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Sansamp+poweramp+cab (whats the deal)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Arlekiin, May 2, 2010.

  1. Arlekiin


    Mar 29, 2010
    Estonia, Tallinn
    Designer and founder of "The Board" https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Board/716552605119644?ref=br_tf

    So I hear some bassists play through sansamp and poweramp combo. I also hear you do not need a "Bass poweramp" but anything will do, is that true?

    In short can someone point me to a right if I was interested in something like that. Can I play from sansamp to my Beyerdynamic DT770 headphones aswell?
    Sansamps seem small and effective.
    Can they hold their own against tube monsters?

    Thank you all information will be greatly appreciated. :bassist:
  2. the only advantage I can think of to having a "bass poweramp" would be that it's logo matches with your cabs.

    If you are playing cleanish than it will be close, if you are into overdrive or dirty tones tube amps are much more complex sounding. There are lots of amps out there that sound almost as good as tube amps. But the only thing that sounds like a tube amp (feels like a tube amp more importantly) is a tube amp.

    I used to run a 1200 watt power amp with a bass preamp in front of it. When I switched over to tubes heads I got louder even though I was, on paper, pushing less watts.
    Truth is for the price of a sansamp and QSC power amp new, you can pick up a used Mesa or Ampeg tube head. Which in the case of the mesa, is the only way you can get them. They stopped making the all tube heads a few years ago.
  3. Arlekiin


    Mar 29, 2010
    Estonia, Tallinn
    Designer and founder of "The Board" https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Board/716552605119644?ref=br_tf
    Thank you that was insightful,

    Well as for what I am playing, I am playing growlish and I love the dynamics all-tube gives you.

    However as I have mentioned in one of my previous threads I did like Markbass R500 which only has tube pre-section but it gave nice sound.

    Now my payday is near and I have 1500-2000 USD I want to spend on amplification and I was thinking if maybe the sansamp would be the answer but it seems only way you can have that tube sound is to have tubes :p
  4. Johnny Crab

    Johnny Crab ACME,QSC,Fame/Hondo/Greco/HELIX user & BOSE Abuser Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2004
    South Texas
    What Cal said ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^.

    The other main differences are:
    The SansAmp doesn't weigh a lot and it won't require tubes and power supply rebuilds like tube amps do.

    The SansAmp probably won't crater at a gig(i.e. start putting farting noises out or huge hum) or change it's tone/sound if the line voltage to it varies(tube amps may vary). It will be more consistent.
  5. While it is true that only a tube amp sounds EXACTLY like a tube amp, Sansamp comes "close enough" that many tube players have converted over.

    I don't agree with Cal's statement that a used tube amp can be had for the same price as a pre/power setup. You can easily put together a Sansamp RBI and a powerful power amp rig for around $500 used.

    Then there is the maintanence to consider............with the Sansamp and power amp setup you will not have to re-tube, and it will be generally more reliable.

    So...........it all depends on what you really want/need.

    With a pre/power setup, you can have whatever power level you need, less weight, no maintanence, higher reliability, and less cost.
  6. Arlekiin


    Mar 29, 2010
    Estonia, Tallinn
    Designer and founder of "The Board" https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Board/716552605119644?ref=br_tf
    Hmm very tempting, I just learned I could have a full tube amp built for me.
    It would have L6L valves and it would put out 120W (Pure watts).
    Which is supposedly alot/enough for home use and to drive 2x15"+4x10" Cab.

    Cabs I am planning to get currently are. And I want to find an amp that can do that :p thats a tad under 2000W :p

    Two of 1x15" orange
    One of 4x10" orange isobaric/or traditional I have not decided yet.
  7. Kael


    Dec 26, 2004
    Oklahoma City
    Note: Although you don't say so, I am presuming you mean the TEch 21 SABDDI unit when you say sansamp. I believe that there are several different products that use the sansamp title.

