DI Pedal for flexibility

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by mrperkolator, Oct 6, 2022.

  1. mrperkolator


    Jan 4, 2020
    I've got a Tech21 BassFlyRig, and it does the job. Not bad, but some of the sections leave me wanting to be able to fine tune, so I'm slowly planning on getting individual pedals for what the rig does. Most important is the preamp/di. I've been eyeballing the Trickfish Minnow, and possibly the Aguilar Tonehammer Pedal. I've read the Trickfish is clean, and the tonehamer is warm.

    For context, I've got no aspirations for anything but local amateur playing, and I'd prefer a little versatility. I do prefer warmer tones, but again I dont want to be married to it. I'm playing on a Sire V3 (which may get converted to passive).

    So what are yall's opinions? I'm open to suggestions for a "flexible amateur set up" as well. Example: if the Minnow paired with the EBS compressor will give flexibility and ability to warm up if I choose with tube compressor then cool.

    I'm leaning towards the minnow, but I'd like to see what other opinions are.
    Zbysek likes this.
  2. Zbysek


    Mar 23, 2017
    Czech Republic
    Welcome to the preamp rabbit hole!

    There are tens of preamps to choose from..and there are tens of long threads to study/review.

    An example:
    My preamp journey

    Btw: I have been enjoying Aguilar TH recently...
  3. mrperkolator


    Jan 4, 2020
    I'm not particularly new to the rabbit hole. I'm just looking for input in an unusual way... instead of "which preamp is best" I'm looking for "which combo works best." Like if a pairing of pedals gets me more sweet tone with adequate flexibility I'm game. I also have a ubass I play on, which is sonically quite a bit different than the v3, and great for more acoustic gigs. Which is why I dont want to paint myself into a corner.

    From watching a few too many demos on compressors, I've decided the rather limited knobs on the fly rig is insufficient. So now I need to plan out a board. I've already got a tuner, so preamp/di and compressor are next.
    Zbysek and Killing Floor like this.
  4. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    There’s no best. Start there.
    Have fun. Lots of opinions here and that’s cool. If you don’t want to go too deep just make a list of features before you shop.
    Is it a tone? Some dirt or tube vibe? More EQ? Super simple?
    I never talk anyone out of buying pedals. There are always a ton of used preamps here.
    Whale guy and Zbysek like this.
  5. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
  6. mrperkolator


    Jan 4, 2020
    Well I'm a fan of buying a nice tool once, instead of cheap ones often (I work in trades). Therefore, I'm asking for interesting combos. My list of features is relatively short, I need a post-eq DI, and flexibility. I don't want to corner myself into a specific tone -- though I'd like to be able to go warm/tubey. That's what draws me to the Minnow a bit. The minnow seems versitile and with a good compressor I should be well on my way. But I'm open to other ideas, thus this thread. More of a "preamp/di and compressor" recommendation thing...

    Also, analyzing ad nauseum is half the fun isn't it?
    Zbysek and Killing Floor like this.
  7. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    Maybe more than half.
    Not sure your flavor for compressor but the JHS PNP has XLR. I’ve used it in a pinch and it works perfectly well to a console. That right after a simple preamp would be a good base.
    My current favorites are High by Radio Mule (think 80-90s modern rack sound) and Sushi’s JC Emerald. The latter is not a low end pusher but that hot Marshall tone is my special place so I adjust my amp accordingly. There’s no best.
    mrperkolator and Zbysek like this.
  8. mrperkolator


    Jan 4, 2020
    a couple of compressors that stick out to me lately have been EBS's, Keely, Empress, and Jonny Dibble's demo of a Lusithand compressor. In each of those youtube videos, I was left sitting thinking, "my compressor doesn't do that."

    The fly rig doesn't have a bad compressor, just a simple one. Some of the options from playing with multiple knobs is quite a bit more. I'm also convinced that some mild compression with a good compressor will deal with what my ears hear as "harsh." I'm not sure how to describe my particular issue (due to tendonitis and hearing damage... I'm 35...), but I know I'm sensitive to some higher frequencies. Which is what drives me to a warmer tone generally and less distortion. However I realize that's not a perfect tone in all situations.

