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Help me choose a DI preamp for home practice, please?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by bumperbass, Sep 15, 2020.

  1. bumperbass


    Jun 19, 2012
    Here's my situation..yeah, COVID-19. Our weekly jam sessions have been on hold, of course.

    My typical practice at home is to jam away with random tunes on the computer.
    I've been frustrated with this setup I now have, which is: no control over bass tone, and mono computer audio.
    The Ampeg SCR-DI seems like the perfect fit but:
    1.What does it have for competition?
    2.Should I consider another arrangement?

    My must have:
    Typical bass preamp.
    Aux-in and level control for it.
    STEREO aux signal in headphone out.

    Thanks, TB!
  2. I use a small mixer. Computer in, bass in, headphones out. Works perfect for me.
  3. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    Most of your must haves are on pretty much every solid state head made in the last 10 years. I really like my Hotone 5w Thunderbass for that sort of thing.

    The only one you won't get is a volume control on the aux. You control the volume from whatever source you're using for your play along music.
    conrad H, Real Soon, Ruknrole and 2 others like this.
  4. bumperbass


    Jun 19, 2012
    Thanks for the reply, but a mixer would cost as much as a used SCR-DI, and you'd lose a preamp made for bass.
    Thank you as well, but my head(s) are with my main rig in the rec room. I need something desktop-small, to always be here by my practice/computer desk.
    Spidey2112 likes this.
  5. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
    It is... for me. With the XLR out, I've used it for recording, as well... really like this, and it's very portable.
  6. danster

    danster Supporting Member

    Jul 13, 2007
    Connecticut, USA
    I use an MXR M80 -on my pedalboard-into a cheap 4 channel Behringer mixer. That way, I can rehearse with phones and mix in my iPhone, or use the mixer into a Tascam interface to record. The pedal board doubles for live use too.
  7. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    The head I recommended is 2.25 x 5 x 2.25 inches.
    Kijuer likes this.
  8. bumperbass


    Jun 19, 2012
    Which costs?
  9. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    I got mine for under $100 new.
    HolmeBass likes this.
  10. steve_rolfeca

    steve_rolfeca Supporting Member

    I'm spoiled now, thanks to my HX Stomp. But these are excellent alternatives that I have used in the past:
    • G-K MB200
    • Zoom B3N
    • Tech 21 Bass Fly Rig
    To my ear, all of them sound a lot better than the Scrambler, and offer other advantages like built-in FX, a 200 Watt power amp (MB200 only), and a DI out on the G-K and Fly Rig.

    If you don't already own a small mixer, give serious thought to the first post from @Renaissance. Be sure to choose one with 3-band EQ on at least the first couple of channels.

    It's also amazing the number of problems you can fix on the fly if you have one in your gigbag.
    • Need a mini-PA for a pop-up gig?
    • Surprise guest vocalist/musician, but you're out of channels on the PA?
    • Your amp dies on the job, but there's a spare powered PA speaker available as a backup?
    • Want to run keys or guitar through your amp at a jam?
    All of the ones I've listed below are cheaper than a new SCR-DI.

    These are my favourite small analog mixers:
    • Behringer Xenyx 802
    • Xenyx 1002FX
    • Yamaha MG10
    • Mackie 802VLZ4
    I you don't already have a home recording rig, consider these models that have a USB recording interface built-in. They're still cheaper and more flexible than the Ampeg:
    • Behringer Xenyx Q802USB
    • Yamaha MG10XU
    • Soundcraft Notepad-12FX
  11. Gustopher


    Jul 30, 2018
    GK Plex. Or something super minimal like a Behringer Bddi.
    kodiakblair likes this.
  12. bumperbass


    Jun 19, 2012
    Ok I'll bite. What is it?
  13. Anemic_SluG


    Dec 1, 2009
    Depends on cost, I use a Mesa Subway DI for that sort of thing with a Darkglass element for cab emulation, mostly because I run Mesa amps. I also have a HX Stomp which has Amp and Cab emulation but that is probably overkill if you are just looking for a DI with tone shaping.
    Something else that has peaked my interest lately is the DSM/Humbolt Simplifier. Has everything you’ll ever need for amp and cab simulation as well as tone shaping and is controlled with knobs and switches which some people prefer vs digital like the HX Stomp.
  14. I have a behringer 12 channel with effects (I don't recall the model) I picked up from a pawn shop for about $50. I should add I run my bass thru my pedal board and then into the mixer. I have a tuner, mxr compressor, and mxr preamp. Usually the mixer gives me enough tone control to suit my practice needs.

