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Sans Amp Classic and other Dirt / Fuzz Pedals

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Sans Amp Classic and other Dirt / Fuzz Pedals

Postby Mustang Martigan » Sat Sep 01, 2018 10:37 am

A while back I had to sell my Sans Amp pedal, and the more time that passes the more I miss the thing.
If I'm not mistaken, it's now being reissued as the Sans Amp Classic. Has anyone done a side by side comparison? I'll eventually get around to trying the reissue, and if I like it, I guess the A/B wouldn't matter. However, to the gear nerd inside my head it matters a whole lot.

I'm not totally against buying a different brand. I still have my 80s pink label DS-1, so maybe a fuzz would be a cool addition. I went through a Tonebender phase a while back but never pulled the trigger. Something about people putting their names on a year long waiting list to spend a grand on that DAM Tonebender clone didn't sit right in my stomach. There are other decent sounding, reasonably affordable TB clones

If anyone has any suggestions I'd love to hear them. There's just so much sh*t to choose from these days
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Re: Sans Amp Classic and other Dirt / Fuzz Pedals

Postby Hewesy » Sat Sep 01, 2018 11:34 am

How long ago did you sell the Sansamp? I only ask as the classic has been out a long time now so might not be the reissue you suspect.

My suggestion is to sit down in front of YouTube and watch a few That Pedal Show episodes. That'll give you an idea of what's out there these days and what decent clones exist for Tonebenders etc etc which are worth checking out.

There are plenty of dual pedal options out there too so you can get typically a boost or overdrive on one side and a distortion to fuzz on the other. Offers good bang for the buck typically.

What's the rest of your rig?

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Re: Sans Amp Classic and other Dirt / Fuzz Pedals

Postby Mustang Martigan » Sat Sep 01, 2018 1:26 pm

Hewesy wrote:How long ago did you sell the Sansamp? I only ask as the classic has been out a long time now so might not be the reissue you suspect.

My suggestion is to sit down in front of YouTube and watch a few That Pedal Show episodes. That'll give you an idea of what's out there these days and what decent clones exist for Tonebenders etc etc which are worth checking out.

There are plenty of dual pedal options out there too so you can get typically a boost or overdrive on one side and a distortion to fuzz on the other. Offers good bang for the buck typically.

What's the rest of your rig?

Hewesy

I went on the SanAmp site and the Classic looks like an identical copy, cosmetically anyways. It says that production has been suspended on them, but give no reason.

My rig is pretty much non existent; I had to sell most of it along with the SansAmp. I'll type it out for ya later when I have more time
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Re: Sans Amp Classic and other Dirt / Fuzz Pedals

Postby Hewesy » Sat Sep 01, 2018 6:13 pm

No worries mate, Just curious how long back we were talking.

Are you after a specific tone or sound? Or just fancy getting that sound back?

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Re: Sans Amp Classic and other Dirt / Fuzz Pedals

Postby Mustang Martigan » Wed Sep 05, 2018 4:05 am

Hewesy wrote:No worries mate, Just curious how long back we were talking.

Are you after a specific tone or sound? Or just fancy getting that sound back?

Hewesy

I sold it a year or two ago, solely to avoid eviction. Same with my amp, cab and other pedals.. Small clone, boss ce-5 and one or two others I'm blanking on.

Right now I just have a QSC RMX 2450 w/ a pair of 10 year old JBL M-Series. For pedals I have a POD XT that's on it's death bed, '84 Boss, DS-1, Crybaby 95, two DOD FX10 and a Blues Pearl Blue Balls.

I definitely miss that Sans Amp sound. I thought I could replace it with the Blue Balls. I remember trying one out at a store about 7-8 years ago and immediately falling in love. It's distortion was f*cling brutal; the $200+ price tag was the only reason I didn't buy it.
When one popped up on eBay for a third of the price I could get for the Sans Amp I sold it n bought the BB. However it doesn't sound at all like I remembered. I did learn that there are two versions. Maybe I played the other version, or maybe the only difference is cosmetic and my memory's shit. I've never been able to get an answer on this.

As much as I like the DS-1, I either need something to compliment it, or a second dirt/fuzz to switch between.

