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Samsamp RPM, RBI, or PSA. quality difference?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Langueta, Jul 19, 2007.

  1. Langueta

    Langueta Guest

    Jul 9, 2007
    Planning to buy one of these 3, there ir any quality or price difference between the 3...
  2. Thunder Pulse

    Thunder Pulse

    May 12, 2007
    Sansamp products have a good reputation for their quality.

    RBI/RPM are the same price. PSA is much more expensive.
  3. JanusZarate

    JanusZarate Low End Avenger Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 21, 2006
    Petaluma, CA, USA
    I wouldn't say it's a "quality" difference - all are built well. But all of them have different features!

    The RBI is the rack equivalent of the Bass Driver, plus a Mid knob. Controls and sounds are pretty much the same.

    The RPM is the rack equivalent of the Para Driver. It has a Mid knob and a Mid Shift knob, but it doesn't have a Presence knob (which the RBI does have).

    Basically, you have to decide if you'd rather have a shiftable midrange and mid control, or a preset-frequency mid control and a presence control.

    Just so you know, presence knobs typically boost certain high-mid and treble frequencies. It's an EQ-curve thing, instead of just a frequency-centered boost.

    Now, the PSA is something else... it sounds a bit different, and unlike the single-channel RPM and RBI, the PSA can store a LOT of programmable sounds. All you need is a MIDI switch, and it's easy to go through them and configure all of them however you like. The PSA was built to be more universal, although it was originally designed with guitar in mind. It'll cover any instrument, pretty much, but its controls are different than what you see on the Bass and Para Drivers.

    Here's what I mean: http://www.tech21nyc.com/images/illustrations/psa1_1_f_b.gif

    IMO, I'd go for an RBI or RPM, unless you want some really high-gain distortion in addition to your clean or overdriven bass tones.

    By the way... the Tech 21 website also has lots of helpful info on all SansAmp products if you're interested. www.tech21nyc.com
  4. alangoldstein


    Jul 23, 2007
    Charleston, SC
    Endorsments: Aguilar, Hartke, DR strings, Analysis Plus "Oval" Cables
    avoid the psa on bass....
  5. subjective, I know, but the PSA plug-in i used recently sound PHENOMENAL. low-end held good, and very squelchy high gain distortion. I wanted to use my big muff, but this sounded better (for the recorded song, anyway)
  6. duba


    May 2, 2007
    Cant find a reason why

    I own a PSA-1
    Amazing piece of gear. It has a sound of heaven (my fav preset is the "YES" preset :smug:). Nothing like it in the studio or live....it delivers THE TONE each and every time.
  7. 73jbass

    73jbass Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2004
    I'm hoping one day they will make a bass specific version of the PSA. The center frequencies geared more towards bass guitar. Maybe we should start dropping hints to Tech 21?
  8. gillento


    Oct 15, 2005
    Luxembourg, Europe
    Nordstrand pickups
    I have used (and still like) a lot of different Tech21 products (RBI, BDDI, PBDDI, Acoustic DI, GT2, Classic, PSA)
    From the product description I read I have been thinking for a long time that the PSA would have to be the perfect preamp for me.
    But I must confess, although I really wanted to like the PSA, I was disappointed. It was the only item of all these that lacked low end A LOT.
    No matter how I tweaked it, I could not get a decent low end (nor clean nor overdriven), whereas the other pedals and preamps gave me lots of different sorts of useable sounds for bass.
    It was different when I used a second preamp in parallel to compensate for this. But I bought the PSA in order to eliminate several pedals/preamps, not to add one more.
    So I sold the PSA but I still got all the other Tech21 products!
  9. The BurgerMeister

    The BurgerMeister musician.

    Apr 13, 2006
    Big Bear, CA
    gillento: your avatar scares me.

    there. i said it.

    i do, however, like the line "performance starts with conviction." that's nothing but true.
  10. gillento


    Oct 15, 2005
    Luxembourg, Europe
    Nordstrand pickups
    the endless possibilities of Quark software :)
  11. The BurgerMeister

    The BurgerMeister musician.

    Apr 13, 2006
    Big Bear, CA
    ...cuz if you actually looked like that, i don't think we could be friends anymore.;)

  12. Swift713


    Dec 4, 2006
    Florence, Ma
    I'm just glad someone said it.
  13. DeepBass9


    Mar 3, 2007
    Philly, PA
    so, are all you psa-1 users using it with a midi switch to get stompbox functionality?

    i'm demo'ing one right now, and because my fx loop on my pre isn't footswitchable, and I don't have a midi switch, i'm wondering how I can make it happen on the cheap.

    i was thinking that I could run the effects out through an a/b box, w/b going no where and a returning to the effects in. this way, i could just pick the preset i wanted to use, and cut it in and out with the a/b.

    sound good? any other suggestions? i already have a kicking pre, so i definitely want to use this as a distortion rack effect...any help's appreciated.

    i'm trying to work out a way to keep it, as i think i'm getting a good trade...a fulltone bass drive and a pro quality snare drum that I haven't used in 10 years....
  14. JGR

    JGR The "G" is for Gustav Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 29, 2006
    President, CEO, CFO, CIO, Chief Engineer, Technician, Janitor - Reiner Amplification
    i would choose the RBI or RPM over the other Sansamp simply because that last unit, while having a few bass presets, is more geared towards guitarists, and is pretty pricey. if you are willing to spend that much, buy the other two for some great variety.

    i've posted a lot on the differences between the RBI and RPM so i'd recommend a search - in short, if you want a good distortion effect, i would choose the RPM as it has a lot more gain than the RBI. it also does clean very well, and i find it's tone overall to be more versitle and pleasing than the RBI. you can also run both units at the same time blended for some amazing tones.

  15. Well this topic is old but i own a PSa 1.1 and in the effect loop I use a dbx 160A compressor... sounds very good and very descent, low and high..

    I'd like to add the rpm in my rack gear. But I think I'll not earn much in quality of sound I think.

    What do you people think?

    my rig is:
    ampeg svt3-pto


    sansamp psa1.1
    dbx 160a compressor
    isp decimator pro rack g

    line6 relay g50
    line6 m13
    tech21 midi mouse

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