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Tech 21 SansAmp 3-Channel Programmable Bass Driver DI   

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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-analo...Read More

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OVERVIEW

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.

Leave your rig at home and go live through the PA!

FEATURES
  • 3-channel, programmable rig-in-a-box
  • Drive, bass, treble, presence, blend, and level controls
  • 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
Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
Tech 21SansAmp 3-Channel Programmable Bass Driver DI
 
4.7

(based on 41 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (34)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Excellent sound quality (7)
  • Versatile (7)
  • Compact (5)
  • Responsive (5)
  • Good selection of effects (3)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Performances (7)
  • Home studio (6)
  • Professional recording (6)
  • Amateur recording (4)
  • Outdoor events / games (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Professional musician (6)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

How did I ever play without it?

This box is essential and irreplaceable whether I'm playing live shows, recording at home or in the studio, or just practicing and songwriting. No matter what I'm playing through (amp, PA,...Read complete review

This box is essential and irreplaceable whether I'm playing live shows, recording at home or in the studio, or just practicing and songwriting. No matter what I'm playing through (amp, PA, etc), I can always and reliably call up the exact tone I want. It replaces a $500+ tube amp (which would then need to be miced!) with a box that fits in my gig bag and requires zero set-up - I can just plug in and I'm ready to go.

The lack of a mid EQ knob doesn't cause a problem for me, it just requires thinking differently about how to set your other knobs. Want a mid cut? Raise both treble and bass and lower level. Want a mid boost? Lower both treble and bass and raise level. Even if you think you know how to work an EQ, spend at least half an hour with this thing slowly and methodically experimenting with each dial and their combinations...the range of tones you can get out of this easily surpasses what can be done with any amp I have worked with in the past. Especially impressive is the blend knob, even with the drive set all the way up it never sounds like two basses playing in parallel, but one solid tone. The manual suggests you will usually want to keep your blend on full wet and adjust drive to taste, but the opposite works as well if not better, maintaining a strong fundamental even as things start to get nice and crunchy. Honestly I like the drive on this better than any dedicated overdrive pedal I have used in the past, though that is of course especially subjective.

I would use this over amps with more than double the price tag any day - the added flexibility of the programmable switches, the convenience of never dealing with micing a cab on a small loud stage, the fact that it can even run on phantom power from the XLR output (or a 9v battery) - other than my bass itself, this is by FAR the most important piece of hardware I own.

There's no real reason to buy the normal BDDI over this, the price difference is minimal and the flexibility of the footswitches is much of the reason I will choose this over an actual tube amp any day. The deluxe adds a few cool features, but they aren't necessary for most musicians - the big one is an effects loop, like on your amp.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Not For Everyone

If you have a good bass amp and always use your amp, you do not need this Sans Amp. It is intended for connecting between your bass guitar and a mixer, PA or...Read complete review

If you have a good bass amp and always use your amp, you do not need this Sans Amp. It is intended for connecting between your bass guitar and a mixer, PA or recording equipment, so that you have more control over your sound. I purchased it and I do not need it because I always use my amp. I will keep it because I know that one day I will play somewhere and just plug into the available equipment; this DI (Direct Box) should come in handy then. By the way, it is very easy to program and it comes in a sturdy medal casing.

Reviewed by 41 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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3.0

tone sucker

By devil

from georgia

About Me Professional Musician

Ask me a question

Pros

  • works with pf500

Cons

  • clank clank clank
  • Difficult To Use
  • doesnt work with my ;lh500
  • no mid
  • Poor Sound Quality
  • where my tone go???

Best Uses

    Comments about Tech 21 SansAmp 3-Channel Programmable Bass Driver DI:

    okay so years ago I got this and loved it, I used it through a pf500 and it sounded great. Then the moment I started using my hartke rig and holly he11 IDK if its it reacting with the amp or something but this thing sucks the heck out of my tone, and it not having a mid control doesnt help since thats what my tone is bassed around. and then I just decided to try it with my recently acquired stingray and that bass sounds good through everything...except that pedal, my bass big mu## (apparently the name of the pedal is fowl language) sounds 1000000000 times better then this.

    Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

     
    5.0

    Yes

    By No nick name

    from Redding, California

    About Me Novice

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

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

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Home Studio

      Comments about Tech 21 SansAmp 3-Channel Programmable Bass Driver DI:

      My own private use

      Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

       
      5.0

      Believe the hype

      By VinnyVee

      from Columbus OH

      About Me Experienced

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Compact Design
      • Excellent Sound Quality
      • Versatile

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Events
        • Home Studio
        • Performances
        • Professional Recording

        Comments about Tech 21 SansAmp 3-Channel Programmable Bass Driver DI:

        I love this thing. I use this for recording and stage shows alike. The programmability of this device is super convenient. The drive you can set up from a touch of extra bite all the way to Burton-esque distortion. This supersedes the direct out on my amp. This device helps me reach those perfect sounds I strive for.

        For recording, I've completely quit using amp simulation for bass, as the sound of this exceeds any amp simulators I've used. If you're thinking about getting this... do it!

        Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

         
        5.0

        Really, REALLY good!

        By Rico Belled

        from Sherman Oaks, CA

        About Me Professional Musician

        Pros

        • Excellent Sound Quality
        • Well-Built

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Performances
          • Professional Recording

          Comments about Tech 21 SansAmp 3-Channel Programmable Bass Driver DI:

          I've been doing mostly fly dates, all over the world, and the hardest thing is always having a different amp to deal with. I've tried various pedals over the years, but even without having used the Sansamp on a gig yet, I already know this is THE ONE. Been playing with it in my studio and the sound is just awesome, and the flexibility is perfect. You can dial in anything from a clean little boost with no amp saturation, to nice hypey slap sound, to full on distorted SVT. Programming couldn't be easier, phantom powering it works perfectly and quietly, and the unit is solid but nice and light and even works on battery power quite efficiently.

          But, above all, it sounds AWESOME! The blend knob allows you to put as much 'amp sim' in the tone as you want, but with headphones on I've been loving the full on tone this unit gives you. The distortion is sweet, with still pleny of dynamics left in the tone.

          HIGHLY recommended!

          Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Lives up to the hype!

          By ClayHinson

          from Athens, GA

          About Me Professional Musician

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Compact Design
          • Excellent Sound Quality
          • Responsive
          • Versatile

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Amateur Recording
            • Home Studio
            • Live Show
            • Performances
            • Professional Recording

            Comments about Tech 21 SansAmp 3-Channel Programmable Bass Driver DI:

            As a bass player your equipment needs are pretty simple. A quality instrument, A versatile and powerful amp, and a good DI. Sound guys in most clubs do not except the DI you have included on your amp. This DI is so much better in that it provides your pre amp, eq, and overdrive. The presets deliver a very good starting point, 1 SVT, 2 B15, 3 high gain overdrive. This unit is very responsive to your playing. If you dig in and attack the strings hard you get a nice break up overdriven sound. If you smoothly play you will get a nice R&B sound. Last but not least is the power versatility of this pedal, 9v battery, power supply, and best of all phantom powered. Sansamp really delivers!

            Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

             
            5.0

            amazing

            Pros

            • Compact Design
            • Excellent Sound Quality
            • Gets The Job Done
            • Good Selection Of Effects
            • Portable
            • Responsive
            • Versatile

            Cons

              Best Uses

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

              Comments about Tech 21 SansAmp 3-Channel Programmable Bass Driver DI:

              This thing is sick, it gets anywhere from a dirty tone to a clean one and everything in between, the presets in the little manual is helpful to

              Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

              (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              How did I ever play without it?

              By dC

              from Albany, NY

              About Me Professional Musician

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

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

              Cons

                Best Uses

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

                Comments about Tech 21 SansAmp 3-Channel Programmable Bass Driver DI:

                This box is essential and irreplaceable whether I'm playing live shows, recording at home or in the studio, or just practicing and songwriting. No matter what I'm playing through (amp, PA, etc), I can always and reliably call up the exact tone I want. It replaces a $500+ tube amp (which would then need to be miced!) with a box that fits in my gig bag and requires zero set-up - I can just plug in and I'm ready to go.

