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DI output on front or back of pre-amp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by HitByABlimp, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. HitByABlimp


    Apr 10, 2007
    I've been tinkering a bit with my own custom pre-amp and can't decide on where to put the DI output connector :help:

    I was wondering what everybody here prefers and what are to believed the pros and cons of either solution. The pre is housed is a 1HE 19" enclosure, so will be build in a rack most of the time.

    It will come with a level control, so I guess same question applies to the controlknob as well.

  2. wcriley


    Apr 5, 2010
    Western PA
    My personal preference is to have all the connections (except the instrument input) on the rear, especially in rack based based equipment.

    Since the DI level control is pretty much "set it and forget it", putting it on the rear prevents someone unfamiliar with the control layout from causing problems for the soundman.
  3. Minor issue for most, but if I could choose, back panel all the way. Easier to get that cable out of the way. I don't really see the need for a level control at all, since all but the cheapest boards have a pad control, or at least a line/mic input gain switch. However, I prefer that on the back also, since that would in the vast majority of cased, be 'set it and forget it'.

    I like the Genz execution with the mic/line level switch. Simple, and more than enough to take care of the rare situations where you would be supporting the bass with a very low end PA.
  4. rumblinbass


    Aug 22, 2003
    Wimberley, TX
    I am in the process of designing my own pre and have given this same issue some thought.
    After giving this some thought, and based on my experience playing in a lot of clubs and bars (it has been a few years though) - I prefer the DI output on the front. I want it easily accessible and obvious.

    I don't want someone I don't know (or even myself) with little to no lighting fumblin around in the back of my rack. When I am setting up to play, the last thing I want to do is trouble-shoot my rig (again with little to no lighting). After the gig I want to look down, unplug, and get off the stage.
  5. Hi.

    When I finally have time to do mine, I'll put one in front, one in back.
    BUT, I'll probably double other connections as well ;).

  6. jmac


    May 23, 2007
    Horsham, Pa
    I feel the same way. It's so much easier to access on the front. I use the Alembic F-1X; which has a depth of about 1/3 of my rack depth. This makes rear access less than desirable.
  7. HitByABlimp


    Apr 10, 2007
    It seems my indecisiveness is not that strange. There's about a 50/50 preference for both options! And you've all got some good points.

    One pro for putting it on the back is the fact it's not just the XLR connector. There's the level control (although a mic/line switch might be a good idea, thanks Kjung), ground lift switch and pre/post EQ switch. There's only limited space on the front panel.
  8. lookiel

    lookiel Supporting Member

    I prefer in front both for home recording/fooling around and ease of use at venues. It's also easier for the soundman to navigate instead of fumbling around the back of the amp or rack.
  9. wcriley


    Apr 5, 2010
    Western PA
    On the rare occaisions that I'm working with a soundman, I just have him hand me the cable and I plug it in.

    The problem of accessing/finding rear mounted connection points is easily eliminated by having a connector panel on the rear of the rack with clearly marked (and color coded) jacks. That's how I have my PA racks set up. A minor additional investment of time and money when you're building you own preamp.
  10. HitByABlimp


    Apr 10, 2007
    I decided to put the DI on the back. First of all for the aesthetics of the front panel, second because the well made point of someone messing with your settings (or myself. Imagine turning up the DI level by accident in dark or intoxicated situations!). Set it and forget it as Kjung put it.
    So thanks all to help me make up my mind. And now it's back to the drawingboard!
  11. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Good call. I wish amps had all their plugs in back, even the front inputs, but I guess it's tradition now. But I hate the look of front panel XLR's. That's me and YMMV, but that's my opinion and I'm sticking to it ;)
  12. arai

    arai Banned

    Jul 16, 2007
    I think you made a good choice.
    IMO the front panel is for things that may need to be adjusted on the fly. The back panel is for everything else, di is one of those things
  13. Roscoe East

    Roscoe East

    Aug 22, 2011

  14. klejst


    Oct 5, 2010
    My preference is to have all connections besides the input on the back of the amp/pre-amp as well. Just less cables and mess in the front, but that's just me.
  15. Karn


    Nov 28, 2005
    If I remember correctly old Trace Elliot tube amps (the quatra,the hexa for example... and the trace tube preamp of that era..) had twin D.I. outs...one on the front and one on the rear..
    good way to go...choose the one that's good at the moment...