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Trade my RBI for an RPM?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by silky smoove, Jul 19, 2007.

  1. silky smoove

    silky smoove

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    I'm considering ditching my Sansamp RBI in favor of a Sansamp RPM. Here's my logic:

    I love the sound of my RBI, but I do find that the mid control is centered too high (1k) and I always turn the presence control completely off as I find it adds WAY too much clank to my tone.

    The RPM would no doubt have a similar voice as the RBI, but doesn't have the presence knob (which as I mentioned previously, I keep off at all times), and it has a semi-parametric mid control that would allow me to shift the mid knob down below the 1k point set by the RBI.

    Does this seem like sound logic to anyone? To those of you that have used both, do you find that the RPM lacks anything that RBI delivers? Vice versa? Let me know your thoughts.

    Just for reference my main gig these days is a hip-hop meets funk meets blues group. I play exclusively on an alder bodied 4-string jazz bass that has a Status Graphite neck, DiMarzio Model J pickups and is always strung with either nickel/steel or steel/steel rounds. I'm playing fingerstyle and slap with this group.

  2. Joeykun

    Joeykun pronounced ジョーイくん

    Jun 22, 2007
    Shirley, MA
    Geddy thought the same and switched to the RPM for this tour.

    The presence is a bit clanky. I too roll that off almost all the way. But, I get a great tone out of my RBI and would not change just for the mid controls.

    If you are getting what you want out of it don't change. If you are having difficulties achieving your tone make a change.
  3. 73jbass

    73jbass Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2004
    I grabbed the RPM when it first came out for the very reasons you listed. I prefer a selectable mid control,and never used the presence knob. Get one,you'll love it.
  4. optikhog


    Apr 2, 2007
    St. Peters, MO
    Your logic makes sense to me. I've been an RBI user for ~1 year now and as my ear evolves, I also find myself dialing out presence (currently at around 10:00). I also find myself rediscovering an old Fender combo amp I have with sweepable mids. Perhaps I'm on the same path as you...
  5. silky smoove

    silky smoove

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    Its not that I can't a tone out of it that I like. I actually am able to dial in some great tones with it. Its just that I have recognized the presence control and too highly centered mid control as being the only things I would change on the unit. I look at the Tech21 site and BAM! there is exactly what I was looking for.

    Can anyone compare the EQ centers of the Bass and Treble controls between the two units for me? Its possibly on the Tech21 website so I'll go take a look in a moment.

    What about the gain/drive structure? I usually keep the level control on full but only set the drive to about 9 o'clock. Do the RBI and the RPM share similar gain structures in this regard? What about the overdrive voice of the RPM? Is it similar to the RBI or a completely different animal?
  6. Mcrelly


    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    yes the presence is annoying, BUT the RPM IS NOT VOICED THE SAME!!! if I'm reading you right, do you think the RPM is an RBI with variable mid??? NO IT IS NOT!!! the overall sound to me, I'VE OWNED BOTH!!! of the RPM is DARKER and less hi-fi than the RBI.

    if you like "air" and brightness in your bass signal, keep the RBI. if you keep the rbi and buy an RPM you can hook them up to switch between them or use them together for a combined sound like on the Landmark amps from Tech21.


    or you might be dissappointed.

    as for your other questions. the RPM has a more over the top distortion when you crank up the gain (almost a brit guitar dist) where as the rbi is a lot softer overdrive. I don't know many who like the RPM overdrive sound.

    I eventually sold my 2 Rbi's and one RPM looking for a better mid control. I first got my eden WT550, then the thunderfunk 550. now I'm thinking of looking into the Aguilar AGRO overdrive, but I don't think I'll have much use for it at CHURCH!!!:p
  7. JGR

    JGR The "G" is for Gustav Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 29, 2006
    President, CEO, CFO, CIO, Chief Engineer, Technician, Janitor - Reiner Amplification
    i currently have and use both - they are indeed different. if i had to pick one, i would take the RPM because i find it to be more versitile overall. it is a darker sound, has more gain if you want it (i like the grind better than the RBI personally), and is less scooped even when blended all the way up. i've grown to hate the presence control on the RBI as it is a clank machine - it sounds cool in moderation with my Rick, but that's about it.

    NOW, nice you already have the RBI, if you can swing it, get an RPM too and you can use them both together for what i feel is the best of both worlds and better than anything you can achieve with either unit by itself.....

    i posted this a while ago - plugging into the RPM, i run the unaffected 1/4 out from the RPM into the rear input of the RBI.. then take the Sansamp output of the RBI into the effects return of the RPM with the 50/50 engaged. run the master volume of the RBI at 10-12 and set everything else to taste. the master of the RPM controls your overall output. set it's EQ to taste as well.

    it sounds truley amazing as it is mixing the two sounds together for some very complex and complimentry tones. there is no noise, no phasing problems, no overlaoding, no negative side effects! - just a really thick, textured tone that adds the clarity and bright, aggressive nature of the RBI with the darker, smoother sound of the RPM.

    i emailed Tech21 about my discovery as i don't think they even realize it's possible, or how well it works - i had asked them previously if there was anyway to combine the two preamps and they said no, not without some kind of external mixer.

    i know you can combine channels on the landmark heads, but the RBI portion lacks the mid control so this is still an tiny bit cooler... ;) and you can pair it with whatever power amp you want.

    one more note, as described, these units have wonderful connectivity options and i am actually using the combined preamps as described above into one poweramp, and the unaffected out of the RBI into the input of my SWR IOD which feeds another power amp. pretty cool to be able to feed three preamps off of one input with no side effects!!

  8. silky smoove

    silky smoove

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    Well, based on what I've heard in this thread, an email from Lloyd at Tech21 and my tonal preferences I think I'll just stick with the RBI.

    Thanks for the help everyone!
  9. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Lately I've been using my RBI often. IMO the Presence control works fine with passive basses and/or tweeterless cabs such as the Bergantino NV610.

    That said, I like the tweakability of a para mid control. I might buy an RPM and eventually sell whichever preamp I liked least. Or not: I could use both and set up a footswitch to toggle between one or the other. :cool:
  10. Soulfinger


    Sep 20, 2004
    Houston, TX
    I've never used the RBI, but I like my RPM way more than the SABDDI.

    In Geddy's words "The RPM is more detailed sounding than the RBI, and the distortion is easier to control". I couldn't agree more.

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