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bigggidy
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#1
19th July 2008
Old 19th July 2008
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Favourite DI's

So I am about to buy a new DI Box, would like your suggestions on what works best for you. Some I have tried in the past colour the sound in a bad way.

Active or Passive?

Cheers
Tempo
#2
19th July 2008
Old 19th July 2008
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Passive is going to rely heavily on what preamp you plug it into, I use the Radial JDI exclusively for this task (Jensen transformer) and can plug into a character or clean preamp after it to taste. If you have a collection of preamps to choose from, you may want to lean this way.

Active DI's I've always been a fan of the Safe Sound Audio P1 on the clean side. Bass guitar in particular is so big and clear, and that dynamics section just rocks for bass tracking and mixing.

The DI in the Chameleon Labs 7602 is excellent stuff, smooth with a nice midrange detail and even low end response. Having that EQ on board makes it another popular choice for me as I can carve things up on the way end and make mixing easier.

REDDI is of course a choice in the tube / transformer offering. I find it typically does require additional makeup gain from another preamp after it in many cases.

When Phoenix Audio UK gets their act together the Nice DI is a great choice. Another advantage to that one is it is stereo and has the same output section as their preamps and summing mixers, and simply running other line level things through it = sweetening effect.

There sure are tons of choices though.

War
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#3
19th July 2008
Old 19th July 2008
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I love the active Radial. I can never get the names straight on those Radials. But I'll tell you, the active Radial will take anything and give you a clean signal. I used to have issues with active 5 string basses. Not my thing anyway, but couple that with that crappy choking sound that happens with those and... it's bass hell.

The active Radial? Perfect. Not colored, but it gives you a sound completely devoid of any crap. Funk it up later to your liking. But that's just me.
TQP
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19th July 2008
Old 19th July 2008
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TQP
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Pretty much what War said...
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19th July 2008
Old 19th July 2008
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If you can swing it, the Manley Voxbox is the best sounding, most versatile DI I've ever used. The Avalon 737SP is pretty nice too. I have a a couple of Avalon U5s which sound good and are clean, but I like the options the Voxbox and the 737SP offer in terms of EQ and compression.
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19th July 2008
Old 19th July 2008
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I really like the DI to do something.
for that (mainly synths and samplers for me) I like
the Avalon U5, the Manley, Retrospec and the Eviltwin.


If you have a ba-jillion dollars, I'd grab the Fearn tube DI...
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19th July 2008
Old 19th July 2008
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Lee, the active Radial is either the J48 (phantom powered) or their top of the line JV3 (has its own power supply).

War
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19th July 2008
Old 19th July 2008
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Right, the J48. Wonderful, bulletproof utility box. Oh, and by the way, just 'cause the J48 doesn't add that magic "color" everybody loves going on about does not prevent you from running intom the mic pre of your choice.

For me, I want my DI to be just that, a direct injection. You've got plenty of options post DI. I mean, they do put out at mic level, right? And you've got all those character machines (mic pres of all flavors) laying around...
#9
19th July 2008
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I use the Radial JDI (passive) and the Demeter tube. The JDI's are without color, but the Demeter adds just the right amount of "body" to many things- especially acoustic guitar.
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19th July 2008
Old 19th July 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Knight View Post
I mean, they do put out at mic level, right? And you've got all those character machines (mic pres of all flavors) laying around...
Exactly.

The J48 is a preamp in itself, powered by phantom 48v, has a hotter output which requires less gain, and is a bit brighter.

The JDI is a transformer and requires more make up gain, and I also find it more natural sounding up and down.

War
#11
19th July 2008
Old 19th July 2008
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No Perfect DI

A little rant. Passive Guitars and Basses love the Hi Impedance of a good DI. The Countryman is 11 Million Ohms. Nearly all DI's have a simple parallel in and out. So.... if you connect a tuner in line or to the output socket it shunts the load down to say 50K. A disaster sound -wise.
The old Boss DB1 offers an unbalanced buffered output. This is an excellent addition. However inserting the 20 or 40 dB pad again shunts the input impedance, again ruining the sound.
My perfect DI should have:-
Hi-Z input 10M or so.
A pad that does not change the input Z.
An optional or extra buffered output to drive tuners, pedals etc.
A top grade transformer output.

Strangely I have not found any such product.
In answer to the original question, here are my favourites.

EMO passive. Excellent transformer, sweet sound.
Countryman FET 85. Active, bulletproof, impeccable sound, a little punchy.
Boss DB1. Maybe obsolete. Neutral, no sound, unbalanced output option.
BSS AR133, the newer green ones are superb. The old grey ones were awful.

I am reliably informed that the LittleLabs IBP is a great active DI.

The Behringer active DI crops up everywhere. It is the single worst sounding piece of equipment I have ever come across.

Best Regards, DD
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10th August 2008
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Hey there,

I didn't know which one to choose so I just purchased a JDI and a J48 (and an x-amp)... Is there really a need for both of these, I basically just want to record the cleanest basses and guitars (both with active or passive pick-ups). I really do not care about synths, so these are out of the equation.

I'd love to have your experienced input.

