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Demeter HBP-1 owners... Using the DI

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Pickebass, Apr 1, 2005.


  1. Pickebass

    Pickebass Supporting Member

    Jul 12, 2004
    San Antonio, TX
    I just got an HBP-1 preamp. Love the sound, definitely gives me a different sound than my aguilar. One question... does anyone use the DI to send to the PA?

    The manual states that you can't use the DI with phantom power. So, do most of you guys just use an external DI? Do you use the DI output to your power amp? :help:

    Thanks for your help
     
  2. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    i'm surprised that the di isnt ok to use with phantom power, most are these days. however, as it's not using a jensen transformer liek the 201 or 201s, i can see why.

    back in the "favorite di" thread in effects maxvalentino hipped to the fact that earlier swr units got fried by pahntom power as well, seems that for "purity of tome" or somethign they opted not to have the unit be pahntom power safe.

    i dont have an hbp-1 so i can't comment. however, i can pass along the reccomendation to not use that di unless you are absolutely sure (as in you are in complete control or the pa) that phantom power wont accidentally get sent to your preamp. max did reccomend to me the idea of using something like a sans amp di after the line out of the preamp, sending the 1/4" output to the poweramp and the di out of the sans amp to the pa (just leave the sans amp's tube emulation circuit "off") i'm not 100% sure but i think you could use any di like this in between the preamp out of your demeter and your poweramp. that woudl protect your preamp, but let you use its tone to send to the pa.
     
  3. Pickebass

    Pickebass Supporting Member

    Jul 12, 2004
    San Antonio, TX
    Last night I just used my Sadowsky pedal and used the DI on it. Just thought it was odd that they recommend not using the DI on a board with phantom power. I was thinking I would have to use an external DI, just was wondering if there were any other alternatives. Personally kinda bummed about this because that was one of the things I loved about the original.
     
  4. I don't think this is a problem anylonger, but if you have an older one you bought it may be affected. Call Jim Demeter to ease your mind. He didn't take the notice out of the manual for sometime... really call him, I'll bet it's ok. Otherwise the 48v phantom could damage your unit if not protected by the new circuit protection or mod they made.
     
  5. scraig

    scraig

    Apr 15, 2004
    Virginia Beach
    I work with sound and have some knowledge but by no means an expert on sound equipment. A balanced XLR has three wires - ground, positive, and negative. The ground is pin #1, positive pin #2, and negative pin #3. The output of the preamp does not need phantom power or the third pin. The question I have can you just clip the third wire to prevent voltage to the preamp?
     
  6. Pickebass

    Pickebass Supporting Member

    Jul 12, 2004
    San Antonio, TX

    Can you clip the wire? Wouldn't that effect the output?? Need the ground for the obvious reasons, but if I don't have others wouldn't the signal drop. Kinda like a TRS vs TS 1/4 cable...
     
  7. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    that kinda entirely defeats the purpose of having a "balanced" out.
     
  8. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    not to be a bigger bummer, but as the hbp-1 does not have a jensen transformer on the balanced out (the original 201 and new 201s do), the direct out does not have the same "mojo" as the original no matter what. If the sound of the demeter DI is your thing, the 201s is a better choice as a single space demeter preamp.
     
  9. The HBP-1 can NOT take ANY voltage higher than 52 volts (typical phantom is 48 volts) this is true on even the newest units....I learned this the hard way and talked to Adam at Demeter and was told about the 52 volt limit....there is ALWAYS the Demeter tube DI.....

    Peace,

    T
     
  10. maxvalentino

    maxvalentino Endorsing Artist Godin Guitars/ Thomastik-Infeld

    I bought a HBP1 back in Jan...and I love it...
    This dilemma over the phantom power and DI did bother me as well (as some of you know, I did fry a very nice SWR Baby Blue by having phantom run to it). I spoke with James Demeter at NAMM about this and he assured me just what Tom stated: 52v is the max...but it can take the standard phantom pwr, and in "most situations" this will not be dangerous.
    Of course, there is the oft-chance that some phantom supplies might be generating curents greater than 48v (and when playing in clubs you can never know what to expect), so it is a wise thing to carry a stand-alone DI box.

    As to the subject of the Jensen transformer, the 201 "mojo" and such:
    I bought the HBP based on it's verstaility. No, the design does not have a Jensen Transformer, which does have its own "mojo", and can easily handle any phantom sent at it. But the DI on the HBP is quite good, and, in fact, a lot better than quite a few DIs I own.

    I have played thru old model 201's and the newer model 201s, both of which have Jensen transformers, and while the older models have a "truer" path (and a certain "mojo" as well), the newer models have a somewhat more "defined" sound. Both are exceptional.

    Yet, in both cases, the DI sends out a mic level (-20dBu) signal, which is fine for the intended purpose of running to a console. It is quite common, tho, for bassists to send their signal direct to tape (or to pro-tools or HD) and avoid any popssible sonic "penalty" of running thru another preamp stage on a console. In this case the DI will not suffice. It was common for studio players to send their 201's back to Demeter for a mod he called the "Nashville Mod" which bumped the output of the DI up to +4dBu.
    The HBP has this as standard. The DI is selectable bewteen -20 and +4 levels, which was a major selling point to me.