    I'm really not trying to sell you on the idea, just my two cents worth!
    bumperbass likes this.
  15. JKos


    Oct 26, 2010
    Torrance, CA
    NuX NBP-5. Outstanding tone, lots of features. And, very important, a really good headphone amp.

    Not all headphone outs are created equal, keep that in mind.
    JonathanG and HolmeBass like this.
  16. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    I gave you the full name of it in my first reply.
    ruju, HolmeBass, Obese Chess and 3 others like this.
  17. TC Spectradrive!
    sawzalot and nonohmic like this.
  18. Rip Van Dan

    Rip Van Dan DNA Endorsing Artist Supporting Member

    Feb 2, 2009
    Duvall, WA
    I'm thinking if you are jamming with your computer you might want to get a decent audio interface instead. I have had a couple and my preference is the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Gen 3. just plug your headphones into it and you get everything all at once. If you want to run it into speakers there are two speaker outputs (balanced TRS) on the back. I've never used them because I use headphones, so I haven't had any experience with those.

    I have to use headphones because our part of the house is small and the land lady lives above us. At one time I used an amp and ran a cable from my computer into the aux in of the amp. On another amp I had to run a patch out of the effects-send into a Y cord and back into the effects-return. I'd plug the sound from the computer into one side of the Y-cord and the effects-send cord into the other end. Then used the amps headphone out to hear the mix. Kind of a pain, but it worked without an aux-in which that one amp didn't have.

    I've had both the Behringer UMC202HD and the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Gen3 audio interfaces. The Focuserite is a much nicer interface and better-sounding interface for $159. Behringer seems to vary between $20 to $30 less.

    If that kind of thing won't do for you and you want an adjustable EQ DI, then I'd suggest the Eden WTDI, which I keep in my gig bag. It's a DI with built-in Eden WT preamp. It has Bass, Mid, and Treble EQ with a Bass Boost button and a Mid-shift button. The mid-shift allows you to either use the mids centered at 500Hz (low-mids), or at 2KHz (high-mids). Also has an enhance control which is nice for bedroom practice at lower levels (like the Loudness control on old stereos). It boosts the lows and highs and scoops the mids.

    It also has a built-in adjustable compressor that smoothly adds more and more compression to your sound. It has both a gain and a master so you can get the best sound out of your bass and send it at a level that works for the destination. The bypass stomp switch turns its features on and off and when not engaged is just a straight DI pass through. The sound from it is clear and warm. I've used it to make other amps sound like my Eden amps; run it directly into FOH when only going through the sound board; and also did a recording session with it at a Seattle Recording Studio last year. Worked wonderfully well in all circumstances. Street price is just $149

    JonathanG and HardNHeavy like this.
  19. Jackass76

    Jackass76 Supporting Member

    Dec 18, 2013
    Just to put it out there, not sure of budget, but all four of the Darkglass Ultra V2's have aux in and headphone out. They are a little $$, but I've been using the X Ultra for a while now, and on the road silent rehearsal with headphones and my phone as an mp3 player works prefect.

    Aux in level is handled by the phone (or iPod etc...) but for the rest...it's a perfect 1 stop solution for me.

    Might be worth a look.

    (edit...) You can also punch in and out the distortion circuit on the Ultras...so if that's not your thing, you can turn it off.
  20. Ruknrole

    Ruknrole Got Tort? Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2018
    Is the headphone out quiet?

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