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Sansamp / MXR / Hartke / ??

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by PaulF, Dec 30, 2004.

  1. PaulF


    Nov 17, 2004
    Hi all

    I've been avidly reading posts about preamps - mainly the Sansamp RBI or BDDI (as ir seem to get a lot of 'air time' on here)

    I've just stumbled across some other options - the MXR M-80 and the Hartke Bass Attack Pedal.

    Anyone tried either of these alternatives and able to give me any advice / comparison ??

    Also, are there any other alternatives I should be considering (in this price range) ??


  2. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    I haven't tried the Hartke, I'm not a big fan of Hartke amps so I didn't try the pedal.
    There's the Sansamp, MXR, EBS Microbass II, John East Stompbox, Aguilar DB924, Fodera, Sadowsky preamp/di and a few others. I've tried all the ones I've mentioned by name. They all have different features and pros/cons, but none of them are 'bad' but might not fit your needs.
    To narrow down the list of possibles, think about the features you need:
    1) 2 band or 3 band eq?
    2) DI?
    3) Overdrive/distortion?
    4) Ability to control the overdrive/distortion separately from the eq?
    5) Cut/boost eq or boost only?
    Here's a megathread comparing the MXR and BDDI
  3. CallMeBlind


    Jul 19, 2003
    I think I'm also interested in this post, as I'm looking for the small preamp, actually I was looking for the tube one, but as I understood it would be huge and costly. Many people use sansamp, but I think it's smth for heavy music. I play mostly funk, jazz, r&b at the moment. And I'm looking for smth that can improove my tone, make it warm and fat.
  4. Havent heard much good about the Hartke.

    The MXR looks good, I tried to try one out at a store but it didn't work. Another customer said they break often.

    The sansamp is reliable. I think only people who haven't heard a tube amp would say it sounds liek a tube amp. It doesn't sound bad, but it has a sterile sort of solid state sound, weak in the mids. I knew a guy who used a Mesa 400+, but for one song he wanted to sound scooped, boomy and tinny - for that song he used his sansamp. Distortion on it is best set to "0." The DI feature is nice, it has its uses, but not to warm up your sound.

    DB924 should be great for "warming up" your sound, made my basses have a more rounded, fuller, vintage type tone. Warm and fat as you say, and you can find em used around $100
  5. silky smoove

    silky smoove

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    I would disagree with the sterile comment, but personal tastes vary greatly. I found the Sansamp (using a variation of their "SVT" setting) to be very warm and added a good amount of "grit" to my tone. I love it, its all that I record with.... well, that and my bass.
  6. TampaBlues


    Oct 28, 2002
    Tampa, Florida
    I hear a lot of good things about the aphex bass exciter. so much so that I am considering trying one out!
  7. PaulF


    Nov 17, 2004
    Cheers guys

    just 'waded' through the MXR megathread - seems like the MXR is leaning more towards 'distortion' use, the rbbi more clean / subtle OD.

    But still no-one with any experience of the Hartke box ??

    I've phoned three local stores, all listed on Hartke website as dealers, and while they can all order the Hartke pedal if I want to buy it, they can't get it in for me to try it out !!! How cr*p is that ?? - I've email Hartke direct to tell them... ;)

    David - in answer to your questions:

    1) 2 band or 3 band eq? - 3 (or ideally more - I'm considering getting a GEB7 for 'real' EQ)
    2) DI? - Would be useful, but not essential
    3) Overdrive/distortion? - Not really
    4) Ability to control the overdrive/distortion separately from the eq? - Not really, but maybe 2 or more EQ presets for varying tones
    5) Cut/boost eq or boost only? - No preference.

    I am also looking for some kind of volume level control that's not a traditional volume pedal (I can never get them to stay in the right place when I take my foot off !)
    I'm considering using something like an ME-50B (even though I'll probably never use most of the FX) and setting up each bank with a particular sound, and setting each of the three patch's to the same sound at different levels so I can select volumes from the patch pedals (i.e. quiet, medium and loud).

    I've been going round and round between FX pedals, preamp, new bass head, new bass amp, FX pedals etc.etc for the last 3 weeks, and I'm still not much nearer a decision. It's not helped by not a) not knowing really what I want, and b) not being able to try out many options (as the stores round here are cr*p).

    Anyway, I'll keep thinking - please keep posting ideas


  8. OK, I have to decide between these 2 pedals. I'm looking for a farty, burpy growl(similar to light tube over drive, played with a pick). Which one would be best for my requirements?
  9. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    the sansamp would be closest to that imo