Central MA
    Very cool. Looks like it was assembled by hand too.
  17. Holy crap! That's genius for stubborn soundmen...I never thought about it like that!
  18. Dude. I had one of these in the early 1990s. It was my rig. Jazz, wireless, tuner, and This. They sound great. Straight forward. Get the setting you want and put the screws back in. WoW. That needs to be in the Tech21 museum.


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