Problems with overdrive on Tech 21 Bassdriver..

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Magman, Jun 21, 2001.

  1. Hi -
    I recently got a Bass driver DI off ebay after reading many good reviews. Its great for turning a rather wimpy, 'thin midrange' DI sound into a very warm, rich powerful one. Impressive.

    However, when the drive is cranked to full, and I whack the strings, it overdrives quiet heavily (its not a high gain box, neither are my pickups, buts its very dynamic). Sustaining a note, it growls - as the note fades out, so does the drive, but towards the end it splutters and fizzles quite noticeably and unpleasantly. Ugg. So much for that SVT grit, its there but it cuts out badly.

    This a problem, I would have thought a pedal of this pedigree would have a very smooth transition from no-crunch to overdriven. Apparently not, unless the problem lies somewhere else (hopefully)? Anyone else have this issue with the bass driver? I was hoping this would solve all low-gain overdrive tone problems...

    What is a good pedal with the type of smooth breakup I describe? For under $100....

  2. kcm


    Jun 17, 2000
    Woking, Surrey.
    Just a thought, are you running bass straight into it or thru the effects loop?
    I've had problems with some pedals that I've run straight in and found they were ok when I used the loop. Also what about power, batterys OK or the correct power supply being used?
  3. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Let me see if I understand your issue: you're saying that the overdrive does not transition smoothly from low to high?

    There are features on the Bass Driver that allow you to attenuate the overdrive signal, namely the "presence" control. Adjust that accordingly.

    In fact, the more I think about it, you should try to get a hold of the owner's manual and try out some sample settings (you may be able to get this from the website

    Another concern of mine is that by boosting the overdrive as much as you say, you may be overloading the input to your amp, clipping the input stage. Do you have some kind of indicator on your amp's input section to let you know if you're overloading the preamp? You can fix this problem by adjusting either your amp's input level, or the level (far left knob) on your Bass Driver.

    Let us know how this works. Good luck!:D
  4. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Since the Sans Amp Bass Driver is NOT an effects pedal, you're better off NOT sending it through your effects loop;)
  5. kcm


    Jun 17, 2000
    Woking, Surrey.
    Yes of course RAM your right. I was thinking of the problem I had with a Bass Compactor, a very different animal of course.
  6. My main amp is in storage, I've been using a crappy guitar practice amp or a little mixer to input into computer which only has a mic input, thus have to keep the level very low (mic inputs are v sensitive)

    Keeping input levels extremely low I get this problem. Havn't swapped the battery though.

    I;ve found its very easy to overload computer sound card/mixer inputs, so its very possible this behaviour is all part of that problem, and the unwanted clippage is normally masked with heavy playing by the proper overdrive - ie, I may be generating 2 types of overdrive inadvertently!

    I guess I'll wait till my main amp is available, and try it in the FX loop as well.

    I have the manual and have the sample settings.

    As no-one has leapt out and said "sure, I have this problem with the BD DI as well, just live with it" then I'll continue to troubleshoot.

    Thanks for the helpful replies.

    In summary:
    A good test of any overdrive (at least for me) is to put it on full, hit a chord hard and listen as the strings die, the crunch (and any fuzz) should smoothly fade out. With the DI, the crunch is fine, there is an element of fuzzniess that fizzles and splutters on the fade out. I suspect then this could be spurious clipping occuring elsewhere in the signal chain, not inside the DI itself.
  7. King David

    King David

    Dec 13, 1999
    I experienced the fade effect, but it was not sudden. It is a cool sound. I don't know what I'll use it for, but I'll find something!
  8. let me get this straight, you crank the Drive up to full, and then you think it's too driven. I'd say back off the Drive. My experience with this pedal is that anything past 3 o'clock is pretty overdriven. Also note, this is NOT a distortion pedal, overdrive is different all together. Also, you may get better results with Blend all the way up (tubes!), and then adjust Prescent to where you like it.

