The Tech 21 SansAmp Bass Driver DI is a 3-channel, programmable rig-in-a-box similar to the TRI-A.C. for guitar, but made for bassists. The all-analog circuitry features drive, bass, treble, presence,... Read More
The Tech 21 SansAmp Bass Driver DI is a 3-channel, programmable rig-in-a-box similar to the TRI-A.C. for guitar, but made for bassists. The all-analog circuitry features drive, bass, treble, presence, blend, and level controls. Digital only in its programmability, you just tweak the knobs until you find a tone, double-tap on a footswitch, and it's saved in that channel. Works great on stage or in the studio. Rugged all-metal construction. Operates via a 9V alkaline battery, phantom power, or the optional Tech 21 DC2 power supply. 7.25"L x 5"W x 2"H. 25 oz.
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Reviewed by 12 customers
This thing sounds great! The manual lists some example tone settings, and my favorites are pretty close to their Fat Tube, SVT, and Distorted Bass settings for rock. It's nice to have three great tones at the push of a button.
I had never seen a piece of gear so universally cherished and endorsed before, so when I decided to switch from digital multi-fx to an analog signal path, I gave it a shot. Wow. When sound guys joke about hitting the 'talent button' on their board, this would be it for bassists. With just a little bit of fiddling and experimenting on the knobs I was able to make a friends Squier P sound like a Mike Dirnt special. Full and round.... articulate and clear with a defined bass presence. It makes makes cheap basses sound very respectable and good basses sound like something Rick Rubin would respect. I'm really picky about a gain or distorted sound on basses. I think most distortion effects out there lose bass tone, become inarticulate and cloudy, or both. This little beauty has some extremely tasty levels of edge to its gain setting. Give it about 25% on the gain and you get just enough snarly edge to it to bring a Flea (Higher Ground) tone... 50-70% is enough for me for spots where gain is called for, and when I a-b the channel I set for clean tones and the channel for gain, ZERO LOW END IS LOST, it just added the growl over the top. Why is that so hard for other pedal manufacturers to master? You're a metalhead? the same applies to pushing the gain to its limits. You can get a crazy buzzsaw distortion with no loss of that crucial low end. I have several pedals on my board, but if someone stole everything and left the sansamp behind, I'd confidently play the biggest gigs and record without batting an eye. Here are a few tips that would have saved me a little time had I known this from the beginning. Lets say you've dialed in on channel 1 a great clean tone that will be your primary. Copy those settings to channel 2, but add gain and slightly decrease level until you find your sweet spot. Here's the kicker that i wish i had known... when you turn a knob, the led will start to flash. It flashes more slowly as you dial further away from the current programmed setting. As you get closer to the previous setting, the led flashes more and more quickly until its solid. when its solid, you're back to that channels current setting. Smart, Tech21. It's a big help! When you play and transport gear alot, knobs sometimes get moved accidentally or when you're not looking, but this box will tell you just where your favorite settings are. Summary. If you're unsure, borrow one and try it out... if you can find a bassist who will let it out of their sight! Aside from the bass itself, its the only piece of gear I'd label as an absolute requirement. And the standard boss power supply fits just fine.
A friend of mine who plays bass recommend this box to me. He just raved about it, and explained how it is one of the most important and valued pieces of his entire bass setup. This SansAmp just arrived today. I spent the last hour messing around with it, to learn how it works. I can honestly say this is the coolest and most useful piece of equipment in my music room (and I have a mini GuitarCenter in my basement). I have an Ibanez bass with flatwound strings, and a Fender Rumble 100. I hooked this up (Monster bass cables) and it defaulted to switch #1. The sound was exactly what I expected my setup to sound like, but hasnt until this point. The 2nd and 3rd switch is pre-programmed as well. Switches 1, 2, and 3 are programmed to the first 3 examples in the booklet that comes with this box. This box is analog (other than the digital memory for the programmable switches), and it shows in its sound. It creates a tube sound, although, I do not think there is a tube in the box. Sure does sound like it. I now have so much control over the sound of my bass. Its amazing how much a small turn of a couple dials totally changes what you hear through this thing. I also like that I can run this directly into my USB recording interface, and capture the tonal output in my recordings. Before this box, I would just record the direct signal into my interface, then digitally manipulate the sound with bass effects and such. Although I have a bunch of guitar effect pedals, I know that this one box is going to keep my bass sounding awesome, and provides me with so many different sounds. It doesnt do modulation effects, or reverb / delay, but thats not what its designed for. I highly recommend this for anyone who wants to gain control over how their bass sounds, and improve the ability to get your signal to an amp, PA, or recording input.
