Tech 21 SansAmp RBI

Bass Preamp

Bass Preamp and Recording Amp - the rack version of Bass Driver D.I. and a little more

Like the little brother, the SansAmp RBI provides a vast range of traditional and modern Bassampsounds, including pushing overdrive sounds that you would not expect from a bass preamp. Find several useful presets like SVT®-style, Bassman®-style, Kings X-Style, and Crimson-style (to name just a few) in the RBI's users manual - to get you started immediately.

Most of the parameters are identical to those of the SansAmp Bass Driver D.I.:

Drive and Presence we need not explain here. Blend allows stepless transition between the dry signal and the SansAmp tube amp emulation. With the active bass and treble controls the respective frequency band can be boost or cut by 12 dB.

Key features of the SansAmp RBI:

The SansAmp RBI has a mid controller and one level pot for the XLR and jack output each in order to provide an optimal signal in parallel to both the bass amplifier on stage as well as the PA system. The integrated effects loop can be toggled between serial and parallel operation with the Mix 50/50 - switch button. The "uneffected" XLR and TRS outputs provide a dry signal for connection to two RBIs or one RBI with another bass amp. Last but not least the footswitch input for remote control of the RBI and the Foot Switch output to hook up multiple RBIs.

With the SansAmp RBI you have a whole truck-load of bass-amp-sounds in a single 19" housing. If you are looking for a substantial sound foundation you will no longer need heavy equipment in the future.

  • In any studio in the world with the RBI in hand luggage you are ready to go on the spot. Enter the console, adjust sound, done!
  • On live events, the SansAmp RBI can be connected to a Bass amp with box (e.g. TECH-21 Bass PowerWedge 60) and the P.A. system in parallel.

For those who need 2 channels: The remote control of the RBI can be coupled with another RBI. Who prefers a programmable preamp should take a look at the SansAmp PSA-1, which was not only developed for the guitar. The PSA-1 already includes 10 pre-programmed Bass presets and 49 additional program slots are available for free assignement.

  • Extended rack version of the Bass Driver D.I.
  • Parallel/serial switchable effects loop
  • Adjustable XLR and jack output
  • 19"/ 1U
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  • Jazz
  • Metal
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Further information

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Great add on if you use 2 different basses or want to switch in a different sound occaisionally

JohnnieV8, 22.05.2014
my main bass is a 1976 Rickenbacker, however in my band we now play several songs where I need (!) a 5 string bass, so I bought a new Warwick
Of course the Warwick is an active bass and has about 4 times the output and far more tonal variation than my old Ric

So I was struggling to come up with an amp setting that suits both (I run Ampeg SVT with 8x10, Ashdown Mag 600 with 2x10 and 1x15, or Mark Bass CMD151P depending on the gig / my mood / how strong I feel!

So I bought this pre-amp, it looked like it had all the features I needed AND it is all analog

The first thing it needed to do was switch in and out quietly, so that I can switch it IN for my Ric,or out and let the Warwick by-pass it without any huge pop through the speakers...and it is silent, Excellent, and even has a handy little light to tell you when it's in

So then it's all about the sound, and this is where it really excels. The manual comes with some setting ideas which give you a good feel for what everything does and how it affects the sound, but there's nothing better than getting in there and twiddling

For a start the EQ controls boost and cut, giving a massive tone range. It means I can set my amps up to suit the Warwick and use the boost and cut controls on here to maximise that super old Ric sound

It has a presence control, reminiscent of some old Marshalls I used to have, which just seemed to give the sound more hiss, however on this it really brightens up the sound, though you need to be careful as it can get a bit harsh

An then there is the Drive, you can have endless fun with this but suffice to say you can get more valve sounding distortion than most valve amps offer. Again you have to be careful to keep this under control, if I'm using my Ampeg at high gain/volume as well as overdriving the Sansamp things can get very dirty....not necessarily bad of course!

On top of all this though is the blend control, which cleverly mixes the sound you've dialed in with the original signal so you can just pull back that outrageous sound you've got going on and mix it with the original

And finally the level control means I can balance the output to match what my Warwick shoves out, meaning I get an even stage volume whatever bass I am using

Overall it has a very pleasing simple look about it, quality all seems good, it's easy to use and has a great impact on your sound....perfect if you're running two completely different basses like me, or if you just want to switch in a different now and again
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Total
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Nice sounding preamp at a reasonable price

Scytta, 13.10.2017
I'm using this in a 4U rack comprising power conditioner, wireless receiver & tuner, running into a Phil Jones 250W powered cabinet, with a Fender Jazz & Warwick Corvette fretless, for folk / P&W / bit of jazz. This is a well made and robust unit with a great tonal range. No hum whatsoever provided it is properly isolated from other rack units and the rack is properly grounded. It takes only small adjustments to drive, presence & blend to go from warm jazz to cutting rock. Manual suggested settings for e.g. Bassman, SVT very good having regard to the price. DI out is nice and quiet when running straight into a desk. No ground lift option but you can't have everything! Anyway I suspect that if the rig grounding is well done it shouldn't be needed. Nice unit, good sounds, well made - happy to recommend.
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