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Are these DI's the same?
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qtuner
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#1
16th April 2011
Old 16th April 2011
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Are these DI's the same?

Both of these DI's look very similiar.
Do you think they're made in the same factory?
Are they in fact the same DI?
Does anyone have any experiences with these?

FDB-202

Pyle Pro PDC22

ART dPDB Dual Passive Direct Box

I'm obviously looking for a dual channel direct box. I need it for some long unbalanced keyboard leads.
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#2
8th May 2012
Old 8th May 2012
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Bump! I'm looking at the Pyle Pro PDC stuff as well for the same situation.

Most DI boxes are overkill for what I'm looking at, I just want to balance and pad my signal out of my synths without losing sound quality (at least compared to just running 25+ feet of 1/4" unbalanced to my mixer)
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8th May 2012
Old 8th May 2012
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With synths (line signals) you can use almost every D.I. in existence ... the more expensive ones just have a better phase response and extended frequency range. Try a cheap passive one and see if you like it. You can always buy a 2000$ D.I. later.
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8th May 2012
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Cheap DI's use cheap transformers that can easily saturate with line level signals from a synth. I've been very happy with my Radial PRODI2 for stereo, and a JDI for mono sources.

Audiopile makes great stuff for the price; haven't used their DI's, but I have bought mixer cases, snakes and audio cables from them and haven't had any issues.
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8th May 2012
Old 8th May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frans View Post
With synths (line signals) you can use almost every D.I. in existence ... the more expensive ones just have a better phase response and extended frequency range. Try a cheap passive one and see if you like it. You can always buy a 2000$ D.I. later.
the problem I'm having is that it's clear that some DIs impact your sound...but so does not having a DI at all. But it's not evident which is worse, the sound of running line level, unbalanced synths into a mixer's line-in or going into a passive DI and then running low-Z balanced into the mixer's mic pres.

In my case it's a Mackie 1640i, which is decent but obviously not an SSL.

I can't A/B between the two because I don't have any DIs right now. I'd rather not invest in a bunch of Radials since I do have a lot of synth channels and that could add up. But if a $15 passive DI is all I need and it won't impact my sound negatively (but differently) then that would be great.

But even A/Bing fairly might be tough since gain matching with and without the DI would be crucial.

Last edited by BaconTastesGood; 8th May 2012 at 10:04 PM.. Reason: rather NOT invest...
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8th May 2012
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The Radial ProdD8 is an excellent 8 channel rack DI that is ideal for keyboards. I have a bunch of JDI's too, and I can't say i've noticed much difference.

Sometimes a cheap transformer DI gives a more noticeable color - transformer distortion and phase shift can be a nice effect. Before I got my JDI's I bought a cheap passive DI, and I liked the sound of it so much I decided to buy the expensive Jensen Radials. Initially, I was disappointed that the JDI's were so clean, they lacked the character of the cheapie. But it's better to have the clean option - and they still have a transformer sound, but it's very subtle.

So don't be afraid to try some cheap transformers - just be aware you might be getting more color, but color can be good.
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8th May 2012
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I'm actually trying to avoid color, saturation, etc. I'm mostly interested in DIs so that I can reduce noise and impedance loss, I'm just worried that I'm actually introducing more cost and hassle into the chain than I'm gaining.
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8th May 2012
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Probably. Shortest path is good, and impedance is not likely to be an issue with keyboards if you are connecting the instrument outputs to instrument or line inputs on your mixer.

Do you get ground loop hum? If not, maybe better off without transformers. I find transformers solve my ground loop hum problems. If you just need to solve hum or match balanced to unbalanced, the Ebtech Hum Eliminator products are good - I have the XLR stereo one and the 8 channel rack. They also have a Line Level Shifter which is great for eliminating hum while matching balanced to unbalanced and shifting the voltage up or down.

You don't really need a DI as such, because a DI drops instrument level down to Mic level, and then you need to bring mic level back up to line level - so it's a lot of redundant circuitry. That can be fine if you want the color of a character preamp, but probably not really what the Mackie is best at.

Can you bypass the Mackie preamps by going direct from instrument into channel insert jacks? That might clean your signal up a lot.

I'm also assuming the Mackie is you only ADC ... do you have a multichannel ADC interface you could use instead? I would prefer to track each keyboard output independantly so you could mix ITB, but that's just my preference.
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8th May 2012
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The Mackie is my only ADC, and it's actually really nice since I can track each channel independent and mix ITB (or mix OTB if I want too). I can record 16 tracks simultaneously.

Currently everything feeds into line inputs and it sounds fine in terms of frequency response, except I do hear some hum on a couple of my channels (which is what prompted me going down this path). That's one reason I was thinking of balancing the signal with a passive DI and seeing what happens.
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8th May 2012
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In that case definitely check out the Ebtec Hum Eliminator or Line Level Shifter. I would recommend you get one of each of the small boxes as a matter of course, for troubleshooting and problem solving. Another option would be simply to buy Jensen transformers direct from Jensen.

I remember reading years ago about Wendy Carlos who routinely used transformers for recording synths.

I don't think DI's are what you need - no need to drop down to mic level and then increase gain and noise. Ideally the transformer should be close to the synth so you have very short unbalanced cables, and run balanced if you have any distance.
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