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DI's

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Jeff Haley, May 14, 2002.


  1. Jeff Haley

    Jeff Haley

    May 17, 2001
    Atlanta, Ga.
    What is a good DI unit? I've read about the Sadowsky, Aguilar, and the Sansamp. Thanks for your opinions.
     
  2. 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
  3. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    What are talking about exactly?

    A D.I. you run from the preamp out on your amp, or a D.I. that you can use to run straight from the bass to the PA?


    Chas
     
  4. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    DI boxes come in different varieties:

    1. passive DI

    Just a couple of jacks and a transformer, no power required.

    2. active DI

    These can be either tube or solid state, some have transformers, others are transformerless but all require power: AC, 9V battery or in some cases phantom power from a mixer. The active circuit is used to give a better tone than a passive transfromer (though this is subjective). Tube units are the most expensive DIs.

    3. Preamp boxes with DI features

    This includes units like SansAmp, Raven Labs, Fishman, L.R. Baggs, Sadowsky, MXR M-80. They are really meant as preamps but have an XLR out so can be used as a DI as well. The big difference compared to active DIs is you get tone shaping and in the SansAmp and MXR distortion and speaker emulation as well!

    4. Red Box

    This box made by Hughes and Kettner is unique; it is designed to take a preamp out or even a speaker out as it's input rather than an instrument. It filters the signal through a "speaker emulator" to make it sound like a miked speaker. It is meant to be used when you want a "miked amp" sound but don't actually want to use a mike.


    Varieties #1 and #2 try to be as uncolored as possible but careful listening will show that each DI does have it's own sound. For reliability, you can't beat a well made passive DI (no power worries). Passive models are usually cheaper, too.

    Variety #3 is a good choice IF you can make use of the preamp features. If you're just using it as an uncolored DI, it's a waste of money.

    Variety #4 the Red Box is pretty specialized. If you want the tone of YOUR amp as if it was miked, then this is the best solution. Because it can't accept instrument level signals, it needs to be used along with an amp or at least a preamp.
     
  5. Jeff Haley

    Jeff Haley

    May 17, 2001
    Atlanta, Ga.
    Thanks for the response. What I have in mind is a unit I can plug my bass in during recording . Would it sound better running thru one of these units or straight thru the board?
     
  6. 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
    brian, that is EXACTLY what I was going to say, except I didn't. Sorry Jeff.
     
  7. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Jeff,

    A DI would be used in recording if you need to use a low-impedance XLR input on the mixing board. If the board has a high impedance input (like most portastudio machines) then you don't really need a DI.

    If you have an amplifier that has an XLR preamp out you can use that for recording instead of buying a DI.
     
  8. Brendan

    Brendan

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    So Brian...Munji, others...what would you reccomend as a Type 2 DI (AKA Preamp/DI)?

    Something for the rock/metal crowd, with seriously detuned basses?

    Sorry Munji...my WT-300 just isn't cutting it at loud volumes...too Jazz, not enough grind...
     
  9. 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
    Brendan ~

    No need to apologize to me. As you may recall, my credo is "Start at 300 and go UP." My WT-300 has been fine, as long as I run through the PA outdoors. But I am constantly tempted to bite the bullet and get a WT-800. And those who know me in real life know one thing about me ... I can resist ANYTHING ... except temptation.
     
  10. I think the usual answers will be Sadowsky, Aguilar,Fodera, and a few others. I am a big fan of Sadowsky gear and the preamp/DI floor unit should be ideal to get your signal to the board. It sounds wonderful, superb s/n which is critical, simple to use, rugged, great customer service if you have a question.
     
  11. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Sadowsky, Aguilar and Fodera all have one thing in common: the EQ is BOOST ONLY.

    This has always fascinated me because so many people love the Sadowsky in particular. That says that all basses really need more bottom AND more top end :confused: Why not just design pickups that are mid-shy and be done with it :rolleyes:

    Anyway, when you say "rock" and "grind" I think "Sansamp" because it is designed to give you tube-like distortion. The new MXR M-80 is aimed at that application too, so I'd try both.

    Also consider just replacing your Eden with an SVT head which will certainly satisfy your "grind" jones.

    Good luck!
     
  12. Brendan

    Brendan

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Well, I have 1000 watts of power...I use the XLR out and use the 300 as a pre-amp for my Carvin DCM100.