Jump to content
stewblack

NPD BDI 21

Recommended Posts

From what I'd heard and read about these pedals I was expecting the poor man's Sansamp. OK sounding but flimsy and cheap.

So what did I actually find? As to the Sansamp comment, I suppose it is valid inasmuch as I won't pay the price of one of their pre-amp pedals, so this is, if not exactly a poor man's, then definitely a tight fisted one's alternative. I have never played the respected Tech 21 pedals so can't compare the two, suffice it to say I've read enough from Basschatters who really love them to know they must be pretty good.

As to flimsy and cheap, well, it feels extremely solid to me, and the word cheap has two meanings; either inexpensive, or of poor quality. This is firmly in the inexpensive category, and not the poor quality.

It is very clean, my previous favourite the American Sound hisses like an angry kettle in comparison. As I type this I have the pedal on, presence and treble and level all up full, amp at gig volume and there is the faintest sussuration. Even taking the drive up to 75% there is very little to hear, knock it back a fraction and silence reigns. Impressive.

There's a blend control, which no self respecting drive pedal should leave home without, three tone knobs labelled bass, treble and presence but treat them as your basic B,M,T and you won't go far wrong. One complaint, the controls are black and notched at the ends but otherwise unmarked. Even here on my desk I can't tell if they're set to 5 to or 25 past.

With everything flat the BDI 21seems to warm and very, very slightly cut the sound. I found myself immediately easing up the level and the presence. If you like a really bright clanky sound you might find yourself reaching for the tone controls on your amp. However, where this little beauty really excels is in the drive sounds. It starts incredible subtly,  just scuffing up and fattening the sound in a way which would work as an always on for when your amp and cabs are just too nice. From this starting point you can start adding all of those valve sound adjectives in ever increasing quantities. Fat, warm, grinding, dirty, rich, thick, filthy - yep it does them all.

I climbed through the gain settings with the blend at 50/50 , tone flat. At about 10 past you're in John Paul Jones territory, 1/4 past it all starts going a bit Jack Bruce, beyond that things start going totally Lemmy. Go back to midday with the drive, turn up the blend and you get much the same sort of sounds but at an earlier point in the travel of the drive knob. Oh and with much farther to go. Totally max both blend and drive and the sound becomes this tube train of noise. Utterly compressed, nothing leaking from around the edges, a viscous serpentine fluidity, and really quite, quite lovely.

A worthy addition to my ever growing pile of drive preamp pedals, I suspect they'd sell more if they doubled the price.

IMG_20200803_125857.thumb.jpg.4bd7baa51be69304fb2ed6caed1b7921.jpg

Edited by stewblack
  • Like 3
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I much prefer my BDDIv2, but when i had the V1 I compared it to my BDI21 (which I still have somewhere), and preferred the tone of the BDI21. The BDi to my ears sounds a bit clearer and open. This is just in isolation though and with a band playing I could never hear a difference. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have two...as @Lozz196 says, remarkable value for money...I picked one up for less than a tenner.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They are truly great units, and not just for the money, if you happens to be into that mid scooped Tech 21 Bass Driver scooped tone.

I'm not though and attempted to do the above mod on mine.

But the way this is put together with super tiny solder joint makes it difficulty and I ended up frying a component with my soldering Iron and ruined it, trying to do the above mentioned mod, instructed in the video.

Not a big loss though, as these units are dirt cheap.

Currently I actually use a Behringer Tube Mic100 Ultra Gain tube preamp as my preamp, running after firs my Zoom MS CDR70, which I use for EQ'ing, utilizing  a couple of the 2 band the bass specific full parametric equalizer effects, then into my EHX Black Finger, tube driven optical compressor, and then the Behringer into the Effects Return loop of my Peavey Solo Special 112, 160W solid state guitar combo with it's build in 12" guitar speaker unit disconnected and instead hooked up to a 400W SWR Triad I bass cab.

Works really well, the 2 preamp tubes in the Black finger run at proper high 300V voltage, whereas the Behringer Mic100 starve it's preamp preamp tube, but I still actually really like how it sounds, and replacing the cheap Chinese tube that it came with an EHX preamp tube did help a lot.

Also the Behringer Mic100, if it is anything like the slightly more exspensive Art Tube MP, that it is supposed to be a clone of, doesn't actually run the preamp tube at just 9 volt, as some claim, but have the 9 volts from the power supply is ramped up internally to 60V (still fair deal lower than what preamp tubes are typically designed to run optimally at, but I would think considerably better than if it had really just been 9v), and as said I think it actually sounds great, even with the gain run at breakup slightly overdriven levels, if you just make sure to change the cheap fizzy stock tube for something more decent.

