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Any reason to get a DI box if you have a PF500?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by BluesOnBass, Nov 25, 2012.

  1. Since the PF 500 can be used as a DI, is there any advantage to getting something like a Sansamp Bass DI?

    What do you all think? Obviously the DI box is more portable, but any other pros to getting one, or can you get the same effects through the PF 500?

  2. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    Well, of course. Likely many reasons... :eyebrow:

    Just because an amp has an added DI, doesn't necessarily mean that it's studio quality, ready for recording. Nor does it necessarily mean that it's versatile enough to be used for multiple genres of music, or for multiple types of instrument, etc. etc.

    That's just for starters. Maybe these reasons - and many others - apply to you; maybe they don't. Maybe they do, but you don't realize they do.

    Regardless, there are a number of really nice DIs on the market that are standalone, i.e. not embedded as a component in an amp. It may be to your benefit to check out a few... :ninja:

  3. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    There are advantages and disadvantages on both sides. I wouldn't get the cheapest DI I can find to replace the PF500's because it's pretty good compared to most of your solid state DI's, but it's never a bad idea to have a decent outboard DI as a spare.
  4. arai

    arai Banned

    Jul 16, 2007
    I always have a DI as a back up in case my amp fails. It has never happened, but peace of mind is priceless.
  5. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon. Supporting Member

    If your PF500 blows up, a DI would at least allow you to play.
  6. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005
    Yup - all my amps have great sounding DIs that I use at every gig, and while I have never had one of my own amps crap out at a gig, I have had provided backline amps bite the dust... In those situations, you'll be glad to have a good quality DI on hand - I know I was... I put together a small "emergency kit" I take to every gig - it fits right behind the seat of my F150... I picked up an empty used Boss BCB-30 pedalboard for $25, and it holds a Countryman 85, Pitchblack tuner, and XDS-PLUS wireless with a transmitter, a few batteries and spare cables - I could easily do a gig with just that little case... I've never had to use my Countryman out of necessity, but have used it by choice a couple of times, and it sounds great...

    - georgestrings
  7. I don't own a PF-500 but do have an SVT4pro and the DI has a few issues. For starters the inboard DI is sensitive to having the bass amp on a different leg of power from the FOH mixer (I often get hum in the FOH signal). I think a ground lift switch would fix that but there isn't one. Also, the output level of the built in DI is set at is not always easy to get a clean signal from it.

    After a few years of this I have mic'ed the amp with an SM-57 a few times but am now looking for a DI with ground lift and a variable output level control and mount it inside the back of my amp rack. I am still doing my homework but I am considering a Sans Amp Bass DI for this and as a back-up in case the amp quits.
  8. Orpheus55

    Orpheus55 Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2006
    Port Charlotte, FL
    I have the PF500 and am very pleased with it. Several soundmen, however, have said that its XLR out is too hot, and recommended a DI. Since, I have used a relatively inexpensive Livewire DI with great results. By contrast, my SWR WorkingPro 12 has a better XLR out that all soundmen have liked. Like others, I always carry a DI for emergencies.
  9. That's the same complaint I have gotten about my 4pro's DI.
  10. Thank you for all the great input. It's very helpful to hear even that some of you have had issues using your PF 500 as a DI. Although I have not (so far) had any issues with my PF 500 cutting out, I know this could be a problem ( like with any amp head), and so just having a reliable backup seems to be reason enough to consider a DI box. I was at first just considering ease of use in going cabless to gigs, and not so much about the back- up issue, mainly from reading threads about going ampless or cabless.

    All this considered, I think I will continue pursuing a good deal on a Sansamp Bass DI, or maybe even a programmable one.

    Thanks again!

    Cheers and Happy Holidays to you all. :)

  11. Rockbassist4


    Oct 13, 2012
    Most soundmen have complained about noise when using the DI on the various heads I have owned. A separate DI is always a good idea because if your head ever craps out at a gig, you can always run direct through the P.A.
  12. garmenteros

    garmenteros Bass Enthusiast Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2008
    Dominican Republic
    Most amps DI wont work if the amp fries for starters. You might not like the tone you get out of the DI on your amp (sometimes they happen to be the weakest link on them) or it might be noisy. I own a radial JDI because I gig vintage amps without that feature, but would still own one just in case I decide to mic my cab one day and its never a bad idea to have it as an emergency tool or for the studio.
  13. Steve Dallman

    Steve Dallman Supporting Member

    I played in the orchestra pit for a musical a couple weeks ago, and used the DI on my PF500. It worked extremely well. I could hear the house mix and it sounded great. The soundman liked it as well.

    I never cared for the DI in my GK1001RB, and preferred my Behringer Sansamp knockoff's DI. I still take the DI, in case of amp problems, but the PF500 is great. The GK needed that DI to take care of the dry tone that amp had. What I was looking for with the GK and the DI is there in spades with the Ampeg.
  14. zachreh


    Mar 7, 2008
    south florida
    I have a pf 350 with a mesa cab and I play metal so when I finally got the sansamp bddi really made me sound so much more professional and it had the perfect tone I was after I love it
  15. arai

    arai Banned

    Jul 16, 2007
    While I think an independent DI is a must for as George puts it emergency kit. One of these would be helpful for your ground lift issues



  16. Good to hear positive experiences with the PF as well, thanks! 😃