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Sansamp PSA 1.1 vs Sansamp RBI

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by united, Apr 20, 2009.

  1. united


    Apr 20, 2009
    Rovigo - Italy
    Can you give your opinion on the use of Sansamp PSA 1.1 for lives? It doesn't have mid controls. Is it better the Sansamp RBI for bass?
  2. stflbn


    May 10, 2007
    Well, it's programmable, which is valuable in itself.

    I had a PSA 1 and a 1.1 that I used for a cover band project. I never had any problem getting mids out of it via it's different knobs. Basically it has 3 knobs that can add overdrive/distortion to a patch. One is Lows oriented OD/Dist, the second is Mids OD/Dist and the third is Treble OD/Dist. None of those knobs really start to break up until around noon or more, so it gives you a lot of room to tailor your sounds with combined with the traditional Bass and Treble knobs on the unit as well as the Presence knob.

    If I recall correctly from memory.

    (NOTE: higher gain settings of the Mid and Treble oriented knobs can introduce some feedback, but only on high settings that I really didn't find usable.)
  3. united


    Apr 20, 2009
    Rovigo - Italy
    So you used it and didn't find any problem to create your sound in your band, right? The PSA 1.1 has this knobs: pre-amp,buzz, punch, crunch, drive, low, high and level. Which are the ones you referred to?
    One last question: I have a Markbass SA 450 as head and the DBX 160a compressor. I thought to connect the output of the PSA 1.1 in the return of my head, and the DBX in the send - return loop effect of the PSA 1.1. Is it correct? But can I connect the output of PSA 1.1 to the input of my head whitout any risk of damage for it?
    Thanks a lot
  4. united


    Apr 20, 2009
    Rovigo - Italy
    I found that the 3 knobs are Buzz, Crunch and Punch, right?
    Anyway, I'd like to know if connecting the output of Psa to the input of my Markbass head there would be any risk of damaging components...
    Another question (the last, I hope.......... ;) ): with Sansamp PSA 1.1 can I only have "hard sounds", or can I have warm sounds anyway?
    Thanks a lot...
  5. Hi There,
    I have a little experience with the PSA.I hope I can help you.
    I would recommend running the PSA into the effects return of the Markbass which will bypass the preamp of the Markbass turning it into a power amp basically.. Or running the PSA in the effects loop. I've done this with other preamps into my amps and it shouldn't cause any problems. I wouldn't run into the input of the Markbass as you will probably get clipping or extra noise which won't sound very good .Using the PSA you may not need to use your DBX compressor either. You can certainly get warm clean tones out of the PSA you will just need to tweak.Hope this helps.
  6. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Roselle, IL
    I used to own the PSA-1 (not the new version) and I will tell you that you can get a multitude of distortion tones out of the unit along with some convincing warm tube tones. I must have been using mine incorrectly, but I mostly got a mess of sounds - my tone always sounded like it was covered with a blanket. Hopefully the new version has improved on that aspect.

    I would say it is better than the RBI for bass. The RBI has that inherent midrange scoop to it even with that mid control. The PSA-1 did not have that scoop from what I heard.

    Can I ask what you are trying to get out of your setup with the PSA1.1?
  7. The PSA is not designed for bass in the same way that the RBI was but that doesn't mean you can't use it that way... The PSA was designed as more of a distortion effects unit/preamp (i know many guitarists that love this in studio!) but you can get some useful bass tones from it too if that is what you are looking for
  8. united


    Apr 20, 2009
    Rovigo - Italy
    First of all thanks for the answers!
    @Brentsimons: why do you say that I may not need to use my compressor ? (I love it.......)
    @ Gearhead17: The genre I play with my first group is rock, (Queen, U2 etc...), so I can use my Markbass without any other needs of sound. Now, I started to join a new group more "hard rock", so I need more "hard" sounds. I like very much the psa 1.1 for its programmability... What do you think about it? Are you telling me that you prefer psa to rbi for bass, in spite of rbi is specifically bass-oriented?
    @ Son of Bovril: thanks. Have you tried it personally with bass?

