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Direct Box btwn Amp & Cab???

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by jokerjkny, Oct 23, 2003.

  1. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    hey guys,

    i'm doing a coffeehouse with my gf's group, and i'll be bringing out my Alessandro head & Acme B-1 cab.

    problem is i wanna make sure the signal i'm sending to the house PA is the same signal from my Alessandro amp, cause yea, it sounds that freakin' good! :cool: and also, it lacks a DI out. i would use my Demeter Tube DI, but i wanna let my gf use it for her acoustic.

    dya think, i could use a H&K RedBox or Palmer PDI-09 in between the amp and cab, so i can send the alessandro'ed signal to the house board? or would these mostly "guitar" oriented DI's not be good for my bass tone frequencies, especially my Low B? is there another box i can do this with?
  2. Joker, I'm not familiar with that amp or those DIs (most quality DIs should not color the sound unless they are built for that purpose). I do often use a DI in similiar situations.

    Will you be putting the DI in the efx loop or preamp out? In either case, if you run a line out of the DI back into the efx loop in or power amp in you should be able to tell if you are getting any frequency attenuation.
  3. BruceWane


    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    No, you probably can't do that. You'd be hitting the DI with a speaker-level signal. Some DI's do have a speaker level input, but many don't. If the DI isn't clearly marked for speaker level input, don't do it - smoke will ensue, either from the DI, the board, or both.

    You want the sound of your amp and cab? Easy - mic the cab.
  4. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    I was thinking the same thing. Even if the di could handle it, I don't think the mix console would dig 100+ volts AC at the input...
  5. Geez, I should have read the question a bit more carefully. As Bruce says, hitting a regular DI with speaker level power will let the smoke out.

    If the DI will handle both line AND speaker level signals (line tap) you could test it by putting it in the signal chain before the amp to see if it affects the sound.
  6. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    thx guys,

    FYI, the redbox and PDI are specialized DI boxes.

    they let you take a direct out straight from the amp's speaker out, plug into one of the boxes, then, go straight into the mixing board. there's no dummy load, so you still have to plug in a speaker cab for the proper load impedence, or you'll fry the amp's transformers.

    but again, they're specialized boxes that give you the flexibility of being able to record with a unique direct sound that comes straight from your amp's power section, and mate that up with the mic'ed sound of the speaker cab.

    i'd use a DI box between my bass and amp, but like i said, i wanna be able to hear the coloration the amp wonderfully gives.
  7. The Palmer gets raves over at HC from guitar players. Some mixed reviews for the H&K.

    Looks like you're going to have to use the "friend at the board w/ headphones" routine to be really sure. Or if you have acess to a mixer you could try it out yourself before the gig.

    BTW, I looked up that amp you're using. :eek: Judging from the specs I can see why you want to use it with the B1. How about a pic of the stack?
  8. Droog


    Aug 14, 2003
    If these boxes do like you said, then you answered your own question. I assume these boxes nock down the speaker level to mic level. Sounds good to me, of coarse the traditional way of getting the amp sound through the PA is to just mic the cabe but hey to each his own. Sounds like a good plan to me.
  9. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    well, i was wondering if there was a more "hifi" solution, cause both of these boxes are geared towards midrangey guitars, and not quite the wide frequency band of the bass.

    and Joe, i dont have a pic of this particular rig, but here's one with my Epifani cabs underneath the Alessandro head. i would have just used this fun little rig, but i've got the low B on the Eminence that i wanna use.

  10. Man, that's a cool little stack.

    BTW, if you are concerned about the voicing of the filters on those DIs (since they seem to be aimed at replicating guitar cab sounds), you might consider jury rigging something with the ART Head Tap. Designed for phones, you could check the quality of the sound, then run it into a regular DI.
  11. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    I'm sure that this has popped up before and the tech guru's all said it could be done if the DI had enough padding, ie at least 40dB worth. I think the Behringer DI has 2x20dB pads so it should work. Personally, I'd never try it but hey.........


    Mar 12, 2003
    USA, PNW
  13. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Either of those boxes will work fine for what you want to do. That's what they're made for (forgive my hanging preposition). A Countryman Type 85 would work, too. I use the Countryman all the time (not in your application, but direct to the board) and, as far as I can tell, it absolutely does not color the sound, and the B comes through just fine.
  14. Blues Bass 2

    Blues Bass 2 Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2001
    Davenport Iowa
    Munji's right,the Countryman will work with speaker outputs.A friend of mine that does large concert sound uses them with older SVTs and other amps without XLR outputs when miking isn't practical and gets great results.He recommended them to me years ago and I used one till I got hooked on the sound of Sans Amp bass DI.I wouldn't want to try it with the Sans Amp though.
  15. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL

    so you guys are telling me, i could take my alessandro, run the speaker out into the little countryman box, and then into my speaker cab? is this safe?

    i was told by Nightbass, that i could possibly do the same with an Avalon U5, which i'd prolly get anyways for my all around recording.
  16. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    well, i just found the answer on the Avalon FAQ, and yes, you can!!! fatty...


    just an FYI for everyone, you can use the Avalon U5 straight from your amp head for a lucious sounding DI that also includes the sweetness of your amp tones, too. you still have to plug a speaker cab into your head, but the U5 itself doesnt draw a load! wow, what a great little box.


    i'm sooooooooo psyched! Nightbass, if you're reading this, you were right and you da man!
  17. Well, there you go, a concrete reason to satisfy that Avalon GAS. :D
  18. Nightbass


    May 1, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    Yes, my man, your silver-wired, Black Cat-capped, gold-plated-chassis Alessandro deserves nothing less than an Avalon to gently ladle some of that syrupy, glistening high end and those buttery lows onto the soundman's platter...

  19. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    i wish... :(

    i was hoping to get one for this weekend's gig and went to 48th st. unfortunately, nobody had the U5 in stock.

    so, i ended up getting a Whirlwind Hotbox DI, which does the same thing, and has a -40dB pad to be able to see amplifier out signals.

    my only question is, i wonder if the phantom powered Hotbox is like the U5. does it not draw a load like the U5, or need a speaker cab plugged into it? i dont think so, but oi, this is sooo confusing...

    but at least, it'll do the same job. it might not sound like a million bucks. maybe $129.99. :rolleyes:

    but for now, it should be good enough, at least until monday when i return it for a refund. ;)

    oh and thx again, Nightbass! my Alessandro and I thank you. :bassist:
  20. The more I think about, you probably don't need the extra warmth that the Avalon seems to impart. Kinda like gilding the lily of an all tube amp sound. Anything that gets your sound to the board without messing with it should suffice.

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