I also use one of these, likewise with an EHX tube in it, as my go to microphone and instrument preamp, as the last stage before going into my audio interface when recording, much better than just the preamps build into my audio interface, even if that is a relatively high end interface.

In my bass setup I run the gain of the Mic100 up to just before any kind of breakup happens. 

The plan is to later this month getting a NUX Solid Studio IR and Poweramp Simulator pedal, that can run 3rd part IRs, and at 32 Bit, 88,2kHz, 2048 samples of 50ms, resolution (about the double of what you typically get in that price range (the HoTone Binary Can or Mooer Radar for example), and should also be higher than even for example what the Line 6 Helix units run IRs at too), and with a latency of just 0,7ms, and then find a proper 3rd party IR file, I already got a couple in mind, to replace my current amp and cab.

But with the Behringer Mic100 Ultar Gain filling out the role of my preamp in this setup, though the EHX Black Finger in front of it, beside acting as a fairly moderate compression effect actually also filling out some tube preamp duties, and the Zoom CDR70 Multi Stomp right before that acting as my EQ section.

Edited by Baloney Balderdash

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 03/08/2020 at 13:02, stewblack said:

From what I'd heard and read about these pedals I was expecting the poor man's Sansamp. OK sounding but flimsy and cheap.

So what did I actually find?...

IMG_20200803_125857.thumb.jpg.4bd7baa51be69304fb2ed6caed1b7921.jpg

 

Hi. We have very different ways of setting up these pedals - I've never found much use for the BLEND pedal - but I agree that these are indeed "good stuff". From a circuit point of view the biggest difference seems to be use of different opamps. I forget the detail atm.

I have a BDDI and BD121. Build wise the BD121 is a bit odd with it's funny sort of on / off switch. But the plastic body seems sturdy (ABS ?). I haven't investigated whether it's effectively screened against electromagnetic noise.

Sonically I think I find it easier to find what I'd term as 'unusable sounds' with the Sansamp BDDI rather than the BDI 121. This does mean I find the BDI a bit more 'user friendly'. Not everyone agrees obviously - the Sansamp YouTube posts use some tones that I would avoid. But I've never been a fan of the "Pencil through Speaker Cone"  tone.

Apart from that the BDI 121 doesn't offer Phantom Power operation so not so universally useful.

And , of course, you can use both of these in Bypass - still providing a low impedance output to the mixer without any 'colour' or eq.

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, rmorris said:

 

Hi. We have very different ways of setting up these pedals - I've never found much use for the BLEND pedal - but I agree that these are indeed "good stuff". From a circuit point of view the biggest difference seems to be use of different opamps. I forget the detail atm.

I have a BDDI and BD121. Build wise the BD121 is a bit odd with it's funny sort of on / off switch. But the plastic body seems sturdy (ABS ?). I haven't investigated whether it's effectively screened against electromagnetic noise.

Sonically I think I find it easier to find what I'd term as 'unusable sounds' with the Sansamp BDDI rather than the BDI 121. This does mean I find the BDI a bit more 'user friendly'. Not everyone agrees obviously - the Sansamp YouTube posts use some tones that I would avoid. But I've never been a fan of the "Pencil through Speaker Cone"  tone.

Apart from that the BDI 121 doesn't offer Phantom Power operation so not so universally useful.

And , of course, you can use both of these in Bypass - still providing a low impedance output to the mixer without any 'colour' or eq.

 

 

All really solid observations, thank you. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, stewblack said:

@Lozz196 shared a great tip here

I tried it this afternoon and it's great. 

I kind of guessed it would be, some people just talk a lot of sense. 

 

Ive been saying this for years, the trick to getting a good tone out of this is to keep the Blend dialled down. Most experienced users know this, but it takes a while for this to sink in, as you do lose the overall amp sim tone. Not really needed if you are using an amp though. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, dave_bass5 said:

Ive been saying this for years, the trick to getting a good tone out of this is to keep the Blend dialled down. Most experienced users know this, but it takes a while for this to sink in, as you do lose the overall amp sim tone. Not really needed if you are using an amp though. 