    Other than that, the owner's manual mentions something called Unity Gain, which means you should be sending about the same signal strength when the pedal's active (engaged) as you are when it's passive (not engaged). You can do this just by ear.

    I don't know about using the effect loop. I would think it would be fine to do this, since the Bass Driver is technically a preamp. You would just be by-passing your amp's preamp and just using it's poweramp. I dunno....
  9. King David

    King David

    Dec 13, 1999
    I tried to bypass the pream on my Carvin, but the sound stinks. The sound was just too quiet. I think if I had a power amp gain it wouldn't be bad.

    I have used mine in the effects loop. It seems to work fin there. I can't say for sure where it sounds best though.
  10. Josh Ryan

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

    Mar 24, 2001
    Mine fades pretty smoothly, do you have any kind of warranty from the seller? You may want to try a new one and yours at your local music store so you can tell if it's defective or not. I'm pretty sure it should not sputter or pop, at least I can't get mine to. BTW, the Bass Driver DI should be treated like a pre amp, and not go in the effects loop, IMHO, for the best sound.
  11. am I missing something here?....if you use it in the effects loop, then you ARE using it as a preamp, no?

    I have no doubt it sounds fine in both places, but if used as just a pedal, then it's pre- to the preamp, which is fine if gain is kept consistent.

    then again, I'm no techie. techie's comments welcome....

  12. King David

    King David

    Dec 13, 1999
    I am not a techie either. I think it is ok either place. It may depend on your setup and what works the best.

    My thinking is that if you use it in the loop, then the sound going into the power amp sounds more tube like. If you run the bass directly into the Sansamp and then into the preamp, you tube it and then solid state it (if you have a solid state amp), and may crud up your good sound. These are my thoughts on the signal path. I could be wrong.

    I think the way I am going to run my setup is this. Bass>Sansamp>Boss TU-2>Boss EQ.>Direct Box>Carvin Amp & PA. This will give me a strong signal to run through my effects and still go to both the PA and my amp. I will be able to adjust my amp volume as a monitor without affecting the PA volume.
  13. I think you are on the right track King David but I'm curious as to why you'd put 2 DI's in your signal chain and why you are putting the Sansamp in front of your tuner. I don't run my effects through my loop for the same reason you mentioned: I can give the FOH a good signal w/effects and I can control my stage mix independently without having the sound guy yelling at me.

    He's how I run my stuff:

    bass->TU-2->octaver->wah->envelope filter-> chorus->Sansamp->amplifier

    The sound tech can then take my signal from the Sansamp or he can chain from one of the Sansamp outputs to his own DI if needed. Also, I prefer to be able to put the TU-2 with it's mute function right in front, makes changing basses easier.

    Running your bass into the Sansamp and then into the amp really isn't "tubing it and then solid stating it" as much as you think. Hybrid amplifiers use a tube pre-amp and a solid state power section in a similar fashion.

    But anyway, the Sansamp is one killer piece of gear.
  14. King David

    King David

    Dec 13, 1999
    You asked why i would run it to my Sansamp first and not last?

    I have a few reasons.

    1. I have a passive bass and an 18 foot cord. I don't want to run that passive signal through all that and then into the effects stuff as I add them later without boosting the signal a tad first.

    2. I have yet to get my TU-2 yet, but it is supposed to be coming. I am not sure how well it tracks on a passive signal. My cheap Quiktune will hardly track a low E without the volume up to full and tone to high. A fresh batery helps too.

    3. The Sansamp has a touch of compression in it too and an exceptionally clean signal to send down the pipe to then be modified by effects.

    4. It may be my imagination or my set up, but it seems to be less noisy after going through the sans amp. It seems to filter out some hiss. When i trn it off, my rig hisses more. If I can clean any of that out, the earlier the better in my book.

    5. I bought a direct box before I bought the Sansamp, so I already have it.
  15. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    OK, here's the answer. We discovered this earlier, and I checked it out myself. Turn your bass volume down. Some basses send too hot of a signal to the SABDDI, and it overdrives the front end. Try it. It works.