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What is the point of Sansamp Bass Driver Di? (For me)

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by BroBro, Mar 14, 2016.

  1. BroBro


    Nov 26, 2015
    New Zealand
    I see people raving about how they found their tone after years of searching or whatever with one of these. So I was thinking of getting one....

    I have a GK MB210 that is quite accurate and clean sounding, so thinking it might just give the tone a dose of 'amazing'. :)

    But then as far as I can work out its basically an EQ with overdrive?
    The GK has a 4-band eq and a DI already so would the only advantage to me be the overdrive?
    Or does it add more than a nice OD to the tone.

    Or would the sansamp VT (more of a tube emulator I gather) be more use?

    (I know you're going to say try one! It's difficult to find many different options here in NZ:( )

  2. I think the Sansamp is a waste of money and time.

    I didn't like it when I bought it, had it a few weeks - used it in a few gigs when I was sure it was gonna answer all the questions about sound and tonal perfection that bass players are more than willing to hold other bass players to, but not adhere to themselves.

    I brought it back and got the MXR Bass DI+, as I figured that someday I'd need a DI, and it might as well have phantom power and some sound modification properties. It does that very well.

    I leave it in my 'chain' of effects which include a fuzz and a slapback delay.

    That's all I have and really all I need.I hardly ever turn them on though - the fuzz for ONE Marty Robin's song and the delay when I need to sound like two basses or that I have extra fingers.

    If I can't achieve a tone that I want - and every bass is a little different b/o pickups, strings and circuits, etc., I try to bring the bass with the sound I need for a particular venue.

    I don't try to tune with gizmos for it - I think ahead of the musical style and the effect I need and pick the correct bass off the wall and bring it.

    Some people are driven to belittle others with different opinions about things the accuser cannot do for or by themselves.

    In the pursuit of the ultimate tone/sound/effect/sustain/articulation/etc/etc/etc., people will buy pink pills, blue pills, red pills and even black pills in the quest.

    FWIW: I mailed an MXR Bass DI+ to ChCh NZ a couple of years ago for some serious financial savings to my friend. They are very expensive over there; not so bad here. I also send my friend Cherry Kool-Aid, as it's not available there!
  3. Orion1985

    Orion1985 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2010
    Grass Valley, CA
    I think the pedal is hyped to a certain degree but it's also important to remember what the pedal is for. It's in the name "SamsAmp," it's designed to be used in the place of an amp whether it is for recording or live performance.

    The pedal is an EQ, tube and speaker cabinet emulator, and DI. It has an overdrive tone that a lot of people like. It has a naturally scooped EQ that some like as well. It also serves as a nice signal boost. It is frequently run as an effect in front of an amp.

    It was the first pedal I ever owned and I really liked it. Over the years I have started to favor a more mid forward tone so this pedal doesn't really work for what I want anymore. But it works great for what it is and many do like it. The biggest complaint that I know of is the lack of a mid knob for the EQ.

    In my opinion it's a bit of a one-trick-pony but it does that trick very well.
    torza likes this.
  4. BroBro


    Nov 26, 2015
    New Zealand
    Thanks, ok doesnt sound exactly like what i want.
    I've looked up some reviews, perhaps the VT would be good? My combo is a tad on the sterile side, so a bit of 'character' would be great. Also, I often travel quite far for rehearsals in less than ideal spaces (mates lounge etc) so might be good to not have to carry the amp around, even though it's pretty portable.

    I really need to try one out!
  5. Murdoc_420


    Jan 20, 2016
    I have an MXR80 Bass di too and I like it quite a bit. It has distortion (I don't like distortion at all) but it's also got a really nice clean channel that to me gives it that tube amp growly sound I really like. It's got several outs to so you can run a clean out, colored out or XLR.
  6. One Drop

    One Drop

    Oct 10, 2004
    Swiss Alps
    I prefer the VT pedals for their increased control over the mids, and the various Ampeg tones available.

    They are extremely effective at sending a nice pre EQed signal to FOH, warmed up and with added harmonics and variable OD depending how much you need.

    The clean tones available are very useful, too.

    Completely a matter of taste, if you like the classic all-tube Ampeg sounds with sealed cabs the VT pedals are magic.

    The SABDDI IMO might be a more useful tool for recording, or mixes where a bit of scoop is useful or desired.
    AndyLES and Nunovsky like this.
  7. Tourniquet Man

    Tourniquet Man

    Jun 12, 2015
    Sup bro,

    Never tried the sansamp but I'm with you on the whole overdrive + eq setup.
    I have however had a vt bass and didn't like it. If you wanna sound like a cranked svt then definatly get one. It just wasn't my cup of tea.
    I would recommend a decent overdrive that complements your amp rather than trying to be something it's not.
    There are a hundred overdrive threads on this forum but a couple of favourites would be the bearfoot fx blueberry bass overdrive or the fairfield circuitry barbershop. Both almost impossible to get in nz without importing. Did see a barbershop on trademe the other day though...

    Me I push my amp to get some hair or run my tafm at a lower gain setting.

    Obviously just my opinion, I know there are a lot of sansamp lovers out there.

    Good luck from New Plymouth
    BroBro likes this.
  8. BroBro


    Nov 26, 2015
    New Zealand
    Thanks everyone!

