Sansamp rbi (stupid?) Questions

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by theinfamous, Nov 24, 2018.


  1. theinfamous

    theinfamous

    Dec 22, 2014
    Why this might be a stupid question: I've had my RBI for about 2 years now and I'm just coming up with this, even though I noticed it right away. I haven't really seen this discussed in detail in any reviews either in print or video, so hopefully this helps someone other than me. Or maybe I'm just missing something.

    First off, I like this preamp. I use it with a power amp as my live rig into a 410. When I got it, I did some knob turning and found a setting I liked- drive at 9 o'clock, presence set according to the room, blend at 2 o'clock, and eq either cut or boost from noon depending on the bass or how the room I'm playing in sounds. I haven't really tweaked settings since.

    Recently, I've been tweaking knobs, because if I paid for them, I might as well turn them and see what happens. My question/problem is with the blend knob. I cannot figure out how it actually works, and I am embarrassed about it. As the owners manual states, it blends in the tube amp emulation. However, when I turn it up, it drastically turns down the volume. A rough estimate of how much would be 80% less volume from all the way off to all the way on. Now, if I turn up drive with the blend all the way up, the volume comes back, but with the obvious addition of distortion.

    Is this normal?

    If it is, in fact normal, how can I more effectively use the blend knob without dialing in dirt and at the same time retain volume?

    One thing that kind of irks me about this unit is that all the knobs are very sensitive to all the other knobs- i.e. change eq, and the volume is affected. Turn up drive and get a huge boost and different tone in addition to dirt... etc.

    Help me get the most out of this unit. Please.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2018
  2. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
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  3. theinfamous

    theinfamous

    Dec 22, 2014
    I know these units are popular... maybe nobody likes me... 1391569931813.jpg
     
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  4. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    Well, you are infamous...
     
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  5. craigie

    craigie

    Nov 11, 2015
    calgary
    It could be that the tube emulation is acting like a compressor and squashing your signal.
    The drive must work by overdriving the preamp. Same as other sansamp pedals. You have to compensate by turning down the master. You have no master because it’s for bass and is meant to be always on I guess.
    All EQ’s that I’ve experienced effect the volume. In my limited experience with sansamp pedals I found the mid setting to be the magic.
    Just find a setting you like and stick with it. You may need to increase your power amp gain.
     
  6. theinfamous

    theinfamous

    Dec 22, 2014
    That is a very good way to describe what happens it's almost like compression, but like it just sucks the signal strength away.

    I'm not really bothered by the drive making things louder, since I tend to just set it where it sounds nice and leave it. My main problem is the blend turning down the volume. If I need a volume boost I have to back it off, which obviously affects my tone.

    The other weird part is if I push the button to deactivate the unit (which in theory should be the same as turning the blend all the way down) the volume remains the same.

    The way I've been using it, I have my power amp turned all the way up and I've been using the level control as a volume. Maybe I'll have to turn the level up and use the power amp control as a volume. I just don't like to have to tweak both knobs just for volume.
     
  7. theinfamous

    theinfamous

    Dec 22, 2014
    I should have clarified this also- with the blend all the way up, level all the way up, drive at 9 o'clock, and power amp maxed, I would describe the volume as slightly too loud for practice by myself, and not really loud enough for a band. As soon as I turn the blend down, it gets unbearably loud quickly.
     
  8. craigie

    craigie

    Nov 11, 2015
    calgary
    You will probably have to tweak both, especially if you’re running a signal from the rbi to FOH. Use the power amp to set volume and the rbi to get the gain that gives you the tone you like.
     
  9. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
    don't do that. set the sansamp to get your sound, adjust its output to get plenty of volume with the power amp maybe halfway up, then use the power amp's level knob as your onstage volume knob, confident it won't change what the FOH gets from the sansamp.

    i assume you're feeding your power amp with the "sansamp" 1/4" out and using the "sansamp" XLR to go to the PA.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2018
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  10. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
    more familiar with the pedal (that's what i use), but unless you're trying to switch between effected and uneffected sounds in the middle of a song the volume difference is not really important.

    for kicks, dime the blend (my preference) then use "drive" as your preamp gain knob and "level" as your master volume. drive at 9:00-10:00 and master up loud enough to wake up the power amp is the ticket for a fat, tubey tone. that little bit of grit and compression makes for a nice even tone in the mix.

    also, you do have the "active" button pushed in, right?
     
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  11. tech21nyc

    tech21nyc Commercial User

    Aug 17, 2010
    Manufacturer: Tech 21
    When the Blend control is set counterclockwise the SansAmp circuitry is not in the signal path. The Drive and Presence controls will not function. Basically you have a satndard DI signal with tone shaping. With the Bass, Mid and Treble at Noon the sound should be flat. As you bring up the Blend control you are bringing in the SansAmp circuit. Think of the Blend as more of a pan control but rather than going from left to right as you would in stereo you are going from un-effected to effected in mono. The reason for the volume change is that instead of a flat DI'd full range signal you are going through an amp emulator. This is normal. The SansAmp circuit behaves like a vintage tube amp in that lower settings of Drive will increase the volume but also add some distortion into the signal. Once you get to a point say above Noon there will be less of a volume increase and you will just get more distortion and compression.

    Unlike a Tube amp, the amp emulation in the SansAmp circuit is not depending upon volume to achieve the end result. It's best to increase the Drive judiciously in a live setting otherwise a setting that might work well when playing at home in isolation will be too distorted and compressed when playing in a band situation.
     
  12. theinfamous

    theinfamous

    Dec 22, 2014
    Thanks! That helps.
     
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  13. theinfamous

    theinfamous

    Dec 22, 2014
    Yes.

    I'm going to go back to using the power amp volume as my stage volume, because I was doing that for quite a while, and its handy for when the drummer starts hitting harder, and I don't have to worry about overloading the signal going to foh. I fiddled with it because I was trying to make things simpler, and in so doing, confused myself.

    Yes.

    I'll take your suggestions and see what happens. Fun stuff!

    I have the additional issue that my apartment is pretty small and the amp sounds really different to how it sounds in a bigger room.
     
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