    Anyway, any opinion is helpful!
  9. Hi United,
    The Sansamps have some natural compression to them since they are trying to emulate tubes. It might be overkill having the natural compression of the Sansamp and then adding more compression on top of your sound with the DBX. I did have the opportunity to try the PSA with a bass and it sounds quote good. You will need to tweak though, so be prepared. But there are several "Bass" presets already programmed in like "SVT", "Bassman", "Yes", "Slap Bass", etc which are good starting points. Just don't stand in front of your amp with your bass on while you are scrolling through the guitar presets if you value your hearing! Take Care,
  10. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Roselle, IL
    I don't prefer the PSA 1.1 or the RBI. The RBI gives you a hard edged tone, but the radical tone adjustment it makes, in my opinion, is not worth your time. It is made for bass guitar, but I don't think it is too friendly for bass tones. The PSA-1, yeah, I am going to agree about the massive compression it put on my sound trying to emulate power tube distortion. I also got rid of the PSA-1 because it was too complex. I know my way around amps and I even own a SVT 4 PRO - but the PSA-1 was just too annoying to mess with.

    For live use, I suggest going the pedal route. The PSA1.1 can create a multitude of distortion tones, your audience and most likely your bandmates are going to notice two tone changes, clean - dirty. A fuzzy sound versus good overdrive will be somewhat noticeable, but with a loud band behind you - it won't matter to anyone but you.

    Blackstar DistX - I recommend that pedal for heavy distortion. It gives you the compression feeling and sounds quite good. The tone is reminds me of Rex Brown on Pantera's - Reinventing the Steel. Heavy sounding!

    For my distortion needs live, I employ this blend pedal: Radial Big Shot. It keeps my original tone and combines it with my distortion tone (El Grande Bass Fuzz or Tech 21 XXL). I send one combined signal to my rig and blast off! I also recommend that you try the Tech 21 XXL for Bass. That pedal keeps the midrange and is very crunchy/fuzzy at the same time. El Grande Fuzz gives you that Metallica - Anesthesia Pulling Teeth Fuzz sound immediately.

    Be careful with the compressor you have in conjunction with the Blackstar DistX - too much compression can be very bad.


    Bass distortion effects versus Guitar Distortion effects - About 80% of the time, the bass Distortion pedal is usually putting out the same distortion tone as it's counterpart guitar pedal. Sometimes the maker adds in low end friendly circuitry while the guitar pedal would round off the sound below 80hz or sooner. At times though, the bass pedal can be designed to give you specific bass distortion tones like the RBI. It's up to your ears to decide what you really like. Distortion is generally distortion - Bass players for many years have been using guitar rigs separately miced on stage and in the studio to get that raging distortion tone blended in with their clean tone. Follow your ears and rock on!
  11. yes I've tried it on bass before in studio - used it tracking some distorted bass tracks. While it can do clean as well, I think it is in the overdriven/distortion that it is strongest. I've used the RBI as well which I think does a better clean tone than the PSA but I feel the mid adjustment is centered a bit too high for my liking.

    If you are looking for a growly or overdriven tone then either of these models will give you that, but if you want a good clean tone with decent adjustment there are better options out there than the sansamp PSA and RBI

    maybe look at the RPM
  12. Malachi71


    Oct 11, 2007
    I agree, look at the RPM. It's not as scooped as the RBI. It has a wide range of tones from really clean to really overdriven...really!
  13. united


    Apr 20, 2009
    Rovigo - Italy
    ok, thank you very much for the help... I will look around for a while... And what do you say about Bass pod Xt pro?
  14. The best Pbass fuzz sound, I mess with a lot of pedals before and sold all of it when I discover the PSA. But a nice clean sound for the Jazz Bass or the MusicMan. The preset is a real bonus. Very user friendly.

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