I also need to figure out what to replace the POD XT with when it croaks, which could be at any moment. I'm not that into it where I'd want to buy another, but I can't afford an amp at the moment. I tried a couple of the amp sim plugins, but haven't really liked any of 'em. From what I can remember, I've tried some of the UA, Brainworx and Thermonic sims; I like the Thermonic best, followed by brainworx and then the UA. I still have a lot to try, but money's tight and eventually I'll have an amp, so I haven't tried the pricey ones, which I'm guessing I'd like a lot more. Plus, it'd be dumb to spend a lot on one when I'll eventually have an actual amp. I just need to find a cleanish tone to build on with the pedals.
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Re: Sans Amp Classic and other Dirt / Fuzz Pedals

Postby SecretSam » Wed Sep 05, 2018 6:56 pm

The SanAmp tri-ac seems pretty good to me, and they turn up secondhand. It will store three sounds, and can act as a preamp as well as distortion.
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Re: Sans Amp Classic and other Dirt / Fuzz Pedals

Postby bmarsh » Wed Sep 05, 2018 7:20 pm

Check out the JOYO AC TONE pedal. You can find them brand new online for under $40.00, and if you're tight on money it's the way to go. It's an "amp-in-the-box" pedal based on the VOX AC line of amps and specifically on the SansAmp Liverpool pedal. Having never owned a VOX AC amp, i have no idea how close it gets in sounding like one, but with creative tweaking it can get really nice clean and dirty tones. There are tons of tonal options with Low/Mid/High eq knobs and Voice and Drive knobs. I've seen them as low as $30.00! Well worth the price.
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Re: Sans Amp Classic and other Dirt / Fuzz Pedals

Postby Music Wolf » Wed Sep 05, 2018 7:23 pm

OK. I don't think that I've ever owned a DS-1 but, if I have, it failed to make an impression on me as I can't remember it.

I definitely had a ToneBender which I bought new in about 1976 or 77 when it cost me somewhere between £5 and £15. I no longer have it but, if one came up for sale, I would definitely buy it if the price was right. And the right price? Between £5 and £15.

My original Sans Amp (as in probably one of the very first ones to be shipped to this country) I still have. It's in the loft and, whilst is has it's charms, it isn't worth the effort of pulling down the ladder and rummaging in boxes for it.

I can't believe the prices that some people appear to be willing to pay for stuff which I was more than happy to discard as technology advanced and better gear became available. :headbang:
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Re: Sans Amp Classic and other Dirt / Fuzz Pedals

Postby CS70 » Thu Sep 06, 2018 9:06 am

Much depends on how you play and why. Stadium? Pub gigs? Living room?

Nowadays there's a lot of choice and having an actual old fashioned amp is only one of them. Of course a tube amp sounds gorgeous but what's the use when you're playing in your house and it's too bloody loud?

For the sansamp, can't help but I always paired the DS-1 with an overdrive - almost any will do - and a boost and that gives you that palette of sounds from 70s to 90s rock - after which there's precious little rock happening :D

Look on the used market. For exmaple, the XT is ancient and much more recent tech, like the Line6 HD series (which was heralded as much better) is now practically valueless - as even better amp sims have been popping up in recent years as mushrooms on a wet day.

Even staying in the analog realm - pedals - look at the chinese (joyo, belcat, etc) - they do replicas which sound amazing, cost very little and if they break you can afford to buy a newer one and keep spare change. Stuff like the AKAI deluxe distortion for example sound magnificent in the right hands (and there's a chinese copy) and you sometimes find it on ebay for very little.

Finally - forget the sound you heard 20 years ago - the sound you make is primarily in your hands - including the distortion. Given a bunch of basic overdrive and distortion units, how you mix em and play them makes much more difference than what precisely they are..
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Re: Sans Amp Classic and other Dirt / Fuzz Pedals

Postby Music Wolf » Thu Sep 06, 2018 10:51 am

CS70 wrote:Much depends on how you play and why. Stadium? Pub gigs? Living room?

Nowadays there's a lot of choice and having an actual old fashioned amp is only one of them. Of course a tube amp sounds gorgeous but what's the use when you're playing in your house and it's too bloody loud?


I completely agree.

I traded my last valve (tube) amp a few years ago. I have also previously owned a low wattage valve amp (5w) which sounded great with the wick turned up but was far too loud to use at home (and I'm living in a detached house, not an apartment).

As CS70 says, there are some much better simulation solutions these days at a variety of price points. I own a Kemper profiling head but there are also the Line6 Helix and Fractal Audio Axe models, to name but two, in this price range. I have owned a Line6 HD500 (1st gen I think) which doesn't compare with the Kemper but then neither does the price. Whether the difference is worth it or not is a decision for you. I still have a Blackstar ID60 modelling combo which I use for jam sessions because it is easy to set up when you are flying by the seat of your pants.
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Re: Sans Amp Classic and other Dirt / Fuzz Pedals

Postby Mustang Martigan » Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:39 pm

Pedals can be tricky when yer plugging it direct to the interface. I tried it once with that Sans Amp pedal and it sounded like complete ass, but when infront of a clean tone on the POD it was amazing.

I'm just looking for something cheap to replace the POD that plays well direct to a line in on my interface. Something that can give me a decent amount of options. Sometimes having a bunch of presets at my disposal helps me create. Like randomly flipping thru, and finding a tone that matches what's in my head.

I'll wait to get something expensive one I got the band together and we got club gigs. Right now I just need something cheap and pleasing to write n record demos with.
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Re: Sans Amp Classic and other Dirt / Fuzz Pedals

Postby CS70 » Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:07 pm

Mustang Martigan wrote:Pedals can be tricky when yer plugging it direct to the interface. I tried it once with that Sans Amp pedal and it sounded like complete ass, but when infront of a clean tone on the POD it was amazing.

I'm just looking for something cheap to replace the POD that plays well direct to a line in on my interface. Something that can give me a decent amount of options. Sometimes having a bunch of presets at my disposal helps me create. Like randomly flipping thru, and finding a tone that matches what's in my head.

I'll wait to get something expensive one I got the band together and we got club gigs. Right now I just need something cheap and pleasing to write n record demos with.

Indeed, plugging a pedal directly in an interface is generally a recipe for bad sound. Look at an used Line6 HD or even a Eleven Rack, I have one and love to bits for making demos and nowadays on the used market you find them cheap. On both you can use pedals exactly how you would on a regular amp (because it is, an amp :))
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Re: Sans Amp Classic and other Dirt / Fuzz Pedals

Postby Matt Houghton » Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:19 pm

Did you read the SOS review of the Classic? You can find it here.

I believe Dave compared it with the original and various versions since. And he reached the conclusion that where the others fell short, this one does exactly what the original does.

...which makes it a shame that production has been suspended! :headbang:
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Re: Sans Amp Classic and other Dirt / Fuzz Pedals

Postby Mustang Martigan » Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:50 am

Matt Houghton wrote:Did you read the SOS review of the Classic? You can find it here.

I believe Dave compared it with the original and various versions since. And he reached the conclusion that where the others fell short, this one does exactly what the original does.

...which makes it a shame that production has been suspended! :headbang:

Ya, I'd be surprised if I don't end up buying another one at somepoint.
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Re: Sans Amp Classic and other Dirt / Fuzz Pedals

Postby Mustang Martigan » Sun Sep 09, 2018 11:16 am

CS70 wrote:Indeed, plugging a pedal directly in an interface is generally a recipe for bad sound. Look at an used Line6 HD or even a Eleven Rack, I have one and love to bits for making demos and nowadays on the used market you find them cheap. On both you can use pedals exactly how you would on a regular amp (because it is, an amp :))

I was just checking out eBay; it made me realize that I have to do a decent amount of research. I stopped paying attention to Amp Sims, whether it be hardware, software or any other 'ware, when I bought the POD XT over a decade ago. There have been so many new bean shaped, pedalboard shaped and rackmount PODs since then that I don't know where to begin.

I'm still not sure if I wanna go hardware or software. I like the idea of having something tangible. Something I can plug into the mixer for my PA; the only gear that survived the fire sale.

Oh ya, check this guy out.. he's got a bunch of unopened Eleven Racks for $69 and zero feedback. Sounds kinda shifty, especially when every other used one is well over a hundo.

https://m.ebay.com/itm/AVID-ELEVEN-RACK-GUITAR-PROCESSOR-BRAND-NEW-WITH-EXPANSION-PACK-PRE-INSTALLED-a/382559805382?hash=item5912575fc6:g:G0YAAOSwyH5bkzJA
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Re: Sans Amp Classic and other Dirt / Fuzz Pedals

Postby blinddrew » Sun Sep 09, 2018 12:07 pm

Mustang Martigan wrote:Oh ya, check this guy out.. he's got a bunch of unopened Eleven Racks for $69 and zero feedback. Sounds kinda shifty, especially when every other used one is well over a hundo.

