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recommend an inexpensive di for ampless gigging

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by Subersibo, Dec 14, 2017.

  1. I'm contemplating going the ampless route with my Fender p bass equipped with active EMG's. This bass puts out a hotter signal than my active Ibanez! I've been using the DI out from my Markbass CMD121p for years but since everybody in the band uses IEM's I might as well leave the amp at home.
    I used to have the Eden WTDI and a modified VT bass with DI but I don't want to fiddle with knobs and just get the pure tone of my p bass.
    Is there any advantage in using dedicated di’s (radial or countryman) vs having preamp/di like a sadowsky, or aguilar tonehammer with the preamp function disengaged and used as a di only?
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2017
  2. sans amp
    DirtDog likes this.
  3. fourstr00


    Mar 21, 2002
    Chicago Area
    Most of my gigs these days are P straight into a passive Radial DI, no EQ. It does take a degree of faith in your sound man to pull off, so a SansAmp or similar can give you back a degree of control. But if you want that ‘pure’ bass tone, there’s nothing wrong with that approach.
    dheafey likes this.
  4. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    Define "inexpensive" ??
    A decent "inexpensive" DI with basic tone shaping, compression, etc. [IMHO] is in the $150 - $300 range.
    [In no particular order] - Sansamp, Ampeg, Hartke, 2 notes, Eden, Markbass, Aguilar, MXR and Darkglass are some of the better known vendors.
    Each has it's own "flavor" and one may be better for a specific music genre than another, so do some research and factor that into your choice.
    I have a couple (Ampeg SCRDI, B7K Ultra and Sansamp VT Bass Deluxe ) that I swap out on my pedalboard - based of type of sub gig - when going ampless.

    Here's more info - on potential choices.
    The 4 Best Bass Preamp Pedals – Reviews 2017
    The Best Bass Preamp Pedalsbass-pedals.com

    NOTE that choosing/buying a DI is almost as bad as deciding which bass to buy :(
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2017
    craigie likes this.
  5. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    SansAmp. I'm using the RBI version. Works great.
  6. Jack


    Sep 6, 2003
    Northumberland, UK
    Your favourite amp company will undoubtedly make a preamp that sounds a bit like their other amps if that's what you want. Otherwise, I have and like the Countryman Type 85 or Radial SB2.
  7. Thanks guys. I just bought a Seymour Duncan Paranormal di off the classifieds.
    I’ve read it is a very transparent sounding unit so I can use it as a straight up DI or engage the preamp should I need any further tone shaping. Best thing I think is it won’t color my bass’ sound too much.
    Zoobiedood likes this.
  8. Zoobiedood

    Zoobiedood Commercial User

    Sep 1, 2015
    Writer/Ambassador/Artist/Resident Bass Expert for Seymour Duncan
    Let us know how you like it!
    Subersibo likes this.
  9. edervjo


    Nov 19, 2009
    Santa Rosa, Ca.
    Anything in the Sansamp Bass Driver DI lineup is great stuff.
    I use the RPM rack for studio and 3-chn Programmable DI for live.
  10. kittywithabanjo

    kittywithabanjo Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2014
    Coquitlam. BC
    I' m using the twonotes and very happy with it.
  11. dheafey


    Jul 22, 2012
    Cow Hampshire
    Other than my FEA Labs OptiFET and the occasional octave box, this is how I roll using a Radial JDI ($200). The JDI's Jensen transformer has such a round, warm tone that I consider it part of my sound. Radial also makes the ProDI for half the price ($100), but uses a lesser quality transformer. I don't have any experience with Countryman, but have heard they're excellent. Really, you can't go wrong with either.
  12. 8855152B-FF4C-464F-9872-063EE0DCE24C. Just an update: I like the Seymour Duncan Paranormal DI as I don’t notice any coloring of my bass’ sound. I have the out of the paranormal connected to a Rolls PM351 for monitoring. At least now I won’t have to bug our sound guy to turn the bass up or down. I will connect the mix for the rest of the band thru the line input of the rolls. I like that the unit has a separate volume control for instrument and line input.
    I also tried using the Rolls’ di out but it sends a very hot signal.
    Leaving the amp at home for the next gig and hope it works out.
    Zoobiedood likes this.
  13. Acoustic356

    Acoustic356 Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2014
    Palmer Pocket Bass Amp - $150 USD

    Medford Bassman and Subersibo like this.
  14. kevinpmajka


    Mar 25, 2013
    Tempe, AZ
    I float between a line 6 helix lt (preamp) plugged into a Radial ProDi for a full amp sound.... (The Di part is the Radial $99 box.)

    Back up or small simple stage would be my Ampeg Scrambler Di. I've also just used the ProDI by itself when I want just a bass sound. Usually I want some sort of tone shaping usually.

    If I was redoing my small board I would get an Aguilar Tonehammer or a line up of a Ampeg Classic Preamp > DigiTech cabdryvr (speaker sim) into the ProDi. I have really become used to a speaker sim in the sound.

    If I knew studio recording was a goal I would get the JDI instead of the ProDi.

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