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Tech 21 SansAmp Bass Driver DI   

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The Tech 21 SansAmp Bass Driver DI is a preamp DI a lot of bass players will like because it makes ordinary gear sound fantastic! Exclusive Tube Ampl...Read More

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OVERVIEW

Direct to the board or direct to your amp, SansAmp makes it full, fat, and funky!

The Tech 21 SansAmp Bass Driver DI is a preamp DI a lot of bass players will like because it makes ordinary gear sound fantastic! Exclusive Tube Amplifier Emulation circuitry delivers the warmth, presence, and punch of a souped-up bass system, and it gets 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, 9V battery, or optional DC power supply. Highly recommended by our bass guys.

FEATURES
  • Preamp, stompbox, and direct box in one
  • Offers a wide range of bass amp sounds
  • Active EQ boosts/cuts up to ±12db
Reviews
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Review Snapshot®

by PowerReviews
Tech 21SansAmp Bass Driver DI
 
4.7

(based on 95 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (80)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (9)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (2)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Compact (4)
  • Excellent sound quality (4)
  • Responsive (4)
  • Versatile (4)
  • Good selection of effects (3)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Home studio (3)
  • Performances (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (4)

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 95 customers

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5.0

Was as expected

By 

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

    Comment on this review

    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    amazing sound

    By 

    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.

      Comment on this review

      (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Every bassist needs one

      By 

      from Tidewater Delaware

      About Me Experienced

      Ask me a question

      Pros

      • Compact Design
      • Excellent Sound Quality
      • Responsive
      • Versatile

      Cons

        Best Uses

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

        Comments about Tech 21 SansAmp Bass Driver DI:

        I call this my magic box and have used it in many different venues since 2001. If I had discovered it earlier, I could have saved some money. Buy a cheap bass and a cheap amp, but spend your money on this little box, and make the tone you really want. I use the SVT setting and that's what it sounds like. This isn't one of those bells and whistles boxes--don't expect lots of different effects, but you can rely on it for a host of mellow or overdriven tube amp sounds that respond to the dynamics of your playing. It also makes it easy for soundmen. Tell those guys to set their dials at 12 o'clock, feed them the XLR out of the magic box, and they have great sound in the mains. Better still, you can run another cord to your amp and have the same wonderful tone right beside you, and you can adjust your amp volume independent of the house mix. If you play out anywhere, get this box and save the money you might have spent on expensive amplifiers and basses. You'll still sound like a pro.

        Comment on this review

        (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        SANSAMP BASS DRIVER DI

        By 

        from Ct

        Pros

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

        Cons

          Best Uses

            Comments about Tech 21 SansAmp Bass Driver DI:

            Gets a good sound to record bass lines for most of the music I do every one who records must have one .

            Comment on this review

            (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

             
            4.0

            good for recording

            By 

            from Cleveland, OH

            About Me Experienced

            Pros

              Cons

                Best Uses

                  Comments about Tech 21 SansAmp Bass Driver DI:

                  Had it about a week and it's given me some nice tones. Really compresses the signal as well and the wav sits pretty well in the mix without much fussing around w eq. My only concern is the unit generates a good amount of hiss, which is easy enough to remove when recording, but I anticipate using this in a live setting soon and I'd rather not have all the hiss coming through the PA.

                  Another pro is that the manual is excellent and gives tips on how to achieve certain sounds (ie Bassman, SVT, fat tube) as well as gives you templates to write your own created sounds down right in the back of the manual. much appreciated!

                  Comment on this review

                  (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Great pedal!

                  By 

                  from Parma Ohio

                  About Me Professional Musician

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                        Comments about Tech 21 SansAmp Bass Driver DI:

                        No matter how good or bad your bass amp is this thing will make it sound worlds better! Super crisp clear and punchy tube modeling.

                        Comment on this review

                        (18 of 19 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        5.0

                        It's hard not to gloat

                        Comments about Tech 21 SansAmp Bass Driver DI:

                        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.

                        Comment on this review

                        (7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        5.0

                        Million Dollar Pedal........!

                        By 

                        from Bartlesville Oklahoma

                        Ask me a question

                        Comments about Tech 21 SansAmp Bass Driver DI:

                        This pedal costs a little more but it's the floor version of the rack mountable one and is probably worth four times the price.

                        I have always played solid state (Marshall and Ampeg) because of funds and not wanting to carry around 90 pounds worth of head.

                        I always wanted that warm, buttery smooth tone that only comes with tubes. Wow this pedal may not have tubes but if you were blind you would never know the difference. This pedal is killer smooth and loud. I took it to practice and the guitar player immediately noticed the killer tones and loved it. Me too and that's why I call it my "Million Dollar Pedal. "
                        I can't think of another feature you would need packed into this incredible pedal.
                        So far incredibly reliable. I use a One Spot so no need to worry about batteries. Pedal works every day - no worries.
                        For what you get the extra cash is well worth it believe me (or not) but this thing is incredibly impressive. Like a tube amp weighing about one pound - unbelievable.

                        Comment on this review

                        (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        5.0

                        Make ALMOST any bass guitar sound great!!

                        By 

                        from Texarkana, TX

                        Comments about Tech 21 SansAmp Bass Driver DI:

                        I would recommend this for all bass guitar players, even if you already have an entire setup for your bass. This is a game changer and you'll see a huge difference in the sound!
                        The different knobs allow you to dial-in the tone you're looking for, whether it's for high gain for a rock venue, or kicking lows for jazz. And you can change settings on the fly depending on the song.
                        This peddle is built to last.
                        It's a little pricy, but well worth the money if you don't have such a great bass.

                        Comment on this review

                        (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        5.0

                        Can't play without it

                        By 

                        from Connecticut

                        Comments about Tech 21 SansAmp Bass Driver DI:

                        I decided to wait off on a review untill I got a good grasp of this Sansamp. It takes a little while to get used to and find your sound with it but once you have, you'll never play without it. It pretty much lets you add almost anything you feel your sound is missing. It definitely achieves that warm tube amp sound and can totally reshape your tone to how you want it. My favorite thing about it is you can use it as a recording interface which made my bass tracks sound near studio quality. I run it into my Ampeg PF500 which is then ran into my computer's sound card via XLR cable. I'm completely satisfied with this product and I honestly think every bassist should have one due to all its abilities. I haven't been able to gig with it and use it to DI my bass right into the P.A at a show but I'm 100% certain the outcome will be positive. The only thing I dislike about this is that they didnt include a DC power supply for the unit, if you shell out some extra money you can buy one made by Tech 21. I'll probably be ordering one soon since the SABDDI is now a crucial part of my rig.

                        Comment on this review

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