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Amp/Rig Setup Question - DI box as preamp?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by ashtray, Sep 11, 2008.

  1. I was considering putting together a "high volume" rig, on the budget side. Was considering using a QSC RMX1450 power amp, running to a bass cabinet (@ 4ohms) capable of handling the power.

    I was wondering if I could use a DI pedal as my preamp, and run that direct to the power amp? Any issues with this setup?
  2. mrkreuzschlitz


    Jun 30, 2008
    Dacula, GA
    I would use something like a Sansamp, problem is you wont be as "hot" as a normal preamp.
  3. ive thought about doing this, too. i think it'd be all right, i know that traditional preamps boost your signal and will also change the signal ohms so it is sufficient for the amp input. your pedal may do that, too. especially if it is a DI.

    maybe some others more knowledgeable can jump in here.
  4. I had a rig like that years ago- Hartke 4.5XL, Peavey PV900, Boss DI, and a Boss FZ2 for boost. Sounds good to me. Played a couple of outdoor events, and it was slammin'.
  5. kotzman


    Feb 12, 2007
    Santa Fe, NM
    Depends on the DI. Probably best to use an active box with gain and tone controls. Most of them might not have enough gain for you. You might consider comparing prices with rack mounted preamps. QSC amps rock.
  6. deathbyjune


    May 19, 2008
    New Jersey
    Yup. I used to run my SABDDI into a Carvin DCM 600 power amp.

    Worked wonderfully. Signal was plenty hot. :bassist:
  7. fokof

    fokof One day ,I'll be in the future

    Mar 16, 2007
    I use a TD100 , it's both a DI and a preamp.
    They sell it as DI though....
  8. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Please click on the "preamps explained" link in my sig. Short version: only a small percentage of DI's are also preamps, and even among those they will vary in how well they drive a given power amp.
  9. Nick Kay

    Nick Kay

    Jul 26, 2007
    Toronto, Ontario
    99% of DIs won't put out a hot enough signal to properly drive a power amp. Now, a mic preamp, on the other hand, will be relatively clear and flat, like a DI, but has the added bonus of putting out line-level signals.

    I might just be advocating that because I played a gig with a Joe Meek OneQ going into a QSC RMX1450 and a pair of BFM Omni 15 Tallboys, and I fell in love almost immediately. Thick, clear, satisfying tone. Of course, most microphone preamps don't have high-impedance inputs or all the cool stuff on a Meek pre, and most DIs are much cheaper than a OneQ
  10. I was thinking something along the lines of an MXR DI, with bass, treble, volume controls, etc. I don't own a DI pedal yet, so this would give me double the reason to buy one (though my amps all have signal sends from them, so maybe only 1 reason really).

    I'll price out some preamps in comparison to a DI pedal - though I'm thinking a rack mount preamp would run a few times more expensive than a comparable DI pedal.
  11. jimbilly


    Apr 19, 2006
    The newer Tech21 BDDIs have a switch for higher output for use as a preamp. I used to use an older BDDI as a preamp into a Stewart 1.6, I had to crank the volumes, but it got adequately loud.
    Or, just get a decent little mixer to boost and watch your signal level with the trim and output/solo meter. Mixers are handy to have around anyway, nice little USA Mackies are well under $200 used.
  12. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    You might get enough signal from a Tech21 ParaDI.

    In any case, check what input levels are needed by your power amp, and then be certain anything
    you purchase meets or exceeds those output levels.

    If you can't provide enough signal into the power amp, your output level is going to suffer.
  13. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Dave at Aguilar assures me the Tone Hammer will drive a power amp.
    I've not heard of anyone actually doing this, here, yet.
  14. themarshall


    Jun 26, 2008
    cochrane wi
    Uhm, any decent preamp would have a direct out, and many aren't too spendy used. Why not go that route?
  15. Lync


    Apr 13, 2004

    The new SABDDI and Programmable BDDI (the ones I am familiar with) have that switch and are hot enough no problem.

    My issue with preamp pedals is that when they don't have their own gain (like the Sansamp), the signal from your bass is preset. If you get into a situation like the Gibson Money Bass with super-hot pickups, the Sansamp will overdrive unless you turn the volume down on the bass.

    A rackmount preamp with a gain control can fix this, so if you have a hot bass (or use multiple basses with significantly different output signals) that is the way to go.
  16. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Tone Hammer has both input, and master gains...
  17. Lync


    Apr 13, 2004
    Cool-I'll have to check one out myself (looking for a preamp for the Bose L1 system).

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