1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Direct Box or Direct Out from an Amp?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by mxr255, Sep 1, 2003.

  1. mxr255


    Jul 21, 2003
    Williamsport, PA
    I am not sure what to do here. I am new at playing larger venues and I have a question. Should I use the direct out from my SWR 2004 amp or should I invest in a direct box. What are some advantages and disadvantages. If I do get a direct box what kind? Thanks guys. This forum is always helpful.
  2. Davehenning


    Aug 9, 2001
    Los Angeles
    you should get a DI box. It comes in handy if you run into any trouble with your amp.
    (if your amp goes down, you will still have the DI signal to the house)
  3. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    I agree. Get a separate DI. Some amps produce noise and hiss and drives the soundman nuts!
  4. mikemulcahy


    Jun 13, 2000
    The Abyss
    DI without question, that way you get clean signal to the PA.

  5. I usually end up using a di. Several soundguys have told me my di on my amp is noisy. Although I did find a really awsome soundguy who used my amp's di and it sounded amazing. Having a di box isn't a bad thing at all.
  6. maxvalentino

    maxvalentino Endorsing Artist Godin Guitars/ Thomastik-Infeld

    Most amps offer a balanced out or DI as an extra, as such they are not made made of the high quality components which GOOD stand alone DIs are.

    This coupled with the dfactor that most are not isolated from the internal noise of your amp, are the main concers for a soundman when he/she chooses tou put you on an external DI.

    Add to that, the fact that if your amp fails (and they all do sooner or later, and at the most inopportune of times), a stand alone DI can, and will save your butt.

    I recommend getting the highest quality DI you can find.

  7. Mattski


    Jan 6, 2003
    Cleveland, OH
    My amp DI works great (GK), but I have had amps with noisy ones.

    There is a great thread about DIs on the effects forum. Some very knowledgable folks are discussing the intricate technical details. Countryman seems to be the live choice and Avalons the studio choice.
  8. Chris A

    Chris A Chemo sucks! In Memoriam

    Feb 25, 2000
    Manchester NH
    Depends on if you like your amp tone or if you are running an effects loop. If you are and you use a DI in front of the amp in the signal chain, your affected tone isn't getting to the house. I used to use a Sansamp as my DI, but after I started using my effects processor I went back to using the DI from my amp.

    Chris A.:rolleyes: :bassist:
  9. maxvalentino

    maxvalentino Endorsing Artist Godin Guitars/ Thomastik-Infeld

    Raven Labs makes a very wonderful and superb DI, the APD1, which has a sidechain, blendable aux loop which can be applied to either just the amp output (unbalanced), the DI output (balanced) or both.
    It also has two discrete input channels, which are both with their own mute switches and a dedicated tuner send.

    The sound is very clear and transparent, and for studio use it can send out a signal at +6db which means you can bypass preamps and the moxing board and run straight to disc or tape.

    A phenominal sound which I place up there with my Avalon U5.

  10. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    I always use the amp DI Out unless the sound man asks me to use HIS direct box. I never bring my own.
  11. mxr255


    Jul 21, 2003
    Williamsport, PA
    does the Direct out on an amp effect my stage volume? Do I have to keep my amp turned down?
  12. Most sound engineers won't give you a choice. They will plug in a Countryman, etc, and be done with it. It is faster for him to use what he normally uses, than to fiddle with your amp's DI out.

    This can work in your favor. If the sound engineer has phantom power applied to the line inserted into your SWR DI jack, it will damage your SWR.
  13. 20db pad

    20db pad

    Feb 11, 2003
    I been everywhere, man...
    None. At all.
    Far too many heads have DI outs that are either too hot or noisy. As said before, soundmen usually don't bother with amp DI outs as a result. They just use their DI boxes as standard operating procedure.

    I think they want to keep the whole encounter with the bass player to less then five seconds, and fiddling with an amp might bring it up to 30 or 40:)

    I carry a DI in my gig bag. It saves the day maybe twice a year, so it's worth it to me to have one.
  14. maxvalentino

    maxvalentino Endorsing Artist Godin Guitars/ Thomastik-Infeld

    The phantom power point is VERY important. I ruined a wonderful SWR Baby Blue head by having phantom applied to the DI (and the BB Di was one of my favorite recording DIs...great amp, too..until then).

    Much wiser to have a seperate DI box (and one which can take phantom, as many boards send phantom GLOBALLY..so if they are powering those condensers over the drum kit...you are getting it too). In PA situations, your amp really acts as YOUR monitor. Having a DI to send to the brd and thus return a monitor send around the stage is indeed a wise move.

  15. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    My preamp has an XLR out, and I have my own DI mounted in the back of my rack as well. I leave it up to the soundman as to which line he'd rather tap. Sometimes, they'll hook up to both and fiddle. Most soundmen have do their preferences, though.
  16. Big String

    Big String Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2000
    Northwest Indiana
    I have a Demeter VTBP201S with the Jensen transform. My band always runs the Phantom on our Mackie VLZ1601 for our horns, and I am always DI'd to that buss with the 48v phantom. I checked with Mr. Demeter himself about that very thing before I purchased the unit. He assured me that no harm would come to my pre. It has not. It runs perfectly every time and I have also been run into many other setup were the sound is provided. I always get raves from the sound people about how great the DI is in the 201s. They alawys say " I never have to do anything to your settings, I love it."

    There are some units out there that don't require a seperate DI. But it's probably good to have a spare. :D
  17. maxvalentino

    maxvalentino Endorsing Artist Godin Guitars/ Thomastik-Infeld

    A very cool thing about Jensen transformers (which is part of their high cost...and why such reputable builders as Mr. Demeter use them) is their abilty to accept "accidental" 48v charges w/o any harm. Yet, most preamps, and almost all amps, do not use such high quality transformers.

    I would assume that if most soundmen, when seeing an item such as your Demeter, would have no problem opting to use that rather than their own Countryman or whatever is in their bag. The high quality and components in Demeter stuff is reknown, and many soundguys jump at a chance to "try one out" (I get similar reactions with my Avalon U5, Raven APD, ADL1000, and Retrospec JuiceBox).

    In short, your decision to go with such an obvious high quality preamp, and it's accompanying high quality DI, was a smart move. All the "bells and whistles" which go along with some gear cannot make up for a well designed and built simple circuit configuartion.

  18. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    If you're going the DI route, I've yet to see a soundman that doesn't salivate when I pull out my Radial DI. They're the hot talk in pro sound these days, and soundmen seem AMAZED when bass players know what they're talking about in this area.
  19. soularis


    Jul 3, 2003
    Illinois, USA
    What are you running your 2004 through? Are you running it at 4 Ohm (two speakers)? I have a 2004 too and I'm planning on running the signal from the XLR jack to the board if I have to. But I'm also looking into a preamp/DI box such as maybe Sadowsky to see if it'll help me with my bass, not particularly as a DI box.
  20. Tames


    Dec 31, 2002
    Decatur, IL, USA
    What about passive basses used with DIs that apply all of your amp settings? I THINK on the SWR 2004 and 4004 (and maybe now the 8004) the DI on the back sends all of your EQ, and Aural Enhancer, etc. What if you're using a DI before you get to the amp on a passive bass, AND you use the DI on the amp, that way you can give the sound guy a choice to mix between your bass's natural rather dry tone, and the tone that is coming out of your amp? Correct me if I'm wrong, please.

Share This Page