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Sansamp pedal? What is it? Do I need it?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by ping23, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. ping23


    Feb 2, 2013
    I am a new bass player. I was a drummer for years but have picked up the bass about 6months ago. I just got a 300w GK head to two 4x10 cabs. Usually just run the one cab. My buddy who plays bass has been telling me since I got my bass to get a sansamp pedal. It's a tech21 pedal.


    That's the pedal there. What does it do? What do I need it for? What is the DI?
  2. Ping23,
    You may want to let us know which GK head you have. It may already have a direct input (xlr out which goes to the soundboard/snake for front-of-house sound). Other people on this forum will probably advise on the Sansamp.
  3. AdamR

    AdamR Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2007
    Bethel CT
    Endorsing Artist: VF Cables, Dirtbag Clothing
    Its a DI/EQ/Dirt pedal. Its not a bad idea to have one if you play out. It can save you if your amp dies. It also great for recording and Im willing to bet a good 75% of rock albums the bass is recorded through a Bass Driver.
  4. jgroh

    jgroh Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007
    You dont NEED one. Its one of those things that some people really like and others dont. I have a sansamp RPM preamp and did have the VT bass pedal but didnt like it and sold it. I wouldnt worry about getting anything else, just play.
  5. ping23


    Feb 2, 2013
    The head is a GK Backline 600.
  6. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon. Supporting Member

    I just bought a $1300 PREAMP and still use the Sansamp. It is a a great pedal.

    I would highly recommend buying the Programmable version. The programmable version has 3 presets and is only $10-20 more.

    The DI allows you to use a MIC cable to plug into a PA.

    The pedal will give you overdrive/distortion, a tool slap tone, just clean boost, etc.
  7. JonnyAngle

    JonnyAngle Dropping Acid Pedal Etching .com Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 24, 2008
    Maple Grove, MN
    STAY AWAY! Once you start getting pedals, you can't stop.
  8. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains

    It's a pedal that was designed to emulate the sound of an SVT amp. The DI portion can connect to recording gear or a mixing console and you can get the same sound without the use of an amp. Or, in other terms...sans amp.

    If you decide you want one, go for the ParaDriver over the BassDriver. It's the same thing only it has an added mid control.
  9. AdamR

    AdamR Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2007
    Bethel CT
    Endorsing Artist: VF Cables, Dirtbag Clothing
    Thats not true. They only pedals I ever used for bass were a BDDI and a VT bass. Other than that I hate pedals for bass.

    I wish they would do a programmable ParaDriver already.
  10. There are other pedals similar to the SansAmp you might want to look at too. Check out the MXR M80. Same basic thing but $60 less. Also, for the same price as the SansAmp you could have a Zoom B3 multi-effects pedal. The Zoom will give you way more effects than you will ever need but it's a lot of fun to play with, has a DI and is well built.
  11. Just bought a Bass Driver Deluxe and used it for the first time last night, very impressed. Practice room amp is a Peavey TNT 115 that I hate the sound of. Used the pedal direct to power amp input and loved it. Finally got a decent sound out of that Peavey.

    I've been using a Radial ToneBone for my main gig but not on my side projects and was looking for something with a few more presets as my projects are pretty diverse styles of music from each other. With 2 banks of 3 settings this is the cats meow.

    For me something with programmable presets just works better for me, if your playing the same rig and same style of music all night you may not need one. I will say with the tone variations & tweaks the Sans Amp pedals give you it is not a bad investment.
  12. Ping23,
    The picture of the GK Backline 600 shows a Direct Out section with the XLR connector next to the power button - this would be your DI from your amp.
    Do you need the Sansamp? Not as a DI. You may want to try one out to see if you like the tone it will generate which would likely sound 'warmer' than the tone you would get from your amp (which, I believe, would be solid state).
  13. AdamR

    AdamR Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2007
    Bethel CT
    Endorsing Artist: VF Cables, Dirtbag Clothing
    If that amp does during a gig the DI isnt going to do anything.
  14. craig.p


    Sep 28, 2008
    New Hampshire
    Spend some time with your new amp first and get to know it, without any additional effects. Pay special attention to G-K's "special" way of doing EQ: Flat, if I remember right, is (o'clock) 10, 2, 1, 10 left to right (treble to bass). All controls straight up means a HUGE amount of boost in the bass and high treble regions. So, find your tone using that info.

    Why do I emphasize this so much? Because a BDDI will change your tone at least moderately, no matter how you set it. So, if you haven't already established a "baseline good" setting at your amp, then you could spend weeks trying to get things sorted out with the additional tone stamp provided by the BDDI.
  15. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    If you've got good P.A. support and in-ear monitors, a SansAmp is all you need for a rig.


    I've played dozens of gigs with bass to SansAmp to the board... no bass amp on stage at all. The sound is great and it's literally one trip from the truck to the stage with the SansAmp and my earbuds riding in my bass case. Pretty sweet when you get to be my age and hauling 100-lb bass cabinets has lost its appeal.

    Also, count me in as a vote for the ParaDriver which includes the midrange EQ that the Bass Driver lacks.
  16. CL400Peavey

    CL400Peavey Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2011
    Grand Rapids Michigan
    IMHO I like the Aguilar ToneHammer di/pedal better than the SA one. There are other similar products out there, they will all suit different users. A DI/Pre is worth having in your arsenal, as you may be required to use a DI at a gig. At least if its one of your choosing you will have some level of control of your sound to the front of the house.
  17. Your amp has a DI (direct injector, not direct input- it's an output), which is an XLR output for the mixing board (XLR is the type of connector microphone cables use, they are low impedance and support longer runs than, for example, your high impedance instrument cable).

    You do not need a SansAmp, although they are very popular. I have one and don't particularly like it, but I have found it is good for the following:

    - Backup for your amp, if you go straight into the PA and monitor yourself through the stage wedges alone it can really help tighten up your tone.

    - Mimic an Ampeg sound.

    - Make a cheap low-powered combo, or even a guitar amp in a pinch, suffice as a bass amp. The better the amp I am using, the less I feel it helps, and after a certain point I feel like it detracts from the natural sound of my bass.

    LOTS of people swear by them. Why don't you borrow your buddies and try it through your rig? Make sure to try it at a rehearsal so you can really hear how the mids character effects your tone.

    Since it doesn't have a mids knob, the only way to boost mids is to cut bass and treble and boost the output or drive knob (both effectively increase volume).
  18. dincz


    Sep 25, 2010
    Czech Republic
  19. Art Araya

    Art Araya

    May 29, 2006
    Palm Coast, FL
    It's basically a DI. A DI is a direct input device. It allows you to connect your bass to a sound board with the DI acting as the intermediary. The Direct Input box takes a high impedance, unbalanced signal (your bass) and converts it to a low impedance, balanced signal (which is required by the sound board).

    You plug your bass into the DI box via a 1/4 speaker cable, and you plug the DI box into a sound board via an XLR cable.

    If you have an amp, there are others ways that the sound man can get your bass signal into the sound board:

    1) Many amps have a DI output that the XLR can plug into
    2) The sound man can put a microphone in front of your cab and send the mic'ed signal to the sound board.

    DIs are handy if your amp doesn't provide a DI output or if your amp dies or if you're playing a place where an amp is not required. In those cases you plug your bass into the DI and the soundman can provide a monitor for you and pump your bass thru your monitor.

    SansAmp is one DI - there are others. It's got its own sound that some love. I never cared for it much. I used to carry a SansAmp with me everywhere as a backup but never ended up needing it so I sold it.

  20. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    Yes you need one