Ampeg SCR-DI vs Radial JDI for FOH signal

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by MetcalfBass, Jun 26, 2019.

  1. So here is my slow-day-at-work-spent-in-the-depths-of-a-DI-rabbit hole “situation”:

    I played in a band a few years ago. We gigged a considerable amount, and most sound guys would either mic my cab or use a house DI.

    Flash forward to the present, and that same band has reconvened. As we’ve started getting ready to play out, I’ve been wondering what the best approach is for a DI, in terms of simplicity and ease of use for myself and the sound guy.

    My current setup is: passive P-bass > tuner > Fairfield Barbershop > Damnation MDB-1 > W&C TFR > DOD FX72 Flanger > DarkGlass Super Symmetry > Ampeg SCR-DI (unaffected signal to Ampeg SVT VR/212, affected signal to FOH)

    Would sound guys have an issue with this setup, particularly taking the affected signal to FOH? Am I better served with a JDI vs the SCR-DI?

    As background, my reasoning for opting for the SCR-DI was a) to maintain an Ampeg tone through FOH b) to serve as a pre if playing through a backline that isn’t my cup of tea c) as a grab and go pedal if for whatever reason I can’t bring my full pedalboard d) headphone functionality (seldom used, but once in a while convenient).

    As always, thanks in advance.
  2. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    The soundguy in me says you should be fine with the DI from the SCRDI.. Use(d) the very same pedal myself when I was ampless, and an SVT7Pro when not :)
    DI - either way.
    DonaldR likes this.
  3. Mushroo

    Mushroo Guest

    Apr 2, 2007
    JDI between your PBass and tuner would be a good "insurance policy" in case there is a problem with your pedalboard, or a sudden loss of power, or the sound guy prefers a "dry" sound.

    But you might find yourself never using it. The SCR-DI is a great piece of gear, so if you are happy with the results, no need to change things up, in my opinion. :)
  4. Maybe I'll keep my eyes open and try to snag a JDI on the cheap. Can't hurt to have a bit of redundancy/insurance.
  5. DonaldR


    Mar 26, 2012
    The Ampeg SCR-DI is a really good preamp/DI. I use it all the time direct to FOH for lightweight gigs/jams. The DI always has that Ampeg flavor (and pseudo cab-sim filtering), activated or not.
    Tim Crommerford is having one on its pedalboard, using it for IEM.
  6. lokikallas

    lokikallas Supporting Member

    Aug 15, 2010
    los angeles
    I’d be coming out of the VR built in DI, same as my 7 pro.
  7. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    so you don't hear any of your cool pedal effects in your stage amp? what's the point of that?

    are you using the scr-DI for much tone-shaping or just as a DI? if it's going basically flat then i say skip it and use the SVT VR's DI (with all the FX going into it) so you can get some real tube tone into the FOH. were it me i'd even set it post so as much of the amp's character made it into the mix as possible.
    in that case just keep one in your gig bag to bust out if any of those situations come up.
    if you really had to do that, better would be after the tuner so muting to tune actually mutes everything out front, and ideally that tuner would be something like a buffered boss TU2, otherwise the passive bass straight into the passive DI will have some signal loss.

    personally, i'll be damned if i let a DI happen in front of my pedalboard!

    that a soundguy "prefers a dry sound" is neither here nor there, it's up to you as the musician to create a good tone that fits the band (whatever that might mean) and then send it to FOH; it's up to the soundguy to make that work out front. (is that soundguy gonna tell the les paul-playing guitarist that he "prefers a strat sound"?)
  8. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    Just to play devils advocate, since the OP is using the Thru on the SCR-DI, how will he know if he's sending a good tone to FOH or not? The Thru bypasses all of the SCR-DI's processing, so he won't be able to monitor what happens when he makes adjustments, unless the his signal is sent back to him through the fold back monitors.

    I totally agree the DI needs to be taken after the effects. If you want some Ampeg tone, the OP's proposed signal path will do, but he is sort of running "blind," or in this case, "deaf" to whatever mojo the SCR-DI is working on his signal. It would probably work okay, but require more futzing with the audio tech to get the SCR-DI dialed in.

    I am not a huge fan of running Post DI or a speaker level DI, especially if the player is using a traditionally voiced speakers. The voicing of the speaker will throw the EQ off in the DI...and also Post DI and speaker level DI can sometimes be overly noisy.

    If the player relies on his/her rig to produce a signature sound, I suggest using a mic, but unfortunately many audio techs are opposed to this. You have to deal with a bit of bleed, noise, and EQ issues with a mic as well, but I think this is really the best way to authentically capture the sound of a players rig, especially if he/she likes to tickle the output tubes a bit.

