#1
I want to buy a versatile, programable midi preamp.
So I've been looking at the sansamp psa-1 for a while, has anybody got experience with these preamps?
I've also read that they don't cut through the mix very well in a live situation, is this true?
Other than that, the marshall jmp-1 also caught my atention, any opinions about that?

And if you know an alternative in the same price range please tell me.
#2
I have the Tech 21 Sansamp BDDI and it's wonderful, so I can only imagine that the preamp is good, too.
Millie, my Peavey Grind Fiver
Peavey BAM 210 350w combo amp
Sansamp Bass Driver DI
Modded Ernie Ball VP Jr.
Monster Bass Cable, 21'

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#3
I use a PSA-1 in my rig. It's a pretty fantastic unit that will emulate most anything you can think of: Fender, Mesa, Marshall, Hiwatt, it even does a pretty good job of copying my Soldano (though it lacks a good bit of the dynamic range and harmonic content). Personally I found it to be a good bit more versatile than the JMP-1 as the tone shaping features are a bit more abstract.

Regarding cutting through the mix, that actually has more to do with the power amp you end up running it through. I've never had an issue cutting through as much as I've needed, though I do use it primarily for rhythm tones. I most like the way it sounds through a tube power amp with 6L6GC's or KT66's, though it also sounds quite good through one of those MosValve power amps. Probably the best solution (weighing cost) is one of the rackmountable Tech21 Power Engines (300 watts should be plenty of headroom).

One good thing to note is that you can get a silver face PSA-1 for as cheap as $250 on ebay with an average used price coming in between $300 and $350. Red faced units (no functional difference but ridiculously rare as there were only 100 sold in the US) tend to sell at around the $500 price point, give or take depending upon condition. I've not seen a used PSA-1.1 sell for less than $350, though they tend to average at about the $400 mark. The Marshall JMP-1 seems to hold steady between $450 and $500 on the used market.

One possible alternative is the Yamaha DG-1000. It tends to be a couple hundred bucks more expensive than what you're looking at (and it's a 2u unit instead of the 1u stuff you're considering), but it sounds fantastic, is extremely versatile, and has motorized pots (like the mother of all Midi preamps: the Soldano/Caswell X99). They're quite hard to find as well.
ESP LTD EC-256 and a Fender Deluxe VM
#4
thanks, thats good information. What cab/ speakers are you using (if any) apparently that is pretty important to get a good sound out of the sansamp.
I'll keep an eye out for one of these Yamahas.


P.S.: If somebody knows, how is the rocktron voodu valve?
#5
Right now I'm using an RG-16 to switch between the stock pre in my Soldano and the PSA, and they both run into the stock power amp section in the Soldano. From there it goes into a Genz Benz G-Flex 2x12. I do think it sounds better through some good PA speakers, but I'm really not looking to make my rig any more complex than it already is.

EDIT: I liked the Rocktron better than the Marshall but not as much as the PSA. Again, the more conventional controls prevented me from obtaining the same degree of tonal flexibility that I got from the PSA.
ESP LTD EC-256 and a Fender Deluxe VM
Last edited by Kendall at Feb 11, 2009,