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Tech 21 SansAmp Bass Driver DI  

Item #: 
1273887990654
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A preamp DI that's made believers out of bass players because it makes ordinary gear sound so fantastic! Exclusive Tube Amplifier Emulation circuitry delivers the warmth, presence, and punch of a soup... Click To Read More About This Product

Price:
$1990.00
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Overview

A preamp DI that's made believers out of bass players because it makes ordinary gear sound so fantastic! Exclusive Tube Amplifier Emulation circuitry delivers the warmth, presence, and punch of a souped-up bass system and it produces monster overdrive sounds, too. Includes an XLR out for DI and a parallel 1/4" out for running an unaffected signal to your stage amp. Has Presence, Drive, Level, and Blend controls; active Bass; and Treble EQ. Can use phantom power or 9V battery. Highly recommended by our bass guys.

Features
  • Preamp, stomp box, and direct box in one
  • Offers a wide range of bass amp sounds
  • Active EQ boosts/cuts up to ±12db
Warranty
MANUFACTURER'S WARRANTY
One year parts and labor warranty.


GUITAR CENTER'S PRO COVERAGE
Pro Coverage gives you added warranty protection for your new gear. Stepping in where the manufacturer's "normal wear and tear" coverage ends, our Pro Coverage program offers you upgraded coverage if your product ever fails Read More.

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  • Customer Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
Tech 21SansAmp Bass Driver DI
 
4.7

(based on 127 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (106)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (13)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (3)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Compact (9)
  • Excellent sound quality (8)
  • Responsive (6)
  • Good selection of effects (5)
  • Versatile (5)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Performances (7)
  • Home studio (5)
  • Outdoor events / games (5)
  • Amateur recording (4)
  • Professional recording (4)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (7), Professional musician (3)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

It's hard not to gloat

PA systems have come a long way but that's a good thing for bassists. Instead of a backline of refrigerator-sized cabinets, it's entirely possible (and usually preferable) to rely on this little unit...Read complete review

PA systems have come a long way but that's a good thing for bassists. Instead of a backline of refrigerator-sized cabinets, it's entirely possible (and usually preferable) to rely on this little unit fed directly into the mixing board, exempting you and your bandmates from the volume wars. Obviously a good monitor is a must but setup and tear-down is so fast and easy it's like stealing. The sound men will thank you for the quality of your tone and for the simplicity of your 'rig.'
The promise of technology that can reduce or eliminate cumbersome equipment such as heavy tube amplifiers, cabinets, etc. is rarely met by the reality of such technology. It seems that modelers and the like always involve a trade-off: simplicity means compromising sound quality. Most musicians aren't willing to make such a trade and for good reason.

As someone who has hopped the fence countless times between bleeding-edge new and old reliable, I approached the SansAmp with the usual leavening of skepticism, especially given that bass is often as much about raw physical presence (the thud) as it is musical expression. Could a box the size of two decks of cards deliver the sound(s) of a amplifier/cabinet rig? The short answer is....yes. The long answer is yes...and it sounds much better than the equipment it replaces!

The features and controls are detailed elsewhere but suffice it to say that there is as much variety as quality on offer. Some products are renowned for doing one thing well...but only that one thing. This unit provides for a nearly unlimited tonal palette as well as the often-overlooked ability to adjust the mix of the 'magic' with the straight dry signal. True, most will keep the blend knob at max but at least the option is there if so desired.

The switches for power source/ground, line/inst etc. further increase the flexibility and usability since one size rarely fits all in a live or studio setting.

Did I say studio? Oh yes...beyond the fantastic sounds this little box produces it's also a top-notch DI for recording. It easily eclipses my GK 1001RB head for tone and ease of use. No cabs, no endless trial-and-error mic placement. Edits such as overdubs and punch-ins, including those long-after-the-fact fixes that require an identical tone (obviously) are a snap.
A powder-coated metal box with rubberized, solid-feeling pots and enamel labels - this unit can take a pounding. Design has remained unchanged since Tech 21 introduced it, which should be evidence enough of its real-world durability and satisfactory feedback from users.
Two bills is the pain threshold for many buyers when it comes to mere 'pedals' but when you consider what this unit is capable of doing then the price appears very reasonable indeed when compared to the potential time, money and effort you might expend in going through a variety of amp heads, cabinets, combos, preamps, etc. in order to nail down the tone you've been seeking.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

OK for a 4 string, but not a 5 string

I have owned the SansAmp bass driver for 3 years; it has good tube-like tone shaping ability except it is lean on the very low end. Some reviews are critical that it doesn't have...Read complete review

I have owned the SansAmp bass driver for 3 years; it has good tube-like tone shaping ability except it is lean on the very low end. Some reviews are critical that it doesn't have a mid frequency control, but in fact it does if you read the instructions. I would love it if it were not for a couple of reasons. I play a 5 string through a custom built cab that plays flat to 30 Hz. I can hear the fundamental of the low B string at 31 Hz without the sansamp, but with it plugged in, the low end is lacking. Turning up the bass level doesn't help either. I believe the low current op amps in the sansamp are to blame. Plus there is an incredible amount of hiss from my bridge pickup with this device. I think this would be great for a 4 string bass with low noise pickups, but with my setup it doesn't satisify.