    Ultimately there is no perfect solution, so you just do the best you can. I think the SCR-DI will work fine, but some audio techs are going to want to use their own "old faithful," which might be a piece of crap. I have had audio techs reject using my Countryman Type-85 and Radial JDI for a piece of crap they were familiar with on a number of gigs. Over the years and various conflicts, I came to the conclusion it wasn't really worth a huge blowup that could compromise the gig.
    s0c9 likes this.
  9. 4Mal

    4Mal Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    I am also in the camp wondering why dry to the amp ? And also of DI post pedal board. I want to hear my effects ...

    I am not generally in favor of ‘amp’ on board DI’s. If we do use one, it will be pre eq. A JDI or Countryman before the amp is my preference. Solid, quiet and reasonably transparent.
  10. My reasoning for sending the unaffected signal to the amp is because I already have an always on Barbershop going into an SVT. Why slam it with the SCR tone stack as well? I don't use that pedal as part of my "tone"....should have probably made it clearer in the original post.

    At this point I think I'm going to pick up a JDI. Between having that and the SCR-DI in the gig bag, that should cover most scenarios.
  11. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    Stacking too many preamps tends to degrade the sound, so I think your proposed set up with the SCR-DI has some merit, but also some problems to work around. Mainly you get some Ampeg Mojo on your DI signal, but you really don't know how much, unless you are dialed into the monitors.

    If you always running distortion, perhaps an OMNICABSIM or similar Amp/Cab Sim would be a better choice...I think mic'ing the cab is more authentic, but many people seem happy with a SIM.

    Some are happy using the JDI's cab SIM as as well, but this is to be used at speaker level with the -15dB pad engaged. Make a parallel connection with the JDI instead of running the cab off the JDI's Thru. The internal circuitry of the JDI is not intended to carry the current of a high powered amp, but it will do fine with the voltage.
    s0c9 likes this.
  12. matante


    Nov 3, 2003
    For what it's worth to you, looking at the rigs real pros use for playing concerts and festivals, almost none of them seem to use the preamp pedals that are so popular on Talkbass. It's bass>pedalboard>Active DI box like a JDI>FOH (and thru out to the amp.)
  13. That seems to be most logical to me. I think I'll be fine with just sending my bass + pedalboard tone to FOH....the Barbershop will give me that tube grit. And I'll have the SCR on hand for situations where I want to use it as a pre or go ampless.

    Also, from what I've gathered from other posts as well the JDI manual, the highs that seem to be an issue with using dirt going into a DI get rolled off when the speaker pad is engaged.

    And as always, I am very appreciative of everybody's input.
  14. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    True, but the speaker emulator of the JDI is intended for use at speaker level rather than instrument level. It might pad the signal down too much. You might want to do a bit more research to make sure it will work at instrument level.
    punchclock likes this.
  15. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011

    IMHO a preamp DI becomes more desirable if you are using IEMs and going ampless. This gives player the ability to dial their sound into the IEMs directly. However, as an audio tech I would rather not have to deal with the players tone control changes when possible.
    matante likes this.
  16. Wasnex, what DI would you recommend? I'm also reading that the SCR always colors the tone with a bit of Ampeg goodness, even with the pre-amp and OD off. If that's the case, that seems like a potential solve. Using ONLY the DI portion and still getting a touch of Ampeg color in addition to my bass and pedalboard. Does that make sense?
  17. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011

    The JDI is a fine DI, but if you want an instrument level cab SIM I think you need to look elsewhere. FYI, several people seem happy using the JDI cab SIM at speaker level.

    I think your SCR-DI will work fine. My only concern is dialing it in and being mindful of what happens if you bump the level on one of your effects pedals. Maybe it will be fine with the particular configuration you are describing. Before spending cash I would do some experiments with what you have, to include trying the DI on your VR.

    I am used to the audio tech providing a DI. I usually carry one just in case, but I found it very rare that I needed to use it. Early in my playing career I wanted to use my DI and found this often led to conflict, since the audio tech wanted to use his.

    The OMNICABSIM is well respected, but I haven't used it.
  18. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    Then why bother dragging out an SVT head? Nobody will hear its tubey goodness but you.

    In fact you might as well do what I do with the same setup (where my pedalboard is my entire sound) and just throw a plain power amp on top of your bass cab.
    Zbysek, punchclock and Ethereal Thorn like this.
  19. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Save some money if you go the Radial route and get a Whirlwind Director. To me it sounds the same.
  20. Somehow I feel more knowledgeable now, yet even more confused haha. At the end of the day, I want to figure out the simplest solution to get my Ampeg + pedalboard tone out to FOH while playing my SVT rig on stage. If that isn’t easily feasible, then the second best option.