1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Looking for a DI box

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by vivaknoxvegas, Mar 19, 2017.

  1. vivaknoxvegas

    vivaknoxvegas El Duderino Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2002
    Knoxville, TN
    I'd like to get an overall tone shaper, XLR out, etc. but I'd like it to be fairly transparent, or capable of being transparent.

    $200 budget

    The Tech21 VTDI, does it have a baked in sound similar to the SansAmp BDDI?

    I've been thinking about it and the Aguilar TH DI but I'm open to other options.
  2. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    Paradriver if you are going tech21. I like the Radial Bassbone. Been a long time user of that. Relatively limited tone shaping but switchable effects loop with clean boost if you need make up gain after the device in the loop...

    Aguillar Tome Hammer is a box I am experimenting with. So far I'm liking it
  3. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    All of the SansAmps are going to have a baked in tone, they're Ampeg emulators.
    Jazzcaster89 and MrLenny1 like this.
  4. taylor16


    Dec 25, 2012
    MXR preamp/DI. Or better yet, get in touch with Azure Skies.
    vivaknoxvegas likes this.
  5. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Bearded Dingwall Enthusiast

    Jul 16, 2005
    Belfast, UK
    The MXR Bass Preamp (the green one) is clean without coloration. Very flexible tone shaping.
    Bassmunnky and vivaknoxvegas like this.
  6. This is a category of pedals that darn near every company has starting making so it may be tougher to pick out of the crowd. Here's a few that are out that are all $230 or less new, so id guess they can be found for less than $200 used. I haven't seen the mesa boogie one in person yet but out of these I'd probably go with the Tonehammer in that price range. I've seen others use it at shows and it sounded pretty good.

    Ampeg SCR-DI
    Eden WTDI
    Aguilar tonehammer
    Hartke bass attack
    Mesa boogie subway
    Mxr bass Di
    Mxr bass pre amp

    I'm a Darkglass fan personally but if you want one with an xlr they are over three bills.
    vivaknoxvegas likes this.
  7. kikstand454


    Sep 28, 2012
    I have been extremely impressed with the mxr m81. It is very transparent, has awesome tone shaping, and the boost and cut of both input and output lets me get the most out of different basses.
    Haven't used the DI much yet, but I have no doubts it will be as awesome as the rest of the pedal.
    vivaknoxvegas likes this.
  8. Crazy Otto

    Crazy Otto Supporting Member

    Jan 11, 2016
    The thing I like about the Tone Hammer is that with the AGS engaged and the gain all the way down, it's clean and there's a LF and HF rolloff, like you'd see with a TH amp with the drive at 2 or so, which makes it nice and tight and punchy. Here's a post from eublet with some nice graphs.

    Aguilar - Official 'Tone Hammer 500' 3.8lbs 500w Megathread!
    vivaknoxvegas likes this.
  9. mattattack187

    mattattack187 Bass Enthusiast Supporting Member

    Feb 2, 2012
    Ellsworth, ME
    MXR M80, Ampeg SCR DI & Sansamp Paradriver all have good clean transparent tones.
    vivaknoxvegas likes this.
  10. mrufino1

    mrufino1 Supporting Member

    Aug 2, 2005
    Nutley, NJ
    VT bass (and I assume vt DI, but I haven't tried one), definitely has a sound to it. A sound I happen love, especially in a mix, where it just seems to sit "right." Its worth checking one out of you can.

    The Sansamp bass driver also has a sound, and I don't love it as much by itself but in a mix it also seems to sit right. The high end on it is "glassy" to my ears, but that may just be exactly what someone else is looking for.

    One thing I have found as the years go by is that I'm very rarely boosting anything on it, bass is usually 11:30 to 12, Treble usually about 10:00, mids either at 12 or in a very muddy room I might go to 12:30. By :30 I mean just a little past.