Reviewed by 127 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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5.0

Good....

By Cjduran

from Venezuela

About Me Experienced

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Compact Design
  • Excellent Sound Quality
  • Good Selection Of Effects

Cons

  • Limited Selection Of Effects

Best Uses

  • Professional Recording

Comments about Tech 21 SansAmp Bass Driver DI:

Good Bass Preamp

 
5.0

Really a nice addition

By Kurt

from Pittston, PA

About Me Experienced

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Compact Design
  • Excellent Sound Quality
  • Responsive

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Events
    • Performances

    Comments about Tech 21 SansAmp Bass Driver DI:

    Use it every time I play. It's like it polishes the sound. Such a great pedal.

     
    4.0

    Very happy with it!

    By StAugBassMan

    from Saint Augustine, FL

    About Me Experienced

    Pros

    • Compact Design
    • Good Selection Of Effects
    • Responsive
    • Versatile

    Cons

    • A little noisy when engaged

    Best Uses

    • Amateur Recording
    • Events
    • Home Studio
    • Performances

    Comments about Tech 21 SansAmp Bass Driver DI:

    In 2 days it will be one year since I purchased this Sansamp from MF. I've been very happy with the device in that it allows me to plug directly into a mixing board and not have to carry a ton of gear! Don't know about y'all, but my Fender bass is heavy!! Then add on a 2x10 or 4x10 cab (or both!) and head or even a just combo amp and you still have a back breaker. I have all the juice and tone I need to shine through the mix plugged right into the board, and my position near the subs helps a lot too :) Of course this configuration works great for just about any venue but larger venues I prefer to have my cabs too but still use this to pump me up. It's all about the BASS :D

    The only complaint I have is that when it is engaged it is very hard to filter out the slight static noise I hear in the background when everything is silent or muted except my channel. When the music starts of course I don't hear the noise at all. This is why I gave it 4 stars. It would have been 4 1/2 if I could have selected it!

    It's built tough, works off phantom power only if you use an XLR cable. If you use a standard 1/4 you will need a 9 volt battery or power supply. They recommend in the docs keeping a 9v in all the time.

    The parallel output for me comes in handy to plug my tuner in to it for quick checks.. yes, old school sabine tuner :D

    I also like the sample settings diagrams the docs show you to get different sounds and levels. There are also instructional videos on youtube if you need them.

    Before you engage, make sure you check and lower the gain on your channel or you will get an unpleasant blast through the PA! The gain on my home board is set to like 2 and even that is a little push! If you are going to use the boost AND normal sound then you will need to find a happy medium setting for your gain. I just keep mine engaged the whole time I am playing.

    (0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    1.0

    Noisy

    By Larry

    from undisclosed

    Verified Buyer

    Comments about SansAmp Bass Driver DI:

    Useful unit, but it is so noisy. Ground noise, I thought first, but none of my Source Audio pedals do this. I might need to return it.

     
    5.0

    Love it!

    By David

    from undisclosed

    Verified Buyer

    Comments about Tech 21 SansAmp Bass Driver DI:

    Works as advertised. Delivered quickly!

     
    5.0

    EVERY BASS PLAYER SHOULD HAVE ONE!!!

    By tree_trunker

    from Andrews, TX

    About Me Professional Musician

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Compact Design
    • Excellent Sound Quality

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Amateur Recording
      • Events
      • Home Studio
      • Performances
      • Professional Recording

      Comments about Tech 21 SansAmp Bass Driver DI:

      I bought this unit because I recently began playing on our church's worship team, and we use in-ear monitors with a direct box. I've always used an amp, and I have a sound I enjoy hearing from my equipment. My amp for small gigs is my GK MB200, and my set-up for large gigs is my Eden WT-550 along with a Behringer NU3000DSP. Speakers I use individually or in combinations: Carvin RL210T, Trace Elliott 15", Seismic Audio 2x15, personal 2-ft3 cab I built with a Faital Pro 12PR300A woofer (which I HIGHLY recommend btw), and a personal 8-ft3 ported cabinet I built tuned to 30 Hz with a Selenium 18SW800 woofer. I use the latter cab with my Behringer for an AWESOME bottom octave fill. BTW the Seismic Audio 2x15 is pretty good despite it's cheap price...but I digress!

