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Sansamp RBI versus PSA-1.1

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by wiro, Mar 27, 2006.

  1. Are the RBI and the PSA comparable?

    The only soundsamples that deliver enough quality for me
    are from the PSA.

    What about the RBI? Does this one cut off the highs and lows from the signal just as the classic and the tri-AC do? Or is the sound quality comparable with the PSA?

    Anyone experience with these models?
  2. idoru


    Dec 18, 2005
    Brisbane, Australia
    Well, as an RBI user, I can assure you there is no low end cut, and as for the high end, it's all there. It will expose any hiss/noise in your set-up if you dial in too much presence or treble, but doesn't add much noise by itself.

    The PSA is really a different animal altogether, I want one for programmable distortions :)
  3. Ah, Idoru, thanks.
    It's nice to get a response from someone who has ears to appreciate quality in sound. Which I can tell from your list of equipment.
    Do you know if the distortions and overdrive from the PSA are the same as from the RBI? Is it mainly the midi functionality that makes the difference or is there more to it?
  4. gillento


    Oct 15, 2005
    Luxembourg, Europe
    Nordstrand pickups
    The RBI and the PSA are different beasts. I used to own both.
    I desperatly wanted to won one to get programmable OD/distortion. But I was disappointed.
    The PSA lacks the blend pot. This makes a huge difference. The EQ is definetly voiced for guitar. No real low end or low pot to enhance it is available. I tried to run the PSA in the parallel effect loop of the RBI, but here the different sound possibilities, overdrives/distortions are difficult to hear.
    I would not recommend it as a bass preamp.
    Now I am using the RBI as main preamp an a programmable BDDI for my OD sounds.
  5. idoru


    Dec 18, 2005
    Brisbane, Australia
    The RBI will get you to a nice over-driven SVT sound very easily, but doesn't do distortion. The PSA takes you to extreme levels of gain - there are some very, very heavy examples on the website. User criticism is that the PSA doesn't have a very natural sounding mild over-drive - but that is from Harmony Central reviews, so don't take that as granted.

    Gillento: I'm surprised you didn't have any luck with the PSA - by Tech 21's blurbs it was designed for bass as well as guitar. There's even a whole bank of pre-sets for bass, and these guys generally know what they're doing. That being said, did you try the original, or the re-issue 1.1? Some HC reviewers were iffy about the original if it wasn't run through a full-range cab. The re-issue mentions an output section suited to full-range, bass or guitar.

    As an aside, I seem to be one of the few RBI users who has the Blend switched to 100% SansAmp signal at all times. One day, when I have roadies, I'm just gonna bite the bullet and get me an SVT head ;)
  6. These story's are clearing up a lot to me, Gillento and Idoru, thanks for sharing.

    Still don't know what to do now. Perhaps I'll buy a used PSA1 (looks like I can get the old one pretty cheap soon) just to try (I do a lot in the upper regions of the bass, e.g. do the spanish guitar solo of Don't Speak on my fretless :) and if this machine doesn't appeal to me I can always sell it again. Now I read both opinions I also wanna try the RBI. The problem is that the closest dealer around is in Berlin, about 600 km. from here. So I have to buy before I can try.
    Luckely a friend of mine has the programmable BDDI. So that one I can try for free. :hyper:
    To be continued .....
  7. gillento


    Oct 15, 2005
    Luxembourg, Europe
    Nordstrand pickups
    I have been trying the new 1.1 version. I read, the only thing new was the master ouput and the on/off switch.
    As you wrote, I also thought only good about Tech21 products. I was really looking forward to the PSA but this unit doesn't seem to be made for me:(
    I am still very fond of the RBI (my main preamp), Bassdriver (3) , Acoustic DI (my main DI), GT2 and the Original Pedal.
  8. Get the RBI for your preamp and let that shape your tone. And then get a big muff for that gnarly distortion :bassist:
  9. There appeared to be a dealer in my hometown who got the PSA1.1 and the RBI brought in last thursday. Bought the RBI and this one does exactly what I'm looking for: All sorts of overdrive without loosing any punch. Terrific! As mentioned above: The mid eq. is important. Don't see why they didn't add this one on the programmable one.
    And the other way around: A pitty that the RBI cannot work with pre-sets. But you cannot have it all can you?
    From now on I got a whole lot of buttons and sounds to play with..... :bassist:
  10. thefruitfarmer


    Feb 25, 2006
    Kent UK
    ...I am looking at getting a sansamp for recording bass and the RBI seems to be the one. From the previous comments it seems that people find that the RBI to be better for bass in practice and that the PSA really works best with electric guitar.

    Has anyone else heard the PSA next to the RBI?

    Can anyone further explain the differences between the two?

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