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Tech 21 Sansamp RBI Rackmount Bass Tube Amp Emulator 

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The Tech 21 Sansamp RBI Rackmount Bass Tube Amp Emulator puts all of the preamp tone-shaping and fattening control of the popular SansAmp Bass Driver...Click To Read More About This Product

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OVERVIEW

A truckload of bass rigs in a single rackspace!

The Tech 21 Sansamp RBI Rackmount Bass Tube Amp Emulator puts all of the preamp tone-shaping and fattening control of the popular SansAmp Bass Driver DI in a single rackspace and adds a host of new features: a dedicated mid control; individual level control for the XLR out to optimize your amp's output relative to the PA; effects loop; Mix 50/50 switch; 2 XLR outputs, one with level selection and a buffered unaffected XLR for running a dry signal to another channel. It also has 2 footswitch inputs: on/off and an output for chaining and toggling between 2 SansAmps.

FEATURES
  • Puts all of its predecessor's preamp tone-shaping and fattening control in a single rackspace
  • Dedicated mid control
  • Individual level control for the XLR out to optimize your amp's output relative to the PA
  • An effects loop
  • Mix 50/50 switch
  • 2 XLR outputs, one with level selection and a buffered unaffected XLR for running a dry signal to another channel
Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
Tech 21Sansamp RBI Rackmount Bass Tube Amp Emulator
 
4.8

(based on 35 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (30)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

80%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to use (5)
  • Excellent sound (5)
  • Portable (4)
  • Warm / comfy (3)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Performances (5)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Professional musician (3)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

indispensable time tested gear

Every so often I redo this review.
I have been playing bass over 40 years. SO .......this is hands down the best piece of bass gear that there is....Read complete review

Every so often I redo this review.
I have been playing bass over 40 years. SO .......this is hands down the best piece of bass gear that there is. What does it do? Why are there some people who don't like it? Every bass player has their own idea what is "good" for them. Sounds vary dramatically. Some people like their sound to be a very fat rumble. I don't. I need to hear the notes that I play clearly and cleanly and be able to modify that sound. That's what happens with a RBI. Go, bass to RBI to bass amp input. Set every thing straight up except blend to 3/4. Play your bass in bypass mode for a while then activate the RBI effect channel. What you will hear is as if there had been a blanket which is removed from your speakers. I don't care what bass or amp you use. The effect is more dramatic if you use cheaper gear. This is an upgrade in a box. I can only guess that people try to use the RBI in some radical or overdriven manner or had bought one which is defective. This thing is solid.......HOWEVER< I started to hear noise which was being generated by loss of a good ground from the chassis to the board which I hunted down and fixed myself. Or try the programmable NYC pedal for a slightly warmer voicing. I use either as needed.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Versatile but terrible XLR out quality

This Pre-amp sounds excellent and gives a very wide variety of available sounds. I am disppointed in the quality of the components, particularly the XLR outputs. The XLR out does not have a...Read complete review

This Pre-amp sounds excellent and gives a very wide variety of available sounds. I am disppointed in the quality of the components, particularly the XLR outputs. The XLR out does not have a ground lift and is very noisy, even with a ground lift adapter. The hum and interference out of the XLR out is so bad that i cannot use it live - I have to run the 1/4" output into a separate BSS DI box to go to the sound board. Buyer beware, YMMV.

Reviewed by 35 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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(8 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

Versatile but terrible XLR out quality

By dwonderc

from Illinois

About Me Experienced

Pros

  • Easy To Use
  • Excellent Sound
  • Portable

Cons

  • Xlr Outputs Unuseable

Best Uses

  • Amateur Recording
  • Performances

Comments about Tech 21 Sansamp RBI Rackmount Bass Tube Amp Emulator:

This Pre-amp sounds excellent and gives a very wide variety of available sounds. I am disppointed in the quality of the components, particularly the XLR outputs. The XLR out does not have a ground lift and is very noisy, even with a ground lift adapter. The hum and interference out of the XLR out is so bad that i cannot use it live - I have to run the 1/4" output into a separate BSS DI box to go to the sound board. Buyer beware, YMMV.

