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Rating and Reviews: SansAmp Bass Driver DI

The Tech 21 SansAmp Programmable Bass Driver offers great tone on any stage. With 3 channels to choose from, the Programmable Bass Driver is a great choice.

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"Indispensable!!!" submitted July 20, 2005

By a customer from io-records.com
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Musical Background: Bass Player, Song Writer
Music Style: Indie Rock, Pop, etc.
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Sound: Added a whole new dimension to my tone! I play both Music Man and Fender basses. This thing has awesome results on both. It allows me to get that nice "almost overdriven but not quite" bite, as if going through a nice vintage mic pre or other tube stage. Really warms up the mids. I can barely play my Stingray now without it! Feature: Wish it came with the power adapter, had a mid control and kept the dry parallel output that was on their original bass DI. Quality: Top-notch. Solid as a ROCK. A real quality feel to it overall. Value: I think this is an unbeatable value. I cannot stress how much this has affected my tone (for the better), which has in turn affected my playing (for the better)... Manufacturer Support: Haven't had the need to contact them. The Wow Factor: Not the most "tricked-out" or high-end looking pedal. I think Ampeg has the niche for that. But very functional, practical and not silly looking like some other pedals (the pod floor boxes are ridiculous IMHO). Overall: Unless I get my hands on an Ampeg SVT or similar, I don't think I'd ever replace this piece for playing live. I use it with an old SWR SM-400 and couldn't be happier for the time being. As for studio work and being able to pop into a rehearsal studio with nothing other than my bass & this pedal, it is irreplaceable. The only other piece I'd like to try is the Ampeg SVTDI.
8 of 8 people (100%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Wake up your Bass!!" submitted November 4, 2005

By a customer from juno.com
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Musical Background: hobbyist
Music Style: jamband, funk, jazz , prog. rock, classic rock
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Sound: i needed a di box/outboard pre for my bass and bought this unit after reading all the wonderful reviews.soundwise it seems fairly quiet.the unit is very sensitive. the smallest of turns can bring huge results. i use it playing out but seems quite suitable for the studio. this has turned my cheap bass into a monster. the lows get low, the highs get high and throw in the presence and it gets harsh. have to keep the gain down to prevent blowing the walls down. highly recommended!! Feature: pretty straight forward with features. only thing i dont like is the lack of mid control. this can be taken care of on my amp, but if using it direct to a pa you have nothing unless you have an onboard pre. im sure this is in the works. Quality: built like a tank. metal casing seems like it will last for years. no worries here. Value: a little bit on the pricey side, but as the saying goes. "ya get what you pay for"!! Manufacturer Support: never dealt with em but if there support is anything like the build and quality they deserve a 10. The Wow Factor: yes its pretty sexy and ergonimically correct. not sure how pretty a floor pedal can get. Overall: seems like i'll use it for years to come. didnt really compare it to others as this 1 seemed full of benefits. would like to see some sort of mid control in the future.
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"Awesome Tone" submitted November 1, 2005

By a customer from gmail.com
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Musical Background: Active Musician
Music Style: Classical, Rock, Metal, Reggae, Funk
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Sound: The programmable sansamp has great tone shaping ability. You can dial up tones from tool to pearl jam and all over the spectrum. The three presets are very convenient when switching sounds on the fly. Feature: Three sounds, not one! When switching channels, the circuitry is very quiet, there is absolutely no 'pop' when you step on a footswitch. I love the fact that this box is phantom powerable. If you forget a power adapter or if your battery is dead, no worries, just push the phantom connect button and this di will suck its juice straight from the mixer. Quality: This sansamp is made very well. It doesnt seem as rugged as the original bass sansamp, but it still looks as if it could put up with a lot of abuse. Value: This has an awful lot of value if you are one of those players that can not afford a great sounding amp. This will turn the mediocre tone of your amp into a beast. Manufacturer Support: I haven't had to deal with Tech 21 NYC because this di is so awesome. The Wow Factor: I definitely want it and I would be so sad if it was stolen. Now that I bought it, no regrets. Overall: Before I bought it I only wish I knew that I would have to write down presets. But that's no bother because I only need three anyway. I love this thing. It makes recording so easy, no miking of a cabinet, no room noise, just great tone.
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"How did we manage without this box on the stage?" submitted March 22, 2011

By a customer from brbible.org
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Musical Background: Worship Pastor, Sax player and recording engineer
Music Style: Rock, Jazz and country
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Sound: Sounds very good. I play a Modulus 5 string bass and it really makes it sound even better than I thought it would live. I have not tried recording with it. Like the description says it adds a little compression which everyone in the band really responded to. It made the bass play more even across the neck. Bass now sits better in the mix. It created the right space for the bass to sit. I have 4 bass players at my church and each dialed in the right setting for their particular bass. Now each player sounds really good irrespective of the quality of their instrument. It squeezes the best sound out for everyone. Feature: It thought it may have been better to include a level output, but I find it works just fine without it. Ease of Use: With the ability to save the settings on 3 different floor switches, it made it so easy to assign the buttons to 3 bass players. Each dials in his favorite setting, saves it and then when they plug in, they are ready to go. Quality: No problems Value: Would by again. Manufacturer Support: Have not had to use tech support. The Wow Factor: Its good looking....I am not writing home to mom, but it looks like it sounds, very good. Overall: I like the fact that it has three switches on the floor to change sounds. I like the fact that it is very clean....no noise. Its punchy and the harmonic detail it adds is sweet.
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"WOW" submitted July 6, 2006

