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DI: onboard vs. external

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Bennito, Dec 3, 2004.

  1. Bennito


    Sep 12, 2004
    Toronto, ON
    I'm just wondering if anyone here has a preference between a DI built into your amp head vs. an external DI (like a SansAmp, Sadowsky, Countryman, etc.).

  2. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Indianapolis, IN
    I like to have options on a gig, so I lilke to bring an outboard DI with me, assume/hope the soundman has one and also have the use of the one built in to my pre:


    Sometimes neon signs mess with my signal to the sound board when I just use the DI built in to my Trace... and conversely some DI boxes haven't given me what I would like... And then again some sound guys have some real cheap crappy DI boxes.

    My motto is that I would rather have it and not need it, rather than need it and not have it... It's like the whole murphy's law paradigm gigging bassists/g@itarists deal with if they forget to bring an extra set of strings to a gig...
  3. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    DIs built into amps, even on most "pro-level" amps, have a reputation for just being an add on/convenience/afterthought. A dedicated DI is usually considered a better option. I agree with j-raj, that more DI options can never hurt.

    Don't confuse a DI with a preamp, whether in a rack or box and whether the functions are combined. :)
  4. Why Donk, you seem as if you've had experience with this... :p

    At least yours wasn't wired wrong from the effin' factory... :mad:
  5. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    I prefer my Avalon U5.
  6. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    The DIs on my ThunderFunk and AMPs work fine when I use them live.
  7. Droog


    Aug 14, 2003
    I'm diggin the DI on my 400+. The cool thing about DI's on the amp is that they capture the sound of the amp. Where as DI box captures the dry tone of your bass, or bass post effects. I feel better when I can use the DI on my head, then I feel like the audiance (or recording) is hearing more what I am hearing, instead of just my ol' P-bass.
  8. Eric Grossman

    Eric Grossman

    Nov 3, 2004
    St. Louis
    Endorsing Artist: Hipshot Products and SIT Strings
    If you use an internal XLR, and your amp goes out, you have no signal. Always use an external DI. That way, you'll always be in the house.
  9. Droog


    Aug 14, 2003
    Good point! Though depending on what part of my amp goes down I am still good to go. If its just the power section, no big deal, the pre still works. Pre amps usually don't die out of no where, so I would need a complete systems failure, or power supply to go dead. But yes a box is always good to have around.
  10. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md

    That would be a good reason to "carry" an external DI, not necessarily use one;)

    Most gigs I carry a spare amp:D