SansAmp Bass Driver = good?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by bartman, Dec 20, 2004.

  1. hey guys. I played a gig last night and the bassists in the band before us had a sound that blew me away. After the set I immediately ran up to him and asked him what his secret was. All he did was point to his SansAmp Bass Driver. The type of music i play is metal. I was wondering if I can should invest in this thing because I'm ALWAYS looking for ways to improve my sound/tone.

    If anyone has used this before, or is currently using it, please let me know what you think of it. First thing tomorrow I'm going to drive up to a music store and hopefully they have it so I can try it, but regardless of that, I'd still appreciate some feedback from anyone on these forums who has/had it.

    Also some reviewer on said and I quote "but it has been to known to blow speakers of lesser quality, so you really have to watch that." Is that kinda like an old wife's tale or should I really be worried about that?

    Thanks for any help in advance, much much appreciated.


    EDIT: oh crap :/ i just noticed the "Effects" section and I posted in "Bass". Sorry, I'm still a newbie to these forums. :S
  2. Gord


    Jan 10, 2004
    BC, Canada
    I don't know how popular it is over here, but harmony central guys swear by it! There's some reviews on the page there too. As for me, I didn't really think much of it, until I plugged my bass back in without the sansamp.. a mistake I will never make again. Apparently the sansamp is the key to unlocking the blanket that is placed over your amp! It thickens out my sound so much, and I add a little drive for some incredible (I use it in a melodic hardcore band with the rock turned up to 11) light distortion. Try it tomorrow, and love it forever :D I heard a quote once that it makes ****ty equipment sound like gold, and it makes good equipment sound like.. something, I forget :eyebrow: but yeah, definetally a good thing to see you thinking about it
  3. Hawkeye

    Hawkeye Canuck Amateur

    I bought my BDDI thinking that I would use it primarily as a DI for recording. Used as such I find it just OK as I'm just not as pleased as I thought I would be at the tone once it's recorded.

    However, for live use it's pretty good as a DI and stomp-box. I used it with a Peavey solid state head and it did add some nice drive and grind when I needed it. I don't use it all the time because even though the tube emulation circuitry is analog (= good), it still doesn't sound completely like a tube head to me.

    You can experiment and you will likely get "your tone" as it has a lot of sounds in it with the multiple adjustments, but it's versatility is somewhat limited by how many times you want to bend down to adjust it to get different tones for different songs.

    I'm not knocking the unit because it is able to do only one thing at a time, because it does it very well.

    Since I got my Ampeg SVT3 Pro I've not used it that much as the Ampeg has a 5-tube preamp in it and sounds better than the Sans Amp (as it should). I'm actually looking for a better recording preamp and then probably a multi-effect for live use.
  4. WoodyG3


    May 6, 2003
    Colorado, USA
    It seems like most people who I've talked to who like this unit tend to hard rock/metal styles. Does anyone find it useful for folk, lighter rock, oldies, jazz or blues tones? Just wondering...
  5. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    I use the SansAmp for any style.

    I use it for a bit of tube coloration rather than outright overdrive. I mostly play blues and classic rock, but when I play modern rock I dial in a bit more "grit" as I call it. Note that I don't consider it an essential part of my sound... I don't always use it.

    Do a search, you'll find lots of info on the SansAmp DI. As with any piece of gear, some people like it, some people hate it. But it's very popular... many pro studios have one.
  6. I have one and it's really is nice. For metal and heavier rock it's perfect. Lots of dark, growly tones.

    It's pretty versatile so you can get a wide range of sound out of it. The one thing I haven't been able to do well with it is get a slap sound I like. It does something to the highs that seems to mask that detailed pop sound. It may just be that I haven't played with it enough.

    Overall it's an amazing piece of equipment but I would check it out before you buy it. It might not be what your looking for. For the super clean, modern sounds the Tech21 Acoustic DI would probably work better.
  7. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    That's a ridiculous statement that I am hesitant to even quote. Don't worry about it!
  8. SteveC


    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    I had one, sold it (when I went to a PodXT for a couple weeks) and am going to buy one again.