Thanks



JB
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10th August 2008
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I always argue, kill two birds with one stone. Buy nice pre-amps that have very good DI inputs, and have both a good DI and a good pre-amp in one. The ones I've owned so far (LA-610, Great River, A-Designs P-1) all are really nice for DI'ing in guitar and bass, and they are great mic pre-amps also. When funds are limited, it's not a bad idea to get twice, twice the bang for the buck.
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10th August 2008
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The best DI is a RED DI, imho.
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10th August 2008
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Well I just bought my 2 first good pres (actually they and the DI will be shipped together on monday)... MA5s so no di there...
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10th August 2008
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This is my favorite active unit: Demeter Amplification Online Store

Awesome awesome awesome DI....

I also like the Radial Passive DI's.... like to flip em around to use em to reamp.

Also check out the DI on the front of Great River pres.... ridiculously awesome on bass.
#17
10th August 2008
Old 10th August 2008
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Millennia TD-1. It's an awesome piece, swiss army knife, HV-3 mic pre, twin topology (Tube/solid state on the DI), reamp, phenomenal EQ, multiple outputs of many varieties, and the best DI I've ever used.

I used to favor the Evil Twin.
KAB
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10th August 2008
Old 10th August 2008
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+1 on the TD-1 thumbsup
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10th August 2008
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I have 2 that I use for Acoustic Guitar and Bass. Reddi and Manley. Love 'em both.
#20
11th August 2008
Old 11th August 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mayor999 View Post
This is my favorite active unit: Demeter Amplification Online Store

Awesome awesome awesome DI....

I also like the Radial Passive DI's.... like to flip em around to use em to reamp.

Also check out the DI on the front of Great River pres.... ridiculously awesome on bass.
I agree , I absolutely love the Demeter active DI's. We used to use them all the time at a studio I used to work at.
#21
11th August 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbjoubaud View Post
Well I just bought my 2 first good pres (actually they and the DI will be shipped together on monday)... MA5s so no di there...
The JDI's work well with the MA5.
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11th August 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyBelmont View Post
The JDI's work well with the MA5.
Knowing the JDI and given the MA5's reputation, I figured it was a sweet combo
Do you think I won't need the J48 (again, it's only for guits and basses) ?

Cheers

JB
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11th August 2008
Old 11th August 2008
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You can use the active DI for passive guitars. I use a jdi or reddi. I don't like direct inputs on preamps. This bypasses the input transformer so it doesn't sound as good
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11th August 2008
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try these - there cheap and they fit in your pocket. Use that Iron in your fav pre
Avenson Audio Small DI Details
This phantom powered active DI is the perfect instrument interface. It transparently passes the sound of your instrument to the preamp without adding its own sound. The Small DI has a very high impedance input FET buffer inside designed for wide bandwidth and clean reproduction. The buffer circuit runs on +48V phantom power and is unity gain.

One of the best features of the Small DI is that it comes before the preamp, so that your input signal uses all the electronics of the preamp. The Small DI is also the perfect accessory for microphone preamps that don't have a DI. Its also great for preamps that put the DI input in an inconvenient place like the back!

It's not much bigger than an XLR connecter and at only 3.25" long it fits anywhere unobtrusively. The red LED tells you when phantom is turned on making last minute troubleshooting easier.

Avenson Audio Small DI Specifications
  • Topology: Transformerless FET
  • Input Impedance: 10 M¦¸
  • Input Overload Level: +8 dBu at 1% THD
  • Gain: -0.2 dB
  • Frequency Response: 10 Hz - 100 kHz (+0/-0.25 db)
  • Signal to Noise (A-weighted): ¡Ý108 dB
  • Output Impedance: 150¦¸ (load ¡Ý 1k¦¸ )
  • Power Requirements: P48 phantom power (~5 mA)
#25
11th August 2008
Old 11th August 2008
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Quote:
This bypasses the input transformer so it doesn't sound as good
Not always. The Great River routes the DI input through the transformer. It has a great transformer saturation effect that also acts as a kind of natural compression in a way.

Quote:

The Hi-Z or Direct Injection (DI) jack presents approximately 1.2 megohm impedance and utilizes
a unique FET/Bipolar buffer amplifier to drive the input transformer. This presents the proper
input load to an instrument, yet allows tonal shaping by changing the load on the input buffer
with the impedance switch.


#26
11th August 2008
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I like the Manley tube DI.
#27
12th August 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by warhead View Post
Lee, the active Radial is either the J48 (phantom powered) or their top of the line JV3 (has its own power supply).

War
The top-of-the-line active Radial DI is actually called the JDV Mk3.. and it is indeed worthy of high praise. I have one... and every time I plug something into it, I am in awe of it's pure, clean, un-coloured sound and breathtaking detail.

It's not cheap though... I was lucky to find a used one on eBay for a good price. Worth every penny and then some.
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12th August 2008
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How much is the Evil Twin, and who makes it?

The Universal Audio LA-610 really impressed me as a bass DI. The compressor was handy.
#29
12th August 2008
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A-Designs REDDI
I used to be a Avalon U5 guy and before that I was a tube demeter guy. The REDDI changed my bass world.
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#30
12th August 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by upinflames View Post
How much is the Evil Twin, and who makes it?
Bruce Seifried - Eclair Engineering. It used to be about $800. He sells direct.
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