Your thoughts on a good, cheap DI box...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by georgestrings, Nov 28, 2005.

  1. georgestrings

    georgestrings Inactive

    Nov 5, 2005
  2. spectorbass83


    Jun 6, 2005
    Hmmm..18.99 for a DI?? Remember, you get what you pay for..I would recommend going on Ebay and looking for a Sansamp BDDI. Can't go wrong with it.

    Best of luck!
  3. SnoMan

    SnoMan Words Words Words

    Jan 27, 2001
    Charleston, WV
    Man, break out the Big Bills and buy the Behringer!

    (You never thought you'd hear a phrase like that....did you?)

    Really....I can't comment on the ones you are linking to, but ever club I play at has the $35 behringer box....and it seems to do the job very well.

    For only a pitance more, I'd go with a box more tried and true(wow, I'm still talking about behringer....thats crazy)
  4. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    Yes. Spend just a bit more and get something used, like spectorbass83 said. Seriously. There's lots of good DI's out there and if you go used, it won't be too much $. A year from now, it's not gonna matter that you spent an extra $40 or whatever; that will be forgotten. But you will be glad you did if you get a better piece of equipment.

    Also, if you're using a passive bass, get a DI with a high input impedance. 1 meg ohm would be great, 10 even better. That does make a difference, especially with passive basses.
  5. SoComSurfing

    SoComSurfing Mercedes Benz Superdome. S 127. R 22. S 12-13.

    Feb 15, 2002
    Mobile, Al
    My thoughts, exactly. IMO, it would be much more worth it to go ahead and plan on spending around the $100-$130 range, maybe a little higher. For that, you should be able to find a used SABDDI, Radial JDI, Countryman 85, or maybe even a J-Retro stompbox (I think I got mine for about $125).
  6. georgestrings

    georgestrings Inactive

    Nov 5, 2005
    Wow, you guys ARE quick!!! While I'll certainly agree with the notion of buying right the 1st time, I'm not looking at this for a long term use piece of equipment... Money's pretty tight right now, and until my band takes off - and starts making me money, rather than costing me money - I'm trying to make do as best as possible...

    "Also, if you're using a passive bass, get a DI with a high input impedance. 1 meg ohm would be great, 10 even better. That does make a difference, especially with passive basses."

    Yes, my basses ARE passive - thanks for mentioning that...

    - georgestrings
  7. georgestrings

    georgestrings Inactive

    Nov 5, 2005

    Are you talking about this one:

    It sure seemed to generate some good reviews...

    - georgestrings
  8. SoComSurfing

    SoComSurfing Mercedes Benz Superdome. S 127. R 22. S 12-13.

    Feb 15, 2002
    Mobile, Al
    In that case, if you really do have to go for the lower price range, at least check out here. The ART's about a buck more, but they have free shipping with no minimum of purchase, and in all my dealings with both companies, the customer service is much, MUCH better.
  9. georgestrings

    georgestrings Inactive

    Nov 5, 2005

    I'll start looking, although I suspect it's porbably out of my price range right now....

    - georgestrings
  10. SnoMan

    SnoMan Words Words Words

    Jan 27, 2001
    Charleston, WV

    Yeah, it's the only DI box I have any experience with.

    I don't know how it's sound quality compares to others, but they're tough lil suckers and the sound seems good enough when put through a full mix and pretty good alone(only heard during sound checks).
  11. tim99

    tim99 Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2003
    No such thing as good and cheap.

    The cheapest I would go for would be a Countryman Type 85 DI. Said to be indestructable. No tone adjustments. Needs a 9 Volt battery.

    Then there is the MXR Bass DI and the Sansamp BDDI. These include overdirve (mild distortion) along with bass and treble control. The MXR is cheaper and offers more sound control because it has a mid knob, but the overdrive on the Sansamp is thought by many (including me) to sound better. Again, these need 9 Volt batteries.

    Then there is the DI boxes by Radial. Look at the Radial JDI. No battery (passive). Great sound. Jensen transformer inside. NOT Cheap.

    Then there is Sadowsky. Bass and Treble boost only. 9 Volt battery. XLR out and 1/4 out are BOTH affected by the internal electronics and your adjustments. Most other DI boxes have an unaffected bypass 1/4 out.

    One of the best threads on talkbass ever:

    Another to look at are the BBE DI Passive and Active Direct Boxs, but they are another thing.

    Of course, we have to mention, many feel the best is the Avalon U5 Direct Box / Instrument Preamplifier. But you are looking for cheap.

    Remember, if you are going "straight to the board" and you are not "down on stage" you can plug an active bass directly into that board with no DI.
  12. You do want to transfer your sound as clean as possible to the board, so the soundman can adjust it to the house PA.

    Really, that Behringer never let me down at our school gigs. It sounded just perfect. Never had any problems with grounding/annoying hiss etc.

    The Behringer has a sigh of approval for me.
  13. Lonnybass


    Jul 19, 2000
    San Diego
    Endorsing Artist: Pedulla Basses
    You get what you pay for - and you're only going to sound as good as the weakest link in the chain.

  14. el_Kabong


    Jul 11, 2005
    "thoughts on a good, cheap DI box..." If you're emphasizing the cheap part, the behringers are ok for live work and nasty in the studio in my experience. If your emphasis is on the good part, have a look on the Jensen web site. You can buy the exact same transformer used in the Radial di mentioned earlier by tim99 for much less money and put it together yourself (very easy). Jensen will sell you everything you need, except maybe a box to put it in. The plans are on the site too.
  15. Fuzzhead


    Sep 26, 2005
  16. the_home


    Jul 14, 2005
    Pensacola, FL
    I've used a Baggs ParaAcoustic DI with bass before with very pleasing results both live and into a board for recording (nice tone shaping eq and phase inversion). If you're going to be playing acoustic bass thru this as well as slab, you might consider one like the Baggs if only for the phase feature - although it will cost more than the ones you list. Available used for $100.
  17. georgestrings

    georgestrings Inactive

    Nov 5, 2005
    Thanks for the input, everyone - you've given me alot of viewpoints, and plenty to consider... This is a great site for these types of inquiries - I'm glad I came here...

    - georgestrings
  18. srxplayer


    May 19, 2004
    Highland, CA
    I have a bunch of the Rolls units you linked to and they work well and have lasted for years. I also have a couple of the Behringer units that I bought for my audio rental business and they have been durable, quiet and trouble free for the six months that I have had them. I will probably buy more of them.
  19. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    The pros over at ProSoundWeb seem to like this one or this one for cheap direct boxes. Forget Nady and Behringer. I don't know if Rolls is any good, but the Whirlwinds get good reviews from the guys who use them every day on the job.

    I just bought one of these used from junglebike here at TB, but it wasn't what I'd call cheap.

  20. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    Get the cheapest passive box you can find, preferably one that's inoperative. Or just buy a Bud box and drill a few holes. Buy a Jensen DI transformer off their website for $73.08 and put it in there. Worked great for me, only I found the tranformer for like 20 bucks with a good bit of luck. ;)

    Jensen has a few schematics for different DI permutations on their site, BTW.

    The Horizon ones linked above are OK, but they make some really nice ones too if and when you've got the dough. Carvin sells some budget priced ones that'll do in a pinch as well.