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Sansamp RBI. Accessory or Preamp?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by freshmeat1989, May 23, 2004.

  1. I just use it as an accessory to fatten and warm up my tone

    10 vote(s)
  2. I use it as a preamp along with a poweramp, get it with the QSC!

    23 vote(s)
  3. I use it for both

    9 vote(s)
  4. I dont like the RBI

    4 vote(s)
  1. Do you use this as an accessory to fatten your amps tone, or as a preamp along with a poweramp? I'm trying to get opinions on whether to get this with a QSC RMX1450 or not. I'm almost sure I'm gonna get it, but I just want to know your opinions. Also, if you have an RBI, what do you use it for, and with what, and how is your sound and how do you like it?

    Also, one more thing, with what kind of cable do you hook up a preamp to a poweramp?
  2. Ericman197


    Feb 23, 2004
    You would use a 1/4" to 1/4", XLR to XLR, or 1/4" to XLR, depending on what amp. Right now I'm using my Sansamp RBI with my Mesa Strategy 400 poweramp... loads of tubey goodness. The RBI really is an awesome preamp. I had always planned to replace it with a real tube preamp, but I'm not really sure... it's quite good, so it may stay for some time. You might want to look into the new version of the RBI... Basically the same thing, but with parametric mid control.
  3. Is the new one called the RBI, or that RPM?
  4. CamMcIntyre


    Jun 6, 2000
    I'm using the sansamp RBI as a preamp with my carvin DCM2k. I really dig it. The sound is fairly versatile. The "preset" i've been using is the one that is in the manual for their version of an SVT w/some subtle tweaking. I'd like to get a tube pre sometime-but this one is really cost efficient and sounds good to me. :)
  5. BassDemon


    May 18, 2004
    I've found the RBI to very versatile. Although it won't really do ultra squeaky clean, which is fine with me as I like a bit of grit to the sound.

    The RPM is the new one with a parametric EQ, try both side by side and post a review :)

    You hook the 1/4" effected out from the Sansamp to the 1/4" input on the QSC (I use a PLX 2404)

    Then you hook the XLR effected out to the PA or the Desk.
    Then you hook the the uneffected 1/4" to your tuner

    Then you proceed to ROCK !!!
  6. ster


    Oct 18, 2003
    New Jersey
    An RBI is excellent as a sole preamp, I personally don't think there is a more versatile preamp out there. What sold me on the RBI was the ability to blend the bass's signal with the Sansamp effect or disengage the effect altogether. The distortion is very controllable. There were times during certain songs were the RBI was just nailing the right sound, total Zen moments. The only cons is it isn't programmable and if you are into parametric EQ's. Although with some practice , you can get pretty quick at turning those knobs to where you need them. There is a new preamp coming out from Tech 21 called the RPM. It is a rackmount version of their Acoustic Driver pedal. It has a parametric EQ for the mids but I have no experience with it so I don't know how it sounds compared to an RBI. I hope this helps!
  7. Yeah, I was wondering what that switch that says "active" (the one next to the level control) above it does. Does that turn off distortion, tube emulation, or what?
  8. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    The "active" switch bypasses all preamp processing when disengaged. You also have the "Blend" control, which bypasses the distortion/tube emulation but does not bypass the EQ. In short, the RBI is very versatile.
  9. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Oh yeah: I've used the RBI as my sole preamp the past couple of gigs and I'm really liking it. I'm thinking of getting another RBI or maybe the RPM so I can do channel switching. Then again, I might decide to run the RBI in the FX loop of my Read Purity once that arrives.
  10. FWIW, on the RBI the eq controls are still active when the "Active" button is disengaged.
  11. cowsgomoo

    cowsgomoo gone to Longstanton Spice Museum

    Feb 8, 2003
    the blend knob is the key to my sound... I have it set so most of the sound is of the dry bass.. the drive and presence are at 12 o clock (about halfway), but I have the blend set to about 1/4 RBI and the rest is dry

    I have compression-eq-sonic maximiser in the effects chain, and leave the eq knobs on the RBI alone (I can't get anything I like out of them)

    it gives me a backbone of lots of clean tone, with a warm tubey edge blended into it... if I need a bit more grit on a tune, I can put a bit more of the overdriven sound in...
  12. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Interesting: the "Active" button isn't mentioned in the RBI manual... I'll doublecheck tonight. FWIW, on the SABDDI the EQ is bypassed by the footswitch, but it could be that the RBI operates differently.