    The 201 has dual unbalanced 1/4" outs, which is a very cool little feature as well. Yet, the HBP offers unbalanced 1/4" and balanced 1/4" (TRS) outputs which is quite handy in this day and age of running direct to pro-tools or similar digital interface featuring TRA (bal) inputs. Nice to have the option of bypassing inferior preamps and such when recording to digital.

    The 201 models have two tubes: one feeding the input and passive eq, the other handling the driver. The HBP has only one on the input. The driver and the parametric eq is SS (but very warm and well designed). The parametric is bypassable, and doing so takes it completely out of the circuit. I can get very good "201" tones from the HBP. The parametric allows me to greater define my tone (and my caveat here is I use piezo powered basses; no magnetic PU's, and so a very good parametric is really handy!).

    So what is "better"? Well, the Jensen transformer is, hands down, the best output transformer out there (well, maybe some of those hand made transformers they are doing over at Manley might be in the same company..), and a great addition to a well made preamp like the Demeter. The old 1.5 space 201 has the "cleanest" signal path, the newer 201s has a bit more definition and is a tad quieter. The HBP has a few more routing options, a more complex path, and no Jensen....all are very, very, VERY good.

    I guess this goes to show that everyone has different "needs", and so the best gear for them is strictly a personal choice. A lot of good info gets spread around here at TB,(and tommixx, Ivanmike, Tombowlus are among the most knowledgeable and informed posters...) as well as a lot of recomendations. But this should all be taken "cum granno salis".

    Oh...my answer to the HBP Di dilemma: I carry a Demeter Tube Direct (with the Jensen)...kind a get the best of both worlds this way. I actually prefer the Demeter DI to my Avalon U5...and it is more portable.
     
  11. Doug Parent

    Doug Parent Supporting Member

    May 31, 2004
    San Diego, Ca.
    Dealer Nordstrand Pickups.
    yeah ditto I've never had problems with phantom burning my HPB before, However there is a loud thump when first connecting the unit to the board via a snake with the 48v turned on. I always make sure the sound guy turns it off first if at possible. Great pre-amp.

    I always used my 1/4 trs balanced outs to fire my power amps with, and saved the DI for the PA. Although I can't think of any reason not to use the XLR if you aren't going through the PA.
     
  12. Great post Max (as usual!!) Thanks for the compliment 2 by the way!! You pretty much nailed the comparisons to a T :D ...the greatest threat appears to be while using phantom with an unregualted power supply on "Universal one switch on or off" type console...Mackie etc...on consoles with separate phantom this is a TOTAL non issue to be fair to Jim!!! We should remember that Jim has been making GREAT gear since before this was prevalent....

    I totally agree about having a separate DI available and would HIGHLY recommend to anyone the "shootout" thread you did sometime back (Don't let him fool you, MAX is no slouch in the info and experience department either!!!) The U5 and the Demeter Tube DI are not cheap by any standard but there are plenty out there that are reasonable and will get the job done. I would recommend the Countryman for a TOUGH AS NAILS throw it in the bag and not worry about it DI that will probably outlive us all and the newer Radial stuff is interesting to me...thinking about picking up a BassBone which has a DI out as well.......

    I also like Avalon U5 and the Demeter Tube DI (Randy Jackson LOVES it!) and in fact, will be using the Demeter Tube DI on the tour I'm about to go out on....Lighter than the Avalon and easier to move around. I will be carrying a Thunderfunk 550 and an Accugroove EL Whappo and using a combination of the T-Funk DI out and the Demeter DI to get my FOH sound......No cab micing for me BUT I think the Groove would be a good one to Mic.......

    Peace,

    T
     
  13. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    yup, the Demeter Tube DI is the only one i've been using these days.

    and while the Avalon U5 is great for feeding my supadupa clean rig, i've been toying with the idea of going TommyM's route and trying out a Demeter HDI-1 Tube Direct single rack unit.

    Tommy,

    could i possibly use the HDI in the same way as the avalon U5 in my clean rig?

    and max, terrific post as always... :bassist:
     
  14. maxvalentino

    maxvalentino Endorsing Artist Godin Guitars/ Thomastik-Infeld

    Aw...shucks....

    ...for what it is worth: The "sound", or lack thereof, of th Avalon has been described in great detail of late (and certainly there is a plethora of current recordings where the U5 is a prominent feature in the bass recording chain), but I would like to point out that the "sound " (or lack thereof) of the Demeter Tube DI has been, for many, many years, an important part of Marcus Miller's studio tone. In fact, on his upcoming disc, as well as his most previous (for which he won a Grammy) his recording chain was bass to Demeter Tube Direct to board. Now I am not sure how much the Demeter "sound", or lack thereof, plays in Marcus' recorded sound....because, as we all know, the tone is in the hands (and the groove is in the heart)....
    ....methinks there might be an issue of clarity factoring into Mr. Miller's decision on his recording chain (that certainly factored into my decision).

