Had gone to one of their clearance
sales and was just browsing around.
I knew Tech 21 NYC stuff is very OK
because I'm already using their Bass
Compactor, a compressor with EQ.
It is both tube simulator and a DI box.
I know what my Fender Bassman tube amps sound like, and know their limitations.
The Bass Driver is a decent mimic, not
quite 100% fool-your-ear, of the Bassman
sound, but it can produce that tone over
a much wider range of volume levels and
at any level of drive-effect you choose.
The Bassman itself increases the drive
sound linked to increases in volume that
are not always appropriate for the venue
or the audience. The Bass Driver solves
this dilema and I find the trade-off [of
very slightly "inauthentic" tube sound]
to be well worth the greater flexibility.
It has a 2-knob EQ [bass & treble] but I
find that the "mid" knob of any 3-knob EQ
is my most valuable control. This is not
really a limitation if the bass that I am
playing has a midrange EQ control; and if
the bass in use has only a single passive
tone knob, then even the 2-knob layout is
an upgrade in tone control.
Like all Tech 21 stuff, rock solid. USA
built with heavy metal exterior, solid
punch-button type of foot switch, very
quiet [super-low background noise].
Has a 9v DC input, or runs from Phantom
Power when using its XLR output jack, or
runs from internal battery.
Also has 1/4" output, plus another 1/4"
out for dry [bypass]. The 1/4 and XLR
outputs of course carry a user-dialed
mix of wet and dry controlled by a blend
knob. There are also knobs for overall
output [dry bypass jack not affected],
for drive intensity, and knobs for bass,
treble, & "presence". Presence adds a
lot of finger noise if you dial it above
the 1/3 position [with roundwounds].
Clean overall gain is less than from any
other pre-amp that I've tried [Fishman,
Baggs, and Aguilar] since this is really
a DI box and not a pre-amp. However with
a medium amount of drive, and some boost
on the bass, it's about the same level as
an outboard pre-amp.
This is a very useful, flexible device.
That comment despite my general attitude
that effects are for losers!! I don't
care for anything that masks or that even
transforms the instrument's voice. But
in truth, even your choice of amplifier
somewhat transforms the voice of your ax.
Before you trade your light-weight solid
state amp for some monster tube amp, you
owe it to yourself to see if this box is
all you really want or need. Do be aware
that it might shred a cheezy speaker, but
it can turn a decent rig into a great one.
If I was allowed only One Stomp Box Effects formy Bass Guitar, the Tech 21 Sans Amp would be it. This little Box blew away all the other Mono and Multi-Effects Modules I hooked my Bass into. It is very versitile, it allows you Funk and Fwap to R&B and Jazz and Drive Home the Bass line in a Heavy Metal Song with the "drive" knob. Turns your Average Bass guitar into a High End Bass with Rich, Full, and Solid Bass tones.
Paid about 170.00 at an Online Musicgear site.
Solid, Light Metal Contruction.
It is simply the only Bass Effect Stomp Box you need to own!
Great DI and love the active option (sounds great!)!! I wish the 1/4" output(to run effect into my rig or mixer) was on the outside, instead of in the middle of the XLR and power supply(on front panel?). When using 90 degree 1/4" patch cables it get's a little in the way if you use the XLR at the same time. It has a input and parallel out in back, but using the parallel out doesn't give the effect to my rig (which sounds great).
Tech 21's Sansamp Bass Driver DI is an awesome little box that offers both the flexibility of a direct input box, and the sound and control of a pedal. This is an analog piece of gear that has 1/4" connections for an input and two parallel outputs, and it also has an XLR output. It can be powered by a nine volt power supply and isn't rack mountable as it is controlled by your foot.
The make up of the Tech 21 Sansamp Bass Driver DI definitley makes it quite a flexible piece of gear. It can be used for live shows or in the studio, but I've only used it in the recording studio. As far as parameters go, it's got knobs for level, blend, treble, bass, drive, and presence, as well as a switch for phantom/ground. It then has a switch to engage or disengage the parameters. A manual shouldn't be necessary for most users.
Both as a traditional DI box and as a pedal, the Tech 21 Sansamp Bass Driver DI excels when it comes to sound quality. I love the sound of this when used as a simple DI box, but when paired with it's ability to be used as a pedal, the palette of sounds increases exponentially. You can definitely get a good sounding drive with this for when you might be looking for some more crunch and not just a clean DI signal. I've only used it with bass guitar - a Fender P Bass, and since it is designed for bass I don't think that I'd recommend using it for anything else. Although Tech 21 does make other similar devices for non-bass instruments.
The Tech 21 Sansamp Bass Driver DI is really the perfect combination of a DI box and an in depth bass pedal with a lot of control over your sound. I'd recommend that every bass player look into this, as it will definitely add a lot to both your live rig and in the studio. Studios should also consider having one of these around, as its the perfect one stop shop for recording bass guitar direct. All in all, deifnitely a reliable piece of gear with a great sound and a lot of flexibility.