    OBTW, last gig I experimented with a stereo setup using both the effected and uneffected outputs of the RBI: the dirty signal went to my top cabinet and the clean signal to the bottom. After some tweaking I got a very nice tone and actually received a compliment from another bassist.

    P.S. I agree that the Blend control is a huge key. Setting blend to 100% gives a fairly severe mid scoop. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I prefer Blend set at 40-50% so my signal is only slightly overdriven/scooped.
  13. Look at the picture I provided. Its next to the "Level" control. What does the level control do?
  14. CamMcIntyre


    Jun 6, 2000
    If you're referring to the XLR control i think it controls the XLR outputs on back. E.g. is a level control for those. I generally use the XLR outs as the DI. The level control is essentially the volume knob. Once i get another cab-i plan on experimenting with sending the different cabs different signals. E.g. the clean signal to one and the sansamp affected signal to the other.

    That's all
  15. Sorry Fuzz - Just got home and check the operation of my RBI AND...the EQ IS deactivated when the "Active" button is disengaged. I could have sworn this was not the case. Checked the manual and realized the EQ remains active regardless of the blend knob setting. In other words the EQ is still active even if the blend know is cranked 100% dry instrument signal.

    I was confused - and apparently wrong. Ready, fire, aim..............
  16. Mcrelly


    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    I use my RBI primarily as a preamp with a stewart 1.2 amp. sometimes if I'm playing through someone elses combo I'll bring my RBI and put it on the front end to help improve the sound of inferior sounding designs, cheap combos...

    I asked my dealer what the "active" switch is for and he jokingly said "its to remind you how much the RBI improves your guitar's tone!!!"

    I'm looking forward to the RPM and will keep it if it sounds like channel two on the tech21 heads.
  17. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    You have an RPM on the way? Cool, I'm looking forward to the review. It's very interesting that a Drive control is added to the RPM... I'd like to know how it compares to the RBI's Drive.
  18. I dont understand what the RPM really is over the RBI. Can someone explain?
  19. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    The major difference is the parametric mid on the RPM. I think it would be fun to use RPM *and* RBI, because of the neat channel-switching feature. Seems to me that the RBI would be better at dirty and the RPM better at clean, but the RPM also has a Drive knob so I'll wait for Mcrelly's review.
  20. Mcrelly


    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    As far as I understand the RPM will be like the acoustic DI but tuned an octive lower. I asked my dealer if the rpm could good for acoustic guitar. he said probably not because of the octave difference. the rpm compared to the rbi will also have a "blend" (guitar vs. sansamp sound) and "drive" (overdrive or 'tubey' sound).

    yes, I have an RPM on order from my dealer. about two weeks ago they were gonna ship 2 units on order for me and FISHBULB who works at the store I ordered from. they said that on the final quality check before going out the door they found "problems". after checking back a week later fishbulb told me it might not arive until sometime in june. maybe some parts quality problems for the first run. not suprising for any first run, but we'll see.

    I suspect, maybe ask someone who owns a tech21 landmark 300/600 head, the difference between the RBI and RPM is, if I remember my experience correctly, the "ch1" was more fat, possibly more bass, but had a fixed mid frequency. It did have the "drive" & "blend" controls. "ch2" was a little thinner sounding, but had the sweepable mids that allowed a better cut through frequency selection.

    I hope I don't sound like a broken record, but my hopes are high for the RPM.