SansAmp TRI-A.C. through the RV50

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Borderline Productions
Orange Master
Posts: 3025
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 4:47 am
Location: USA

SansAmp TRI-A.C. through the RV50

Post by Borderline Productions » Tue Sep 15, 2009 4:00 pm

I only own one pedal, the SansAmp TRI-A.C. I bought a number of years ago to play through my Silvertone 50W tube bass amp because I wanted to get different tones out of it and because my Tech21 Millenium 10 sounded so awesome. Since getting the RV50 I had forgotten I had the pedal. Ran across the pedal the other day and decided, what the hell, let's see what it does in the RV50.

In it is listed as a distortion pedal, but that is just wrong. It is an analogue amp-simulator.

There is no point using this pedal through the dirty channel. The pre-amp structure of the dirty channel doesn't need any help, and the pedal really didn't add much and only interfered with the surreal beauty those tube already deliver.

The pedal did a great job in the clean channel. The pedal has three basic setting to model Fender (Tweed), Mesa (California), and Marshall (British) sounds. It also has active EQ (±12dB) for bass, mid, and treble, a drive pot, and an output pot.

The Marshall tone way too harsh for me, even after adjusting the drive and treble. There are only a couple songs I think I would use it on.

The Mesa tone was very close to what it aims for. It compresses the tone and turning up the output it gave a clear boost to the volume. The drive allowed me to get this as distorted as I wanted, but I like with only a little hair. Unlike the harsh distortion in the Marshall setting, this distortion was very pleasing.

The Fender setting made my Orange clean channel sound like a saturated Blackface. It really sound like the very best a Fender can sound like. Since I can't afford a Blackface, and I can't regularly crank a Blackface to where it sounds this saturated, this will do the trick.

The pedal has three switches that allow you store three separate settings. Right now I have one for each amp type, but I may switch the Marshall setting to a Fender setting with either a boost for solos or for a different EQ setting. So basically, I am using one pedal for a different distortion (Mesa), a boost, and as an EQ pedal. No pops when switching. I don't know if it is true bypass, but I didn't notice any tone suck.

These pedals were designed to go straight into a mixing board for recording or to have the PA be your guitar amp.

A few caveats.

1. The EQ pots are active and very sensitive, so you can dial in some very interesting, unpleasing sounds.

2. It takes time to dial in the sounds you like, but then you can save them.

3. The settings for one guitar will not necessarily sound good with a different guitar (this probably true of amps, too). I used the pedal last with my Yamaha 200SBG, but it was all wrong for my Heritage.

4. SansAmp has always had trouble getting the Vox or the Orange sound, so don't expect the pedal to deliver these.

Does Tech21/SanAmp make any bad products?

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