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Golder7

Tech 21 Fly Rig or Seperate Pedals?

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Hi guys,

I am one of those who lurk around here and very rarely post! But, I'm in need of some advice for where I go next with some pedals...

For reference, my gear is Musicman Stingray (2004-3EQ), Fender MIM P (2008/9), Ashdown ABM EVO III 500, Ashdown ABM 410T, Boss TU-2 and EHX Deluxe Bass Big Muff.

As far as what I am doing and wanting to achieve? Well, I started a functions band at the beginning of the year... whilst COVID has hampered us slightly it's meant we've been able to practice more and really hone our sounds. As it's functions and I will play finger style / plectrum / slap I feel I really need a compressor, something to even out the volume across styles and the neck etc. Additionally, I am looking at having a SANSAMP bass driver so on the occasion where we are in a small venue I don't need to use my (big, heavy) amp and go straight in to our PA, or equally if we are doing a big hall I can just use my amp for monitoring.

So my dilemma... do I get a compressor and SANSAMP pedal, or go for something like the Tech 21 Fly Rig?

The pedals I have been looking at are the MXR M87 and the SANSAMP Bass Driver. Currently, at Andertons these will come in at £370. Benefits I see is that this is 'modular' so I can change pedals if I want to, and potentially I have more control a) in terms of signal path and b) in terms of what each pedal can do. Also, I can buy one at a time which would mean getting one sooner :)

Whereas the Fly Rig is £275, which would be a slightly larger outlay at the beginning... but would be done in one go... plus, the convenience of carrying one thing to gigs... It also has other fun things I may use at some point. I particularly like the fun I think i'd have with the filter!

Any experience with either set up would be greatly appreciated, and thanks in advance guys!

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It depends how fussy you are about tone and control vs convenience!

The Sansamp section sounds great. The chorus is rather good but only has one knob. I didn't like the compressor much and thought it added quite a bit of noise. The filter was usable but have heard much better. The octave/fuzz were pretty worthless!

If going the separates route, the Sansamp in the Fly Rig is a lot close in tone to the VTDI than the BDDI. And if you're after a cheap compressor I can heartily recommend the TC Spectracomp, it has outlived some top tier heavy-hitter compressors from my pedal collection!

Also the Zoom multi-fx units may be worth a look, they have decent Sansamp and Bass Muff models, and most of the other chorus/compressor/filter effects are better than the Fly Rig.

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The filter section on the fly rig are not up to much really so I'd not get it those effects are appealing to you. The chorus is ok but there's no variety and the compressor is passable but not a patch on the TC Spectracomp.  The fly rig IS a great idea if you need a basic functioning rig in a box and size and weight are an important consideration and are happy with basic versions of the effects it comes with. 

You could get a small pedal board with Spectracomp (its tiny) your current tuner,  A preamp/DI of your choosing like the VTDI mentioned above and still have space for a chorus pedal?

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I had a flyrig (for a very short time) as I wanted ease of use and small size. I now use separates. That's my opinion.

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38 minutes ago, 6feet7 said:

I had a flyrig (for a very short time) as I wanted ease of use and small size. I now use separates. That's my opinion.

Was there a particular part of the fly rig that made you change?

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Thanks for all the replies guys, I think it's quite clear that separates may be the best option! I think it was the convenience of the fly rig that initially appealed. I'm not averse to having a little pedal board with a few pedals on. I'll certainly be looking into the Spectracomp!

 

That had made me think... Are there any cheaper alternatives to the Sansamp that people could recommend? 

 

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2 minutes ago, Golder7 said:

Was there a particular part of the fly rig that made you change?

Overdrive and compressor didn't do it for me at all. I now don't use a compressor and use an MXR Bass preamp and a Darkglass Vintage Microtubes overdrive and Boss TU3 tuner.

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5 minutes ago, 6feet7 said:

Overdrive and compressor didn't do it for me at all. I now don't use a compressor and use an MXR Bass preamp and a Darkglass Vintage Microtubes overdrive and Boss TU3 tuner.

Good to know, thanks :)

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I had one and it was very good at what it was meant to do.. It was a great all in one rehearsal piece of kit. I just found I prefer separates. I like to have at least two fuzzes for instance and in the end I was linking other pedals to it which defeated the reason for having it.

Same way i prefer separate heads and cabs to combos. You don't miss flexibility until you don't have it.

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1 hour ago, Low End Bee said:

Same way i prefer separate heads and cabs to combos. You don't miss flexibility until you don't have it.

That's a great point I hadn't considered. I have always had separate head/can for the potential flexibility. Thanks :)

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The Behringer BDI21 is a very popular Sansamp BDDI clone that can be found new for just over £20. Very well regarded around these parts. Like the original though, it does have a mid scoop that may or may not be an issue.

There's also the Joyo American Sound if you wanted a warmer more vintage tone with more mids, although it doesn't have a DI out.

Edited by dannybuoy

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I had looked at the Behringer, I may get one for the peanuts they cost and see what happens. Thanks!

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I had great fun making a fairly substantial pedalboard with a custom flight case but then realised how inconvenient it might be at some of the smaller venues we (used to be able to..) play where there are 5 bands and no storage, as well as some of the very short opening sets we get with bigger bands who fill the stage and refuse to move anything of theirs yet demand that you PUFO in 5 mins flat after your last note. That’s why I got the FlyRig - because it’s decent quality and ‘it’ll do’.

The board has, amongst others... a TU-3 tuner, OC-3 octave, VT-Bass overdrive, MXR chorus, EBS compressor and a BDDI. The separates sound better and if I always had the space I’d always use the main board, but the FlyRig is sometimes much more appropriate and covers what I need to a level that I can live with.

Sorry to say the Behringer didn’t impress me as a BDDI alternative - the switch didn’t feel that sturdy, the knobs didn’t seem to do very much and it just didn’t sound right to me, so I’d vote to put my £20 towards the real thing.

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I'm another that's switched from a single "fly rig" style pedal back to separates recently. I've got an IR loader with DI on the end for cab sims, and for me that's the killer pedal for recording or straight in to PA, super flexible as I can stick any IRs on it that I want. DG Hyper Luminal as that's my favourite compressor, DG harmonic booster preamp and then I swap in things like overdrives for what I need. I do have other things as well though, but those 4 pedals work as a pretty decent little rig.

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