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Radial J48 with Dingwall NG-3

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Vishyyy, Sep 11, 2020.

  1. Vishyyy


    Aug 29, 2020
    Hi everyone! I currently have a NG-3 and a Radial J48 DI box. I know usually with active basses it's preferred to use a passive DI such as the JDI. My question is does anyone have experience of using a J48 or other active DIs with the NGs and did they have any issues? I'm talking in a recording and studio scenario rather than playing live. Thanks!
  2. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    There will be no issues. The whole "active bass into passive DI" and vice versa rationale is thrown around way too much. Yes that approach works fine, but generally any DI is going to work fine for plugging a bass into something that wants a lower impedance than just plugging straight in with your instrument cable.
    Vishyyy and Reedt2000 like this.
  3. Vishyyy


    Aug 29, 2020
    Thanks! That makes sense. Just always seen that point being made but never seen it clarified as to how important it is for bass guitar.
  4. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    When it comes to DIs that are just a DI (i.e. they’re not a DI as part of a preamp/EQ), the differences are going to be incredibly small. So small in fact that I wouldn’t sweat it. If it passes a signal That sounds like your bass and it isn’t clipping, you’re fine.
    Vishyyy likes this.
  5. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    The rule is more critical with passive basses...and it's usually not much of an issue with passive basses either.

    I would expect the J48 to sound really good with your NG-3. It's not designed to color your sound.

    As a design matter, Radial choose an input impedance of 220K ohms for the J48 because the artist they were working with liked how this impedance loaded passive pickups. Keep in mind this is subjective.

    Since an active bass has a built in preamp that buffers the pickups, the loading is less of a factor. However, I own a PZDI which is supposed to be the J48 circuit with a different feature set including variable input impedance. The input impedance on the PZDI can be set to 220K, 1Meg, and 10Meg. I prefer 1Meg with my active bass, but the difference is so small that I doubt I would be able to notice it in a mix. Also it's possible you would prefer the 220K setting. To my ears 1Meg is slightly more clear, articulate, and focused.

    I also own a JDI Duplex, which is one of stereo models of the JDI. I think it sounds really good with my active bass, but I slightly prefer my PZDI on the 1Meg setting. Again, the margin is so close that I doubt I would be able to tell the difference in a mix. J48, PZDI, JDI would all be acceptable IMHO.

    With a passive bass, the importance of using an active DI depends on the characteristics of the pickups, the length of the able runs, and the input impedance of the preamps the DI is driving. Lot's of people use JDIs with passive basses and get great results, but if the pickups have really weak output, you probably want an active DI. The DI does something similar to an active preamp, I.E. it buffers the pickups with the proper impedance so they don't get loaded down. This buffering is most important when the pickups are weak to begin with.
    Vishyyy likes this.
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