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What to keep, what to get? Sansamp + Iamp800 + NV610, good?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Poon, Mar 27, 2006.

  1. Poon


    May 20, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    So i've been having some interesting experiences recently.

    I haven't used the Sansamp before, but my guitarist/singer who is a professional engineer/recording and live sound will not stop raving about the Sansamps that he's recorded with. Granted I haven't really played any "Harder" rock in a while, so i don't really know.
    He likes overdriven sounds a lot too, and I tend to steer away from them, but it might be nice to have the versatility of having the drive available to me. I hear it's a great pre, I just haven't played one before. If I can get this to work well, it might replace the Ashdown ABM500 (which i'm not sure if I'm in love with the sound.) I can't really tell if it's the ABM500 or if it's the NV610 that isn't giving me what I want out of the sound. Maybe it's the room. Maybe it's the lack of tweeter or low low low end frequency response. I tend to use the Low B a lot now (which is actually tuned to B flat)

    Continuing with this rant,
    I played with my Aguilar Rig *(AKA THE MONSTER DB680+CA9+S810) this weekend, and it was golden. Pure magic with the BN5, no doubt. Unfortunately it's in my big touring rig and I can't cary that with me all the time.

    So my questions go as follows:
    1.) Do you think that the Sansamp RBI + Iamp800 + NV610 will be a great combination for rock. If so, or if not, why? What have your experiences been with these items. I'd especially like to hear peopel who have run them together.
    2.) ABM500 EVO II not giving me exactly what i want, should I let it go? Or should it give it some more time for me to like it. If I should let it go, what should replace it if anything at all?
    3.) Do you see there being advantages/disadvantages with the ABM500 EVO II vs. the Iamp800 with the Sansamp. Will that 800 vs 500 watts make an aduible difference?

    (WHY NOT TRY THEM OUT?)...the NV610 ABM500 rig is in LA with my band. I'm up near SF about 5 hours difference.
  2. the dude

    the dude Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2004
    Both the CA9 and db750 *rock* with the NV610.

    I've not heard the EVO or the iAmp 800 with the cab. It likes lots of power, so the EVO might be underpowering it a bit. Not having heard that combo, I can only guess.

    I owned the iAmp and sold it. Cool. lightweight amp, just not my sound. Definitely a different direction than the CA9 or db750.

    I'd go with the CA9 and your choice of pre. That's definitely one of my top 3 choices for the NV610. (The other two would be a db750 or SVT.)
  3. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    S810 is a whole different beast than the NV610 ... ported + tweeter vs sealed no tweeter. I'd say more different than the Ashdown is from your big rack. You could try the ashdown with an S410 or a pair of S210s for a club rig before giving up on it. While you're in the aguilar dealer you could also try an AG500.

    I just tried an S410 on a rehersal last week, and was amazed. Its a real beefy cab, so you can run it with a dry sounding head (like the AG500) and still get fat tone.
  4. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    When I first tried out the NV610 that I bought from Cheezewiz, the first amp I grabbed was my iAMP 800 (because it was handy). I didn't expect this to be a great match, but I was in a hurry, and I just wanted to give it a quick listen. Somewhat to my surprise, this combo sounded killer! So good, in fact, that I then had to hook up my NV215 as well! :bassist: :D I was amazed, but the 1,000w into 2 ohm from the iAMP 800 really moved these cabs. And if anyone doesn't care for the 'pristine' sound of the iAMP, the NV cabs do add their own vibe, for sure. Granted, it doesn't sound as 'vintagey' as with my DB 750 (a flat out great amp for the NV series cabs), but I liked the tone very much, and the presentation was very forceful and articulate. So, IME/IMHO, the iAMP 800 is a surprisingly good head for driving the NV series cabs. I do slightly prefer the DB 750 or an all-tube head, but for a relatively light weight option, the iAMP does great.

    Now, as to the Sansamp, I know that a lot of poeple love these things, but try as I might (and I have tried them in a store multiple times), the Sansamp just doesn't do anything for me. With all the folks that do love it, though, I am sure that it's a great product, and that it is just a matter of personal preference.