(7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Great bass tone for the price

By just_the_bajo_guy

from Earth

See all my reviews

Comments about Tech 21 Sansamp RBI Rackmount Bass Tube Amp Emulator:

I've owned the SansAmp RBI for about 10 years now. I use to run it into the effects loop of an SWR amp head. On the few occasions I had to run a signal into the PA, I would use the SansAmp XLR output instead of the SWR's. This would let me get 1 sound from teh PA and another from the stage amp.

The Drive control gives you a nice crunch if you're into rock music. If you use 15-inch speakers, the Presence control comes in handy for lightening up the muddy sound that big speakers give out. There's an optional footswitch but I never purchased it.

When I eventually sold my SWR, I, for the 1st time, ran the SansAmp thru a Crown power amp and used that setup as an amp head. Oh boy, only then did I realize how much I missed my SWR. I ended up getting a Markbass MoMark head and today I just use the SansAmp for practice and home studio work.

For the tone it puts out, plus the features it has in 1 rack space, it's a great unit at a reasonable price. It's not going to produce the tone of the Eden Navigator or the old SWR Grand Prix, but the SansAmp gets the job done.

If this unit had a tube pre-amp and a 3 way parametric mid, it would be perfect. But you would have to dish out a few more hundred dollars if you want that as part of your setup. I'm thinking about upgrading to a PreSonus Studio Channel. It has the features I mentioned plus compressor. And. . . it's more useful for home-studio because it works for vocal tracks, too.

(6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

indispensable time tested gear

By Bob

from Kingston, PA

About Me Professional Musician

See all my reviews

Pros

  • Clear And Clean
  • Easy To Use
  • Excellent Sound
  • Flexible
  • Good Warmth
  • Portable

Cons

  • Nothing Is Bulletproof

Best Uses

  • Input To Bass Amplifier
  • Performances

Comments about Tech 21 Sansamp RBI Rackmount Bass Tube Amp Emulator:

Every so often I redo this review.
I have been playing bass over 40 years. SO .......this is hands down the best piece of bass gear that there is. What does it do? Why are there some people who don't like it? Every bass player has their own idea what is "good" for them. Sounds vary dramatically. Some people like their sound to be a very fat rumble. I don't. I need to hear the notes that I play clearly and cleanly and be able to modify that sound. That's what happens with a RBI. Go, bass to RBI to bass amp input. Set every thing straight up except blend to 3/4. Play your bass in bypass mode for a while then activate the RBI effect channel. What you will hear is as if there had been a blanket which is removed from your speakers. I don't care what bass or amp you use. The effect is more dramatic if you use cheaper gear. This is an upgrade in a box. I can only guess that people try to use the RBI in some radical or overdriven manner or had bought one which is defective. This thing is solid.......HOWEVER< I started to hear noise which was being generated by loss of a good ground from the chassis to the board which I hunted down and fixed myself. Or try the programmable NYC pedal for a slightly warmer voicing. I use either as needed.

(6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Top tone, great flexibility, outstanding value

By Fuzzbass

from Maryland, Baltimore-Washington corridor

See all my reviews

Ask me a question

Comments about Tech 21 Sansamp RBI Rackmount Bass Tube Amp Emulator:

In the decades I've been gigging I have used a lot of different gear including boutique tube preamps, but the SansAmp RBI has been in my number one gig rig for years now. My only complaint is that it is missing a few features such as a mute switch and ground lift for the DI, but neither is a big loss for me. The beauty of the RBI is that it gives harmonically rich tube tone without the weight of an all-tube amp -- and I used vintage SVT amps for many years. In fact the RBI has an advantage over the classic SVT in that I get the sound of a tube amp run in the "sweet spot" at any volume, whereas the SVT would be too clean for me at low volume, and too dirty on those rare occasions I pushed it too hard. I don't hesitate to use the RBI in any situation, from aggressive modern rock to mellow Motown and blues.

(5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

What you want, when you want!