    I went back to an Avaoln U5 for my preamp/DI. It has the sound I need for my upright, and really anything else. It is very clean. There are times when I want a more "dirty" sound. I tend to use the "Fat Tube" setting. I find it's a great general setting to warm up your sound without adding overdrive.

    I will still run the BDDI through the Avalon. That way I know there's a strong signal going to my amp and/or DI to the PA.

    I think they are one of the best pieces of gear you can have and they are pretty reasonably priced - new or used.
  9. iamthebassman


    Feb 24, 2004
    Endorsing Artist: Phantom Guitars, Eastwood Guitars
    I have a SansAmp Bass Driver DI and love the sound. It was my only effect for several years. But now my main effect is the MXR M80. Sort of an advanced version of the SansAmp. The O/D is footswitchable, and it has a 3-band EQ instead of 2 on the SansAmp. I use both but the MXR is used most, about 80% of the time. Listen here:

    Tracks 1 and 4 are a Rickenbacker thru the SansAmp into a miked Ampeg bass combo.
    Tracks 2 and 3 are a Gibson EB-2 thru the same rig.
  10. mark beem

    mark beem Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama
    Great little box....

    Ummmm.. unit..

    Ummmm.. preamp!
  11. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    I own the stomp box and the rack-mount RBI models and really like what the "Presence" control does to the upper harmonics. I don't use it for every gig but always get a good sound when I do take it out. Not greatly fond of it in the studio, however.
  12. riotboi911


    Dec 18, 2004
    i was at the store the other day ready to purchase one of em bad boys.

    but i also say an ampworks modeling processor and a bb2 bottom blaster. so i went to try out those out too.

    in the end i decided to get the ampworks and bb2 over the sansamp cause both together cost less and can do ALOT more.

    the sansamp is still cool. but i think its overrated. just my opinion.
  13. Will a Sansamp bass driver get you a nice gritty, valve style growl?
  14. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS
    Yes sir. Dime the drive knob and it gets a light overdrive, but if you want a SVT-on-11 style overdrive; get a Rust Ride.
  15. Alexander


    Aug 13, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    It's a must-have for me. Allows you to get a great tone out of a bad-okay rig - I used to use it all of the time. Now that I have upgraded substanitally (and finally dialed in MY tone), I don't use it for the most part. However, I take it with me wherever I go in case my rig fails for whatever reason and I need to go direct. I seem to go back and forth with what I prefer, so I imagine I'll add it back in to my rig and play around with it more. A great way to enhance tone for cheap.
  16. Hmmmm, I may have to try one. Will i need a growly bass to get the sound off Never Again?
  17. hey,

    just got back from the store. I was jammin on it for a good 15 minutes. I got the bass tech to show me a couple different setting and I'm really impressed with the sound I was getting.

    I think I'm going to buy this one as an Xmas gift to myself :D hehehe

    thanks for all the comments too.

  18. eqvolvorama

    eqvolvorama Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2000
    Arlington, Virginia
    I use a SABDDI pretty often with my Fender GL Jazz and PJ bass - it gives a really rich edgy overdrive effect without taking away too much of the punch of the bass sound. When I'm not going for a dirty sound, I usually turn it off - it's really hard to get a good clean sound from the SansAmp, but then again that's not what it's meant for.

    The new Bass Pod actually has a setting to emulate the SansAmp Bass Driver, meaning it's emulating something designed to emulate something else. That's a pretty good endorsement right there.
  19. keb


    Mar 30, 2004
    I use mine to add a little miked-amp-like honk to my tone when recording. Most of the time a direct tone is just a little too clean for my purposes, and the SansAmp works great for what I want to use it for: adding in a little grit and rolling off a little of those ultra-clean glassy highs.
  20. matt ramey

    matt ramey

    Dec 11, 2004
    im so glad everyone here knows whats up. sansamp just has got it figured out. it doesnt make sense to me how they did it, but they did.

    sansamp pedals take all the gaps in your sound & just fills in the holes & gives you a rich, warm, beautiful tone.

    thats why i just cut the middle man & now i use the tech21 LM600 bass head. has all the options of the sansamp pedal plus more.

    oh yeah i forgot, its all analog, which is key.