    I'll look up the JHS.
  9. King Harvest

    King Harvest

    May 13, 2022
    Strobostomp, Q Strip, Space Heater, Hyper Luminal, Pork & Pickle, Octamizer... and uh, any chorus pedal.
    Zbysek and mrperkolator like this.
  10. darwin-bass


    Mar 29, 2013
    Salem OR
    You may get more flexibility with separate components. Preamp, compressor, direct box, noise gate, high pass filter, low pass filter, cab simulator - keep them all separate and you can put them in any order.
    mrperkolator, pbass2 and Zbysek like this.
  11. Sid Fang

    Sid Fang Reformed Fusion Player Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2008
    I have gotten many years of good use, in the studio and for ampless gigs, out of my EBS MicroBass II[​IMG]
    It's an odd beast, though. The A and B channels have different properties, but you can either plug a bass into each one, or chain the channels together. I'm pretty much always working in A+B mode. What I particularly love about it is that it can take phantom power from the board if you're using XLR and have a board that provides it. Built like a tank.

    EBS has replaced it in their lineup with a newer model, the Microbass 3[​IMG]
    Which has more features, some of them very nice - EBS's compressor and "drive" circuits are first class, but does *not* take phantom power. So I'm hanging onto my MBII until it fails, then I'll think about it.
    Zbysek likes this.
  12. JeffTCS

    JeffTCS Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2021
    Empress is a great comp, very transparent if that's your thing.
    Lammchop93, Danny C and mrperkolator like this.
  13. I'm very partial to the Q Strip. Works great for more than just bass, too. Just a solid semi para EQ with great tone and all the connectivity options I need.
    knumbskull, Zbysek and Danny C like this.
  14. Wfrance3

    Wfrance3 Supporting Member

    May 29, 2014
    Tulsa, OK
    I had a TC Spectradrive for a while. It was great, but slowly started act peculiar. Shame really. I read that others have had that experience as well One post read that someone had 3 of them and was just down with the notion that you have to replace them every so often. Not me man.... I think the Spectradrive has beautifully selected EQ points. I think that once you find the compressor model and the drive model that work for you, it's a thing of beauty. - Personally I downloaded the "clean boost" that you can put in the drive slot. I can't remember what I put in the compressor slot, but I did find one that works.
    Not to go on gushing about something that in the long run turned out to be problematic, but I really did have a nice little deal going TUNER - HPF - LPF - SPECTRADRIVE. That was my whole board. I had even sold my Becos CompIQ compressor, because I like the TC model better.
    Live and learn...
    Julian G likes this.
  15. pbass2


    Jan 25, 2007
    Los Angeles
    I agree. If you really want flexibility, just use a dedicated high quality DI, like a JDI, then you can put whatever you want in front of it. I swap between a couple different pres with different characteristics that way, depending on the gig.
    Zbysek and 6-3-2 like this.
  16. mrperkolator


    Jan 4, 2020
    That's the idea. Just looking to see what combinations others are using.

    @Sid Fang the feature set of the EBS Micro Bass and the Minnow seem similar, at least in aim. Both have reputations for being transparent. I do think I'll go with a separate compressor, or the ability to turn on and off. It does look cool and I'll take a closer look. Perhaps I'll learn something I didn't know.
  17. rutrho


    Mar 29, 2014
    San Jose, CA

    I'm curious as to what the issue with yours ended up being... I've been using a spectra drive for a few years (5?) now and well. Its gotten kinda funny. Its been my DI/preamp/comp for years and its been AWESOME at that.
  18. darwin-bass


    Mar 29, 2013
    Salem OR
    My (expensive) solution is the HX Stomp plus a Radial direct box. HX Stomp lets me put my effects in any order and the Radial box does a great job of the 1/4 to XLR conversion.
  19. Wfrance3

    Wfrance3 Supporting Member

    May 29, 2014
    Tulsa, OK
    I think what happened was the tone print part of the pedal went sideways. I'm no electronics expert, but what it sounded like was happening was the compressor went to a setting, and the knob didn't provide any control over it the way it had previously. It's supposed to be a wet-dry arrangement, but what it turned into was a different version of wet-wetter where the version of wet is not what it's supposed to be.
    The drive portion was similar. I had mine loaded up with a clean boost tone print, which was awesome. When my pedal stopped working the way it should, it was a not so clean boost and there was no way to dial it out. again a wet-wetter situation, but not the tone print I had in there.
    I tried a factory clean boot (a few times actually). It did go back to the factory drive/compressor, but was still the ugly wet-wet version of that. I liked the EQ section enough to abandon the tone print if I could have just turned it off, but sadly there was no turning it off, so I gave it away to someone. The guy who does base repairs/mods for me also fixes pedals and amps. I had him put together a warmoth medium scale and just gave him the pedal when I picked up that bass. I told him it was wonky... No idea if he ever did anything with it, it's either sitting there untouched, or been thrown away. My money is on the dumpster...
  20. Wfrance3

    Wfrance3 Supporting Member

    May 29, 2014
    Tulsa, OK
    George Dennis likes this.