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Help! Best DI Box for live sound?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by faulknersj, Mar 21, 2010.


  1. I use a markbass LMK and the xlr out of these heads is post EQ. I would like to get a great DI box to send a clean flat signal to the front of house PA. Any recomendations?
     
  2. lowfreq33

    lowfreq33

    Jan 27, 2010
    Nashville
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    Countryman
     
  3. Rick Auricchio

    Rick Auricchio Registered Bass Offender

    +1, or any of the Radial products.

    This presumes your concept of "best" isn't "under $40." It would help if you added some detail.

    That said, I've used DIs ranging in price from $20 to $200. Most of the time you're not going to hear a subtle difference unless you're going through a very expensive PA. In a venue with great acoustics. With the audience paying very close attention to the sound.

    You certainly aren't going to hear a subtle difference in the DI from the stage.
     
  4. Coelho

    Coelho

    May 10, 2006
    Astoria, NY
    I think you can change a jumper internally to make the DI out post/pre. Do a search or ask around on the Markbass threads.
     
  5. Eublet

    Eublet

    Jul 28, 2006
    Isn't there a jumper inside the LMK that let's you change the DI to pre-EQ as with the LMII? Not sure. Otherwise, Radial makes the best DI's out there, especially if you want a truly flat tone. The Countryman is a great sounding DI, but alas it is not as flat as the Radial products. Get a J48 if you play passive basses for sure, though they also work great with actives. If you play active basses only, the JDI is the one to own.
     
  6. Thanks guys! Keep the suggestions coming!
     
  7. If the OP has the LMK (the 2 channel version), the DI is post only, with no way to switch it internally. I used to own this amp and I had to use an external DI when I needed a pre-EQ signal.

    That being said, I also recommend the Radial J48. It puts out a clean, hot signal, and runs on 48V phantom power even with the ground on the XLR lifted.
     
  8. Coelho

    Coelho

    May 10, 2006
    Astoria, NY
    Can the J48 run when no phantom power is provided from the board?
     
  9. Apparently there is a small mod you can do to allow it run off an internal battery. However, stock from the factory, it requires phantom power. I was a little concerned about this at first, but so far I haven't encountered a mixing board that couldn't send 48V.
     
  10. Eublet

    Eublet

    Jul 28, 2006
    No, not unless you do the 9 volt modifcation so it runs off battery power. At that point though, you HAVE to have a battery in it all the time as it disables the phantom power option.

    Seriously though, I've never once had an issue where I couldn't get phantom power from the mixer...ever. If you really want a high quality DI that can run on phantom or 9v, then the Countryman Type 85 is hard to beat. It's not quite as pristine sounding as the J48, but it's pretty close and a bit cheaper. Plus it can be used as a speaker DI. Can't go wrong with it really.
     
  11. I play both passive and active basses...which Radial DI would you recommend? What is the difference between a passive DI and and Active Di?
     
  12. Does the Countryman switch to the 9V battery when the XLR ground is lifted? I haven't seen another active DI (other than the J48) that can run off phantom with the ground lifted...
     
  13. Eublet

    Eublet

    Jul 28, 2006
    Active means it needs a power source, either battery, power supply, or phantom power from the mixer. No power, no workie. Powered DI's tend to have a headroom limitation, so buying a quality active DI becomes very important. The Countryman and J48 are industry standards, so no worries with either.

    The JDI is passive, meaning it needs no power to operate. This is great for active basses which have a higher output. More than that, the preamp in the active basses sets the load on the pickups, so the sound doesn't change. With a passive bass, the load on the pickups is governed by lots of things, such as the length of the cable between your bass and whatever you are pushing. If you use a passive DI, then essentially you are pushing the cable length before AND after the DI. If you are using a 20 foot instrument chord into the DI, which is then run with a 20 foot mic chord to snake, which then runs 100-300 feet to the mixer, then it will load the pickups in a passive bass such that it will sound absolutely horrible. Very muddy with little definition, and maybe some distortion. Also, even with medium runs to the mixer, output from a passive bass through a passive DI tends to be pretty low, so it's hard getting a good signal to the mixer.

    Active basses don't have this problem because the preamp in the bass is what loads the pickups, not the cable length or equipment. Also, since they have a higher output typically, the signal to the mixer is still strong over a long run.

    The J48 and Countryman are both excellent DI's, and work perfectly with passive or active instruments. I wouldn't hesitate for a second to get either if I were you. Some people are scared of actives because they don't want to have to change batteries or worry about phantom power. I don't get it because phantom power is just never an issue. Even my cheapo USB recording interface has a phantom power option that I use to record with my J48.
     
  14. Thank you for all the info! So in order to receive phantom power, the 'phantom power' button on the board simply needs to be engaged?
     
  15. Eublet

    Eublet

    Jul 28, 2006
    Yes. The J48 is pretty unique in this regard.
     
  16. Eublet

    Eublet

    Jul 28, 2006
    That's it! Pretty simple!
     
  17. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Dec 3, 2020

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