    Ok trying to decide how much i would use a DI...
    On the VT pedals without DI I noticed the v2 one has a defeatable speaker sim.
    There's currently one of the earlier ones without that on trademe for about 2/3 retail, unfortunately it's in Christchurch so i can't try it out.
    I suppose used i could probably buy and flip it on for the same price if I didnt like it.:D
  9. tech21nyc

    tech21nyc Commercial User

    Aug 17, 2010
    Manufacturer: Tech 21
    While many people do use our SansAmps DI's successfully in front of a bass amp they were "designed" to go direct to the board. You would plug into the Bass Driver, Para Driver, VT Bass DI etc and send the XLR out to the mixer for the FOH and send the parallel output to your bass amp and use it as is. This way instead of the sound of a brittle or dry bass tone through the PA you would have the sound of a mic'd vintage tube amp.

    Much of the frustration players have with our products is that they are running the sound of a tube emulated amp into another amp. The last device in the chain will override anything before it. Most bass amp's have their own inherent tone and that will greatly alter the sound of any pedal before it.
  10. Xandrell


    Aug 23, 2014
    GoLeafsGo likes this.
  11. I have the GK MB500 plus GK speakers. I bought the VT Bass DI to 1) put a bit of hair on my tone, 2) reduce the EQing required to get a great tone from the Rick and the other basses and 3) to have a 'plan b' DI. The way I worked this was selecting a flat tone on the MB500 so that most of the tone/control is coming from the VT Bass DI.
  12. GoLeafsGo

    GoLeafsGo Not Quite Right!

    Oct 25, 2013
    Ajax Ontario
    Yup, parallel to my Amp, balanced to the board. I have the Ampeg SCR DI, and the "overdrive" is also very nice. Only pedal I really use.
    Wfrance3 likes this.
  13. Nunovsky


    Sep 4, 2004
    This is exactly how I use mine. I've only used in front of an amp when I had my old H&K Basskick 707 and wanted to get a tubey sound from my amp.
    With my koustom head it doesn't work well that way not only because of the valve preamp but also because the koustom has a svt tone quality that gets quite blurry if you had the sound of the sansamp.
    I use the sansamp to send directly to the mixer and the paralel to my amp and that way I get a nice tight and punchy sound.
  14. jwilson67


    Jun 2, 2015
    San Dimas, CA
    I've never had a Sansamp but I did have the Hartke VXL Bass Attack pedal and it truly did add something to my sound; a kind of thickness I couldn't get before it. The only reason I don't use it anymore is that I use a Zoom B3 instead for any effects I need.
    Chris345 likes this.
  15. Darknut


    Apr 4, 2009
    I have a GK MB212 & I use a BDDI with it all the time ..... I like it very much.
    It is the last thing in my effect chain & it warms the overall sound up nicely but the main reason I use it is how it smooths out the signal that goes direct to the board when I have a dirt pedal engaged.
    Based on the post I see around here I think a lot of people are clueless on how these things work.
  16. blastbass

    blastbass Inactive

    Mar 8, 2016
    It doesn't make sense adding a preamp to a preamp, get a distortion/fuzz pedal with a blend knob, try the darkglass vintage micro tubes or wounded paw black sheep, unless you plan to bypass the GK pre (using the send/return loop). The DI out from the GK should be decent enough I'm guessing.
  17. tech21nyc

    tech21nyc Commercial User

    Aug 17, 2010
    Manufacturer: Tech 21
    Using your amp's line out is fine. The problem for some is that if you are using a passive cab with distortion and use your amp's line out you will get a lot of fizz as the full range speakers of the PA will not roll off the high end like a passive bass or guitar speaker cab. Unless your line out is speaker compensated.
    El-Bob likes this.
  18. jwilson67


    Jun 2, 2015
    San Dimas, CA
    Preamp/DI pedals like the Sansamp are great for far more than just having an additional "preamp" going into your preamp. They thicken and smooth the sound in ways that some amps cannot do and can in fact make other effects pedals such as distortion actually sound better.
    bassomane likes this.
  19. Johnny Crab

    Johnny Crab HELIX user & BOSE Abuser

    Feb 11, 2004
    You'd probably like to have one if your amp craters at a gig so you could still DI into monitors with some tone control.
    I carry the 3 channel programmable one with settings BASSY, NORMAL full range, and BRIGHT, slightly dirty as a "Plan B" if my Line 6 craters(Rig is Line 6 HD500X->BOSE L1 or ->dbx166xl->QSC2402->ACME B2's). Having that pedal has saved my backside about 3 times in 650+ shows.

    1) Outdoor gig, tent dripped water into my Line 6....shut it down. Plugged in SansAmp, continue gig..
    2) Venue power went low voltage on one side of the stage, Line 6 wallwart cooked itself. Plugged in SansAmp, continue gig.
    3) Drunk horn player steps on mutlple control parameter adjustment knobs on the HD500X simultaneously sending the software into LaLa Land. Plugged in SansAmp, continued gig. VERY lucky he didn't break the display. Rebooted after the set, worked fine. I did let loose with a few choice words that the audience could not hear.....
  20. BroBro


    Nov 26, 2015
    New Zealand
    Yes I have found that quite annoying.
    I got something like the VT bass (wouldnt need the DI version I suppose) and put it last in the chain, it's speaker sim would make the distortion still sound fine through the amps DI.
    And the overdrive would be useful.
  21. 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.

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