Jump to content

sans amp... good


fannedfretbass

Recommended Posts

  • CMS Author

That's why stuff like the Line6 Bass POD and SansAmp BDDI often gets a bad rap around here. People try to use them like stompboxes rather than DI's or recording tools. Then they bitch that Line6 or SansAmp sucks
:rolleyes:

 

Well, it's designed as a stompbox. Hence the big footswitch on the box....upon which to stomp.

 

It's marketed as one too, on their website description:

Three different outputs to drive power amps, recording desks, PA mixers, or simply enhance your current rig.

 

Maybe it gets a bad rap because it boasts the ability to do things it can't....like accurately emulate all-tube power amps:

...the SansAmp Bass Driver DI is capable of dialing up big vintage tube tones...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

You got that right!
:thu:

I had a SansAmp BDDI many years ago. I've only used it a handful of times when playing outdoor gigs. The alternative was a generic DI box. The soundman seemed happy and folks in the audience commented that the bass sounded good. In that respect, I was happy with it. I never used it to record with, so I can't comment on that. As a stompbox, I thought it basically sucked.

 

As for the Bass POD, I've been using it for informal recording. Scrapped all the presets, which were terrible. Dialed in 4-5 of my own settings. I don't think I've ever used any of the effects. The compression sucks (just like pretty much all software compressors). But the basic amp and cab models are pretty damned good. I get far better resuts than I would if I tried to mic up my amp in my bedroom.

 

All of these devices have their place.

 

Emre

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Well, it's designed as a stompbox. Hence the big footswitch on the box....upon which to stomp.

Despite the fact that it kind of looks like a stompbox (and despite whatever hype is on their website)...it's called the Bass Driver DI. It was clearly designed as a DI. It has all the functionality of a DI. The fact that it only really works well as a DI and basically sucks as a stompbox are additional clues that it is, in fact, a DI ;)

 

Emre

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

 

All of these devices have their place.

 

 

Absolutely. In the trash! :poke: I can't stop it. Sorry.

 

But seriously, they do have many good uses and fit perfectly for many applications. The funniest situation I saw with one of these was a local bass player playing his Warwick into a Bass Pod (setup to simulate some bass amp) into a Mesa 400+, eq'ed to all hell into some 4x10. He hated his sound (for good reason), but couldn't figure out why. I plugged my P bass directly into the 400+, set the EQ flat and rocked it for him. There it was, the tone he had been chasing. Silly bassists...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

 

But seriously, they do have many good uses and fit perfectly for many applications. The funniest situation I saw with one of these was a local bass player playing his Warwick into a Bass Pod (setup to simulate some bass amp) into a Mesa 400+, eq'ed to all hell into some 4x10. He hated his sound (for good reason), but couldn't figure out why.

Yeah, that's exactly what I was talking about! The Line6 is a recording tool...not some sort of effects pedal. Put it in front of an amp and you get total crap. Use it for informal recording and you can get some great results. All the guys who bash it would probably be shocked to see how much Line6 hardware and software gets used in professional studios. I would never have even have heard of Line6 if I hadn't been introduced to it by some friends of mine who are professional producers and sound engineers.

 

As for the BDDI, again, I think the role is as a supped-up DI box. Go easy on the EQ, use the Drive and Presence controls VERY sparingly, and it works quite well as a complement to a mic'ed cab.

 

Emre

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

 

Yeah, that's exactly what I was talking about! The Line6 is a recording tool...not some sort of effects pedal. Put it in front of an amp and you get total crap. Use it for informal recording and you can get some great results. All the guys who bash it would probably be shocked to see how much Line6 hardware and software gets used in professional studios. I would never have even have heard of Line6 if I hadn't been introduced to it by some friends of mine who are professional producers and sound engineers.


As for the BDDI, again, I think the role is as a supped-up DI box. Go easy on the EQ, use the Drive and Presence controls VERY sparingly, and it works quite well as a complement to a mic'ed cab.


Emre

 

 

I've seen Line 6 used in the studios and on tours. If I went into a studio and the producer told me I had to use Line ^ gear, I would not fear that my tone would suck. However, I think it is getting used less in the past 5 years than it was the previous 5 years, but it isn't dead technology either. I also could be completely wrong since my sample size is admittedly relatively small.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • CMS Author

Despite the fact that it kind of looks like a stompbox (and despite whatever hype is on their website)...it's called the Bass Driver
DI
. It was clearly designed as a DI. It has all the functionality of a DI. The fact that it only really works well as a DI and basically
sucks
as a stompbox are additional clues that it is, in fact, a DI
;)

Emre

 

It's priced and marketed and clearly designed as a more than a simple DI.

 

Hence the presence of every control that isn't a ground lift, which is the only control you're likley to find on a simple DI. It does enhance the sound of a bass. It just doesn't meet the nearly impossible claim of emulating tube amps.

 

$190 for a DI, or a stompbox, is a lot. People get pissed with it because it doesn't do what it's marketed to do, plain and simple. For about $75 less, one can get the Countryman Type 85...an excellent simple active DI. For $140 less, the Audiopile active DI is great, and a fantastic bargain.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

 

It's priced and marketed and clearly designed as a more than a simple DI.


Hence the presence of every control that isn't a ground lift, which is the only control you're likley to find on a simple DI. It does enhance the sound of a bass. It just doesn't meet the nearly impossible claim of emulating tube amps.

Yeah, you're right about all that of course. I've always looked at it as a very expensive DI...with a bit of extra functionality thrown in. I guess that's why I was satisfied with it.

 

At the time (maybe 1994 or '95), I was looking for a DI box and I was offered a brand new BDDI for something like $180 at a local music store. I bought it on impulse. I never had major complaints with it. It worked well as a DI box and let me add a tiny bit of grit to my sound. In those days, I was doing more slap-and-pop type of stuff and I was pretty happy with the slightly scooped mid, lightly overdriven sound. Then I bought an SWR Red Head that had a built-in DI section, so I unloaded the BDDI to a buddy in Europe who was dying to get his hands on one.

 

But you're right, Tech 21 does seem to market the BDDI as some sort of tone-sculpting tool, which is dishonest to a large degree. I can see why people would be pissed if they didn't get what they thought they were getting.

 

Emre

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

 

However, I think it is getting used less in the past 5 years than it was the previous 5 years, but it isn't dead technology either.

What are guys using these days? I haven't been in a pro studio for a couple of years now, so I'm kind of out of the loop.

 

Emre

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

 

What are guys using these days? I haven't been in a pro studio for a couple of years now, so I'm kind of out of the loop.


Emre

 

 

I basically haven't plugged my bass into anything other than a B-15N, Neve channel strip pulled from an old console, Avalon U5, Radial JDI or Countryman Type 85 since 2002 in any of the 7 studios (of varying professionalism) I've been in.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

You can score a powerful PA amp used on craigslist for not too much dough. Some good brands to keep your eye out for are Carvin, Crest, Crown, Peavey, QSC... You should be able to score what you need in about the $200-$250 range on the used market.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

Many of those companies put out lgithweight models of their amps - for example QSC. I use a QSC PLX when I use a power amp, but it would be significantly cheaper to pick up a QSC RMX. The RMX is just as good an amp, but it is significantly heavier. If you are willing to bear the weight, you will be able to get a deal.

 

Also, make sure your SansAmp is one of the newer ones (the last two or three years?) that is capable of driving a power amp to full power. Otherwise (say it a long with me kids) "you're going to need a preamp with that."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...