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Tech21 RBI

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Spent, Nov 3, 2013.

  1. Spent


    May 15, 2011
    Upstate NY
    Lately I've been experiencing a pre amp gas attack after using a Tech21 RBI for several years. I now own and have been using use an Ashly SC40, Yahama PB-1, Demeter VTDB-201s as well as an MXR m80 and Hartke Bass Attack. I ordered new op amps for the Ashly, they came yesterday and I installed them; nice, easy upgrade. We had a gig last night and I was going to use it. I decided to A/B it against the RBI and, while I wanted the Ashly to sound better, the RBI was the winner. I had forgotten how good this pre amp is. Ended up using the RBI at the gig and got a lot of complements on my sound. The guitarist from my original project was there as well as a guitarist from a band I occasionally sit in for. These guys have heard me many times before and they thought it sounded great. Now I'm strongly considering selling the Ashly, Yamaha and Demeter.
  2. I see used RBI come on the used market fairly frequently, and at very good prices.
    These sell for less than the RPM which is a bit more flexible, and have a different sound.

    To sum it up, the RBI has a pronounced mid-scoop, subtle grind, and tasty high-end "sparkle".
    Fuzzbass describes this is as "SVT Ultra-Lo", which is also found in the new VTRM.
    The RPM has more punch, a desirable Mids parametric EQ, and can get very dirty grind.

    JGR has developed a method where you can run both RBI and RPM in parallel, to mix the pair as you desire.
    I have the RPM and (brand new) VTRM, and have them wired for foot-switcable Either/Or mode.
    They use a latching foot switch that puts one unit in Passthrough and the other in Sansamp engaged.
    Reversing the foot switch reverses the unit that has the Sansamp circuitry engage, and the other goes to Passthrough.
    I specifically want a switchable clean or dirty tone, with solo emphasis on the dirty tone loudness.

    For me, this is most likely the end of preamp GAS.
    This pair is highly flexible, quiet, reliable, serviceable and should last as long as I do.
  3. Spent


    May 15, 2011
    Upstate NY
    I've been looking at the VTDI; we play a variety of venues and sometimes I just need a DI. I just wish the it and the RBI were programmable. With the variety of tunes my cover band plays, it would make segues easier. The more practical one for me would be the BDDI Programmable.
  4. MJ_Sotti

    MJ_Sotti formerly "Mike in Chicago" Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    Before you do anything, check out the VTRM
  5. The floor ones don't output quite like the rack ones.
  6. Spent


    May 15, 2011
    Upstate NY
    I'm afraid to. Trying to keep the gas at bay.

    I had the bddi first and did upgrade to the RBI.
  7. Selling three preamps and buying one would technically be a gear reduction.
  8. Spent


    May 15, 2011
    Upstate NY
    Very true, but I'm currently on the hunt for a Spector Zebop and a Spectorcore. Still haven't found a cure for gas.
  9. A cure for GAS: Unplug the computer. Disconnect internet from phone. Cancel Bass Player subscription. Never approach closer than 100ft to stage.
  10. EmptyCup


    Feb 25, 2013
    Nashville Area
    What are you using to power the RBI?
  11. 110v most likely.
  12. That is a splendid rationalization... thanks!
    My VT Bass pedal is sold off, the SVP-Pro is on the block now, and the IOD will eventually go on the block as well.

    I've not owned an RBI, but Fuzzbass seems to be leaning toward favoring the VTRM over the RBI...
    He gave in to the GAS, same as I did.
  13. EmptyCup


    Feb 25, 2013
    Nashville Area
    :D Good one

    But I was asking which power amp the OP was using
  14. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Guilty... I have a bunch of preamps I like, including RBI and RPM, but still succumbed to VTRM GAS. Same as bgavin I might eventually sell an IOD and SVP-Pro to ease my conscience, but for the time being I'm a preamp hoarder... don't know that I need six.

    I need to get my RBI out of storage so I can A/B with the VTRM. I'll always have a soft spot for the RBI because my favorite cab is the tweeterless Berg NV610, and the Presence control on the RBI adds really nice tubey sizzle in the high treble range. Not the best tone choice for some genres, but most of my gigs are hard rock and I love the aggressive edge.
  15. Masher88

    Masher88 Believe in absurdities and you commit atrocities

    May 7, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    "I decided to A/B it against the RBI and, while I wanted the Ashly to sound better, the RBI was the winner. I had forgotten how good this pre amp is. Ended up using the RBI at the gig and got a lot of complements on my sound."

    I think you just made the decision yourself....

    Also, RBI's aren't all that expensive, comparatively. Why not get a used one to play with for a while and keep the others? I see used ones on Ebay for really cheap all the time.

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