    I sometimes use my SABDDI into a Crown MA 2402. Works just fine as long as you like the sansamp sound and are ok with the EQ that is there (which is less than most bass heads offer). Volume wise 2K watts out of the lead sled Crown into a 410 will stun small mammals.

    IMO, if you want to run a pre/power rig, the SABDDI is a relatively inexpensive way to go although it would probably make more sense to get a rack mounted unit. Something like the RBI would be a better choice. On the other hand, if you like the ability to keep your preamp in a gig bag and take it to amp'less gigs and have the same tone even when you leave the rig at home, the SABDDI is the way to go. The SABDDI is VERY colored. Enough so that even if you are using a backline rig, you are going to sound about like you do through your own rig as long as you use the SABDDI in both situations. This means that you will always know what your tone will be. On the other hand, if you don't like the inherent SABDDI tone, you are screwed.
  8. Arlekiin


    Mar 29, 2010
    Estonia, Tallinn
    Designer and founder of "The Board" https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Board/716552605119644?ref=br_tf
    Hmm it sounds more and more like one needs both :p
  9. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    The coloration on the SansAmp units can be reduced significantly by keeping the Blend knob below 50% (noon): that way you get more clean signal mixed with the tube emulation. I usually keep Blend at 40%, which allows me to turn up Drive... that way I get a lot of tubey effect without making my bass sound too blurry.

    I use the SansAmp RBI, which is the rackmount version of their Bass Driver DI pedal.
  10. Otoh I would say that running a pre-poweramp setup is not without maintenance issues. I know when I ran such a rig(pearce/intersound ivp 1 and qsc power amp) I was a more frequent customer of the reconing service. And these days most power amps have TOO much power on tap!
    As far as price, I figger $2-300 for an rackable sansamp and $500 for a good power amp. That's easily in used Mesa/ampeg territory. Of course the little pocket version is cheaper. The pearce ivp can be found for round $100 or so as can the old green face furman pre.
  11. if you want tube sound, just go ahead and get tubes, a big poweramp is close to as heavy as a tube head anyways, but if you prefer the SS tone or are worried about reliability on the road or the ability to change preamps if your taste in tone changes then a pre + power rig may be for you
  12. Arlekiin


    Mar 29, 2010
    Estonia, Tallinn
    Designer and founder of "The Board" https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Board/716552605119644?ref=br_tf
    Thank you for answers.

    How does one close a thread? If its something admin's do this thread is ready to be closed at least in my opinion.
  13. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups

    i've only owned one tube amp that required a power transformer rebuild, and that was on my b-15n, and it was because a previous owner dropped it and smashed the power transformer. it still worked, but it was ugly, so i had it replaced. as far as tubes, sure, sometimes a tube needs replaced, but it's not commonplace unless you're abusive to your amp, or unless you like running it flat out on 10 all the time. i have amps with ancient tubes in them (like from the 70's) that show no signs of needing replaced any time soon. also, the voltage/tone thing is very overrated as well. i've yet to ever hear a difference caused by fluctuating line voltage.

    people who don't use tube amps very often are fond of saying how high maintenance they are. but i've had just as much work done on ss amps i've owned as tube amps, so as far as i'm concerned it's an old wives' tale.

    arlekiin, though i don't think it's necessary to own a tube amp to sound great (for example, i'm loving my micro vr and sansamp vt bass deluxe), but they are tube simulations, and nothing is quite like the real thing.

    now you can close it ;) or leave it open...no need to close it.
  14. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    I use a SansAmp/power amp set up. If I could afford a tube amp, I'd switch right now. Not that the SansAmp ( RBI) doesn't sound great, it does, but it is not a tube amp and it does not sound like a tube amp.
  15. Thumpinthenight


    Apr 13, 2004
    New York
    I use a Sansamp RPM in front of a Carvin DCM2000L and am really happy. Lots of tone choice, won't break the bank either. Just another advantage with the P-Amp combo; if you get tired of the tones, you can always drop in another pre amp and go exploring again.

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