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Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by iloveloosey, Jun 16, 2003.
it sure looks interesting! anyone ever try one?
Nah, perhaps its a good preamp, but the best DI on the market right now is arguably the Radial JDV Mark 3. Its da bomb!
What is interesting is comparing the reviews of the Valvotronics unit and the Radial JDV.
The reviewers of the Radial rave about its "transparent clear uncoloured" sound.
The reviewer of the Valvotronics talks about how it "dishes out loads of pillowy bass.." - sounds to me like tube harmonics colouring the sound. Just the opposite of what the JDV is complimented for!!
Any engineers out there have any comments? Maybe one is better for recording and the other for live DI to mixer applications? Is this just a matter of taste?
Am I the only one who wouldn't buy anything from them simply because their website is www.pickledick.com ?
It is sort of strange that they wouldn't have their own domain name... and that they would choose something that "unique."
Their box thing seems like a good preamp... but only cuz it's expensive and I have no idea why you would want such a pricy DI box. If ur amp is decent, u'd just use its XLR out, right? And if you had the money to buy such a DI box, why not get a decent amp first? I dunno, I'm sorta fuzzy on what a DI box does anyway. If anyone actually buys this, do tell us how it goes!! Maybe even send it over the the basstaster guys to test out!!
The thing with all this DI and preamp mania that drives me nuts is it makes it seem that you MUST have this stuff...what about all the great music that's been played and recorded in the past? They obviously didn't have access to Avalons, SABDDIs, Radials, Pickle Dicks, etc.
People get so hung up on subtleties that are so easily lost. I'll worry about buying a $400+ DI when I start recording for a major label. In the meantime, when I go in to make demos I'll plug into whatever DI the engineer has lying around (and I always leave my amp home). Live, I'll either use the amp DI or whatever box the sound guy hands me.
my 2cents worth is that the DI built into my Sei bass does the job for me.
It is the one used on a Wal [Martin Petersen got it for me from Pete Stevens at Wal]. The sound/tone from the DI is identical as the sound/tone from the jack socket. However the signal output from the DI is probably about 10% less than from the jack so this needs to be taken into account on volume levels.
Great for recording as I did last week when I used the DI straight into the recording desk and the jack into the amp for my foldback.
Also having it put into the bass when it was built for me was very cheap, about £35.
I am very happy with it
Agree fully - except for the part about worrying about it "when I start recording for a major label". Dude you'll be so poor that you won't be able to afford a DI of any kind. Unless of course you one of the very, very lucky few who actually make any money out of this "feast or famine" industry of ours.
400 bucks is too expensive.
That's a good point. But (and I'm sure you feel the same way) ya can't blame a guy for trying to sell his wares.
Wrong. With few exceptions most amp DIs sound like ass. I find 99% of built-in DIs are thin, weak, and noisy. And I'm not a DI snob either. I think a $75 used Countryman is as good as any simply because its clean and dead quiet.
What if I want to mic my amp and blend with a direct signal? What if my favorite amp has no DI?
Does this mean you've tried it?
If so, how much do you utilize the "drag" knob. The one which varies the load on the signal or whatever.
I checked out the reviews. I noticed that one mentioned a quality that's a big No-No in my book: Noise.
Live is one thing but recording is another. Noisy components are promptly unplugged when recording. I ditched two Aguilar DB900s for being to noisy (not to mention the low output which buries you in the mix).
I'm now down to a $75 Countryman. I'd love to find something that sounds even better while just as quiet. However few things disappoint like blowing $400-$500 on any kind of DI that is noisy.
Yeah, I spent some time with the JDV MkIII. Its absolutely amazing. $380, but amazing. The drag knob does alter the timbre of the bass in a very subtle way, through pickup loading. I can see where it would be pretty darned valuable to get different nuances in your tone for different songs on tape.
In the end, I bought the $185 JDI (the passive version), because it did the job nicely for me. The JDV is much more flexible than the JDI and has all the bells and whistles, but I just didn't see myself utilizing the extra features enough to justify the additional price. I did enjoy the flexibility of the drag control (especially on my NS Upright with the piezo's, where it made a big difference in tone), but not enough for $200 difference at this time. Perhaps in the future when I have more "fun" money to blow.
One thing's for sure, the Radial DI's are far and above a "standard" DI in almost every respect. Their transparency and clarity really helps the bass parts sit in the track. Better than the Countryman 85 I used to use.
I don't get it. The DB 900 has a no gain. It has a Jensen transformer that drops the gain down 20 db. If your bass is instrument level (-10) and your (console) preamp has 40 to 60 db of gain, you should have no problem being heard in the mix. I haven't seen a board that doesn't have that much gain. Neve's have 80 db of gain!
I think some players mix up the application of preamp and direct box. There are a lot devices with gain that can match impedances. But doesn't that make them preamps? Is it possible that if you weren't getting enough gain out of your preamp, you might have been maxing it out and getting noise from the console pre? Mackies that I have used are like that. They sound quiet as long as you don't crank them above that little notched point.
Anyway, just my experience. Most (true) D.I.'s I have tried are very quiet because they have no gain. I have have used countrymen (more than one countryman?) for years in the studio. They are about 8 db hotter than Mic level, in unscientific observation.
hmm... i think the reviewer said the noise was from a redundant precautionary ground wire they had in the reviewer module and that they supposedly took it out for the other ones that you can buy.
good to hear, I'm looking to purchase a JDI shortly
Yes you're right. The reviewer did say that. But it was not made clear if the reviewer also got to review one of those to hear if the fix worked.
With their liberal return policy it's worth a try.
What review are you referring to? Who makes Valvetronics? Not familiar with them.
At practical recording levels both DB900s introduced RF, hum, and plain moise. Countryman was dead quiet.
To achieve the same level at the board the Countryman required much less gain.
Furthermore, I could not get the DB900 to record as hot (to tape) even by overcompensating with gain.
I'm not sure if this is due to the DB900's -20 output vs. the Countryman's -12 or if the tube smooths/dilutes the signal "too" much (if that's even possible). I just know that it tamed the signal too much and was noisy.
Monitored in the cans at moderate levels the DB900 sounds very nice (better than Countryman) but it did not translate to tape.
No. But even if I was would the same noise not be heard in the other DI?