Bought this pedal to beef up my tone and take advantage of this pedals great overdrive sound. Spent close to an hour trying to dial in the tones that i wanted because there are a lot of options. I plan to use this pedal to enhance my solid state amp. The blend knob is great. Emulates tube tone very well. The only thing to be wary about of this pedal is that if you have the blend knob at 100% and raise the level knob past 9 o'clock, you will get an unwanted noise in the background of your signal. i rarely raise the level past 9 o'clock so its not much of a problem for me. Just thought i should let others know. In a nutshell, its a great pedal and for only 10 bucks more, you get 2 more channels! go to your local GC and try it out!
I echo all the comments from other reviewers in that it is a great thing to have. The unit easily shapes and clarifies your sound, like fine-tuning, which oftentimes bass amps and instrument controls just aren't able to do. And you have 3 banks for storage. Someone mentioned "changing sounds on the fly, having to remember what you set each knob to" when you saved it in banks 1-3. However, you don't have to remember because you can easily find out where each knob was set to just by moving each knob in either direction. A light will blink on the unit once the knob is moved off from it's stored position. It will blink faster the further away you get from the stored postion. When you get the knob back onto the previously stored position, the light will stop blinking. Doing that with all 6 knobs will get you to that channels preset location and sound. Seems time consuming but as you get use to doing it, you'll be able to do it on the fly. Another great feature, although I haven't tried it yet, is you can power the unit using phantom power from the PA using XLR. Price is very reasonable, go get one!
This Thing is sick!! And I can't play without it !!! I have it running on the GK MB115 and an Ibanez sr 300! Can only imagine what my sound would be be with sper full on Rig!! Get it players!!!!
I have been playing bass since 1967 and been around the world, played every imaginable amp cabinet combination and tried various effecte pedals. I just got this rig today, I plugged it in to my normally docile 600w 2x10-1x18 carvin red eye,,this thing woke up my 12 yr old amp from the graveyard. I was impressed right out of the box. I flattened everything on the amp and started adjusting the driver and it immediately sounded better than my rig has ever sounded, and I have tried a few pedal's and such over the years.I usually don't go for too much preamp or pedal use, but I think I have found an excellent tool to blow my band away with. My hopped up 77'Precision never sounded so alive. It also woke up my 78" stock Precision, I will play that one more on stage now. Cant wait to get this on stage and let'er rip. The only downside I noticed was a little hiss with the treble and presence all the way up, might just be operator error on my part being new to this device. I would highly recommend this unit to anyone. Go to your local Guitar Center and give it a try.
This pedal will make your tone sound 100 times better through a solid state amp. I play through a 200W Acoustic B200H head and a Hartke 4 X 10 4.5 Bass module. Not only does it give me a smoother tone but it also boosts the volume and makes my lows much more responsive. Like someone said before, it is difficult to change settings on the fly because you have to remember where the original was and go from there, but with 3 save options I have never needed to. My friend had the one channel which is why i decided to buy this. Sounds just like the 1 channel Sansamp bass driver but is only $10 more for 2 extra channels. If you want it, BUY IT! Awesome Pedal.
If you haved a tube amp, dont bother. If you have a solid state like i do and you want some tube-esque distortion this is the pedal for you. I can get any level or type of distortion or overdrive i need. I play a Rickenbacker 4003 into this into an svt450 and i get a great tone out of it. Great for players who want opetions with their tone.
I've had this little dandy for about a year now and I don't think I can take the stage without it. You get the growl of the overdrive that you really can't achieve through most amps (I'm running this in front of a SVT3-Pro and a 610), and the icing on the cake is the programmable settings. Playing multi-faceted styles of music means you're having to calm down in the valleys and get up-close and personal at your peaks. Can't really do that with a single channel overdrive. This pedal allows you experiment with your sounds and really find your niche. Another thing is letting this little guy act as your pre-amp. Most amps will have an input in the back that will let you plug in a preamp. No more fussing trying to get your tone out of an amp that doesn't have any. This can fix a bad sounding bass head. The last great bonus is the DI built in. No more sound techs trying to mike your cab: just plug the mic cable straight into the side and you're pumping through the venue like a beast. All in all, this a must-have for any musician who's serious about versatility and reliability.