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I drank the kool-aid, and spit it out.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by chris merrill, Jan 16, 2017.

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  1. chris merrill

    chris merrill

    Dec 14, 2012
    Chicago, IL
    Endorsing Artist for: GHS Strings, Lakland Basses
    I tried, I really did.
    I used the A designs REDDI for a number of years. Always thought it was a great sounding DI. didn't really care to lug it around or tour with it, so it mainly got used for studio work at local studios or at home.
    Fascination got the best of me when the Noble DI hit the scene. A few top players were using it, and a ton of more working class folks were singing its praises (although a lot of that I saw on Instagram.) so, I decided I also wanted to have the tone that was unbelievable. Better than anything else ever etc etc.
    sold the REDDI. Bought the noble. Tone is good! In fact, it was great. And I could actually travel with it. I should be overly happy, right?
    Well, my brain doesn't just stop and be happy...it's always thinking and wondering. I went down the "that's a lot of money/value to be bringing around with you" path. It got me thinking...is the tone 10x as good as a much cheaper say, radial DI? So, i picked up used radial J48. It also sounds good. Really good.
    I A/B'd them through my live rig and my modest home studio (rme fireface & Adam a7 monitors) all sounded great. Did they sound different? A little. Not much. The noble sounded a little bigger. Not much though. The top end sounded about the same. I usually cut some low lows ( 35hz and under) out of my signal when recording, to make room sonically and sit better. Live, my sound is all about midrange clarity. That's what just seems to work for me. Big sub lows seem to bother the band mates and eat up clarity and make everyone else turn up their monitors/amps. Clarity is king for me.
    So, when it came down to it, i sold the noble and kept the radial. Maybe my hearing isn't as good as all these other guys. Maybe they don't sound that much different. Who knows. And to me, it certinaly doesn't sound SO much different to warrant that much price increase. After all, I'm a working class player that cares a lot about my sound...but to me, how I'm playing, technique wise and which string I'm using makes way more difference

    ...unfortunately I didn't record this test, my one regret for Talkbass land.

    Anyone else also spit out their koolaid?
  2. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    chris merrill likes this.
  3. taylor16


    Dec 25, 2012
    The Radial doesn't drive a power amp, there is no EQ or low-cut switch and it certainly can't power the rest of your board. And I can tell a definite difference between tube emulation and real tubes in the tone from the Noble. I get that the Noble isn't cheap but it is a unique piece of equipment. Truthfully, I have asked myself the same question about its value as my Mesa Subway pre-amp also sounds great but I'm keeping it. It is a well-designed, sturdy, easily transportable honest to goodness tube-based preamp with a Jensen DI and highly functional EQ. Nothing else like it. I'm sure you made someone's day by selling it.
    MTN.bass72 and chris merrill like this.
  4. rufus.K


    Oct 18, 2015
    For live sound, you made the right choice for you. Be happy
  5. Dave Hill

    Dave Hill Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2005
    Atlanta, GA
    Does the Noble kick out a bunch of sub lows?

    How did it compare to the REDDI?
  6. Tenses incorrect in the title. Drink and spit or drank and spat!!

    Get with it OP! LOL
  7. sstillwell


    Nov 20, 2008
    I've just stuck with Radial when I'm running sound...both J48 and JDI (and even the cheaper ProDI when I run out of the former two), and the output from my D-800+ causes me no heartburn when I'm playing. When I had previous amps I'd use the output from a Tone Hammer DI on my pedalboard...but I don't even really carry that around any more, either. Everyone's environment and goals are obviously different, but for me, any difference in quality is going to be swamped by room noise, and I'm not going to intentionally color someone ELSE's sound...I want transparent, so just a straight DI with high-quality components.

    I guess I looked at the Kool-Aid from across the room and decided I didn't want to try it. If I were doing mostly studio work you might get a different answer from me.
    chris merrill likes this.
  8. ShadowImage

    ShadowImage Guest

    Jan 12, 2016
    The words "lug" and "DI" should never be in the same sentence. There are tons of fairly inexpensive DIs on the market which are small enough to fit in your pocket. The FOH is going to EQ you anyways so why worry about shaping the tone at your DI??

    Preamp DI "tone" is truly snake oil and cool aid. "All Tube"? Seriously? Sorry, once it hits the (digital) board it's going through a class D solid state amplifier through a digital cross over, into PA speakers.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2017
  9. chris merrill

    chris merrill

    Dec 14, 2012
    Chicago, IL
    Endorsing Artist for: GHS Strings, Lakland Basses
    LOL. I may be changing DI's, but I'm not changing my title for you. I hope my grammatical incorrectness sticks in your craw !
  10. Well then, as they say in the old country: Up Yours! :D

    P.S. Show some respect to your elders! LOL
  11. chris merrill

    chris merrill

    Dec 14, 2012
    Chicago, IL
    Endorsing Artist for: GHS Strings, Lakland Basses
    ThuzzleFump and BassmanPaul like this.
  12. 10cc


    Oct 28, 2013
    Never mind Paul.

    Anyhow I've got a Noble in route that I'm gonna put up against my Radial, REDDI, P-15, SVP and Zephyr. I will be making clips too.
    Pat C., MTN.bass72, esa372 and 6 others like this.
  13. chris merrill

    chris merrill

    Dec 14, 2012
    Chicago, IL
    Endorsing Artist for: GHS Strings, Lakland Basses
    I'd be interested in those clips!
    10cc likes this.
  14. chris merrill

    chris merrill

    Dec 14, 2012
    Chicago, IL
    Endorsing Artist for: GHS Strings, Lakland Basses
    I guess maybe I've concluded, that for me, there is no better or best with equipment. blasphemy in a gear forum, I know...But I'm finding that there is only different. Different preamps or DI's to get slightly different sounds. I used to want to have the dollar amount quantify that "better" tone. It just doesn't equate for me though. Does the Noble sound different than a radial or a passive cheapo? Yes! But is $800 worth that difference? Not for me. Live and learn!
    Coughdrops, bassie12 and 1954bassman like this.
  15. 10cc


    Oct 28, 2013
    Just went through this with an Empress and Cali76CB compressors. Could not hear that much of a difference compared to the prices. Yeah they sounded great but at the end of the day only myself knew what to listen for.

    When did you sell your Noble?
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2017
    MTN.bass72, hintz and chris merrill like this.
  16. DavC

    DavC Supporting Member

    May 17, 2005
    Tallmadge , Ohio
    i snorted the Kool-aide , ... and was very happy ... !
  17. chris merrill

    chris merrill

    Dec 14, 2012
    Chicago, IL
    Endorsing Artist for: GHS Strings, Lakland Basses
    End of October I sold it
  18. nostatic

    nostatic Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2004
    lost angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
    Sound is only part of the equation. A good tube amp will feel/react differently - that's one reason I loved Monique so much. I haven't played the Noble or REDDI so can't comment on how those amps perform in my hands. At the end of the day I ended up going with a simpler/smaller route - lots of good choices these days.
  19. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2017
    GregC, Vlad5, ThuzzleFump and 2 others like this.
  20. chris merrill

    chris merrill

    Dec 14, 2012
    Chicago, IL
    Endorsing Artist for: GHS Strings, Lakland Basses
    Moosehead1966 and Jim Carr like this.

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