Skip to main content Skip to footer
Save with Black Friday Coupons & Deals
Looking for Coupons?Call us Hablamos Español
MF MD HG01 Seasonal Savings 11-19-17
Top Rated
Tech 21 Logo
SKU 
480223 000000000

Tech 21 Sansamp RBI Rackmount Bass Tube Amp Emulator

  • Write a Review

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

In Stock & Ready To Ship

Gold Coverage: (What’s This?)
    Warranty Options
  • Shipping (48 Contiguous U.S. States)
    FREE
  • Your Price :
    $3290
  Add to Cart
Add to Wish List

Earn up to 2,632 reward points.

See All Tech 21 Solid State Bass Preamps
Don't Forget
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
2 footswitch inputs: on/off and an output for chaining and toggling between 2 SansAmps
Reviews
Loading....

Review Snapshot

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

(based on 36 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (30)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

83%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to use (6)
  • Excellent sound (6)
  • Portable (4)
  • Warm / comfy (3)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Performances (6)
  • Amateur recording (3)
  • Home studio (3)
    • 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 36 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

Back to top

Previous | Next »

(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)

 
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.

(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

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!

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Tech 21 RBI

    By Anonymous

    from Undisclosed

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

    This is my first Tech 21 product and I couldn't be happier with it. I am a Pro Metal Bass Player and this is the best preamp out. I have mine slaved to an Ampeg B5-R running in 2 Ampeg 4/10 cabs and sound is perfect. Great presets get you really close and the diagram in the back of the book is great for showing complex loop and slave set-ups. Highly recommend to any who ask.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    where it's at

    By rsh2112

    from Chicago, IL

    See all my reviews

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

    great product. i use this with my fretless jazz bass, rickenbacker, and acoustic bass. the sound is amazing and makes them all sound so much fuller. totally suggested. it's worth the money. i'm getting another one soon to run them in parallel.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Quality Tone For any bassist

    By moose9287

    from P.A.

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

    I purchased the RPM model from Tech 21 which is the sister product to this preamp. I have used both for quite some time now and their RBI pedal version. I completely recomend the rackmount for the few extra options. This preamp supplies every bassist for any tone they want. The Rpm advantage maybe it frequency selector but however both units crush all of the others in the market. I currently use mine with a ampeg B4r 810 setup and will continue to use it with an SVT 2 pro 2 810 setup. The more nobs the better opportunities for the slect sound. This unit can fuction solely as a preamp or even just as a toneshaper.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Tech 21 RBI

    By Steve-echYY

    from Memphis, TN

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

    I have just received the Tech 21 RBI preamp. These commnents then will be limited to playing the unit at home. Having said that I can not wait to gig this unit. It really does have a tube like sound. It brought new life to my '62 P bass and my Geddy Lee bass sounds great too. Their suggested settings are about as close to the bassman and svt as you can get. The features are good as I'm kind of a plug and play player. I don't like a ton of knobs to mess with all night. The back panel should please most sound men. I've been playing 40 years and like a lot of you have spent thousands looking for that sound. If you can't afford the price tag and the up keep of an all tube head this is the way to go. By the way the build quality seems pretty good. I have a soild state head of one of the major competitors who claim that their unit gets a tube sound but it's going to be for sale soon.

     
    4.0

    This is an excellent addition to your rack gear!

    By JRock

    from Pittsburgh, PA

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Easy To Use
    • Excellent Sound

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Amateur Recording
      • Home Studio
      • Performances
      • Professional Recording

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

      If you can't pull the trigger on a tube amp ... start here. This is an excellent addition to your rack gear. This is for the bass player who wants another paint brush to add another dimension to their sound. Sound pricey? Tube amps are six times more expensive.

      (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Nice unit

      By Moonbeam

      from North Carolina

      About Me Professional Musician

      See all my reviews

      Ask me a question

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Easy To Use
      • Excellent Sound
      • Portable

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Home Studio
        • Performances

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

        This RBI really enhances my sound. It's easy to use and I'm glad I bought it.

        (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        The best

        By Greg

        from North Dakota

        About Me Professional Musician

        See all my reviews

        Pros

        • Easy To Use
        • Excellent Sound
        • Good Warmth
        • Portable

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Events
          • Performances
          • Professional Recording

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

          The sansamp is one of the best things to happen to bass players. So great that it fits into just one rack space and provides tons of different tonal opportunities. I play a J-bass in a mostly pop-rock band.

           
          5.0

          Sansamp Tech21 RBI a must have!

          By Kansas Kev

          from Medicine Lodge, KS

          See all my reviews

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

          I've owned dozens of pre-amps and for 17 years searched for the Holy Grail of bass sound, only to be discouraged, time after time. That all came to an end last week when I got my Sansamp Tech21 RBI. This is a well built, easy to use piece of gear. There's no flash to this box, no pretty lights ore digital displays and that's fine. You don't need them. I flipped through the easy manual and dialed it in to the SVT setting and hooked it up to my Ampeg BA115HP and turned it on. WOW! What a difference this makes. I kept turning it on and off and bypassing it to just make sure it was really what I was hearing. I had read all the reviews and just thought it couldn't be true, but it is folks! This piece of gear is what I have been missing all of my life. I'm done buying anything else for my sound (my wife is happy about that). This piece of equipment does it all and does it with simplicity. I'm so excited to mess around with all of the possible amp configurations and I can't wait until I hook this directly in to the PA. Go get one of these!

           
          5.0

          Getty Lee Was Right !!!!

          By Jon W

          from Suwanee, Georgia

          See all my reviews

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

          The Tech 21 Rack mount is the best. I have used many pedals and nothing comes close to this. The low end is great while hitting the highs is no problem. I combined two of them and the sound is awesome. Who ever read this needs to look no further; trash those other pedals and go with Sans amp the women love it!!!

           
          5.0

          Incredible Product

          By joeplaysbass-N-nnQ

          from Norristown, PA

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

          The RBI was the first preamp I ever purchased for my bass rig; previously I used standalone heads. When I put this before my 250 watt power amp and Ampeg 4X10, the sound was truly incredible. I began playing with the bypass on, and then once you kick on the RBI, it's like a blanket is lifting from your speakers. The sound is perfectly clear, and the tone is amazing. I have been able to dial in so many different sounds using the RBI along with a graphic EQ. I have gotten everywhere from Geddy Lee's growl (he uses this piece of equipment) to the traditional dirty tube sound of an Ampeg SVT. This product would be a great addition to a bass player for any genre. I highly recommend it as a first choice for anyone looking for a preamp.

          Displaying reviews 1-20

          Back to top

          Previous | Next »

          You are changing the Ship-To country.

          Our product catalog varies by country due to manufacturer restrictions. If you change the Ship-To country, some or all of the items in your cart may not ship to the new destination.