Which DI box

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Noot, Feb 13, 2014.

  1. Hello,

    I play a plywood budget bass with K&K Bass Max pickup, and a standard Fender Precision Bass. I'm looking for a DI box which would ideally support them both, if not then the upright bass has priority. I need to be able to run both on battery and phantom power, depending on the venue. Which model should I look for?

    Thank you.
  2. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    Why not a good passive box like a Radial JDI? I've very successfully used one on both a P Bass and with a Gage Realist. It's one of my favorite sounding DIs.
  3. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    I like the LR Baggs Para DI. No tools needed to change the battery and you get preamp controls, too.

    I have a Radial Pro DI (passive) but it's input impedance is a little too low for piezos.
  4. For a passive piezo you always need an active DI box with a high impedance input (at least 1 MegOhms, more is better if you can get that). Or you use a impedance buffer or preamp with a high impedance input and low impedance output and put any (active or passive) DI box after that (but never in front of the buffer/preamp!).
  5. Carlo CN

    Carlo CN

    Feb 12, 2014
    I use with satisfaction a BSS AR-133 that was advised by my sound engineer.
  6. I have a cheap clone of a BSS AR-133 (just in case I may need it).

    It would be no bigger problem to replace the input resistor of 1 MegOhm by a 10 MegOhm resistor. The first opamp is typically a JFET-type (at least in my clone, but I'm rather sure also in the BSS), so that could be done easily. You might need replace the resistor if you want to connect your amp to the box too, since the the two inputs (DI Box and amp) are connected in parallel, so the total impedance "seen" by the piezo is much lower (500 KOhms in case of two 1 MegOhms impedances at the DI and amp).
  7. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    We need more info. Yes you want to use an active DI designed to buffer the piezo signal if you're going from the piezo straight into the DI. I'm assuming though that since an electric bass is also being used that there is an onstage amp which would lead me to believe there's already a preamp to buffer the piezo into the amplifier? Is there? That is an important piece of the puzzle.

    The terminology seems to have morphed lately to where people are calling a preamp with an XLR out a "DI" when what they mean is a "preamp/DI". In my mind when you ask for a DI you're getting a single input box with 1/4 through jacks and an XLR out that has no control other than maybe an output level knob and that's it. If you want a preamp to plug both instruments into that will buffer the piezo and send either signal to the PA you'd want something like a Radial Bassbone or a Basswitch. Check out Golihur Music...they have a great selection from simple buffering devises to basic buffers with some EQ to versatile high end dual preamps. They're great people to deal with who really know their stuff.
  8. I agree/disagree with JeffBonny...

    Agree: More info needed
    What exactly are your battery/phantom power needs/expectations?

    Disagree: Bassbone
    Radial's PZ-Pre is much better suited to doublers than the Bassbone. PZ-Pre has the piezo buffer for your upright and the second channel's buffer can be switched off for your P-bass.

    I'd go with the PZ-Pre or Basswitch, but then, I don't need to run on batteries or phantom power.
  9. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    I stand very much corrected. Yes, the PZ-Pre is what you'd want to buffer a piezo not a Bassbone.....that post was made before coffee.

    I think anyone doubling on acoustic and electric basses is well advised to spend the money on a preamp that will accommodate both. The $300 I spent over fifteen years ago on a Raven Labs PMB is one of the best investments in gear I've made ever. Even though I'm "between" double basses right now and it hasn't seen much use lately I'll never sell it.
  10. neddyrow

    neddyrow Support Staff for My Better Half Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2011
    Cortland, NY
    When I played a plywood and had a k&k bass max rockabilly with the preamp, I used a countryman DI and it worked perfectly.

    I now have a full circle and they don't get along too well with impedance. Now I have a radial pz pre. I got the separate 2-channel selector box that radial makes in case I wanted to double or double with my acoustic guitar, but I didn't like that setup. With the mute and 2-channel button, it can get a little confusing since there are no lights telling you if you are muted or not or which channel you are on. So if you want to go 2-channel, I'd get a preamp made for 2 and not get a switch box that doesn't have lights in it.