DI for Precision Bass

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by punchdrunk, Dec 18, 2019.

  1. Countryman Type 85

    4 vote(s)
  2. Neve RNDI

    7 vote(s)
  3. Radial J48

    7 vote(s)
  4. Use the soundmans beat up Rapco

    5 vote(s)
  1. Hi All,

    So I have a separate thread inquiring as to pro/cons of live application onboard/standalone DI out..(lots of good points being made in that one)..and while I’m very pleased/content with the signal I’m sending via my TH500 (pre), I feel I should also get a stand-alone DI as a just-in-case to keep in my bag. My question is, knowing that each DI inadvertently imparts its own signature to the signal, and that at the end of the day it’s a question of very little if nearly imperceptible difference, which non $500+ DI in your experience excels at sending a vintage Precision with flats signal (Ie, retains that wonderful vintage Pbass magic)... I’m looking at the usual suspects here, Radial, Neve, Countryman, etc...
    Thanks for any insight/opinions.
  2. guitarflinger

    guitarflinger Not all who wander are lost Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2013
    Front Range, Colorado
    I have a Radial J48. Works very well with either my P bass or active basses. I like the phantom power aspect as well - not another wall wart to worry about
    mdeguzman1 and punchdrunk like this.
  3. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
  4. Went for "beat up Rapco".
    In-house soundmen tend to stick with what they know works, it's rare they have the time or inclination to be messing around with unfamiliar units.

    Different story if you're paying the soundman.
    punchdrunk likes this.
  5. I agree with the pro-Jensen sentiments. I’ve certainly enjoyed Jensen loaded DI’s with my jazz flavored Basses in the past, but am wondering if there is any Pbass bias in terms of a particular DI that anyone has felt makes the PBass shine... sorta like the Tonehammer head seems like the perfect Pbass amp (to myself and many others, albeit that can certainly be argued, ...but there are other threads for that). I recall for instance that someone cited that the Type 85 really brought out the particular nuance of their Pbass compared with their RNDI... any perceived validity to that sorta statement in anyone’s experience?
  6. mesaplayer83


    Jun 27, 2017
    I voted Countryman 85, and here's why - I prefer it over the J48, because the Countryman can be run via 9v battery if there's a problem with phantom power... Regarding Jenson + P Bass - my Countryman is MUCH better with passive Fenders than the Radial JDI I also have... The JDI does shine with active basses, and as a speaker level DI for all-tube amps, though... FWIW, I own 23 basses - and a nice mix of actives and passives - but typically gig a P Bass more than anything else...
    punchdrunk likes this.
  7. mesaplayer83


    Jun 27, 2017
    I've never had a soundman turn down any DI I've ever brought at any gig ever... Over the course of 40+ years, I've played everything from dive bar gigs, to casino circuits, to outdoor gigs of 60,000 people... I always bring quality, well maintained equipment to any gig I play, though - and at least appear as if I know what I'm doing, lol... Usually, as soon as I tell the soundman I'm giving him a pre-EQ send from a P Bass, they're good to go for some reason, lol...
    LiquidMidnight, s0c9 and punchdrunk like this.
  8. Thank you for the insight. Do you notice any inherent sonic differences while using the Pbass between the J48 and the Type85?
    Also I agree about the never once having had a sound an balk at using any of my gear... but Im an amp EQ at 12:00 and pre out to the house kinda fella.
  9. Geri O

    Geri O Endorsing Artist, Mike Lull Guitars and Basses Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    Truth is, you absolutely positively won’t go wrong with any of the DIs listed there (except for the soundman’s crusty Rapco - you’ve no idea where that thing has been!). They are all premium DIs, sound wonderful, well-built, and rock-solid dependable from long-established well-respected manufacturers. I’ve had years of experience with all of them. One can make the case for the Radial JDI for simplicity’s sake because of its passive nature (meaning not needing phantom power, but it’s easy to get along with, too...:D). I reckon.

    My personal never-leave-home-without-it is my REDDI Tube DI, but we aren’t talking $700 DIs.
  10. I’d love to get my hands on a Reddi, but it’s likely overkill for the live shows I primarily do.
    Geri O likes this.
  11. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    The passive Radial JDI works just fine as well. Don't even have to worry about phantom power. You don't need an active DI for a passive bass and vise versa...unless you're dealing with really long cable runs which we generally don't these days. I've been using a JDI with all my basses for years and it's a great DI. Sound in, sound out. No hum. Sturdy.

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    I posted in the other thread, but I will again recommend the Neve RNDI. Almost all of my basses are passive P-Basses, and the RNDI just seems to get the best out of them. I have compared it directly with a J48 at a venue I play regularly that has a fantastic FOH system. The J48 is a really good DI, and of course sounded good. The Neve has some real transformer magic happening.... it gives the bass a harmonically rich sound that just slots in the mix perfectly. It has more life than the Radial J48. The only other DI that I have experienced this with is the REDDI.

    The JDI is a great DI if you have an active bass, but I find with a passive it can dull the sound a little bit. But for a passive DI, its right up there with the best.
    mesaplayer83 and Geri O like this.
  13. Geri O

    Geri O Endorsing Artist, Mike Lull Guitars and Basses Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    I will admit, I don’t carry the REDDI when I play the little bars around town (mostly subbing). They usually don’t have the bass in whatever “PA” is in use and if they do, they get the rather excellent-sounding XLR line out of my Mesa WD800 amplifier.
    punchdrunk likes this.
  14. ugly_bassplayer


    Jan 21, 2009
    J48, JDI and RNDI are all excellent choices

    No bad choices with those 3

    But the RNDI sounds freakin amazing. Imo the best "tone" of the 3 I mentioned. Added plus, you can plug it between your head and cab to capture it's tone if you prefer.

    I have a J48. Used it for years and it's a real tank. In the studio and live. From big stages to dive bars to mini pedal boards on flight gigs it always delivers.
    mesaplayer83 and punchdrunk like this.
  15. Geri O

    Geri O Endorsing Artist, Mike Lull Guitars and Basses Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    The RNDI is definitely catching on. I see it showing up more and more on production riders as acceptable, right up there with the Radials and Countrymans (Countrymen? Always a question!...:roflmao:).

    The church I go to has put the RNDIs on all the acoustic guitars. Even the wireless ones get an RNDI on the receiver’s output. Definitely an improvement.

    If I did more with my personal band stage PA gear, (which I’d love to cut out completely, but ain’t gonna happen, apparently), I’d add a couple of RNDIs to my pile of JDIs and J48s.
    mesaplayer83 and punchdrunk like this.
  16. mesaplayer83


    Jun 27, 2017
    The J48 and the Countryman are just different flavors of active DI awesome, IME/IMO - can't go wrong with either one... Although I've had nothing but positive experiences with ALL Radial products I've ever tried, I went with the Countryman for an active DI for the reason I cited... I'll note that either are present on riders for many high end tours...
    punchdrunk likes this.
  17. mesaplayer83


    Jun 27, 2017
    I have both a JDI and a Countryman, and *a few* P Basses - all of them clearly sound better thru the Countryman than they do thru the JDI... The JDI doesn't send as strong a signal as the Countryman 85, and cuts some high end off as well...
    punchdrunk likes this.
  18. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    Since your talking about a backup DI, you might want to minimize price and size. Consider the Radial Stagebug line. SB1 is active and SB2 is passive.
    StageBug - Radial Engineering

    I played an active bass and used primarily Country Type-85, Radial JDI, and BSS AR116. These were provided by my band. I could hear minor differences between them, but they were all very decent.

    Whenever we had provided sound, the audio techs would sometimes argue to use their own crappy beat up DI rather than the nice shiny pro DI I carried in my rack drawer. If you ever get in this situation I suggest letting it go, instead of wasting time and getting on the audio techs bad side.

    I am not saying you shouldn't advocate for using quality gear or even mic'ing your cab if that is what you think it best. But if you push too hard, a vengeful audio tech could spitefully degrade your sound a lot more than using a beat up Rapco. Basically feel out the situation to see if the battle can be won.
    punchdrunk, mesaplayer83 and Mushroo like this.
  19. whats wrong with the classic basic Whirlwind Imp..?
    punchdrunk likes this.
  20. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    Depends upon how much of a cork sniffer you are. If you are happy with an Imp, nothing.

    Long ago I argued with an audio tech to use my Radial instead of his IMP and it started to get ugly. In my defense, the IMP looked like it had fallen out of a truck, been run over a few times, and then landed in a ditch where it rusted for a year or so. But it worked, and I have not argued on the gig site about DI's since ;).
    punchdrunk likes this.
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