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Best DI?

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by joemans, Mar 21, 2013.

  1. joemans


    Jan 8, 2013
    Hey all, I'm looking into getting a DI to shape my live and recording sound but I'm pretty conflicted. I know that there is no "best" DI just as there is no "best" bass or amp, but I could use some advice from some players who are picky about their DI. I don't have a huge budget, I guess I'm just looking for something well worth the money. I've been looking at the Tech 21 Sansamp Bass Driver and Para Driver as well as the Mxr M-80. I'm not necessarily looking for one with distortion, but I wouldn't mind having a good distorted sound every once in a while. I'll probably be playing some Indie/Alternative Rock out of my Jazz Bass if that helps. Thanks in advance!
  2. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    an incomplete list of solid performers:

    I. Lunchbox format DI (or pre + DI) for ~ $500-700:
    • A-Designs REDDI
    • Universal Audio solo/610
    • Avalon U5
    II. Smaller DI for under $200:
    • Radial JDI (passive)
    • Radial J48 (active)
    • Countryman Type 85
  3. NickFromNY

    NickFromNY Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2010
    Long Island, NY
    I have used both the Eden Wtdi pedal and the Sansamp pedal and was really pleased with both. I still use the Eden as a safeguard when we rehearse in the crappy local studios around here
  4. Virgil

    Virgil She's My Inspiration Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2005
    Dresher, Pa.
    REDDI +1
  5. stingray56funk

    stingray56funk Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2005
    REDDI would be my top choice. I own one and have owned almost every DI out there. Make the investment and don't look back.
  6. snaverb


    Feb 19, 2007
    Atlanta, Ga
    Avalon U5 / Aguilar Tone Hammer
  7. U5
  8. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    Sounds like you're looking for a preamp more than a DI.
  9. So, tone hammer is for u
  10. slaerts


    Aug 3, 2006
    You really need to understand the difference between a straight di (whether powered or passive) and a preamp di. Sounds like you are after the pre-amp/di. I started with a sansamp bddi, and could be happy with it still. The sansamp stuff is good. But all the pre-di's have a slightly different voice - even the various sansamps sound different. I've pretty much owned all of them. I often play straight to PA with no amp so I feel the need for a pre-amp before going to the PA. My tastes have developed over the years to prefer a more transparent sound, but I still like the idea of eq'ing that sound to suit the venue - and having a low pass filter also helps.
    The more strongly voiced pre-amp di's are - the various sansamps, ebs microbass II, sadowsky, MXR, tonehammer... there cold be another 4 or 5 to add but I'm tired.
    The more transparent (but not completely transparent) fishman platinum bass, LR baggs paracoustic, radial tonebone, the markbass super booster can go in either camp as well.

    I'm currently using the fishman as it is slightly less transparent than the LR baggs (a bit warmer sounding) and I prefer its low pass filter when I use the u-bass. I also keep a sansamp paradriver for when I want a little dirt.

    I also like something that has the phantom power option it eliminates batteries and extra cables.

    You may need to try out a few til you get something you like. Try second hand as its cheaper, the classies here are great and enjoy the journey.
  11. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Pick anything from that list. The REDDI will color your tone a little more than the others, but everyone says it rules. I use both of the Radials listed, and I also have the Countryman and U5. The U5 is very clean. The tone switch on it has some utility.
  12. diglo

    diglo Gold Supporting Member

    May 21, 2007
    Get up! Get Get Get Down!
    The sadowsky pre/DI isn't too bad. I have a tone hammer too, but right now I'm liking the sadowsky better.
  13. vince a

    vince a

    Jun 13, 2006
    Modesto, CA
    I have several, but for $150 or less, the Eden WTDI preamp/DI is tough to beat. I use 100% of the time!
  14. TimmyP


    Nov 4, 2003
    Indianapolis, IN
    Firefly, Reddi, U5.

    J48, Pro48, Audiopile.net active.
  15. All this stuff costs TOO MUCH MONEY to experiment with. You need your own experience and ear to guide you to the best DI for you. I've used many professional- spec. DI's at the shows I've played at (over 400 gigs in the three years I've had with my band, and through some very heavy systems - mainly casino's and corporate shows) and what I use now will make you laugh I'm sure! The best first audition you should consider is a Behringer Mic 100! Serious! It'll cost you $50 or less and as long as you don't ride the gain too high (and your gear is earthing properly) I'm sure you'll be impressed. I get complimented on my sound every week, with no exception and no exageration here! It's not as sexy as a $700 DI but you'll get over that. The unit works. You should at least try one. Good luck!
  16. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    While good DIs are expensive with many of them like a JDI or REDDI you can resell them quickly with no more of a loss than renting them for a couple of months would have cost. You can spend $50 on a Behringer that has little or no resale value or $200 on a new JDI you can easily sell for $150. Expensive or not you have to throw down the cash and try it yourself to really know.
  17. been there..tried it...failed...just another checkmark for me to never rely behringer...did myself a favor with a sansamp...$250, never looked back
  18. Virgil

    Virgil She's My Inspiration Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2005
    Dresher, Pa.
    REDDI. Never fails to perform.
  19. I agree! Behringer has always been a dodgy investment proposition! {understatement} I tried the Mic 100 as an exercise while I looked into better reputable DI's. I actually got the idea from a professional soundguy (!) who said it was worth a look. But yes, you generally do get what you pay for, and I'm still looking.......
  20. chatterbox272


    Apr 12, 2012
    I like the Behringer BDI21 as a driver/DI. It's just a sansamp clone but I actually prefer it to the real thing. There's a blind test somewhere here on TB where you can compare the two.

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