Sansamp RBI cons?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by brothernewt, Nov 30, 2005.

  1. brothernewt

    brothernewt Some people call me the stormtrooper of love...

    Apr 13, 2004
    Gladstone, OR
    Anyone have negative comments about the RBI?

    My SVP has thus far been unreliable. I need a backup and this looks like an innexpensive and useful tool... but I'd like to hear cons before pitching $300 bucks at one right before xmas.
  2. I just got mine used for 230 last night. I was up unil about 1 in the morning playing with it getting all types of different sounds on it. I am running it out of a GK Backline stack (backline 600, 410, 115), and even though I hate the amp/cab setup normally, this makes my tone actually usable. It sounds a lot thicker now. I am very happy with it. I havent found a con so far other than the fact that it doenst have tubes (which most love in any head or preamp). Tube emmulation only comes close, it will NEVER be spot on to a tube sound.

  3. That, my friend, is one big fact! That fact is, for some people, the biggest con there is to this RBI preamp. For others it is not.
  4. Blues Bass 2

    Blues Bass 2 Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2001
    Davenport Iowa
    Sorry,I don't have anything negative.I've had mine for about three years and haven't had anything go wrong with it yet.I like the stage sound and the soundmen like the direct sound.Not much to go wrong with these.Look for a used one,they pop up quite a bit in the classifieds and they are very sturdy.
  5. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    No negatives for me! My RBI is reliable, versatile, and as quiet as any piece of gear I own.

    I also dig the tone. In fact, when I set Drive just right, the RBI emulates the sound of hot *power* tubes better than preamps that contain real tubes. The RBI is no substitute for an all-tube head, but then *no* preamp is.

    The one caveat is that the SansAmp tube emulation has an inherent mid scoop. But many players find that scoop to be pleasing, and those that don't can reduce it by attenuating the Blend control.

    For clean uncolored response, it's better to buy one of the many high-dollar preamps out there. But the bottom line is that people who buy SansAmp and Ampeg gear are looking for a certain tone, likely with some grit to it.

    P.S. Sorry to hear about your SVP-Pro problems... I own one of those too, and have been lucky I guess. The SVP has much better mid-shaping ability than the RBI, but keep in mind that with the RBI you can boost mids by cutting bass and treble... don't be afraid to try that (if you get one!)
  6. As Fuzzbass also just said, having preamp tubes doesnt give you a tube sound, the tube sound everyone raves on about comes from a tube power section, and the RBI emulates that

    And Fuzzbass, thats the BDDI your thinking about with the mids, the RBI has an actual Mid control
  7. What he was saying is that the RBI's Blend control will scoop the mids if you turn it past a certain point, much like SWR's Aural Enhancer. Whether or not you can counter that with the Mid control, I'm not sure.. never tried it. I found the sweet spot on the Blend and I leave it there.
  8. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Very true.

    P.S. The mid control doesn't counter the mid scoop, but is useful for adding mids.
  9. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    The RBI does have a mid, of course. My post was vague. I was comparing mid-shaping ability of RBI vs. SVP-Pro. I should have stated that reducing bass and treble is a second way of boosting mids on the RBI.
  10. Sorry, my bad, it just sounded exactly like the BDDI does things, i didnt know the RBI did the same (mid control aside) :)
  11. westland

    westland Supporting Member


    It's not the real thing, but close enough. Weighs a lot less, is more durable than tubes, and you have a greater versatility in settings than with any tube amp. You can go from clean to feedback laden overdrive with a lot of tones inbetween. And it's cheap. To my ears, what isn't available is the high-quality 100% tubey, pristine, warm, clean sound of a good tube amp like an Aguilar. But if you are going for 80% tube warmth, OK. Or for a dirty tube sound, it really is better in many ways than the real thing.
  12. Mcrelly


    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    when I first got my RBI I loved it to death, not really, but ALOT! I tried the RPM, but eventually realized the 'BRIGHTER" RBI sound was preferrable. I own two right now, but recently have been woowed back to a tube front-end by a EDEN WT-300 head.

    The 'potential' RBI negative in my mind: The 'tube emulation' does not replace the sound of real tube(s), but it does a nice job of warming up Solid state sound especially if your using it with a cold sounding amp or using a cheaper guitar.

    The Positives: very flexible for tone, cheaper price, can help improve the sound of cheaper guitars, amps or cabs.

    I'd say "go for it!" then you'll know!!! easy to sell on ebay if you change your mind.
  13. Tunaman


    Dec 26, 2004
    Any results on the Direct Out use of the RBI? I would only use this unit as a direct out, my Eden Nav is my preamp but has a HORRIBLE direct out x 2 units I've tried.
    My MXR-80 pedal is awesome but I need something in the rackmount for cheap!
  14. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    The RBI is definitely cost effective, has 90% of the authentic tube tone, and none of the tube-related maintenance issues.

    I have both a BDDI and a rack mounted RBI. I believe there is a new RBI version which has a selectable mid parametric EQ which certainly merits a look!

  15. Mcrelly


    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    what do you mean by "horrible".... hissing, buzzing, hum??, too loud, too soft???
  16. Wayne Gulley

    Wayne Gulley

    Oct 2, 2005
    I've owned mine for a month, prior to that I owned the floor unit (about 4-5 years ago). The RBI unit is overall more versatile because of it's mid control, however the cons I have are for the following:

    1) It can get a little noisey - I find I have to set the presence control to about 9AM position to keep the hiss down (FYI the treble setting is also set at about the 9AM position too). This sometimes forces a comprise in my desired tone as I like to slap - it forces me to adjust the mids both on the pre and my power amp to find a suitable range for the treble so my pops can sound as I like. 2) The second issue is it lacks the true warmth of a tube preamp. This has been stated already however and almost universally agreed as a noticeable but not necessarily bothersome feature. It is however a little bothersome for me as I miss the warmth of a true tube vibe.
    Overall for the $ it's a very good and versatile unit, but sometimes I find my self searching Ebay for a tube preamp to take it's place.
  17. Tunaman


    Dec 26, 2004
    Using it as a DI (Just bought a new one), I agree with the Hiss being high with the Drive up. I turned that down & also had to turn the treble down as well. Hiss was gone. Much quieter than my Eden Nav DI which hisses like a bastard with no way of getting rid of it. My Eden Nav is a WAY better preamp, not even close.
    I'll like the RBI for a post EQ signal although my MXR 80 pedal was perfectly fine, just needed something in the rack.