Do I need my own DI?

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by Nihilism, Jul 9, 2013.


  1. Nihilism

    Nihilism

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2011
    Well I don't use any rack gear and I was wondering if the U5 could be a good replacement, because it's a top notch DI and it is also a preamp. Would it be a good amp replacement?
  2. tekdiver500ft

    tekdiver500ft I'm your Huckleberry... Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2011
    Location:
    Saint Johns, Michigan
    Yes, to both questions. You should have your own DI because the engineer may not have a good one, and you want to be sure that you are sending a good sound to the board, and the U5 is an excellent choice. If you have good IEM (or wedge, really) that can handle your bass, then there is no longer any need for an amp on stage.
  3. Nihilism

    Nihilism

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2011
    Pardon my ignorance, but what's an IEM?
  4. Wadge

    Wadge

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    Oct 24, 2003
    Location:
    Malta (small island in the Med
    IEM is short for In Ear Monitors. They are essentially headphones, which can either be universal fit headphones or custom made ear pieces with multiple drivers.

    The U5 is an expensive but good choice. I am not sure how hardy it is for road use but it certainly has a great tone.

    There are simple DIs such as the ones from Radial which send a clean tone to the board or alternatively there are Preamp DIs which will colour your tone and give you some tone shaping control. Examples of these are units from Sansamp, Sadowsky, MXR, the Aguilar Tone Hammer and many others.
  5. Nihilism

    Nihilism

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2011
    Well I don't use iem, and yes the u5 is pricy but I've heard so many good things about it, and it acts as a preamp which saves some trouble. Well I will need to test it! How do you think my SR HH will sound through it?
  6. jmclearnon

    jmclearnon

    Joined:
    May 23, 2012
    Location:
    Belfast, Northern Ireland
    Yes i have a preamp and a DI. I bring both depending on what i need at the time. Guesting at places my stuff is always better than the house stuff and my stuff always works. I got fed up with arriving and getting crap tone into the desk/the house DI never working.

    Ps i have both as the preamp has 2 bass inputs :)
  7. agreatheight

    agreatheight

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2005
    Location:
    Portland Area, ME
    It will sound great - I had a U5 and a Stingray at the same time for a while and I liked it quite a bit. U5 is great, but serious money. For live, you certainly don't need that much of a DI. If you want it, that's cool, but you don't need it. You could get a nice pedal DI/preamp too, lots to choose from.
  8. jaywa

    jaywa

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    Iowa City, IA
    It's a good idea to roll with your own DI that's of pro quality and (if you wish) incorporates at least some primitive tone shaping capabilities. Some of the DI boxes I've had soundmen toss my way on gigs have been pretty tragic. The ones I've carried with me have always fit inside my bass case so there's really no excuse not to have one on hand.
  9. TrevorOfDoom

    TrevorOfDoom

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2007
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    i cannot recommend the Radial JDI highly enough.
    try it next to a U5, and get whichever one floats your boat.

    btw, i think you should ALWAYS have a DI, even if you run your own rig every night. My DI has saved my life when stage power went out but the board & PA still ran, my keyboardist has used it countless times, and a subbing guitarist has even used it when his amp crapped out.
    A good DI is worth its weight in gold. Always.
  10. jaywa

    jaywa

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    Iowa City, IA
    +1. Actually had an acoustic guitarist use my SansAmp BDDI one night when the 2nd-rate sound company hired for the gig came up a box short.
  11. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

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    Apr 11, 2005
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    Apopka, FL
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I'm more of a REDDI type than a U5, but yeah, having a high quality DI is awesome. Only way I would even go back to a DI when I was somewhat forced to give up micing cabs. The vast majority of sound companies will have a DI for you, but it's usually some Whirlwind clunker that sits at the bottom of a milk crate with spare parts in it.
  12. jaywa

    jaywa

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    Iowa City, IA
    I have also heard that if you play a passive bass it's best to have an active DI, and vice versa... not sure if that's 100% valid or just an old wives tale though.
  13. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    Apopka, FL
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Though there's something to it on a strictly technical level, I consider it an old wives' tale.

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