SansAmp DI as preamp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by jongor, Jul 15, 2003.

  1. jongor


    Jan 11, 2003
    I recently picked up a SansAmp Bassdriver DI, love it, makes both my basses sound good.

    What I was wondering is if anyone has used it as the only preamp before going straight into a power amp.....?

    I've got the DI and the Tech21 compressor, which also has tone controls on it. Would that be enought tone shaping possibilities?

    If so, what amps would you recommend? I'm partial to the grinding Ampeg tone, but heard an Ashdown recently that was awesome.

  2. junglebike


    Feb 14, 2003
    San Diego, CA
    The BDDI doesn't have enough output to properly drive a power amp, from what I recall. The obvious solution is to get an RBI preamp. The standard Talkbass rig is: RBI -> QSC -> Avatar. It gives you great flexibility for upgrading components down the line, is inexpensive, and it maximizes your ability to buy and sell stuff :)

    You should be able to sell your BDDI and buy an RBI for a $50-$100 cash outlay. The RBI has a more flexible EQ, so you wouldn't even need the compressor probably.

    If you like Ampeg, the RBI is a great option, and probably cheapest by far. Ashdown is fantastic for that old-school vibe as well.

    What are your requirements re: power/volume, portability, etc.?
  3. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    SW, OK
    "SansAmp Bass Driver DI can be used as a pre-amp or stomp box with your existing stage rig. You can drive a power amp and speaker cabinets. Or go direct into the mixer of a recorder or P.A. You can also plug into a power amp or conventional bass amp and a P.A. system simultaneously."

    The BDDI is not as flexible as the RBI, but it should do the job.

    JB, that's the first I've heard of a TalkBass Standard Rig.
  4. I think what JB meant was RBI's, QSC, and Avatars are very popular here. I believe that. As far as standard, I own none of those.
  5. I only use mine on stage. It does a great job.
    I think it can easily drive a power amp, though.
    What don't you try?
    I would just say the EQ really misses a middle knob(I concede we can use the blend but it's not the same, it looses the warmth). Besides that, it's the perfect box for recording,gigs...
  6. aaron f.

    aaron f.

    Oct 21, 2000
    the SABDDI is a great tool, i own one, anyway i've had many of the same questions you have jongor. From what i've heard most power amps are designed for line level input +4dbu, unfortunately the SABDDI's output is below this i don't know the exact output voltage. It may not be powerfull enough to run some of the larger poweramps at their full potential. The solution is to put a device like a compressor or EQ in between the SABDDI and the power amp, one which give you the option of boosting the output to +4 dbu, i think Behringer makes a cheap compressor autocom pro i think it's called. There are several other devices by other manufacturers aswell. There is also a mod which can be performed on the SABDDI, if you remove a resistor the XLR output jack will send a +4dbu signal, but I wouldn't go messing around inside it unless I absolutely had to. Hope thus helps.

  7. cheeseman


    Feb 3, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I run the Sansamp BDDI -> Carvin DCM1000 -> Trace Elliot/Avatar cabs. I get plenty of headroom/power, and a tone that I like, It can be grindy if you want, my drive is set just about halfway and its fairly grindy. But I've also got a boost from active pickups and and active onboard preamp.


  8. junglebike


    Feb 14, 2003
    San Diego, CA
    <grabs BDDI and plugs into Stewart World 600, plugs in bass>

    hmm... well, it *works* in that you do get a bass sound out of the cabinet. Problem is that it's not very loud, particularly if the pedal is disengaged (i.e. raw bass tone). You can boost the hell out of everything and get a good volume, but then it's not really a flexible pre at all. It also doesn't sound very good.

    I'd say it's servicable as a backup, or if you have some million-watt poweramp you don't need to drive to clipping, but it seems silly to use it for something which it clearly was not designed. It seems to be about 3-4db down in output relative to what you'd like. Could this be to make the thing more usable in effects loops?

    As for the "TB Standard Rig", I'd wager that if a newbie walked in here and said, "I want to play rock, and I have $1000 to spend" the majority opinion would be RBI, QSC/Carvin, and Avatar.

    At least that's what everyone told *me* when I started here...
  9. junglebike


    Feb 14, 2003
    San Diego, CA

    Do you have a link/info regarding this mod? Seems like it would make the pedal much more useful!
  10. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    SW, OK
    From what I've heard, the input sensitivity (and input impedence) of the particular power amp being used is the main issue in what type of input is needed to drive a power amp to it rated output.

    It seems to me that this would be the main factor in whether a particular power amp can be adequately driven by a BDDI.

    The "standard TalkBass rig" thing just made it sound like the powers that be at TB were officially recommending a particular rig.
  11. aaron f.

    aaron f.

    Oct 21, 2000
    hey junglebike

    this is the name of the thread about the mod:

    Sansamp QSC question (you'll have to search for it, i don't know how to link to it)

    here's one of Bob Lee's posts concerning the mod:

    "According to Lloyd Schwartz at Tech21, the SansAmp can be modded so that its XLR output can put out up to +4 dBu, which is enough to drive a PLX 2402 to full power.

    Here's what he wrote to me:

    When you remove the back cover of the Bass Driver, you'll see a "black box".
    Just to
    the right of its lower right corner, there's a resistor surrounded by two
    It looks like this:

    >O< (except it's square)

    Remove it, and you're done!

    BTW, the resistor is an SMT type (a small black rectangular shape]."
  12. Fishface


    Jul 26, 2002
    Denver, Colorado



    I'll have to keep that in mind.
  13. junglebike


    Feb 14, 2003
    San Diego, CA
    lo-freq: it's both -- the input specs of the amp, plus the output specs of the preamp. The Sansamp has a very low output voltage, so it needs an especially sensitive amp.

    Aaron -- thanks a lot! I'm looking at the surface mount resistor right now (BTW, it's BLUE and has "332" written on it) and trying to figure out a way to make that mod switchable...

    It's not my BDDI, so I probably should ask first :D
  14. aaron f.

    aaron f.

    Oct 21, 2000
    yeah i opened mine up a while back but seeing as i'm a poor college student and my only soldering expereince was wireing in a set of barts i decided not to tempt fate, if you do it tell me how it went.
  15. junglebike


    Feb 14, 2003
    San Diego, CA
    Thanks for the confirmation, meekster!

    Is there a downside to performing this mod? Do you loose any functionality? If not, why don't they come this way from the factory?
  16. junglebike


    Feb 14, 2003
    San Diego, CA
    Yeah, I thought about that -- you lose the XLR out to board...

    Can you use a Y-cable to get two XLR outs? Or would this draw too much juice?

    Adding a DI box isn't bad. Amazingly versatile unit, the BDDI!
  17. joeybcdt


    May 6, 2004
    SE Texas
    I haven't broken in to mine yet. Is there enough room in there to add a switch to the case? You could throw the switch to "jump" the resistor.
  18. PolkaHero


    Jan 5, 2002
    Guys, the Sansamp has a 1/4" output that puts out a lot more voltage than the XLR output does. Use the 1/4" output into your power amp and keep the XLR free for either a line out to the P.A. or recording! No modification necessary! I'm running a QSC PLX3002 that has a high input sensitivity and I get plenty of drive from the Sansamp without having to crank the level control.
  19. so, are there some of you who uses the BDDI programable as a pre?

    thinking of going that way myself.
  20. arenĀ“t there? :eyebrow: