SansAmp Shootout

The original SansAmp Bass Driver DI from Tech 21 is a modern bass pedal classic, and recently it got some competition from its own family. Let’s battle the old and the new in a Head 2 Head shootout…

Please note that this is just a head to head shootout between two pedals and not an in-depth review of them. But fear not, both of these pedals have already been on the review test bench, so if you want more details and even more sound clips, please find the full reviews via the buttons at the end of this article.




While these two pedals are very similar and share the same basic design, there are some differences that I should point out before we begin the shootout. “BDDI” is the original Bass Driver DI and “VT” is the new VT Bass DI.

  • The BDDI has a PRESENCE knob, whereas the VT has a BITE push button that works in much the same way. An on/off button is of course less flexible, but it really works out pretty well.
  • The VT has a MID tone control, the BDDI does not.
  • The VT has a SPEAKER simulation button, the BDDI has the speaker simulation circuit on at all times (that’s what makes it a ‘sansamp’ – or ‘without amp’).

I’ll explain in detail how and why the pedals are set the way they are before each round begins. Now, let’s get ready to rumble!



NOTE! Please use headphones or ‘real’ speakers. You simply can’t judge low-end material on laptop, tablet or phone speakers…!

NOTE! If you are on a mobile device, please turn it to landscape mode to see the knob settings of the pedal for each audio clip.



If there is but one conclusion it would be that both of these pedals sound great – different, but great in their own unique way. That said, I think the newcomer, the VT Bass DI is more flexible with the MID knob and the option to switch off the speaker emulation.

Trouble is… I actually figured that having both of these pedals, I would be able to pick a favorite and not expand the board. But since they represent two different flavors of awesome, I now have to hang on to both of them…




2 thoughts on “SansAmp Shootout

  • January 16, 2016 at 2:52 AM

    I like the VT, It’s the pedal I use.

    • January 18, 2016 at 8:41 AM

      Great choice! I think that even though they build on the same concept, they sound quite different, and I actually use both of them at this time – depending on the situation. The VT is definitely more versatile, but the original SansAmp just has a certain fundamental tone that I have become so accustomed to that I can’t let it go :-)


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