Gear News

Revolutionizing Bass Tone: Tech-21’s SansAmp XB Driver Sets a New Standard in Sound Shaping

TECH-21 from New York City have created an industry standard with their SansAmps, particularly in the electric bass sector. The SansAmp XB Driver presented at NAMM continues this success story.

Encased in a robust metal housing, the SansAmp XB Driver integrates key elements of Tech 21’s most popular bass products – the SansAmp Bass Driver DI, Para Driver DI, Q\Strip and the dUg Pinnick Ultra Bass 1000 – into a single, handy pedal. The sound spectrum of the new SansAmp is correspondingly broad to cater for many musical styles.

The 100% analogue, two-channel SansAmp XB Driver is a sophisticated dual-amp, bi-amp, DI toolbox with 15 knobs and 3 switches. Intuitively arranged like familiar amp controls, a wide range of bass sounds can be realised in no time at all. The Clean and Drive channels are independent full-frequency channels that can be used individually or mixed together using the Mix footswitch. In mix mode, the crossover switch can be used to activate the tunable LPF and HPF filters, allowing the user to shape their own sound in even greater detail.

The two Clean and Drive channels have individual active 3-band EQs with tunable semi-parametric mids and level controls. The Clean channel also has a compressor, while the Drive channel is equipped with its own Overdrive control to emulate hard-driven amplifiers, a Bite switch to accentuate the treble, a semi-parametric Pre/Post SansAmp switch for the mid-range and the aforementioned Crossover switch to combine high-end distortion with clean, powerful bass. A master volume control completes the extensive control options.

The SansAmp XB Driver is primarily inspired by dUg Pinnick, but also by other bass sound innovators such as Geddy Lee, John Entwistle and Chris Squire. They all are or were known for putting together completely separate and quite complicated bass amp systems in a way that defied all logic and yet delivered magical results.


The 100% analogue SansAmp Tube Amplifier Emulation technology encompasses the entire signal chain, from preamp to power amp to speaker simulation. As an integral part of the circuit, the SansAmp speaker simulation complements any type of guitar or bass speaker system. The SansAmp speaker simulation is designed and customised to produce a consistent sound image, as would be the case with a multi-miked speaker – without the peaks, valleys and notches that often occur with a single mic and multiple IRs. Of course, an external IR device can also be connected downstream of the SansAmp to give the sound an additional flavour.

The new SansAmp XB Driver runs on an included 18V DC universal power supply with automatic switching and interchangeable international plugs for worldwide use. Other features include ¼ inch jack and XLR outputs, an effects loop, tuner out, rugged all-metal chassis, metal knobs and custom footswitches.

The new SansAmp XB Driver will be available from May, the RRP is 699 EUR.


Published since 2005 as a printed magazine, TopGuitar is a magazine of opinion for professional and amateur musicians. Since 2020 on a digital platform. Contain reviews of various guitar-related musical gear, interviews and original articles on world’s most popular artists, music reviews, event reports, guitar workshops and tips, the latest products and artist news. The Editor-in-Chief is Dr. Dariusz Domanski, a guitarist and academic teacher, doctor of musical arts.