Good DI for bass with Active/Passive switch

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by ptm, Nov 13, 2016.

  1. ptm


    Nov 13, 2016
    Hi! (very) long time reader, first time caller.

    After many years without playing, I'm getting into it again. I wanted to do some home recording, and one of the pieces of gear I was looking for is a good DI. After browsing the forums and also asking some people for tips, I think I settled for Radial. Thing is, I will be using a Fender Marcus Miller JB, which I love. As you probably know, this bass has an active/passive switch. This makes my decision between a Radial JDI vs Radial J48 a hard one (assuming a passive DI is best used with an active bass and vice versa). What should I go for in my case, and why?

  2. Get the passive DI. The reason for using an active DI with a passive bass, is taking advantage of the DI's preamp. Since your bass can switch between the two, if you shift to passive mode, it must be because you want that uncolored preamp sound.

    P.S. The reason for not using an active DI with an active bass, is doubling up on the preamps in your signal chain, causing double or contradictory EQ settings, and the risk of adding serious gain to your final signal.
  3. ptm


    Nov 13, 2016
    Thanks for the answer. I was worried that I would have to compromise by having to choose either an active or passive DI with the kind of bass I will be using. But it seems then that a quality passive DI will (at the very least) never harm my signal, while the active would in certain conditions, correct?
  4. Ulf_Hansson


    Apr 15, 2014
    I would't say that, but I agree that you will probably be better off with a good passive DI. One thing less to worry about. Keep it simple.
    ptm likes this.
  5. markjazzbassist

    markjazzbassist Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Lakewood, OH
    both passive and active basses sound great through a passive DI. no need for an active DI unless you're running large amount of cable between your amp and FOH.
    matt11 and ptm like this.
  6. ptm


    Nov 13, 2016
    Thanks again for the replies. I'm definitely getting a passive DI.
    Good to hear. Since what I intend to do is home recording, there is no FOH to worry about, much less involving large amounts of cable (if there ever is, that means I'll be in a situation where having the right gear is justifiable and expected, so then I'll worry about that. Probably not gonna happen in the near future :D)
    markjazzbassist likes this.
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