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Choosing a DI for stage to go ampless

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by devilock76, May 7, 2015.


  1. devilock76

    devilock76

    May 25, 2009
    Been thinking about going ampless on stage. I play keys and bass and the sound system (monitor and main) are more than enough for the bass sound I need. Figured with already doing double duty on the instruments it might save me some headaches to go ampless.

    However I do like my tone. My workhorse amp rig is a gk-700rbII paired with one or 2 warwick 2x10s vertically stacked. I like this setup as it has proven very reliable for regular gigging and is an excellent balance of tone, weight, and volume. I do like the GK tone, just that touch of mid bite in the sound.

    Anyway I am trying to get an idea of what DI's to check out that will come close to that setup tonally. I understand it may be impossible to ever really match the amp tone itself and I can live with that. I just want to see how close I can get. I hear a lot of people recommend Sansamp and intend to check out their line but was curious about what else. I use several MXR pedals in my effects chain on a side note (their tube screamer clone and the bass envelope filter). I also have a custom built bass volume boost/cut pedal which I typically use to compensate volume on bass switches or single coil tap volume on my 5 string.

    Another option I have considered. When rehearsing at home through headphones I use guitarix as a virtual amp under linux. I have been very pleased with the overall sound and tone of this setup. I do run synths via computer on stage but I am debating if I would want to do that via computer. If so I would just need an audio interface that can feed XLR out to the mixer. Since bass is the primary instrument though I am hesitant of doing this just to avoid having to deal with a computer for the bass. Any thoughts on this as an alternate plan to the pedal DI route for an ampless setup.

    Ken
     
  2. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    Lot's of options out there. For $150 used, pickup a Zoom b3 amd give that a whirl. Tp you can flip it if it isn't you with a minimum sting. It's a way better box than it should be...
     
    Imaginary Pony and jimfist like this.
  3. jimfist

    jimfist "Cling tenaciously to my buttocks!" Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2011
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Yup. ^^^ If you want to see what tones can be had from the B3, but want to enter the foray on the low $$ end, try out the B1on for $49.99. It has the same fx/processing/preamp algorithms as the B3 at a fraction of the cost, but without all of the interface bells and whistles. I own both the B3 and the B1Xon.

    At the very least, the B1on is a great headphone practice amp with built-in drum patterns and a looper. But it also has no XLR output, and I've found a "hot" output bass can overload the input stage. No problem with my passives, though.

    The B3 has full compliment interfacing, input pad, XLR out, ground lift, exp pdl/sw input, USB for recording and preset editing, etc. It takes my active basses (padded input) with no problem, and I've been using it for 90% of my gigs over the last 2+ years. I'm no bottom feeder, either, nor a stranger to the amp modeling scene. The B3 is a great little box. Check the ZOOM website for a list of all the fx and amp emulations available.

    I got the B3 as factory re-stock fully warranteed for $149 delivered to my house. Both pieces are extreme bang for the buck, though the B3 is absolutely more robust and geared for the rigors of the road. YMMV with the B1on as a roadworthy piece.

    JMHO
     
  4. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    i run mine in the loop of a radial bassbone, strictly as a MEP. it ran a slew of boutique effects outta the house. one of my fav bass related purchases ever. The mono syn synth patch is worth more that I paid for the whole shebang...
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2015
    jimfist likes this.
  5. squarewave

    squarewave Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2004
    Iowa City, Iowa USA
    The Tech21 VT Bass Deluxe is worth checking out. It sounds like an amp, has 2 inputs, and has multiple presets.
     
  6. devilock76

    devilock76

    May 25, 2009
    I think I will check out the B3 and the VT if I can find a local shop with them on hand. I have had good luck with Zoom pedals in the past.

    Ken
     
  7. jimfist

    jimfist "Cling tenaciously to my buttocks!" Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2011
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Not a lot of brick and mortar retailers keep ZOOM products in stock, unfortunately. But the well-known online music gear vendors are pretty good about free shipping and 30 day returns if you don't like the stuff.
     
  8. MCBass89

    MCBass89

    Jul 29, 2009
    Kingston, Ontario, Canada
    Geek & Pedal Junky
    I've used a Radial JDI, Darkglass B7K and the DI from my GK MB500 (I'm including this one because of it's portability) all to great effect.
     
  9. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    Depending on the circumstance, for my IEM's I use a VT Deluxe for aggressive rock tones, or an Aguilar Tone Hammer for clean thickness.

    I'm not a fan of a dry DI through IEM's without blending it with a mic'd line, etc.
     
  10. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    It's big for a DI but you could use the 700RB without an amp.
     
  11. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
    my first thought too.

    also, you're sure you can go from that nice strong bass stack to no amp at all? have you tried it at a gig, turning your amp volume all the way down and just asking for it in the monitors?
     
  12. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    The B3 is a fairly complex device. I spent quite a while with mine before settling in in 'best' ... at least for me. I don't think that trying one on a shop is going to give you the time to 'get it'...
     
  13. B3 here as well
     
  14. MrLenny1

    MrLenny1

    Jan 17, 2009
    N.H.
    I just checked out their web site.
    Now I have GAS. Nice features.
    I still have a Zoom B1 going strong.
     
  15. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass

    May 10, 2006
    The Sonic Farm 2di4 is a wonderful tube DI and preamp. Sounds like a giant tube amp in a five-pound package. I've powered it live with a Puma 900 micro amp as well as a QSC PLX3602. The DI tone is to die for -- best recorded tone I've every achieved and I've owned two REDDI's. I bought mine as in interim solution for a custom amp/DI that was built for me. But could be happy forever with the 2di4. Truly pro-level sound and performance.
     
  16. Moe Monsarrat

    Moe Monsarrat

    Jul 30, 2006
    Austin, Tx.
    Endorsing artist:Regenerate Guitar Works Carvin, Micheal Kelly Guitars
    Radial Bassbone
     
  17. devilock76

    devilock76

    May 25, 2009
    So I kind of migrated some of this discussion to an amp upgrade discussion. But yesterday I did end up opting for the MXR M80. Its main competitor in this decision was the Sansamp programmable. In the end the MXR fit what I needed better as far as what I like to do and allowed me to also sell my MXR GT-OD. The sansamp was pretty cool too but I felt it wasn't exactly for me or my ears or my taste. Truth be told I would really like to have both. But that is not an option right now.

    Ken
     
  18. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    That's cool...you only need one ;) The MXR's a good choice. Have fun!
     
  19. devilock76

    devilock76

    May 25, 2009
    You sound like my wife, only need one... BAH!!!!

    Ken
     
    JimmyM likes this.
  20. Chad T

    Chad T

    Feb 10, 2013
    Indiana
    I had a B3 and it's nice, but I found that I really only need a couple sounds, so it was overkill. Plus, all of the options caused tweaker-itis.

    I switched over to an Ampeg SCR-DI and am really liking it. Very simple to get good sounds out of. Also, it sounds great with headphones and the Aux in makes it an excellent and fun practice tool.
     
    JimmyM likes this.

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