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Racks: Sansamp RBI

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Fusss, Aug 29, 2016.

  1. Fusss


    Aug 6, 2013

    Currently weighing up the options of changing amp set up etc. Keen to go for a rack set up using a sansamp rbi unit.

    Forgive my ignorance, never done a set up like this so have some very basic questions......

    Not decided on a head unit just yet, liking the sound of the orange ob1-500 though, but need to go and try a few options out. Any other suggestions on heads in the £600 range? Play sludgey metal, want a dirty tone.

    Did have an ad200 which was lovely but don't have anymore...

    Now, with the sansamp rbi, how is best to connect this up with a head unit?? No effects loop on the ob1-500 so I'm assuming plug into the sansamp with instrument, then sansamp goes into the head? An idiots guide to this would be much appreciated haha.

    Do you have to have a rackmount tuner with the rbi? Can it be muted for on stage tuning?? Does a pedal tuner in front of the sansamp just sap all the tone??

    Apologies for all the questions, some very basic I know.

    All help, suggestions and opinions would be very welcome.

  2. DigitalMan

    DigitalMan Wikipedia often mistakes my opinions for fact Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2011
    In a typical rack configuration the RBI replaces the interesting parts of a "head unit" and only needs power. So instead of buying a traditional bass amp head, look into a power amp instead.

    As for a tuner, the RBI has multiple outputs including and unaffected output that you could send to a tuner. This would not give you mute capabilities however.

    In my rack I have a wireless unit upstream from the preamp that has a tuner out. This allows mute from the wireless pack and still allows the tuner to function.

    In the simplest config what you want looks like this:

    Bass -> RBI -> Power Amp -> cabinet

    From there it can become more elaborate. What I would suggest is keep it simple and only add what you absolutely need. The huge benefit IMO of rack systems is the tremendous felxibility they offer. However, the downside is the propensity to become exponentially more complicated than necessary.
  3. Fusss


    Aug 6, 2013
    Thanks for your reply.

    With regards the muting/tuning, can you mute the rbi with a rackmount tuner?

    Will a typical boss pedal tuner work as normal in front of the rbi?
  4. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    Normally wire it like this: plug bass in to the RBI, RBI into power amp, power amp into speaker(s).

    You can use most bass amps as a power amp if they have an FX Loop. You'd plug the RBI into the FX Return on the bass amp in that case (bypassing the amp's preamp section and going directly to the power section).

    Regarding tuner- I think the RBI has something like that, functionality should be described in the manual.

    RBI isn't the only bass preamp out there! For a grungy tone I'd look Sansamp VT or Darkglass B7K. Both can do a grainier type of breakup than the RBI. They are pedals but you can run them into a power amp just the same as a rack unit.
  5. Any floor pedal tuner works same.

    The other one to look into is RPM version. Much better mid controls.

    The VT500 micro amp is plenty of power and a much easier carry.
  6. Fusss


    Aug 6, 2013
    Thanks for the replies guys.

    More novice questions haha.....

    So bass plugs into rbi - then does the rbi go from sansamp output straight into the input on front of a head unit? Then head into cab.

    What's the unaffected output for on the sansamp? A tuner?

    Just use small patch cables for the links?
  7. Fusss


    Aug 6, 2013
    Hi guys.

    When using sansamp rbi, if I put the level knob past 12 o'clock I just get a high pitched squeal/feedback noise.

    Does anyone ever run the level knob any higher?

    Is it just the way the settings have been set? If drive is down low it doesn't happen. Is it just conflicting settings?
  8. Radio

    Radio Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2010
    New Haven, CT
    I run bass->tuner->HPF->RBI->Affected->dual channel compressor/limiter->1 into 2 Y XLR cable->2 input channles of the power amp
    Unaffected->input of channel strip on mixer

    I don't always use both channels of the power amp, but when I do, each channel output goes to a speaker cab.

    Usually, I set Drive on the RBI at about 9:00, and can run the XLR(output to,the compressor) where I need it.

    Sometimes I wish I had the extra midrange control on the RPM, but I really don't need it for blues and classic rock in the rooms we play.

    The reason I went with the rack mount instead of the floor pedal was influenced by threads I read here on the capabilities of each, but I don't recall the threads. IIRC, there is more headroom with the RBI or RPM than with the pedals.

    Hope this helps.
  9. tech21nyc

    tech21nyc Commercial User

    Aug 17, 2010
    Manufacturer: Tech 21
    Does the squeal go away when you reduce your guitar's volume? Are you running the RBI with high Drive settings? What is the RBI plugged into?
  10. Fusss


    Aug 6, 2013
    Hi its plugged into an orange ob1-500. Blend and gain on the head are never above 3, drive on rbi is about 2 o clock. I assume the two units are just conflicting against each other when the level of the rbi and gain of the head are very high. Tried it on two rbi with and results.

    I have had two units and when you pull the AC plug out the socket comes slightly loose then clicks back in. Happened on both so is this normal?
  11. tech21nyc

    tech21nyc Commercial User

    Aug 17, 2010
    Manufacturer: Tech 21
    It sounds like you either have too much gain or high end dialed in which would result in the squeal. Drive at 2 o'clock is pretty gained out. If the amp also has high gain the two together could cause the squealing.

    The AC power socket is clipped in to the chassis and has a little give. Just hold the back of it when removing the cable if you're concerned. We've never had a problem with the AC power sockets. For the most part these are rack units that pretty much are always connected.
  12. Remyd


    Apr 2, 2014
    St. Louis, MO
    Maybe also consider a no-rack solution. Micro heads and pocket tuners, and multi-fx that don't suck have long since eliminated the need for those giant monsters. They're heavy and unwieldy. The gear to replace the 6-8u 50lb monster you seem to be talking about above could easily fit in my gig bag, weighing no more than 15 lb, with no infrastructure costs, no power conditioners, no empty slots or worries about heat or anything else. The RBI just ain't good enough to balance all that.

    FWIW, I think racks became obsolete at least 10 years ago for bassists. I wouldn't buy one with someone else's money with all the good cheap small gear on the market.

    Now for PA stuff, it's a different story...
  13. JGbassman

    JGbassman Supporting Member

    May 31, 2011
    I have the rbi as the heart of my rack effects. I use it as my direct to the board, but also as a preamp for my live sound, and I run it into the front end of whichever amp I'm using. My signal path runs as follows: wireless>tuner>rbi(with compressor in effects loop)>stage amp. The effected di signal goes to the board and my ears. I run it through the pre amp on my stage amp so I can set the eq to the stage and not change the rbi settings. This works very well and I've been using this set up for the last two years. When I run my svt cl head, I run the uneffected signal to that head, which sound better to my ears. You can take a look at my settings to see if they will work for you. The sound is very even with a nice presence to it.

    Attached Files:

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