    With that being said, there are many good choices out there and I think it's hard to actually find something that is low in sound quality now. Not impossible, but definitely hard.
    vivaknoxvegas likes this.
  11. P-oddz

    P-oddz Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2009
    Milwaukee, WI
    Tone Hammer for absolute transparency.
    Also a very good (IMO) and overlooked pre/DI is the Hartke Bass Attack. At its least extreme settings, it sounds more like adding active electronics to a passive bass. VT Bass has a very baked in tone.
    vivaknoxvegas likes this.
  12. NKBassman

    NKBassman Lvl 10 Nerd

    Jun 16, 2009
    Winnipeg, MB, Canada
    For clean and transparent, I'd say:
    Radial Bassbone
    Aguilar Tonehammer
    Mesa Subway
    Al Kraft and vivaknoxvegas like this.
  13. vivaknoxvegas

    vivaknoxvegas El Duderino Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2002
    Knoxville, TN
    I got an email offer for the new @SouthamptonPdls Ictineo pre... so, you know... my search has ended. Thank you all.
    tprestonbass and NKBassman like this.
  14. Dominic DeCosa

    Dominic DeCosa Habitual Line-Stepper Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 9, 2008
    Vero Beach, Florida
    DiCosimo Audio
    My vote goes for the Tone Hammer. I've gotten so many compliments from sound guys since I've been using it.
  15. NKBassman

    NKBassman Lvl 10 Nerd

    Jun 16, 2009
    Winnipeg, MB, Canada
    Me too! :)
    That's not going to get you XLR output, but at this point you might as well just go with a Radial JDI or something simple if you need XLR.
    vivaknoxvegas likes this.
  16. vivaknoxvegas

    vivaknoxvegas El Duderino Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2002
    Knoxville, TN
    I may do that NKB. Thanks!
    NKBassman likes this.
  17. chadhargis

    chadhargis Jack of all grooves, master of none Supporting Member

    Jan 5, 2010
    Nashville, TN
    I just finished all the due diligence on the same purchase. I wanted a DI with some tone shaping ability. I didn't want a bunch of bells and whistles and crap I wouldn't use. I already had that with my Zoom B3. I just wanted simple, clean, and quiet.

    I whittled it down to the MXR Bass Pre and the Tone Hammer. I almost passed on the Tone Hammer because of the goofy AGS stuff and some of the negative I read about it. The audio clips I heard of it, and the recommendations of some trusted folks lead me to pull the trigger on the Tone Hammer.

    The TH is 18v, so take that into consideration. I am powering it with my Cioks DC5's 18v outlet and it's working fine. The AGS thing turned out to be a non-issue. Yes, it's louder when you engage it, but it's a simple matter of just turning down the master volume a bit. You could probably just bump it down with your toe if you're good enough. I thought the AGS was just a distortion thing, but it actually is pretty useful at low gain levels. I have discovered some very nice warm "tubey" sounds with it.

    I looked at several other options....Darkglass, LeBass, Noble, FatBoy, Bassbone, Sadowsky, etc. The Tech21 products I took a pass on as I've owned a Bass Driver and a VT and those were very "colored" pedals in my opinion. Not my cup of tea. A few options, like the Noble, were very attractive, but very expensive. I almost broke down and bought the Noble because that's really what I wanted, but $900+....this po boy ain't got that kinda scratch.

    So far I'm really enjoying the Tone Hammer. I typically use it as just a DI with my active basses as they have onboard EQ's. I have played around with putting my active basses in passive mode and using the Tone Hammer to have a different tone ready on the fly and it works great in that role. With my passive P bass (strung with flats of course), I get the exact sound I'm looking for by bumping the lows just a bit, leaving the treble flat, and cutting some high mids to remove some of the "growl" (unless I'm playing rock, then I can dial it back in).

    Good luck in your hunt.
  18. DistroHopper


    Feb 18, 2014
    That's what I did. Ordered an Ictineo as well, and have a Radial Pro48 active DI box coming. Hopefully my preamp and DI needs will be solved with this combo.
    vivaknoxvegas likes this.
  19. tpaul

    tpaul Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2011
    If all you need is a simple DI box, best bang for your buck, according to a recent TB poll of sound samples, is the Whirlwind Director. $45 used on Reverb or Ebay.
    vivaknoxvegas likes this.

    MYLOWFREQ Supporting Member

    May 13, 2011
    New York
    MXR Bass Preamp is very transparent, with an XLR out that has a pre and post EQ switch, nice 3 band EQ with a sweepable mid control. An input and an output volume. It is compact and does fit the bill.

    You're welcome :)