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Need some DI help... do I need to switch to (or get) a passive DI?
Old 18th November 2009
  #1
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S.Filpansick's Avatar
 

Question Need some DI help... do I need to switch to (or get) a passive DI?

Hey guys, I'm having some DI issues, and I think I may need a passive DI to solve them. Here's what's up:

I currently have a Behringer Ultra DI-4000 (hey, it gets decent reviews, even here on GS!), and it sounds great with my passive bass; but when I plug in my brother's active bass, or any guitars run through fairly hot pedals, I think I'm overloading it.

It's fine playing quiet/mellow stuff, but when you really get into it (heavy palm muting, etc), the output level starts to vary considerably, and then it lets a super loud (like "I hope I didn't waste my speakers!" loud) almost fart-like noise.

Is there something wrong with the DI that I have (other than the brand), or is this a known issue with active DI's?

Would a passive DI solve the problem?

If so, do you know of any rackmount, 4+channel passive DI's in the sub-$200 range?

If I don't find a rackmount passive DI, what are your favorite single channel passive DI's in the sub $75 range?


Thanks in advance for any advice!!!
Steve
Old 18th November 2009
  #2
Lives for gear
 

It does sound like you're clipping. What are the meters reading? Do you have the +20db on?

I've got a cheap passive Whirlwind that I use on active pickup guitars and basses.
Old 18th November 2009
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by S.Filpansick View Post
Hey guys, I'm having some DI issues, and I think I may need a passive DI to solve them. Here's what's up:

I currently have a Behringer Ultra DI-4000 (hey, it gets decent reviews, even here on GS!), and it sounds great with my passive bass; but when I plug in my brother's active bass, or any guitars run through fairly hot pedals, I think I'm overloading it.

It's fine playing quiet/mellow stuff, but when you really get into it (heavy palm muting, etc), the output level starts to vary considerably, and then it lets a super loud (like "I hope I didn't waste my speakers!" loud) almost fart-like noise.

Is there something wrong with the DI that I have (other than the brand), or is this a known issue with active DI's?

Would a passive DI solve the problem?

If so, do you know of any rackmount, 4+channel passive DI's in the sub-$200 range?

If I don't find a rackmount passive DI, what are your favorite single channel passive DI's in the sub $75 range?


Thanks in advance for any advice!!!
Steve
Have you tried rolling off the input level to it's lowest setting?
Old 18th November 2009
  #4
b0b
Gear Maniac
 

The problem is the DI is clipping due to the too hit signal. The solution is to use the PADs on the back (-20 switches) by the input.
Old 18th November 2009
  #5
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S.Filpansick's Avatar
 

Thanks guys, but I've already got the pads set... that's the deal, when it craps out, it seems like it bypasses those pads and let's the full signal through, which is STUPIDLY loud.
Old 18th November 2009
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by S.Filpansick View Post
Thanks guys, but I've already got the pads set... that's the deal, when it craps out, it seems like it bypasses those pads and let's the full signal through, which is STUPIDLY loud.

How old is the unit? Perhaps it is defective?
Old 18th November 2009
  #7
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S.Filpansick's Avatar
 

I don't know how old it is, I bought it used at guitar center... which I thought was a safe bet, since they "test" everything before they sell it.

Unfortunately, all I did when I got it home was plug it in, and made sure it worked (with my passive bass). It was much more than the 30 days I had to return it before I actually tried using it, so I'm stuck with it now.
Old 18th November 2009
  #8
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Eric Pederson's Avatar
 

A passive DI sounds like the silver bullet. I use a Horizon DI also, but this topic has me thinking... Should a Gibson SG (must be passive) go into a passive or active DI box? Is it a matter of preference?
Old 19th November 2009
  #9
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close/far's Avatar
 

As a VERY GENERAL rule of thumb, passive devices into active DIs, active devices into passive DIs. I find it more a matter of flavor and/or need at the time.
Old 19th November 2009
  #10
b0b
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by S.Filpansick View Post
Thanks guys, but I've already got the pads set... that's the deal, when it craps out, it seems like it bypasses those pads and let's the full signal through, which is STUPIDLY loud.
That's surprising. You would ned a really high signal to overload something with two -20 dB pads on it... Does this happen with all 4 channels? I have heared about this problem with Behringer DIs, that when they get over loaded they just crap out completely.

A good active DI should definately not behave like this, it would just start distorting abit when you overload it. That goes for passive DI as well. You will not get noise bursts from a passive DI but you will overload the transformer whit to hot signals and that will distort your signal.

I don't have any recomendations for affordable passive DIs. Affordable active DIs worth a lock are e.g. orchid-electronics.co.uk
Old 19th November 2009
  #11
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S.Filpansick's Avatar
 

Yeah, it's all 4 channels...
Old 19th November 2009
  #12
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Harry Hughes's Avatar
 

Whether it's active or passive or not shouldn't make a difference.
Behringer DI boxes just aren't that great in the first.
I've heard plenty of DI tracks from active DI boxes tracked via guitars with high output active pickups that sounded great.
I'd say ditch the Behringer.
I'm not a Behringer hated mind you (I didn't mind their V-Amp 2 for practicing and the Truths are good value for money IMO), but really, it's a crap DI box.
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