      My point is to let people know that I usually play with pretty good equipment to get "the sound" that I want. When I first played at my new church, I was adjusting to in-ear monitors and not hearing/feeling my bass like I wanted and was used to. I spent MANY hours on forums and reading reviews to see where I needed to start. Though the SansAmp may not be everyone's favorite, almost everyone seems to agree every bass player should have one. Well, I want to add my 2-cents worth to echo that sentiment!

      I spent some time with the SansAmp on my rig at home and through my personal sound system to "dial in" a sound that I liked. When I say I liked it, I mean I REALLY liked it! Besides the bass, mid, and treble settings, the Presence and Drive are AWESOME to help you get what you want. What I learned quickly is that a little adjustment goes a long way. I've attached a picture of my most used setting. I now love the sound I get in my ears and through the sound system at our church. I can't say I don't miss the "feel" from my personal system, but the SansAmp has been a life...uum, or ear...saver! When playing large gigs, I've discovered I prefer to include the SansAmp along with my Eden. Thank you, Tech 21!!!

       
      5.0

      Make your passive bass sound active

      By RandyG

      from Pueblo, Co

      About Me Professional Musician

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Compact Design
      • Excellent Sound Quality

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Performances

        Comments about Tech 21 SansAmp Bass Driver DI:

        I have a Fender P-bass that I really love. A few weeks ago I went to GC and played an Ibanez SR500 with active pickups. I was so blown away with the sound I wanted to buy it then and there. The sales guy recommended that I try the Sansamp Bass Driver. I was blown away by how good it made my bass sound. I bought and have used it for liver performances. It is like having a new active bass.

         
        5.0

        Was as expected

        By StAugBassMan

        from Saint Augustine, FL

        About Me Experienced

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Compact Design
        • Excellent Sound Quality
        • Good Selection Of Effects
        • Responsive
        • Versatile

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Events
          • Home Studio
          • Performances

          Comments about Tech 21 SansAmp Bass Driver DI:

          Wanting it sit in with my friends that have regular gigs, I was looking for a quick easy setup for impromptu sessions where I would not have to lug the cab/head gear all over the place. This device is specifically used as a pre-amp going directly to the main mixing console. I play a Fender P-Bass Deluxe which has both P/J pickups. It gives me enough juice and presence that it works with most regular PA systems... in the case where the mains and subs are sub-par or small I bring my cab, but this sure does lighten the load because it fits right in my bass case. Easy to get familiar with, can run on phantom power (XLR) from the mixing console or 9V and multiple outs... I don't use any effects, usually a clean tone just to provide the bottom.

          The price is a little high but the name and quality are solid.

          All the good reviews convinced me this was the one, and I am glad I spent a little more on it the first time instead of having to re-buy later :D

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          The secret to making your bass sound amazing, without pushing tubes or clipping SS amps

          By ROBERT

          from Michigan

          Comments about Tech 21 SansAmp Bass Driver DI:

          I own 2 of these units, the RBI Rack model and the pedal, this is the best investment for any bass player, This pedal brings out the best in any amp or bass! For example I own a modern telebass with humbuckers that gives a really nasty-unwanting boomy bass tone to my taste, it has no clean attack or drive but when I use it with present and and blend cranked, I get a wonderful emulated bass tone WITH the good boomy humbucker tone! Its amazing how this pedal works, I got the pedal bored version because rack cases get too heavy and wide so just bringing a sansamp pedal head (svt7pro/svtclassic) and boss a tu-2 loadin/out to a show is lightwightwieght (depending on if I use my 8x10 and SVT-CL or 4x10 and Svt7) and SUPER POWERFUL! Sansamps are also really good on your actually bass amps, as rock/metal bass players we tend to be loud so we tend to push the tubes on your amp for solid state players you will clip, the sansamp helps you achieve volumes without pushing your amps tubes so you will have a better tubelife on your amp.

          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          amazing sound

          By Dan

          from Phoenix, AZ

          About Me Experienced

          Pros

          • Compact Design
          • Excellent Sound Quality
          • Good Selection Of Effects
          • Responsive
          • Versatile

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Amateur Recording
            • Home Studio
            • Performances
            • Professional Recording

            Comments about Tech 21 SansAmp Bass Driver DI:

            I picked this up as a possible pre-amp for my little under powered practice amp and to add some better controls to my sound. I decided to bring it along to a venue and use the DI since the venue had in-ear monitors and to reduce the stage noise. I use this as the last in a chain of compressor-noise gate then sansamp DI and then plugged directly into the XLR in the venue. I was AMAZED at the sounds I was able to produce on the house PA with this thing. The other band members were suitably impressed as well.

            It also turned my sad little practice amp into a monster - it now gets far louder than it should. It makes the low end of my bass (4 string) really rumble (even more so through the XLR/PA output). There are only a few controls on the Sansamp, but there are enough that you can play with the sound and dial in just about anything you'd need as a bass player. I will be using this until I can't play anymore.

            Buy this, spend some time working with the dials, and you won't regret it.

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