                The lack of a mid EQ knob doesn't cause a problem for me, it just requires thinking differently about how to set your other knobs. Want a mid cut? Raise both treble and bass and lower level. Want a mid boost? Lower both treble and bass and raise level. Even if you think you know how to work an EQ, spend at least half an hour with this thing slowly and methodically experimenting with each dial and their combinations...the range of tones you can get out of this easily surpasses what can be done with any amp I have worked with in the past. Especially impressive is the blend knob, even with the drive set all the way up it never sounds like two basses playing in parallel, but one solid tone. The manual suggests you will usually want to keep your blend on full wet and adjust drive to taste, but the opposite works as well if not better, maintaining a strong fundamental even as things start to get nice and crunchy. Honestly I like the drive on this better than any dedicated overdrive pedal I have used in the past, though that is of course especially subjective.

                I would use this over amps with more than double the price tag any day - the added flexibility of the programmable switches, the convenience of never dealing with micing a cab on a small loud stage, the fact that it can even run on phantom power from the XLR output (or a 9v battery) - other than my bass itself, this is by FAR the most important piece of hardware I own.

                There's no real reason to buy the normal BDDI over this, the price difference is minimal and the flexibility of the footswitches is much of the reason I will choose this over an actual tube amp any day. The deluxe adds a few cool features, but they aren't necessary for most musicians - the big one is an effects loop, like on your amp.

                Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

                (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Wow...

                By pmfman

                from Winnipeg, MB

                About Me Professional Musician

                Pros

                • It Can Do Almost Anything
                • Settings Stay In Place
                • Versatile
                • Xlr 14 Out

                Cons

                • It Is Bulky

                Best Uses

                • Performances
                • Professional Recording

                Comments about Tech 21 SansAmp 3-Channel Programmable Bass Driver DI:

                The Sans Amp is a very versatile piece of equipment (calling it a simple driver limits it too much) which can do just about anything, provided that you know how to use it and have the patience to dial it in. Another advantage is that it is hard to accidently change the settings, since programming an effect takes more than just turning a knob at random.

                The only negative thing that I can say about it is that it is a bit bulky, although if that is a problem the non-programmable unit is a bit smaller.

                Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

                (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                4.0

                Well built and sounds good

                By jocfan1

                from Edmond, OK

                About Me Professional Musician

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Compact Design
                • Easy to use
                • Excellent Sound Quality
                • Responsive
                • Versatile

                Cons

                • Gets fizzy at high gain
                • Limited Selection Of Effects

                Best Uses

                • Amateur Recording
                • Home Studio
                • Performances

                Comments about Tech 21 SansAmp 3-Channel Programmable Bass Driver DI:

                Bought to use in a church setting. I was looking for a pre-amp to beef up our bass signal (running direct into the board), and this unit does a great job. If you're looking for a wide range of effects this obviously won't do the trick, but it's not designed to do that. It's essentially an EQ and overdrive pedal, and it does those things pretty well. On its more extreme gain settings the drive tends to get a little fizzy for my tastes, but some may find that sound useful. I really like the way it rounds out the tone at lower-gain settings, and some of the suggested presets in the manual are really excellent. The all-metal construction feels solid and the switches are quiet; I have no worries about its durability, especially in church where it's not likely to take a beating.

                I like it quite well for our uses, and I can definitely see it coming in handy even running into a full bass rig.

                Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Great item !!! - SansAmp 3-Channel Programmable Bass Driver DI

                By Art

                from Undisclosed

                Comments about Tech 21 SansAmp 3-Channel Programmable Bass Driver DI:

                Overall rating is 10.....
                What can i say? I read the reviews online and that pushed me to buy this item. And the review are true. This item is a must. Unless you have a very high end Bass rig.
                The item is tough enough to survive the road gigs..

                Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

                Displaying reviews 1-10

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