Tech-21 Sans-Amp users: Questions

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by tbplayer59, Nov 3, 2016.

  1. tbplayer59


    Jan 20, 2013
    For users of the Tech-21 Sans Amp:
    Who uses it to bypass their amp's own preamp and who uses it as an extra preamp / EQ ahead of their amp's? And why....
    Can this be used as a DI only, bypassing the EQ?

    I'm finding I'm not liking the EQ much. It's really scoopy, but I may want to use it as a DI in an emergency.

    Philly Watts likes this.
  2. Josh Kneisel

    Josh Kneisel

    Jun 17, 2016
    I use mine to bypass my pre into the Effects return. Also use it to occasionally go ampless. If you have the pedal disengaged (red light off) I believe its acting as a DI w/o the EQ and other functions. It took me some time to find the setting I like, but I find for me since it has no mid eq control I run the treble at a little less than 12 oclock and the bass at about 10 oclock which boosts the mids and helps with the scoop. Also, the blend nob adds or subtracts how much of the SansAmp you are getting out of the box so I tend to run this about 1 oclock but you can back it off to get less of the Sans sound. I usually run the drive at about 8 or 9 oclock and the presence just past noon... Hope that helps at all...
  3. tbplayer59


    Jan 20, 2013
    I hadn't even considered this. Thanks.
    Josh Kneisel likes this.
  4. dnp41


    May 10, 2016
    to bypass the preamp: pretty common I think. I use the loop on amps that I don't like, but with a pretty flat amp I usually go in the "front".

    As di only: sure, it has a parallel out so you can use it for DI only, and then also use an amp. The parallel out is just the unaffected signal so..
  5. dnp41 pretty much answered it. For me the model also matters a bit. If the rig was reasonably flat sounding the bddi in front works, it doesn't have as much clean headroom as the rack units. But With the sans amp RBI I always run it either to a PA style power amp like my crown xls1500 or bypass the preamp on the head. Different heads are different. Some like the Ampeg svt4 and b4r have jacks labeled "power amp in." Other heads like the the SWR 750x I had had a series effects loop and I plugged the RBI into the effects return. Some bass heads have parallel effects loops though so they don't all work like the SWR effects loop. If the effects loop is series the effects return is basically the same thing as a power amp in. Some effects loops actually have a "50/50 to 100%" button two switch between parallel and series also.
  6. Al Kraft

    Al Kraft Supporting Member

    May 2, 2016
    Northern Virginia
    The BDDI without the switch pressed (no red light on) simply functions as a DI. With the switch pressed (red light on) and the blend off (fully CCW) the presence and drive are out of the equation and you simply have bass and treble EQ and level available for your "DI" or the affected output - no scoop. The parallel out always just passes through what you put in.

    As you bring up the blend control you introduce the SansAmp Circuitry to the signal path. That circuit has a bit (a lot) of a mid scoop as part of its character and allows the presence and drive controls to come into play. To help counter that mid scoop you can reduce the bass and treble controls and increase the level control to make up the gain reduction. Keeping the blend below noon will help a lot as well and actually sound really good - like having a straight DI mixed with a mic'ed cab.

    As others have said, layering a scooped BDDI preamp on an already scooped preamp in a bass head can result in the old disappearing mids phenomenon. The "power amp in" or "effects loop return" approach works well to help prevent a mid notch from becoming a mid chasm. I like to send an affected signal to the mixing desk and the parallel out to my amp's regular input on stage.

    The latest version of the BDDI has a dedicated mid control with two user electable frequencies...might be the ticket if the you can't get enough mid emphasis/presence with the last version. I hope that helps! Maybe @tech21nyc can add anything I missed.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2016
  7. tbplayer59


    Jan 20, 2013
    Thanks. The disappearing mids was making me crazy especially on a jazz. I want to add some lows, but I thought I was imagining that the mid were reducing too.
  8. Al Kraft

    Al Kraft Supporting Member

    May 2, 2016
    Northern Virginia
    Think about the EQ controls and blend as a set of "tone shaping/proportioning controls". With blend between 9 and 11 o'clock if you drop the treble a bit more than you drop the bass (and then boost the level to make up the gain loss), you may find the territory you're looking for. I find the presence control to be more of distraction when I'm not using a lot of drive and keep it turned down. I'm mostly a clean player and don't use much drive, but when I do push it a bit, that presence control introduces some additional harmonic content in the upper frequencies that sometimes sounds pretty good.
    mattattack187, RockDoc and Fuzzbass like this.
  9. Philly Watts

    Philly Watts

    May 6, 2016
    You can use the parallel out to send to your amp and the signal will be unaffected. I use mine as you described: through the effects return to bypass my GK preamp.

    I don't have much problem with the mid scoop because I have the new Sansamp BDDI V2 ( with added mid controls). I just add a little mids back in. I honestly love the tube amp and cabinet simulation it provides.
  10. tech21nyc

    tech21nyc Commercial User

    Aug 17, 2010
    Manufacturer: Tech 21
    I couldn't have explained it better myself.
    Your statement:
    was how the unit was originally intended to be used. It's fine to use the pedal in front of an amp but as you mentioned a more neutral tonal platform will yield the best results.
    mattattack187 and Al Kraft like this.
  11. I use my Sansamp before the EQ/Pre more like an OD to add drive high end to my SVT CL. As such I don't really worry about the mids as the SVT has that in spades However this configuration doesn't really lend itself well to being a main DI (the board signal would always be too hot).

    For more common setups it pulls double duty nicely though.

    For a Sansamp/Poweramp combo you'd have a perfect DI/amp split.
  12. mattattack187

    mattattack187 Bass Enthusiast Supporting Member

    Feb 2, 2012
    Ellsworth, ME
    I run it into my amp's effects return. The BDDI is the sound I like and am familiar with so I just prefer to bypass my amp's EQ rather than stack the two. It's just convenient being able to carry around my pedalboard and be able to plug into any PA and get the sound I know I'll like.

    I run my blend halfway and set the bass/treble at 10 o'clock, drive at 12, presence at 1. It's a fairly clean sound and eliminates the mid curve but it has some bite when you dig in.
    Al Kraft likes this.
  13. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Jun 22, 2021

Share This Page