SansAmp RBI vs RPM

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Naggon, Dec 8, 2007.

  1. Naggon


    Nov 8, 2006
    Vancouver, BC
    So, I've been thinking about getting a SansAmp, because I only hear good things about them. I know that Geddy Lee uses an RPM, and I love his tone, of course, but I was reading on the Tech 21 website that the RPM can be partnered with the RBI. Both are preamps, I don't really understand why you'd use them together, for bass at least.

    So, my question basically is, which one would you guys recommend, why would you want to partner them, and do they both do effectively the same thing?

    There's a drive knob and a couple mid knobs on the RPM...seems like you could get a really ballsy tone there. Thoughts?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. Naggon


    Nov 8, 2006
    Vancouver, BC

    cmon, I'm sure lots of you guys use at least one of these.
  3. Thunder Pulse

    Thunder Pulse

    May 12, 2007
    This has been discussed before. Do a search for "RPM" or "Sansamp RPM" in the subject line only and you'll find dozens of threads.
  4. playibanez

    playibanez Guest

    Apr 3, 2006
    i read on this forum that geddy uses two rbis

    you can pair them together and using a footswitch you can can switch between two diffirnent tones from either pre.

    im thinking about gettin an rbi i hear nothing but good things and i love my bddi and its constantly on so i figured why not just get a rackmount sansamp pre.
  5. Hemispheres85


    Jun 15, 2006
    Geddy has started using RPMs for Rush's current tour. He used RBIs from about 2002-2006.
  6. Mcrelly


    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    I've owned both, but never ran them together much.

    RBI: clean brighter tone, soft overdrive if you want.
    RPM: darker tone (maybe better for pick), harder overdrive can be dialed in (I don't know how usable it is)

    if you run them together you can get hybrid type results of tone.

    FOR THE RECORD: I doubt it really has a "tube" sound, but on inexpensive or dry amps adding one or both of these preamp can really warm up and give a more pleasing tone. same goes for dry cabs or basses that you don't like the tone. thats been my experience.

    I eventually out grew my sansamps when I found the right amps and cabs for me (so far). eden is very warm and flexible, funk is very flexible. my cabs are very pleasing in their own ways...

    RUSH IN RIO is probably a good example of what TWO RBI's can do for geddy's sound (I saw them in the back stage video), of coarse there are other electronic tweeks in the sound. check out sound samples on Listen to the "landmark series sounds" these heads incorporate, roughly, RBI and RPM circuits.
  7. Blues Bass 2

    Blues Bass 2 Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2001
    Davenport Iowa
    I would say that using the two different pre's would give you two different tones.You can get a footswitch to toggle between the two preamps for easy tone changes.
  8. mrokern

    mrokern TB's resident Rush freak

    Jul 20, 2007
    Minneapolis, MN
    Geddy changed to the RPMs for more control over his mids (read an interview over summer where he briefly mentioned the switch).

  9. Chronicle


    Sep 13, 2006
    Ohhh, i wonder if i should get the RPM over the RBI then...
  10. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    SW, OK
    Yeah, from what I've heard, it's more difficult to not get the mids sucked out by the RBI, while the RPM has an inherently more balanced tone.
  11. Chronicle


    Sep 13, 2006
    But they're both pretty much the same other than more mid control?
  12. JGR

    JGR The "G" is for Gustav Commercial User

    Jun 29, 2006
    President, CEO, CFO, CIO, Chief Engineer, Technician, Janitor - Reiner Amplification
    nope, not at all. i've posted a lot on their differences in past threads. the eq's and gain structure are quite different.

  13. Chronicle


    Sep 13, 2006
    Ah, i will have to find that thread then. :p
  14. Rhythm5

    Rhythm5 Guest

    Dec 29, 2006
    Palmdale, California
    Here's a great clip from Rio that has an amazing distorted sound. Check this out on a good stereo or better yet with some great headphones!

  15. Mcrelly


    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    what I think geddy meant by more mid control was the semiparametric mid on the RPM. the RBI also has a mid knob, but the frequency is fixed. I maybe would have kept my RBI if is was semi parametric. THATS the main reason I went with eden wt550 was the semi parametric mids. the full bottom and semi parametric lows and highs were a bonus.

    the thunderfunk has TWO semi parametric mid knobs, but not as full/round bottom.
  16. +1 I didn't keep the RBI because it has a fixed mid control at 1k I think, which is not very useable for me, as I like to adjust my mids lower than that... plus unless you turn the blend knob way down, it seems to suck out alot of your mids

    I did like the overdriven sounds it can get though...

    I'd probably prefer the RPM, although I've never tried it... a parametric mid control is a must for dialing out problem frequencies in certain rooms IMO
  17. stingray69

    stingray69 Talkbass Legit

    Aug 11, 2004
    St Louis Area
    Here's a couple clips of the RPM - I've only had it a couple of weeks, but I can say that it's probably the single most notable improvement to my overall tone that I've ever encountered - preamp, bass head or otherwise - just incredible. The clip with the drive OFF is a little mid-scooped (my fault). On the 2nd clip with the drive ON, I put the mids back to flat (mids not boosted nor cut). Brand new strings - kinda bright on the clips.

    Drive ON = Drive knob @ 11 o'clock, Blend @ 30% (going for a mild OD mix - just enough to give some light OD growl)
  18. Geddyfleaharris

    Geddyfleaharris Supporting Member

    Glad you are liking the RPM. Nice tone. I am certainly a fan of Tech 21 products. I use the RBI and have the drive and blend each at around 1 o'clock. Really like the crunchy distortion that the RBI produces.
  19. Soulfinger


    Sep 20, 2004
    Upstate NY
    IMHO the RPM is so vastly superior that I'm not even sure why they make the RBI. Better distortion, better clean, better EQ....just better.
  20. stingray69

    stingray69 Talkbass Legit

    Aug 11, 2004
    St Louis Area
    Thank You - I'm still discovering new tone possibilities after a couple weeks of intensive use with it. The thing is amazing to say the least. I used to have a love/hate relationship with the floor model Bass DI, but that was years ago & eventually got rid of it for previously mentioned reasons here on TB (loss of mids, fixed upper-midrange point, etc.). The newer generations with focus on mid range control, Acoustic DI, ParaDriver, RPM, etc. have really been a vast improvement IMO. :cool: