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DI out from amp or a box?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Kennonjc, Jan 13, 2012.

  1. Kennonjc


    Feb 4, 2011
    So, I am running a Genz Benz Shuttlemax 12.0 which has a XLR direct output interface. My question is, when playing a large gig, would it better to run a DI box/pedal to go out to the house or out from my amp?
    I know I can run out from the amp because I have done that for ages now, but I am just curious if there would be a benefit using a DI box. I have been looking at the Aguilar ToneHammer DI pedal and it seems to get some really nice tones. I've also played around with a Reddi box which is also nice.
    I do run a couple of pedals (compression, fuzz, volume, delay) I don't know that makes much difference.
  2. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    Well, there's one benefit I can think of. If your amp breaks or is stolen or whatever, you'll still be able to get a signal to the front of the house. And a good, ampy-sounding one at that if you get an Aguilar Tone Hammer or similar.

    Me, I have an itty bitty GK solid state head (MB500) with a good DI out the back of it. It's pre- or post-EQ. Pretty nice. But also have a SansAmp bass driver DI. One reason is amp insurance, as I indicated above. But the other is that I prefer to think of my amp and cabs as my stage monitor. It's not the creator of "my sound." It's where my sound goes to get a lot of watts behind it and a EQ appropriate to the stage I'm on.

    I think of both the PA and my amp rig as big, dumb boxes of watts on speakers. They have some basic tone shaping capabilities to accommodate the venue, but the real "me" sound is coming out the side of my pedal board.

    Anyway, I'd get that Tone Hammer in a minute.
  3. newbold


    Sep 21, 2008
    So would I if my Eden WTDI didn't already sound so awesome and tame peaks so well.

    Here's to all the amazing gear available to us in this fancy world.
  4. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    No kidding. Amazing compared to the stuff that was around even 15 years ago.
  5. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    Well the back-up argument is plausable BUT the ShuttleMax 12.0 has dual fault tolerant power supplies with automatic switchover to the backup supply in the event that one power supply fails. This makes the DI out almost bulletproof.

    There is no reason why a DI in any quality amp can't sound as good (or better) than a DI box. No reason whatsoever. The key to this, and in many things, is buying a quality product to begin with that fits your playing tastess. Word of mouth and historical reliability/reputation of a product is one of the better ways to choose well.
  6. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Ya, I've always thought outboard DI's weren't really necessary unless your amp doesn't have one or it sucks. The vast majority of DI's in amps don't suck, though. Well, relatively speaking they don't suck. But I hate them ;)
  7. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    I think I remember someone doing a DI shootout, and the GB DI was very comparable to the Countryman Type 85. For simple, bulletproof, and great sounding DI's you don't get much better. I would use the GB DI since it's just easier and less stuff to lug around, although I do carry a backup DI everywhere with me because they are so small.

    I use both options, depending on the venue. I gig with a REDDI, a Radial JDI, a GB Streamliner, and a Walkabout. All 4 of them give me a great tone.
  8. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    Remember, if your pedals are between your bass and amp, then taking a pre EQ DI from a head will pass those effects to the board, without cluttering them up with EQ you use to make your cab sound good to you on stage.

    So, getting the Tonehammer would, in effect, be pretty much the same as adding yet another pedal to your effects board.

    The quality of most pre EQ amp DI's are as good as most stand-alone DI's like the Countryman or the JDI. They are all designed to pretty much just pass your bass tone and in-line effects to the board. No real reason to have an external DI box these days IMO. Save your money!
  9. scotch

    scotch It's not rocket science! Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2006
    Albany, NY USA
    Please see Profile for Endorsement disclosures
    For a gigging bassist, the #1 reason to have a seperate di box is if your amp goes down (and the di along with it!) or is otherwise incapacitated. Having a small, portable, independent di is a show saver!
  10. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    Valid point!
  11. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Well I got one but I never tell people about it unless I'm desperate ;)
  12. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    +1 to that. It's the main reason why I carry a separate DI.
  13. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    +1 I carry a DI with me, but I always use the DI in my amp. One less cable is one less cable. But I have the DI in case something goes wrong with the amp.

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