Sansamp Para Driver DI or L.R. Baggs Para Acoustic DI?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by GLY, Jun 6, 2006.


  1. GLY

    GLY Member

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    I'm seriously caught between these 2 DIs. Has anyone played on both before who can give an advice on which I should go for? I'm using a Taylor 110E with the Blues Expression System pickup.
     
  2. shikawkee

    shikawkee Mad King Edmund Gold Supporting Member

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    Two different animals.
    They both do almost the same thing, act as a DI, but each has features that may or may not appeal to everyone.

    What do you want:Tone, no quack, EQ, multiple outputs, etc.?
     
  3. GLY

    GLY Member

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    i'm looking for one that'll help make my guit sound more natural when plugged in tho i must say that the built-in taylor pickup by itself is already pretty good but i'm hoping to make it better.
     
  4. erksin

    erksin Member

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    I'm not familiar with the SansAmp unit, but the Baggs has a very good and simple EQ - I don't have any trouble dialing in great tones with it. Excellent for squelching feedback as well...
     
  5. msp

    msp Member

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    I use the sans amp para driver myself......i used to have it on all of the time for my Tak

    but i now gig with a d-35 and a baggs dual source w/ element

    and i now use the sans amp para driver as an acoustic boost/compression for solos over my phrase sampler (the dual source sounds that good)

    kinda like how one would use a zvex SHO to boost solos in an electric rig

    i think its a very fine product tho i have never a/b'ed it with the baggs.....i can say that the sans amp seems to be built stronger than the baggs but i can't speak for features or tone
     
  6. Grant Ferstat

    Grant Ferstat Some guy in obscure bands in a far away place... Silver Supporting Member

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    I've used LR Baggs Para DIs for about 10 years now-the original and then a newer Para DI (with the gain on the outside).

    Anyway out of curiosity a while ago I tried the engineers Sans Amp Para Driver in an A/B test through a PA at sound check in a local venue. I still prefer the Baggs myself. The test guitars were a reissue J45 and a Martin 00018 both with LB6s.

    I also recently got to hear our singers Gibson J180 and Songwriter with a Baggs M1/para DI through a Neve console and Duntech monitors at the studio where we rehearse. We compared it to a number of top end DIs while assessing the M1 pickup and it still fared pretty well.

    I think the Para DI is a great value box myself and even though I'll be upgrading pickups in my guitars I suspect I'll still use the Para until I can afford a Pendulum.
     
  7. POD Buster

    POD Buster Member

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    I have both and they both do a great job keeping it sounding natural. SansAmp seems to be built a little better. 2 things I wish LR Baggs would change. 1. Better control knobs. These knobs are small and get looser after several months of getting banged around. 2. The XLR jack should be moved from top to side. Plugging XLR cable in top creates a trip hazard on stage. I do, however, like the phantom power LED indicator on the Baggs.
     
  8. msp

    msp Member

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    you present yourself as a reasonable objective gear head (your opinions seem to be based on experience and a good ear)

    but i feel the need to state that the sansamp para driver di took me 15 minutes to understand its capabilities (or so i thought)

    but after a month of using it (about a year ago) and several gigs i realized that there was only 50% of the pedal revealed to me

    it is truely a little swiss army knife of a di....i would think to a/b test the baggs against the sansamp it would take longer than ...well a half hour to give it a "fair" test

    i don't say this to be argumentative but just through my own personal experience I have found these acoustic active di boxes can really be flexible and ran many different ways to achieve various results

    i'm still finding different applications for the sans amp pedal and I'm sure by the rep of the baggs model it is no different in this regard

    you probably can't go wrong with either model but once you get used to one you will probably stay with it as there is a learning curve to understanding their various uses and attributes
     
  9. Den

    Den Member

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    Since you're shopping, I'd encourage you to also take a look at the new Zoom A2. I never really considered Zoom products in the past, but based on rave reviews from others every experienced in amplified acoustic sound, I gave one a try (with a 60-day return option) and continue to be impressed with what I can do with this. It has a load of built-in effects, tuner, feedback supressor, noise supressor, acoustic guitar modeling, and loads more.

    I chose the unit with the added expression pedal which also features an XLR out that I run directly to the board. Great gear investment IMHO.
     
  10. shikawkee

    shikawkee Mad King Edmund Gold Supporting Member

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    It sounds to me like youi're leaning toward something a little more high-end than those pedals. The Pendulum is great, though pricey, but there may be a new option in the future. I recently designed a DI box/EQ channel specifically for acoustics, electrics and bass for stage with Robert Derby of Valvotronics. It's called the Coil EQ/DI. I think we're about to license it to a major high-quality manufacturer which probably means at least six months to street but you can check out the hand-built ones we made here:

    http://www.edpettersen.com/edpettersen/Coileq.html

    and some info here maybe:

    www.valvotronics.com

    Sorry for the plug but it seems like something what you're looking for.
    I started work on this box 'cause I was SICK of the sound of my guitar at clubs. It works for me and Bob Babbitt and David Hungate use it too for bass (Hungate also ordered the 1RU vacuum tube model). The smaller "gig" box goes for $595. but I'm not sure how much the mass-market boxes will cost yet.

