DI as a backup in case amp craps out?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by CaptainWally, Nov 28, 2005.

  1. CaptainWally

    CaptainWally Booger Guy

    Oct 21, 2000
    Sandy Eggo, CA
    I doing a little disaster planning. If my amps craps out, is it a good idea to have a DI in my possession so I can plug into the PA system?

    Do I really need a DI? Can I just go 1/4" into the board?

    What other use would I have for the DI? - my Ashdown already has a nice DI.

    Any suggestions on an affordable model?
  2. getz76


    Apr 3, 2005
    Hoboken, NJ
    I always carry a Whirlwind IMP-2 in my gigbag.

    It's cheap. It's passive. It's small. It's usable.

    Might come in handy for a bandmate as well. Never a bad thing to have in your gigbag.
  3. jock


    Jun 7, 2000
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Many on this board seem to have a SansAmp Bass DI for just this purpose. That way you can use the sansamp to spice up your sound too. Not that the Ashdown needs it...
  4. CaptainWally

    CaptainWally Booger Guy

    Oct 21, 2000
    Sandy Eggo, CA
    Awesome, thanks guys...

    I am going to look at that whirlwind - this is "just in case", so it probably doesn't make sense to spend $ if I hope to never use it.

    Sansamp would be nice, but you're right - I don't really need to affect my sound.
  5. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    if anything, that's why soundmen all force you to use their DI before the amp, cause, yes, your amp could fail altogether.
  6. I love my BDDI, i always use it anyway, so the fact it has a DI out is just an added bonus, love the sound i get recording straight with it :)
  7. Pickebass

    Pickebass Supporting Member

    Jul 12, 2004
    San Antonio, TX
    I always carry a DI. The radial passive DI is a very good reasonably priced DI. In regards to a 1/4 cable, it depends. If you bass has enough output you might be OK but as cheap as you can get these things I would definitely make the investment. I have seen some for as low as $25
  8. getz76


    Apr 3, 2005
    Hoboken, NJ
    Actually, any decent board should be able to take a passive bass signal for live use without much of a hassle. Most basses would have enough output for a mixer if they can drive an average amp.

    The issue is noise; unless you are standing next to the mixer and don't plan on moving much, a 1/4" won't cut it. You do not want to run a 50-foot 1/4" TS instrument cable for numerous reasons, but one of the main issues is the noise that you will pick up on your way to the board. If it is a passive bass (or you bypass the onboard preamp), a cable that long will also run off a large amount of high frequencies.
  9. WalterBush


    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    Full disclosure, I'm a certified Fender technician working in a music store that carries Fender, Yamaha, and Ibanez products among others.

    Long cable or no, without a DI there's going to be a massive impedance mismatch, with loss of signal, tons of high end roll off, and weak sounding bass. Even active electronics are going to be subject to loss due to impedance mismatch.
  10. getz76


    Apr 3, 2005
    Hoboken, NJ
    Depends on the board; 95% of what I see for live use in a small-to-medium sized club is going to be a Mackie VLZ or similar, and a VLZ can easily handle a -50dB instrument output if I remember correctly... not ideal, but not absurd, either.

    A DI is better for many reasons, obviously. Most of which, in my eyes, it noise reduction due to a balanced line and less noise from the preamp (as the gain won't be cranked).