    Max
     
  15. Joker......If you mean using it as a pre the same you use the U5.....No I don't think it will put out enough output (the output is buffered if I'm not mistaken) to drive an amp on its own.....Never tried it myself but I know that it wasn't designed with that in mind.....

    Peace,

    T
     
  16. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    thanks for the detailed comparison max,
    i'll be taking mine with a grain or two of salt........... :p :p :p
    (just busting - ;) )

    in case it sounded that way, i didnt mean to say the HBP-1's di was N/G, just that it wasn't the same as the 201. Sometimes if ya want mocha, even really good chocolate isnt gonna make you happy.

    i've been toying with sending my demeter 201 back to james for the nashville mod, but i'd really like it to be switchable, and i'm not sure if they do it that way, or just hard wire the di at +4. I'd rather be able to choose, or to have it have two DI's like the U5. There's certainly enough room to stick another jensen DI in that case, as well as a pair of sneakers.
     
  17. Pickebass

    Pickebass Supporting Member

    Jul 12, 2004
    San Antonio, TX
    So in most cases I should be fine?... since most boards only have 48v power. I really don't want to bring another DI, because this is fundamentally defeated my purpose of having a reasonably priced alternative rig. I've used the demeter DI before and it is great. I'm trying not to bring another piece of equipment to the gig. I always liked the sound of the original 201, but really wanted the tone shaping abilities of the HBP. I'll try it tonight and see what happens!
     
  18. I'd hate to say yes after my EXPENSIVE experience....cost me about 270.00 to find this out the HARD way....I lOVE the HBP-1 and HIGHLY recommend it as a preamp but I am DEFINITELY gunshy about the DI on ANY console without discrete Phantom on/off on a per channel basis.....remember the rail voltage (from about 100v up to 400V on some models and far more than the 52v max that Adam told me about) is directly related to the phantom on some console designs and there is no way that you can keep up with all the stuff out there these days.....better safe than sorry I say!!! I can afford to have a separate DI a lot faster than I can afford to replace Drivers and potentially have a meltdown while doing an important gig (THEY ALL ARE!!!).......just my opinion and YMMV.....

    Peace,

    T
     
  19. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    i would kind of agree with tom here. if you're in a situation where you arent 100% sure that the phantom power is less than 52v or off, i would use another di in between your demeter and the board. that should still give you the demeter tone, but be worry free at the same time. i'm actually planning to get a countryman myself for times i only have my swr electric blue and don't care to have mine go belly up the way max's did. (many thanks to max for alerting me to that issue soem time ago).
     
  20. maxvalentino

    maxvalentino Endorsing Artist Godin Guitars/ Thomastik-Infeld

    IvanMike: glad my (bad) experience can be of some help to you. Too bad for me as that BB was quite a nice amp (note the past tense!)

    In reference to your previous post: No, I did not think you were coming off in any way "putting" down the HBP. In fact, you made some quite relevant and insightful marks. But it did seem you were showing the 201 in the best light.....and I thought I might nudge the HBP over into that light a bit. Both are excellent pre's, and probably two of the "best" (geez...here we go with the subjective superlatives again..) available.
    I did want to point out to any who might be lurking on this thread, and looking for that magical advice on what to throw their hard earned $ on, that gear is oh so subjective. It might seem you and I have quite similar "tastes" (high end, hi-fi sound: I am and have been big on Bag Ends for quite a few years..I run two D10's , a S12, and replaced the driver in my SWR Calif Blonde with a BE 12"), but the pieces which "work" for us are different. Ah...dif'rent strokes....

    For any of you "lurking" and peeking in...some of the posters on this thread have a bunch of knowledge, and opinions, founded thru a lot of hours spent working with and studying different pcs of gear (namely the stuff mentioned in this thread...), and, most importantly, they have had the courage to appear ignorant at times and ask of others "what does this do?" "why do you use that?" etc etc.

    A lot of what I know I picked up by watching and listening to folks with more knowledge and experience than I, and then begging their indulgence to educate me.

    As to DIs....y'know, it is dangerous out there in clubs. A lot of sound techs really don't know what they are doing (neither do a lot of bands, but that is another thread altogether), but have such a conceited and inflated view of themselves (matched with some subconscious inferiority) that they are not gonna be intimidated by some bass player asking about their phantom power sends. Some are quite burned out of dealing with musicians who don't even know what a DI is...even though they are quite good as sound techs, they just don't wanna deal with it. It never hurts to have a spare DI in your bag. When you just are not sure, or are met with attitude, then patch it in...save yourself a bunch o' problems. Now, I choose to carry something "exotic" like the Demeter Tube DI (and I just got a Manley Tube Direct Interface) just for those good engineers. It gives them a little treat, and you should see their burned out eyes light up when "the bass player" pulls out something which they really want to use! Suddenly they are quite enthused about mixing my set, and there is a certain acknowledgment of being in "the club" with them. It also makes it easy to suss out the techs who haven't a clue (they're the ones who ask "what is that?' or "what is Manley?").

    Max