    Anyway, in the meantime either the Baggs or Sans Amp will do the job just about as well as anything else I tried on the market (and oh boy, did I try them all!!!).

    Cheers.
     
  11. Tweeker

    Tweeker Supporting Member

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    I also use both of the boxes in question.
    Let me compare and contrast.
    1) When used strictly as a DI bypassing EQ, the Baggs sounds more natural to my ears. In this mode, the Baggs provides some level control, whereas the Tech21 does not.
    2) When used as a DI with active EQ, the Baggs has more subtle control whereas the Tech21 provides more extreme control. When set flat in this mode, they are very similar, with the Baggs possibly being a bit warmer.
    3) When using the Tech21 with the Sansamp circuitry - these are different animals. The Baggs does not have this feature; it is a proprietary Sansamp specialty. The Sansamp circuitry can be dialed in to taste, when fully clockwise, the direct sound is completely replaced. You have to hear it to decide whether this is "more natural" or "unnatural". The sound is something like a mic with compression, midrange a bit scooped. It can be great for unquacking an under saddle pickup, but might be overkill for a Taylor system that's already very good. You’d have to hear it to decide.
     
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  12. Seegs

    Seegs Member

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    I used to have a Baggs Para DI and I could never ever get the mids dialled in to my liking...I have a Tacoma Dm18 with a K&K Western mini pu's w/preamp and previous to that had a Baggs M1 and tried an ibeam as well...

    no matter how I tweaked them all the pu's ended up sounding a bit too honky and unnatural with the PADI to my tastes...

    I was accidently fooling around one day with my pedal collection and my acoustic into a Mackie 1402 VLZ and and Intellifex XL when I plugged my acoustic into my Klon direct into my mixer with the Rocktron in the aux. channel and violá that was it for me...maybe it's the buffer but so far the Klon is doing what I wanted the Padi to do...

    other than miking I like plugging my acoustic into my Klon and an Arion SC2 chorus and use my Makie/Rocktron as a submixer then direct into two channels of the house PA...sounds crisp...dynamic and percussive and so far the most natural of any setup I've tried with my acoustic...

    Chow,
    Seegs
     
  13. Grant Ferstat

    Grant Ferstat Some guy in obscure bands in a far away place... Silver Supporting Member

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    I'd agree that I probably didn't present that argument very well as I told about half the story.

    For some years I was running a store that sold both para DIs and the range of Sans Amp products. At the time I purchased my second Para DI (first one went to my wife) I tried both Baggs and Sans Amp DIs on a number of occasions with the Baggs LB6 pickups that I use through a variety of small PA's & acoustic amps.

    What I really did in my quoted example was to re-acquaint myself with the Sans Amp out of curiosity as when we got to the venue the engineer already had his "go-to" box set up. I was curious as it had been a couple of years since I'd done the comparison and I've been re-assessing my acoustic amplification recently-both pickups and preamp/DI solutions. The Baggs combination while good, reliable and affordable isn't the best I've heard and I've been considering a Pendulum plus dual-source pickups of various mixes. I was really hoping that I'd prefer the Sams Amp to be honest as it would be potentially much less of a stretch of my budget than anything I've preferred to the Para/LB6 so far.

    Anyway, with my pickups/guitars the Baggs feels/sounds better to me. It's probably not surprising that the LB6/Para work pretty well together having been developed to be complimentary. With other instruments, other pickups and without having gotten used to the Baggs sound I possibly would hear it differently.

    I do agree that there can be a lot of uses for these little boxes. Not only with tweaking of the tones but also the myraid of set-ups you can choose. When I play in band mode I'm wielding Teles not the acoustics but we've worked out a nice little method for our singer's acoustics. What we do is take the XLR out of the Para into the PA for the more "acoustic" tone and then take an instrument level out of the Para into a Super Reverb that we mic for a "hybrid" tone. This gives us two diverse sounds FOH that the sound guy can mix depending on the tune and also gives us an on-stage monitor for the singers acoustic so we can keep it out of the wedges making it easier for us all to sing.

    Works well for us.
     
  14. msp

    msp Member

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    after getting a dual source baggs system with the active element and mini-condenser mic

    i have found that i don't need to lean on my sansamp para-di as much anymore

    i use a boss pas system (with one bass unit) for solo acoustic shows (and even with my bluegrass band) and it mixes my baggs/martin setup just fine without any help from other gadgets

    i now use the sansamp to split the signal to a tuner and as a alternate compressed/eq'ed boost for solo'n over my phrase sampler

    its perfect for this application

    *O.T.: realfi, i noticed in your electric rig you are running a klon into a timmy....i'm about to set my board up with a klon into a Tim, I wish that Perth,Western Australia wasn't so far away from salt lake city Utah, USA....I would love to come to one of your gigs to hear what tones you are pulling out of that combo
     
  15. Grant Ferstat

    Grant Ferstat Some guy in obscure bands in a far away place... Silver Supporting Member

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    Hi msp,

    I can tell you that I wish Perth wasn't so far from lot of places!
    I'm really loving the combination Klon>Timmy or Klon>RC.

    The Klon buffer has really made a difference too. I'm really conviced now that having a bunch of true bypass pedals combined with a high-quality buffer has benefits.
     
  16. iDavid

    iDavid Member

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