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Amp head with a DI line level?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by beatlebass64, Dec 30, 2017.


  1. beatlebass64

    beatlebass64 Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2011
    New Hampshire
    Hello TB,

    I am looking at purchasing a Barefaced cab soon (I have only owned combo amps so far) and I want to pair it with an amp head that has a XLR line out with it's own level control. I'm not sure yet which cab I would get, so I can't give too many specifics on the power of the amp I would need. I know Markbass amp heads have this feature, as well as some Fenders (sadly not the rumble series, which I really was intrigued by) and some GK's.

    I really love this feature for gigs because it allows me to send a set volume to the front of house and adjust my amp on stage as needed without causing any changes to the mix the sound techs have.

    Can anyone recommend any other brands of amp heads that have this feature?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Al Kraft

    Al Kraft Supporting Member

    May 2, 2016
    Northern Virginia
    Mesa Subway heads have a switch that allows you to select the DI output level for either a typical mic input (around -30dBu IIRC) or line level input (around +4dBu IIRC). It is an especially clean, studio quality DI as well - quite nice!!
     
    Element Zero and Liam Wald like this.
  3. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Most DI outs have a fixed signal level that doesn't change with your master volume settings.
     
    smogg, BrBss, Lo-E and 6 others like this.
  4. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Although no longer made, the Mesa Walkabout has a DI level control. They are still available used.
     
  5. GrapeBass

    GrapeBass

    Jun 10, 2004
    Toronto
    Graphic designer: Yorkville Sound
    Traynor Amps have great DIs, especially the YBA200, YBA200-2 or YBA300 (Tube amps).
     
    arca_tern likes this.
  6. The sound person can adjust the line level input trim level at the mixer to achieve the best results.

    The sound person prefers a standard line level that is pre eq.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2017
  7. beatlebass64

    beatlebass64 Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2011
    New Hampshire
    Sorry if my terms are a little off, this is kind of new territory for me. I want a line out that has it's own volume control, so I can adjust my amp on stage without it changing the volume level that is being sent to the front of the house. My current Fender combo amp has this feature, but I'm looking to go the amp head + cab direction. IMG_20171230_222327899.
     
    Mr.Ace likes this.
  8. BadExample

    BadExample

    Jan 21, 2016
    Injiana
    Mine's like that. I think if it just has a DI out, it won't matter what you do with the master. Gain may or may not change the DI level, depending on if it's pre or post eq and where exactly they tap in for the DI circuit.
     
    mcnach likes this.
  9. I've built good quality variable line level attenuators for work from parts out of old audio consoles.
    I don't think anyone makes one commercially of the quality of the ones I've built. The cost would be quite prohibitive.

    But here is a six position switchable one, if that would work for you.
    It would ge too bad to limit your choices of amps because they didn't have a built in attenuator.

    Sescom SES MULTI PAD 6 Position Variable Attenuator | Full Compass
     
  10. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    I think you are totally mis-understanding your own question, therefore none of the answers you are receiving are going to make any sense either.

    MOST amps allow you to change the volume of the amp without affecting the level of the DI out. Virtually ALL amps will do this if the DI mode is set to "pre-eq". The level of the DI is fixed by the amp's gain structure.

    Also, most consoles are going to want to see a hot mic level signal, so even though they may be referred to as "line outs". You must verify this with the specs in the manual, as many line outs are about 10-15 dB lower than true +4dBu line level.
     
    Sanchan, Element Zero, BrBss and 12 others like this.
  11. agedhorse is correct , (as always) of course. I don't know why I referred to the amp DI out as line level in my earlier post. Maybe I was thinking about the adjustable level DI in your photo. I was obviously not thinking clearly when I said that.
     
  12. Thanks Agedhorse. I get pounced on every time I complain that the only thing I wish were different about my Rumble would be that it had a pre/post switch.

    If this is what the OP is looking for, couldn't he get an outboard DI, if he can't find an amp he likes with a pre/post switch? It would seem to open him up to all possible amps rather than limiting his choice because of this one feature, though as you said, most amps do have pre/post switching.
     
  13. beatlebass64

    beatlebass64 Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2011
    New Hampshire
    Thanks for the responses so far everyone.

    I am just looking for the ability to adjust my volume on stage if needed without it resulting in the front of house volume increasing. I assumed I needed a DI level like the picture I posted above, but it sounds like I can achieve my desired result as long as I use the amp in the pre eq setting.

    If I understand correctly, the level sent to the front of house will be determined by the gain control, and my on stage level will be determined by the master control, so long as I'm in the pre eq setting?

    Like I said, this is all very new to me so I appreciate the helpful responses.
     
  14. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    An alternative is getting an amp with a front gain control and an independent Master. Pretty common. That way you can set the size of the signal going out of the XLR from the front and then set your cab's volume anywhere from off to max.
     
  15. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    True... if they have a master. Some don't.
     
  16. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    This is true of a competent soundperson. OTOH I still get soundpeople telling me my output is too hot because they don't know the difference between mic and line level (and have it set on mic level), don't know they have a trim function or a pad switch.
     
  17. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Gain normally affects what goes out of the DI. Master normally doesn't but there are exceptions like the Quilter Bass Block 800. That's my only issue with that head... I prefer the Master only controlling what goes to my cab.

    Pre or post just just determines whether the signal going out of the DI will be affected by the tone controls or not.
     
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  18. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    Most (not all) DI's in the pre-eq position are also pre-gain control, so even adjusting the gain won't affect the level when in pre mode.

    In post-eq mode, all of the controls before the master will affect the signal, and on a few fairly rare amps even the master might affect the level.
     
    Sanchan, BrBss, Al Kraft and 5 others like this.
  19. Sigurd

    Sigurd

    Oct 27, 2004
    Markbass SD1200 has a DI level knob.
     
  20. BadExample

    BadExample

    Jan 21, 2016
    Injiana
    That's how I would expect it to work. If it worked otherwise, I would not be too happy with it, like Brad's example with the exception to the master.
     

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