Not quite what Lozz196 was saying. Turn the blend down then ease it up until you're happy. In my case that was about 75%

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, stewblack said:

Not quite what Lozz196 was saying. Turn the blend down then ease it up until you're happy. In my case that was about 75%

Well obviously you adjust the blend knob to taste, but a lot of new owners keep it right up. It will also depend on the tone you are going for, and whether your rig will work with that setting, but untimely, you don’t run it at 100%, which is what ive said. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, dave_bass5 said:

Well obviously you adjust the blend knob to taste, but a lot of new owners keep it right up. It will also depend on the tone you are going for, and whether your rig will work with that setting, but untimely, you don’t run it at 100%, which is what ive said. 

Sorry, misunderstood your earlier post. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



  • Similar Content

    • By 0175westwood29
      So this pedal has alot of hype!
      have seen it selling for honestly silly money online! snagged one cheap of amazon so had to just crack on and make a video!
       
    • By SumOne
      SOLD
       
      OmniCabSim Deluxe: £160
      Tweakable cabinet simulator and DI (with aux in, headphone out with separate volume control, balanced XLR, ground lift, and 1/4 'through' and 'output'). Perfect working order, very good condition, boxed. RRP £259, and being from Chile with only one UK distributor that is out of stock these aren't the easiest things to get hold of. Postage via special delivery £7, or collection from Twickenham. My seller feedback is here: https://www.basschat.co.uk/topic/446834-feedback-for-sumone/ Will consider a trade/part exchange for an amp head,  ideally >300w with FX loop, aux in, headphone out, XLR out. Something like the Ashdown RM 300 or 500.
       

      ....................
      Info from: https://www.dsmnoisemaker.com/omnicabsim-deluxe/yh0m9
      A cabinet simulator is a device designed to emulate the frequency response of a speaker system. Guitar and bass speaker systems have a very pronounced filtering effect, rolling off the low and high frequencies very sharply due to their physical and electrical properties. Things like cone size, material, impedance, enclosure size and type, even distance from a wall, affect these filters very noticeably.
      Features:
      The Philosophy behind the design is to allow the user to CREATE their own cabinet response settings, moving away from the typical preset cabinet simulators in the market. This approach let the musician to define his own sound and getting an accurate reproduction of it when recording and playing live gigs, without depending on mic placement, amplifier or cabinet availability..Just dial in your favorite tone, tune your cabinet response and go straight to the PA or recording gear!!
      Mic and Line output. Compensate levels with the gain control. Tunable high frequency response emulates the steep low pass filter that different speakers produce. Tunable Low frequency response that controls the low end roll off typical of speaker of various sizes. Tunable low frequency resonance lets you dial the resonance of the low end roll off point, reproducing the effect of closed or open back cabinets, and anything in between. Mid control lets you dial “modern” or “vintage” responses. Punch control boosts the 800 Hz band, that lets you cut through the mix with warmth.  



    • By SumOne
      DSM & Humboldt Simplifier Bass Station. £220.
       
      Mint condition, only used at home since purchased from Andertons for £299 in mid-December (one of the newest batch). It works perfectly and sounds great but I have changed my setup so it's no longer needed. Not really anything else out there with all these features, and it's all in the size of a small Boss pedal!
      DI: 1/4" Jack in: passive/active input switch 1/4" Jack out: output/thru output switch XLR DI out XLR DI parallel out Ground lift switch Phase invert switch Aux in Headphone out (with volume control)  Preamp: EQ: Three-band +/- 15dB  EQ with 3x Mid Frequency select SVT type drive Preamp FX loop Parallel FX loop Parallel LPF 100Hz/500Hz  Parallel/Preamp blend Cab sim:  3x cab size   3x colour cabs Mic position Resonance https://www.andertons.co.uk/bass-dept/bass-guitar-pedals/bass-overdrive-pedals/dsm-and-humboldt-simplifier-amp-bass-station-preamp-and-cab-sim-analogue-pedal
       
      https://www.simplifieramp.com/bass-station
       
      My selling feedback is here: https://www.basschat.co.uk/topic/446834-feedback-for-sumone/
       


       



       
       
       
    • By d_g
      I'm looking to move on my Sansamp BD Deluxe Programmable DI - great sound, I just don't need all the programmable functions. Never gigged and in pretty much as new condition.
      Would consider trades with cash either way for a Sansamp BDDI V2, or some of the similar Darkglass Pedals.
      £160 posted in the UK
      Any questions, give me a shout
      Thanks
      Dan
       
      added photos
       
       



    • By Osiris
      Up for grabs is a Behringer BDI 21, it's a cheap and cheerful knock off of the Tech 21 Sansamp Bass Driver. It's all working and in excellent condition, there's just one little ding to the right side of the casing opposite the footswitch. 
      I'm looking for £18 posted within the UK please.

×
×
  • Create New...