By AaronProch

from Gouldsboro, PA

Comments about Tech 21 Sansamp RBI Rackmount Bass Tube Amp Emulator:

I just recently bought this amazing unit used, but I have no clue why someone would want to sell an RBI. I have never liked the tone coming from any bass amp alone, except from my friend's Mesa Fathom. Since they don't make those amps anymore, I picked this up. This preamp puts any tone I could want at my finger tips. With the 50/50 mix switch enabled it gives you the perfect balance of you're raw bass mixed with the effects from the SansAmp. I plan on adding a SansAmp RPM to my rig soon. If you can get one of these, don't think about it. Just buy it!!!

(4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

I use this as my head

By Eric Johnson

from Minnesota

Comments about Tech 21 Sansamp RBI Rackmount Bass Tube Amp Emulator:

I love this thing. I love it so much that i'm using it as my head. IMO it sounds wonderful. I'll be running this in my rack until the day i die.
Has everything that I need: Drive, Presence, Blend, Bass, Mid, Treble, and Volume Level. Very easy to set up as well.
Believe it was made in the USA. Solid piece. As long as it stays in a rack, I don't see why it won't last a lifetime.
I got everything I needed out of this. It is a tube emulator, which means it is meant to copy the sound of a tube amp without having the hassle of having tubes. Perfect tube sound at low volumes and at high volumes.

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

Skeeter says, it's ok.

By Skeeter-ypkUr

from Leonard, MI

See all my reviews

Comments about Tech 21 Sansamp RBI Rackmount Bass Tube Amp Emulator:

This preamp is priced fairly, and you really get what you pay for.If you are used to high end amps like Gallien-Krueger, Mesa, or Genz-Benz, well this might surprise you by keeping up. It has good versatility and gives you a good low end tone. What it lacks is punch, and a rounded high end; along with that when you push it too hard with the Drive knob, it trys emulating a Tube tone but can't achieve it. It's better off sticking to a solid state tone.Overall I would recommend this if you want to build a moderately priced rack.3/5

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Highly recommended Pre-amp

By PtothaBass

from East Bay, California

See all my reviews

Comments about Tech 21 Sansamp RBI Rackmount Bass Tube Amp Emulator:

I use a Carvin BX1200 that is a highly transparent Bass amp. I needed something to add more growl to my Fender P-Bass, without sacrificing tone. After trying out a couple of stomp pedals and failing miserably, I found the Sansamp RBI. After just a few minutes of toying around with the unit, I was able to dial in the sickest bass tone. This preamp is easy to use, lives up to the reviews, and is a must have for any Bassist even remotely considering a preamp for like needs.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

RBI preamp

By Bassman

from New Hampshire

About Me Experienced

See all my reviews

Ask me a question

Pros

  • Easy To Use
  • Excellent Sound
  • Good Warmth

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Amateur Recording
    • Events
    • Home Studio
    • Performances

    Comments about Tech 21 Sansamp RBI Rackmount Bass Tube Amp Emulator:

    This preamp is the life blood of my bass rig. The entire system would sound like trash without it. This will give you the tone you are looking for. It's that simple.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    WOW! Buy this effect unit!

    By B-Rock Bass Man!

    from Callahan, FL

    See all my reviews

    Comments about Tech 21 Sansamp RBI Rackmount Bass Tube Amp Emulator:

    WOW! This is like pulling a blanket off your amp. I purchased this about three weeks ago to use with my Hartke Kickback 15 Amp and my SX BG205 5-string bass with soapbar pickups and my OLP MusicMan Stingray copy (with SD Basslines pre and pickup). WOW!It also works great when used for recording. I record into Logic Pro (from a MOTU 24io) on a Power Mac G5.I've found that it is best to "set-n-forget" for live purposes. I have it set to a cross between the crunch of the SVT preset and the warmth of the Bassman preset. Occasionally I bypass it ("Active" button) to just check - nope, this thing stays on ALL the time.Only other effects in my chain -a compressor (Digitech Bass Squeeze) and a bass chorus (Digitech Bass Multi Chorus). WOW!Oh, and try to remember that these are ACTIVE EQ controls. They both cut AND boost. So a little always works best. If you find that the hiss is too much, then pull all the knobs down the same proporation and bring up the level knob a bit. The hiss will be gone and the tone the same! Awesome!

    Displaying reviews 1-10

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