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Hooked on DI's

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Golem II, Jul 17, 2002.

  1. Golem II

    Golem II

    Jan 4, 2002
    Macon, GA, USA
    After hearing some talk about it on this board, I decided to try hooking my preamp to my poweramp through a balanced DI rather than a 1/4" output.

    My setup:

    Yamaha RBX765A bass
    Yamaha PB-1 preamp
    Yamaha gc2020 compressor
    Yamaha P2201 poweramp
    Aguilar gs112 cab (I will buy another one, I swear)

    normally I take a generic patch cable (I think it's unshielded, or at least I hope) and run it from the preamp's main output to a 1/4" input on the poweramp. This time, I took a Monster Prolink balanced mic cable from the pb-1's balanced XLR out to an XLR in on the poweramp (leaving the compressor out altogether.) My XLR is post EQ, volume and all.

    Result: It was a bit like playing through a whole different amp. My practice room has horrible wiring and fluorescent lights, and my amp almost always picks up obnoxious buzz that fluctuates depending on where I stand in the room. With the DI, the amp was dead silent except for the usual tweeter hiss. Earlier, my notes sounded muddy and indistinct, with a big hump in the lower midrange. With the DI, I seem to get a brighter and clearer sound.

    problems: since my poweramp has twin parallel xlr in/out jacks, I can still go direct through a PA at the same time as my rig. But with a DI, I can't run my preamp through the compressor. Anyone think I should plug it into the FX loop, or just go without it? Also, my biamp outputs are 1/4", and if I use the DI I can only go fullrange.

    Anyone else here use balanced XLR outs to go from their preamp to their poweramp? Any suggestions on how to use crossovers, compressors, FX, etc. in this sort of rig without picking up a lot of noise through unbalanced connections?
  2. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    woah, Golem,

    where did you get this idea? is this really safe?

    have you tried merely going from the unbalanced 1/4" to the DI, then to an XLR on the poweramp? i wonder if that would do anything to your tone.

    wow, i wanna try this now. thx dood! :D
  3. Kevinlane

    Kevinlane Supporting Member

    Dec 30, 2000
    Missouri, near Branson

    Yeah use the compressor in the loop. But all gain and tone(especially to the lower end) will change how hard the comp is hit, so you might have to adjust it more often.

    Also have you tried a "balanced" 1/4" ?
    Of course only if both power amp and Pre have balanced outs and ins. The reduced noise and increased rejection of crap is because of the sheilding. You'd get that too in a balanced 1/4" conection.
  4. Golem II

    Golem II

    Jan 4, 2002
    Macon, GA, USA
    You started one of the threads that gave me the idea, Joker

    Also, some people use DI's as preamps, as with the Avalon U5.

    As to whether it's safe, be careful if you try it, some DI's may not have enough output to drive a poweramp. If it's not post EQ, post master volume and all, you lose the use of your FX loop and tone controls.

    Are 1/4" outputs on preamps normally balanced? What about on older units like my Yamaha preamp, which I think went out of production in the '80s?
    Also, I tend to not mount my poweramp in my rack case (because then the rack weighs 80 lbs,) so there's sometimes a little space between the preamp and poweramp (enough for a patch cable to pick up noise.)
    Normally I wouldn't expect such a drastic change, but I think the 1/4" jacks on my preamp have been jostled around a bit too much over the years, and seem to be a little loose.
  5. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    i'm sure most 1/4" are unbalanced only cause the leads from most pre's to poweramps are very short, so there's no need for something so expensive as a balanced cable.

    after a while, i realized that i should just go back to the unbalanced 1/4" cable cause i was plugging in a 1/4"/XLR into the Demeter's unbalanced anyways. kinda stoopid.

    but thx to you, i'll try going from the DI on the Demeter to Stewart. You might have helped me solve my biggest problem with my setup!!!!

    i do have a post EQ switch on it, and i like the idea of having the ability to vary the amount of gain from the very backend of the signal chain rather than do it from the frontend pre section.

    the Stewart seems incredibly picking in that area. The Dem seemed to always slam the stu too hard making my tone fart out. lots of other people have had this prob. this could be the solution!!!

    again, Golem, thx for the advice, even tho, it was subconsciouly there in me already!!! you unlocked the door. HAhaHhHA... :D

    good luck to you, btw, and hope you're revelated like i am. ;)
  6. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Golem ~

    You oughtta try it with an Avalon U5. Yum.

    ~ Monji

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