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Best DI for Rock from The Beatles to Radiohead

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Andy Atoms, Jul 22, 2017.

  1. Andy Atoms

    Andy Atoms

    Jul 19, 2017
    I'm searching for a DI to use when running direct. I've used and have been happy with the Tech21 Sans Amp (I don't own one). I want see what else I should consider purchasing.

    I've been looking for a 3leaf Enabler but I can't catch one fast enough when it occasionally comes up for sale. And I've not even heard one in person yet so it may not be what I'm looking for.

    Suggestions please!

    Most of the time I'm playing modern worship (Hillsong, Elevation Worship) at church. However I'm heavily influenced by the John Mayer Trio, Radiohead and the Beatles.
  2. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    So is this a what's good for everything but metal thread?
  3. two fingers

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

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Welcome to TalkBass!

    So I am in rotation at my church. I was tasked with finding a good DI that would work for all of our bass player (3 of us) who have very different basses and styles. After doing a ton of reading and listening, I went with the Tech 21 VT Bass Deluxe. The way we're using it is a preset for each player. But I can see how it would be really useful for having a few different flavors of awesome.

    It's a little pricey for the Deluxe, so if you want to spend less they make a single channel one with no selectable presets.
    AztecViking and klokker like this.
  4. Technically, A D.I. alone, should not color the sound of your bass, so the type of music shouldn't matter.
    Bass -> D.I. -> Mixer. The D.I. May or may not have active circuitry to amplify the signal, but should not change how the signal sounds.

    Now if you want to tweek how your bass sounds going to a mixer then you need a pre that includes the feature of having an D.I. output.
    It should have a pre/post switch on the D.I. output so you can send EQ'd or not to the board as needed.

    I don't know if the Tech 21 has pre/post switching, but if it doesn't, and that doesn't matter and you like the sound, then why not grab one?
    Personally, I would want a pre/post switch on anything I send to a mixer. YMMV.
  5. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    If you just want a straight DI you can't go wrong with a Radial JDI.
  6. mmbongo

    mmbongo Dilly Dilly! Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Mesa Subway DI if you don't need distortion built in.
  7. ArtechnikA

    ArtechnikA I endorsed a check once... Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2013
    The DI's in the DarkGlass pedals that have them are excellent.
    For straight DI's I bought a pair of Neve RDNI for my sound company. They require phantom power, which I know my mixer and recording interface can supply. But they can also handle speaker-level inputs, which can be handy for situations where someone is depending on amp-based effects.
    gsquare likes this.
  8. Andy Atoms

    Andy Atoms

    Jul 19, 2017
    Ha! Pretty much! I guess I'd have to add no easy/elevator Jazz (not that those two styles are at all related). It's just that I prefer a little warmth while still having some clarity.

    I've got an American P-Bass with Wilde Bill Lawrence pickups and La Bella flat wounds.

    I should have clarified - I'm not looking for a straight DI (if so I'd go with a Radial with Jensen transformers - they're great). I'm looking for a Pre with EQ that includes a DI. Something sort of like the Tech21 SansAmp. But I guess I don't love that pedal enough to not be looking around for something else.

    Last edited: Jul 22, 2017
    Old Garage-Bander likes this.
  9. Andy Atoms

    Andy Atoms

    Jul 19, 2017
    I'll check it out because I don't need nor really want built in distortion (I've got an overdrive pedal that I'm happy with).
  10. mmbongo

    mmbongo Dilly Dilly! Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    I have two of them. Best DI I've used :)
  11. Edmang

    Edmang Supporting Member

    Jun 29, 2013
    MXR M81

  12. Alien8


    Jan 29, 2014
    I always say ToneHammer because it's awesome.

    Its dirty channel can be cleaned up, expanding on its EQ options. Phantom powered as well.

    It doesn't work well as a two channel clean / dirty but can be forced into it if you manage volume on your bass.
    monsterthompson likes this.
  13. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    If you want to go high end, Ampeg PF-20T and 50T, or A-Designs REDDI. The Ampegs are actual tube amps, but they can be run without a cab if you choose.

    On the lower end of the scale, there's a butt-ton of stuff you can use. Ampeg SCR-DI, Tech 21 VT, MXR M81, Aggie TH, plenty of others, too. Seems all the major amp companies have them now these days. I have the SCR and VT Deluxe and love them both.
  14. gsquare

    gsquare Pedal Breeders' BIGBoardClub#104;CabronitaClub#8 Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2012
    Peoria, AZ
    Personally, I've never had luck with Tech 21 products, they have a particular quality to the sound that I just don't care for that seems to be there no matter what you plug into it or what comes after it in the signal chain. I use the A Design REDDI which sounds great for adding a touch of warmth and the Neve DI is nice and clean but doesn't sound too sterile to my ears. There are a ton of great alternatives, you might try a few out before you land on one.
  15. pbass2


    Jan 25, 2007
    Los Angeles
    After using all manner of DI's and bass pres live (including the REDDI) I've settled on using a Radial JDI and then some other pre pedal in front of it. I like the options it gives me having them separate. Usually I either use JDI/Xotic BB, or JDI/Xotic RC, depending on the music and what bass I'm using. Or I may only use the JDI when I get to the gig and suss things out. I like knowing I've always got the JDI on hand--bombproof box, great sound.
  16. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    So hard to beat the JDI. Active or passive, 4 or 6 string, it sounds great. The REDDI was great but just not for me.
  17. pbass2


    Jan 25, 2007
    Los Angeles
    I love using a REDDI but for the gigs I usually do--backline, in and out fast, etc.--it just wasn't worth the hassle to schlepp it after a while. Most of my gigs I'm walking in with a gig bag and that's about it (which is how I like it!)
  18. okcrum

    okcrum in your chest

    Oct 5, 2009
    Verde Valley, AZ
    RIP Dark Horse strings
    99% of the stages with backline out here you walk out on, you're looking down at a Radial DI of one sort or another.
  19. Personally I've had good results with the VT Bass DI when I needed to go direct (i.e recording in the same booth as the drum kit), but if you're looking for a different flavour, you might want to give the Q\Strip a try. It seeks to emulate vintage recording consoles and has useful features like a HPF and LPF. That's probably what I'd get if I didn't already have the VT.

    MDBass likes this.
  20. ahc


    Jul 31, 2009
    No. Virginia
    Noble pre/di.
    ExaltBass and FusionStuff like this.

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