By a customer from hotmail.com
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Musical Background: Active musician
Music Style: Blues, alternative (to what I dont know)
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Sound: I use this on a hartke 1 15 for my stingray and upright...buy one now!! Gives complete control and makes the little sucer sound like an svt. Ease of Use: PAINLESS to use. Quality: Tank Value: If you think this is too high then go buy some cheap junk. if you want to improve your sound its a steal Manufacturer Support: if the service is as good as the product.... The Wow Factor: well its as good looking as a pedal can get, i guess Overall: get one now. you won't regret it.
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"total tonal box" submitted January 12, 2008

By ngranger70764
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Features
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Musical Background: musician ,tech ,repair
Music Style: rock ,metal ,80ish, jazz
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Sound: very wide range.warm and fat to straight out growl.like being in a music store. Feature: easy to program ,presets in the owners manual.if you can set the knobs on a basic amp you can set this. Ease of Use: just like tuning a radio station ,just listen and turn. Quality: all metal ,good knobs and inputs Value: it may seem kinda steep but overall effect pedals just cover a bad sound, this pedal actually does something about that sound. Manufacturer Support: i had bought mine out of box ,last in the store.the owners manual with presets was not in the deal. i went to theweb site and called the number on the screen and they e-mail the owners manual within 1-2 minutes. The Wow Factor: its simple yet blends with a rig.not some rainbow colored light show at your feet. Overall: the raw sound of this pedal would be hard to really beat.
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"I can't belive u still don't have one!! Bassplayers must have tool!!" submitted July 7, 2005

By a customer from sbcglobal.net
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Musical Background: Band Director
Music Style: gosel, rock, blues, jazz, ect.
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Sound: Was going to invest in a new bass,... not any more! Feature: Just what a bassplayer needs.. nothing less. Quality: very solid yet light... never a bother to carry around. Value: I know it can retain it's value.... but why sell it! Manufacturer Support: called sansamp to know the difference in this model and there previous bass driver di, and never did i receive a recording, nothing but live help. The Wow Factor: A must have for all bassplayers... no excuses! Overall: Nothing to change on this product.. they thought of everything!
5 of 6 people (83.33%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"THE Original, Made in USA, better than clones and FAR less-expensive!" submitted February 20, 2010

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Musical Background: PRO
Music Style: ALL
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SPOTLIGHT REVIEW
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Sound: With simple knobs, this makes authentic old-school finger style sounds, modern slap-sounds or even mondo distortion. I even have a sound for Arco playing. It takes seconds to adjust and you don't even need the manual. The manual is good though; short, easy-to-read... not one of those Asian translations with glowing confusing praise... "Congratulation on the wise of your purchase! How to use ? is up to your idea!" ;-) This manual has simple pictures of actual knob-settings that work. Not only that, you can save your favorites with a single buttons. No menus, no scrolling, no digging through arcane useless cartoon sounds. THIS is the preamp other companies copy. Feature: Love the small size and light weight... fits in my gig bag for sessions. Love the save-able preset memory buttons. The balanced XLR out is a great feature all pros need. For LOUD OUTDOOR concerts, I bring only my bass and this plus a little digitech compressor pedal and sometimes a wireless... I run straight into the PA and ROCK. My set-up / tear-down time is one-minute even if I'm drunk and stoned. Ease of Use: Plug-n-play. Twist knobs till you get what you want... usually takes about four or five seconds, press "save" and you're done. I use the memory to instantly switch between Pizzicato and Arco tones, or to switch between finger-style and slap. You can also program the third button for a solo-boost. With a 500 watt stereo amp and a two-12" cab, i can roll in, set-up and start shaken walls in two minutes. When I play five-string, I roll in a pair of 15"s and rattle balls at fifty feet. Chicks dig it. Quality: I've been using Sansamp products since 1990. No problems ever. My original sansamp still works and it has been through rock-n-roll hell: tours, sessions, hot summers, cold winters, banging around in a bag, stuck in glove-compartments, smoky night-clubs... you name it. If this thing lasts as long, that works out to $10 bucks a year for great sound in a small package. Value: Go look at other preamps to understand. I use this with a QSC 500 watt amp (THAT'S a REAL 500 watts of AMERICAN-MADE STEREO AUTHORITAH into 8 OHMS RMS! ...not some bogus mono-phonic Taiwanese Class-D rail-switching amp into 4 ohms peak.) The QSC amp cost $350, this cost about $200. I include a dual-band compressor from Digitech, and have a system that blows away the new TC 450 or the Staccato. The preamp / amp / compression part of this rig cost me six-bills and change. That's less than HALF of what they ask for TC combo or Eden heads. I get more power, great reliability and paid half... that is a bargain in my book. I didn't have to pay $150 extra for a foot-switch either. This thing IS a foot-switch. Manufacturer Support: I've never called for "support" in the repair sense, because these don't break, but I have called Tech 21 for advice. Each time I got an e-mail back within one day or a phone call, once from the VP of sales. It's not an overseas call either. That's impressive. The Wow Factor: It seems like everybody is talking about those new TC amps that basically stole the three button storage idea from Tech 21. I admit, those new amps look nice, but personally, I prefer to support an American company, that makes their products here; particularly when that product is the original, all analog and a proven performer. Why pay more for a foreign copy-cat? That's like paying extra to Behringer for copying a design while they steal jobs from Americans. I feel I got a great deal for an original American product that sounds better than any of the imported wanna-bees. Overall: I've had this one for three years and it still works perfectly every day. Like I said, my old sansamp preamp still works great after 20 years. If this lasts as long, that works out to ten-bucks a year! This is a great little preamp that sounds like any bass amp I've owned in a nifty little box. That may seem incredible, but I think everyone should at least try one of these with a good power amp and speakers. Then those cute little boutique amps start to look silly, especially at the prices they charge. Go ahead... compare the features of this thing and play with one for about five minutes. Compare the tones and ease of operation to any preamp or head on the market. Add in the cost of a good power-amp. Even add in a dual-band compressor.
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