What D.I.?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by berklee46, Aug 30, 2001.

  1. berklee46

    berklee46 Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2000
    I was just able to get ahold of a Walter Woods amp, but unfortunately the D.I. is only a 1/4" jack.

    So, what DI do you guys recommend? I've heard good things about the Countryman, but is there much difference between that (Active - $160) and, say the Whirlwind IMP-2 (Passive - $39)?

    The Tech21 Sansamp seems to be a favorite, but if I'm spending thousands on my bass and amp, will the Sansamp change the sound? Wouldn't I be better off having no tone controls on the DI and letting the bass/amp control the sound?

    (It's pretty obvious that I've always used the XLR DI on my amps)

    Any comments / suggestions welcome...
  2. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    Just get a passive DI box. A $20 rapco is fine. You can buy a whirlwind if you want, we have a dozen or so of them at church and they are tough as nails. BUt I have been using Rapco stuff for years with great success. Have you ever seen the inside of a passive DI box? There isn't much to it.

    I used high Z D.I.s for years before I ever owned an amp with an XLR out on it. I think they are installing XLRs mostly for ease of use.

    One tip. Use a fairly short 1/4" cable to go from the amp to the DI box. and as long of an XLR cable as you need to get from to the snake/board.

    In a pinch, you can use a 1/4" to XLR converter, all things optimal, these work fine. But a box is only a few bucks more and with it, you get a ground lift which you may need and a parrallel 1/4" send which you may want.

    The only reason to use an active DI is it increases the s/n ratio. If you have a very weak signal coming out of your amp, it could get noisy. I doubt you will have that problem.

    The bass driver works optimal with a source signal. (pre-preamp) Typically players use it as a preamp in front of their amp or in a parrallel setup to the PA. If you use it as a DI behind the preamp, (your 1/4" lineout) it will effect the signal. They are nice things to have, but probably more than you need.

  3. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    A SansAmp connected to a WW??

    :rolleyes::eek: :rolleyes:

    Just get a decent passive DI like the Whirlwind Director and patch it to the WW's line out.
  4. berklee46

    berklee46 Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2000
    Brian, that was my original plan - to buy a Whirlwind IMP-2 (which is what Walter Woods recommended), but I was told by some soundmen that the passive DI's were noisy, etc.

    I just wouldn't want to add noise to my sound...
  5. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    Well, there is definitely a difference soundwise, but it's rather subtle. The common man won't hear it in a studio mix, and definitely not live through a PA. So let's just say that it's not $120 worth of difference.
    The Countryman, however, will last you a lifetime - this thing is as tough as a tank. Most solidly built piece of equipment I've seen so far. CAI (the builders) claim to have run it over by a truck and it didn't break, and it's supposed to withstand voltage spikes of up to 20 kV. I doubt the Whirlwind can take that. Not that I ever would put any equipment of mine under such extreme conditions...
  6. winston

    winston Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    If you're looking for a cheap passive DI I'd recommend the IMP2 as well. I thought all DI's were the same until I recently bought a CBI passive that sounded dark and lifeless compared to the IMP2 I already had-and it cost $10 more! Needless to say, I returned it and got another IMP2. If you're looking for an active DI, the new Raven Labs one is supposed to sound great and it has a sidechain FX loop.