    Hope this helps, Tom.
  5. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    I have also tried to like the BDDI. I have been using it as my preamp with a Focus SA and Bergie HT112.

    I am selling/trading the Focus fo reither an Eden 550 or an iAmp 500.
  6. Poon


    May 20, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    Although the S810 is ported, it doesn't have a tweeter. I'll be sure to try that though. Thanks.
  7. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Oh, whoops. Thats interesting they left off the tweet. The horn on the S410 has a very crispy yet subdued character to it. Its really nice.
  8. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    really odd and a bit OT:

    while i like the sansamp for recording, i never liked it in any of my live rigs. just never gave me what i wanted. even for bass OD, i didnt dig it all that much and instead use a good ol' tube screamer in a parallel loop for those sounds.

    as for your cab options, maybe its the "aguilar" sound that's getting you. have you tried an AG500 w/ your NV?

    i used to bemoan how it was never the little DB750 i wished it could be, but now i'm starting to appreciate it for what it is. and heck, its a great little head that does the aguilar name proud.

    also, the only real way to single out the variables, is to try the 680/CA9 setup w/ the NV, and vice versa. only way to tell what's worth keeping, and what's not.
  9. Tim1


    Sep 9, 2005
    New Zealand
    I find the best live use for the Sansamp is in front of a solid state amp, such as a gig when you do not need or cannot be bothered to take a tube head. In such circumstances you can get remarkably close to a real tube tone - certainly the audience would be unlikely to pick a difference(but then how many in the audince are critical of bass tone anyway?).
  10. Peg_legs


    Nov 19, 2005
    Huntsville, AL
    I've been using a Sansamp RBI with a CA4 into an NV 425. The RBI wasn't doing much for me. For the last couple weeks I've been using an ART mic pre in place of the RBI and like it alot. I just got an Ashdown pre delivered and hope it solves the tone quest.
  11. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    The BDDI has its own sound, and I think its great for switching from a clean/punchy slap tone to a big ganky rock roar in an instant. The key is to work with the blend control to only add as much gank as you want. I usually dial up an unbearably bassy bright and nasty tone on the emulation side, but then blend it in less than 50%. I'm basically using it as a scoop EQ pedal, with that little extra english from the emulation. I love it, and in the cover band I play in it is a lifesaver. How else are you going to go from Steely Dan to Filter and Radiohead?

    If I just wanted one ideal tone for a whole show, I would probably not include the BDDI in the chain. But then again, if it was a really heavy band, I just might.
  12. Rumzini


    Feb 14, 2004
    Jackson, MI
    Heavy 'r Us. Tha'ts my band...kinda like Sabbath meets STP, meets, Tool. I'm loving the BDDI...so much I just bought the programable. It's really getting me that tone I've been looking for. Very clean, thick , low mid. However...I keep thinking I can get the same if not better out of something like the Demeter, Ashdown, Epifani pres.
  13. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I play a pretty wide range of music, including all of the bands mentioned above, and again, the Sansamps I have tried (haven't tried the new programmable one) all sounded okay, but really didn't turn me on at any setting. I've had lots of better clean tones, and for overdrive, I find that I prefer real tubes (although the Fulltone Bass-Drive is one of my favorite ss units).

  14. Rumzini


    Feb 14, 2004
    Jackson, MI
    Tomorow nights practice will be more than likely be the deciding factor whether the BDDI stays or goes. If goes...there sure are a nice selection of quality pre's in the classifieds. Even for overdrive the Ashdown or I could get an Epifani.
  15. joe skinner

    joe skinner

    Mar 17, 2006
    Sansamp and any decent power amp are unbeatable.
  16. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2002
    Sansamps are OK for overdriven tones, but I find them pretty scooped sounding, and wouldn't use one as part of a signal chain. I carry one, but only for an amp emergency where I'd be forced to use it to go direct into the PA.
  17. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Brooklyn, NY
    Hey Poon, PM and tell me how you're setting the controls on your Ashdown. I'm specifically curious as to whether you're using the pre shape eq or not. Let me know also if you're using the grind knob and where you're putting it.

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