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Best Bass DI

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by amistybleu, Mar 17, 2006.

  1. amistybleu


    Jan 15, 2006
    Thornton, CO
    Looking for a Bass DI for recording, In your experience what is the best and why.
  2. Nyarlathotep

    Nyarlathotep Banned

    Feb 5, 2006
    West Coast of Canada
  3. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I've always preferred a Countryman Model 85. THE DI as far as I'm concerned.
  4. amper


    Dec 4, 2002
    Countryman here. I did a lot of research into DI boxes before I bought mine, and concluded from everything I read that the Countryman is probably the best DI box out there. Just remember that the Countryman is Pin 3 Hot...which means you'll want to reverse the polarity in your mixing desk or mic preamp.

    I use the Countryman straight off the bass, and then feed one of my bass preamps or my JoeMeek VC1Qcs channel strip in parallel, and take a second DI off the preamp. Usually, it's the preamp sound that will get used, but the plain DI signal is useful as a safety track that can be re-amped later to change sounds.

    I do this with both guitar and bass tracks.
  5. cabcreaser

    cabcreaser Supporting Member

    Feb 12, 2005
    This has definitely been discussed at length here, however, the unit that I feel is the best is seldom mentioned. I have extensive experience with the Aguilar DB900, Avalon U5, Demeter VTDB-1, Raven Labs APD-1, Sansamp Bass Driver, Countryman 85, Radial JDI and J48, and BSS AR116 and without a doubt my favorite, and by a fairly large margin, is the A Designs REDDI. Of course, it costs more than the others, but it is definitely an instance where you get what you pay for. Warm, fat tone that sits in the mix beautifully (sure beats having to lug around an amp to the studio all the time to ensure great tone).
  6. If you are just looking for a great DI and no other bells/whistles then the Aguilar DB900 is outstanding. Very simple, sounds great, does what a DI should. No engineer will complain about the signal coming out of it.

    HELLonWHEELS Supporting Member

    Jun 13, 2005
    what about the sadowsky DI??
  8. cabcreaser

    cabcreaser Supporting Member

    Feb 12, 2005
    If good old transparent and honest impedance converting is all you need (with a ground lift to boot) combined with a fantastic outboard pre (and a few useful added features as well), then you can't go wrong.

    If you want a little sonic mojo from your direct box as opposed to an outboard eq, you are probably better off buying a tube unit. They just sound different. However, if you are going to run the Sadowsky DI into a high quality tube pre, the results may be comparable.

    Regardless, I have yet to run across a single product with the Sadowsky name on it that wasn't of the highest quality.
  9. RevGroove

    RevGroove Commercial User

    Jul 21, 2002
    Burlington ON Canada
    Manager, Account Services: Long & McQuade Ltd. (Burlington); MTD Kingston Basses International Emerging Artist; Bartolini Electronics Emerging Artist
    I've been using a BBE DI1000x for over a year now...has a Jensen transformer, really like the results...also use it for keys and acoustic guitar...
  10. westland


    Oct 8, 2004
    Hong Kong
    If you are going for a clean-tube circuit, the Groove Tubes brick is only around $350, with a dual stage circuit (which means a bit of tone modulation). Replace the GT 12ax7s that come with it with some Tong-sols or JJs from The Tube Store, and I think you'll have a better DI than the REDDI
  11. cabcreaser

    cabcreaser Supporting Member

    Feb 12, 2005
    I respectfully disagree and yes I have used a Brick as well.

    The 6N1P preamp tube sounds different from 12ax7s (more open to my ears) and the output transformers are quite different.

    The only direct box that seems comparable to the REDDI (though it utilizes a 12ax7) is the Eclair Engineering Evil Twin. IMO the Brick (for bass) ranks lower than the Aguilar or Demeter box, and as stated previously, the REDDI above them all (with the exception of perhaps the Evil Twin).

    I am curious, Westland, if the REDDI has made it to Hong Kong, have you tried one (or better yet a/bed it to a BRICK--I think you would be quite surprised by the results)?
  12. cabcreaser

    cabcreaser Supporting Member

    Feb 12, 2005
    though to avoid any misunderstanding, I have no doubt the GT Brick with some nice new old stock tubes sounds great.
  13. I love my Avalon U5, a great solution for studio recording. It's pricey at $550 but has nice features and is really great sounding - excellent for bass recording. A step down in price, the Grooves Tube Brick ($400) is very cool. It's good for bass, but even better between a guitarist / POD and your interface. Tubes are good! For the under $200 mark I'd probably go with the Countryman Type 85 ($180), a great sounding DI for the money. I am in the minority here as I don't really care for the SansAmp products, but to each their own.

    Good luck!
  14. I like my Aphex Acoustic DI, and heard the Art Tube MP does a good job (with a JJ or TongSol could be better) are good starts for under $130.
    Go up in price to the CountryMan at about $150 I think (non-tube). Best solid state sound you're gonna find, I have used it.
    As the others have said the GT brick, Aguilar would be steps up.
  15. echo008

    echo008 Supporting Member

    Jan 30, 2004
    Long Island, NY
    A designs REDDI ...
    We just snagged one of these and have done some recording with it. Amazing! We also have and have used the Groove Tubes DITTO which is very similar to the "Brick" both great units... but In my opinion the DITTO does not come close to the REDDI ... definitely more "Old School" Fat & warm AND clear tone coming from it.

    - Tom
  16. AHbassist


    Sep 22, 2005
    Kennesaw, GA
    MXR M-80, basically cuz it cut all the noise from my POS epiphone ebo bass, and fender rumble 100. The Sansamp might be the better choice tho, little extra cash, but I've heard good things.
  17. cabcreaser

    cabcreaser Supporting Member

    Feb 12, 2005
    perfect description. I know I may sound overly enthusiastic about the REDDI, but I feel that strongly about it (and though it is expensive, imo, for what it does it is a steal--in addition, it has gone up in price 50 bucks every year since it came out)
  18. I'd like to warn people that the Sadowsky preamp is NOISY.
  19. prockenklang


    May 22, 2003
    By far the best DI I have ever used is the Millennia TD-1.I own two of them!:hyper:


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