Going Ampless - Best DI Options, Challenges to Consider, Etc.

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by spaceaceofbass, Aug 3, 2018.

  1. Alright gang, I am sure there are already 100's of posts related to this topic and I plan to read through all of them. I am fairly new to Talkbass so please don't mind the noobness.

    I play in a top 40/broadway standards country band. My band is officially going to IEM route within the next few weeks. The rig is built, my custom ears have arrived and our first IEM gig is coming up shortly. I also recently purchased a Mono double bass bag and a Pedaltrain Nano (condensing my board down from a much larger setup). I have a guitar Tick 2.0 on order for my Nano, and plan to fit my new board into there when it arrives. My goal is to be able to walk into a gig with everything on my back in the Mono case and Tick.

    Bass and Amp wise I play a Fender Active Deluxe P Bass through a Fender Rumble Studio 40 for my live rig.

    The only thing I have not overhauled yet is my pedal setup, which brings me to my question. My goal is to go completely ampless and run a bare bones pedal setup through my DI, into our IEM setup and from there to FOH. I currently run a Polytune into an MXR Super Comp (decent guitar comp that also works well on bass) and into a cheap, Livewire DI.

    Right now I am looking into the Mesa Subway Bass DI paired with a Shure GLX-D wireless unit. I plan to add a compressor, although I am not sure which one at the moment.

    Has anybody on here taken the ampless route? What are the challenges you have encountered? What would you do differently? What are your thoughts on DI's?

    Thanks for reading.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2018
  2. pglaser01


    Mar 19, 2013
    St. Louis, MO
    If only I were that good....
    Prior to going amp less, did you use a rig? If so what rig did you use. Can help with any tone requirements you may be looking at

    Also, with IEMs being included ....Soc9 will check in on this thread
  3. I currently use a Fender Rumble Studio 40 for live shows. Super small, loud enough for small venues and weighs less than my bass. :)
  4. pglaser01


    Mar 19, 2013
    St. Louis, MO
    If only I were that good....
    I’d say especially with going the IEM route, you’ll really notice more isolation and attack to your notes straight DI into your ears.

    You won’t be steered away from the Subway DI here from what I’ve seen. Sansamp BDDI I used previously to direct into IEMs/FOH. I’m sure the VT DI will also be mentioned.

    I think overall it won’t be quite as difficult a transition as you may think as long as you spend time getting the tone you want
  5. tonymcbony


    Mar 21, 2006
    I recently moved to a IEM/ampless rig and it's been great.

    Caveat is that I'm able to get my own mix in my ears.

    I suggest having some sort of amp on stage so you can still "feel" the rumble.

    DI/preamps - I've been through a few. Had the Ampeg SCR-DI, Le Bass, Le Bass + Torpedo Cab, Aguilar Tonehammer, B7K, now subway DI. It depends a lot on how clean you play - if you use a dirt pedal or fuzz then I think it's worth looking into something that gives you cabinet simulation or at least a low pass centred around 5k. That's to knock out the fizzy treble. The tonehammer with the AGS On does the latter, Le Bass and Shift Line Olympic III (and more recent Darkglass deluxe offerings) do cabinet sim.

    At the moment I'm using the Subway DI and it's pretty nice. The thing I'd say against it is the "high mids" frequency is in a very weird place for me - 480hz is a really odd spot to put high mids when your low mids are around 200hz. Gutted about that because 80hz bass, 200hz low mid (tame woof from finger style), and treble at 2.5khz are just perfect spots for me. High mids at 750hz and a low pass would have made it perfect.

    With that in mind, and that I'm compensating for no speaker sim, these are my settings - VERY different from most in the big Subway thread :D


    This is with a Stingray and I like a darker, smoother tone with a little bite though

    I'm looking to either replace it with a Shift Line Olympic III or a Q Strip + VT Bass setup - I miss the Cab Sim, tubey grit, and parametric EQ too much
    wmmj likes this.
  6. Bassbeater

    Bassbeater Guest

    Sep 9, 2001
    I bought this used on a whim and I'm really happy with it. Really tightens up the sound at the end of my pedalboard chain and has a lot of options without being too complicated. Obviously there are nicer cab sims out there, but this one works for me and has a small footprint. It goes just before my MXR m81 DI because I want the XLR out of the DI.
    wmmj and Jeff O'Connor like this.
  7. scubaduba

    scubaduba Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2003
    wmmj likes this.
  8. MrLenny1

    MrLenny1 Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2009
    New England
    I am thinking of going ampless on one gig I do because
    FOH and monitors are always louder than my rig. Still debating
    doing it but I should Just Do It.

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