https://m.ebay.com/itm/AVID-ELEVEN-RACK-GUITAR-PROCESSOR-BRAND-NEW-WITH-EXPANSION-PACK-PRE-INSTALLED-a/382559805382?hash=item5912575fc6:g:G0YAAOSwyH5bkzJA
Um, yeah, a bit more than 'kinda shifty' methinks. If it sounds too good to be true... ;)
But you know this already. :)
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Re: Sans Amp Classic and other Dirt / Fuzz Pedals

Postby Hewesy » Sun Sep 09, 2018 4:11 pm

Agreed - but there is that other adage about don't bet what you don't want to lose.

So, if you don't mind losing the $69, have a throw. If you do, then leave well alone.

Personally I'd leave well alone but I have mislaid my brave pills.. :D

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Re: Sans Amp Classic and other Dirt / Fuzz Pedals

Postby Wonks » Sun Sep 09, 2018 4:27 pm

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Re: Sans Amp Classic and other Dirt / Fuzz Pedals

Postby CS70 » Sun Sep 09, 2018 5:03 pm

Mustang Martigan wrote:
CS70 wrote:Indeed, plugging a pedal directly in an interface is generally a recipe for bad sound. Look at an used Line6 HD or even a Eleven Rack, I have one and love to bits for making demos and nowadays on the used market you find them cheap. On both you can use pedals exactly how you would on a regular amp (because it is, an amp :))

I was just checking out eBay; it made me realize that I have to do a decent amount of research.

Yeah that ad looks fishy, it's too cheap. But to aid your research: there's basically two or three levels - one is the top (Helix, Kemper, AxeFX) which is indistinguishable from a real amp but quite expensive.

Then you have a one-generation older tech, like the Eleven Rack and the HD series from line6, with which in some (very few) circumstances a seriously good player, who is also very familiar with the original amp, can tell it's an emulation it in a blind test. But frankly, for 99% of the players it's not an issue at all.

Then you have computer based emulations. The recent BIAS stuff is for example spoken well of, and the Helix exists also in plugin format. Usually they're very good and get bettter and better but the problem is that they tend to suffer from the same problem as any other audio software that runs on a general purpose computers - latency and depdenency on a runtime environment which was never designed to be realtime..

But when they are encased in a dedicated computer (typically housed in pedal or pedalboard form) they are darn good.

The other big difference between these systems and a real combo or head+cabinet is that they mostly run out of the PA (or whatever playback system you have) so the final sound depends a lot on its quality. Bad PA = bad sound even with the most precise emulator (just like a mic-ed boutique amp would sound bad).

At the current level in tech, almost any of the stuff that's coming in software tends to be astounding - the tech has matured to a level that it's fairly easy to build really good, indistinguishable, emulations.

Also important: note that "indistinguishable" does not refer to the sound - your old XT sounded pretty good already and distorted electric guitar doesn't have a natural sound at all - but to the playing feel: how it reacts to your picking strength, how it clears up with lower power from the pickups (i.e. lowering the volume), how many harmonics are generated when you pluck and how many of the little details of a given tube amp signal path are replicated.

That's why something like a lightly used Line6 HD or a 11rack are incredible value for money. They do everything you want (unless you want to have an exact replica of a precise amp under all circumstances) and - due to being just one generation earlier than the current, their price on the used market has plummeted.
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Re: Sans Amp Classic and other Dirt / Fuzz Pedals

Postby Mustang Martigan » Thu Sep 13, 2018 5:30 pm

How big of a difference are the sound quality and features of the HD 300, 400 and 500 pedals? I've been looking at them on eBay and it seems like they're usually separated by $50-60.

Also, how about the HD 300 compared to the XT? Obviously the footpedals are a drastic step up and something I always missed with my XT. How big is the jump in sound quality? I'm guessing the patches are more tweakable than the XT as well, ya?

Like I might've already mentioned, I'm just using this to write demos on my Pro Tools setup. Once I have those done and start playing with the band I'm starting, I have no problem also using it via my PA. It's quality and wattage are good enough to sing and play guitar thru simultaneously.

I'm just wondering if it's worth spending an extra 150$ to get a 500 over the 300. Or if it's really worth dropping that much cash on a temporary item.
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