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mlw123 26th April 2020 12:06 PM

Active DI tough choice
 
Hi folks can anyone comment on the sound qualities for the below di boxes please?

Miktek DI2
Warm Audio Active DI
Bumblebee DI
Klark Teknik DN100

I bought a cheap £15 passive DI before doing any reading - it made the background hum disappear on my x0xb0x synthesizer and using it to record a 1980s stratocaster stopped it from buzzing into my interface (RME UCX). a little bit thin sounding on passive pickups but I heard it is not advised to set up this way.

I also have a couple of preamps - joe meek & warm audio so I was hoping for a few new tonal combinations or reamping options with a more expensive DI. Will there be much of a difference? I am wondering if there can be an improvement in tone going with something a bit more expensive.

I see JDI, REDDI, ZOD, Neve all out of my price range but hoping there could be something that offers a vibey, low noise, big sound for a more modest price.

Any help would be very much greatly appreciated.

Thank you!!

Kronos147 26th April 2020 03:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mlw123 (Post 14689156)
Hi folks can anyone comment on the sound qualities for the below di boxes please?

Miktek DI2
Warm Audio Active DI
Bumblebee DI
Klark Teknik DN100

...I see JDI, REDDI, ZOD, Neve all out of my price range but hoping there could be something that offers a vibey, low noise, big sound for a more modest price.


I have not heard the Miktek, Warm Audio, Bumblebee or the DN100. I don't know the ZOD.

I had issues trying to get the JDI to work one time (probably my fault), and I dislike the REDDI, as I don't like the fact the gain is insufficient to use without another pre-amp. I prefer the Groove Tubes DITTO over the REDDI, as it is a stand alone direct box\pre-amp.


However, one of my most favorite active DI's is the Klark Teknik LLB100.

https://tcfurlong.com/rentals/rental...ct-box-rental/

Unfortunately, it has been discontinued.

I am also NOT a fan of the Countryman. It doesn't seem to keep the booty strong for bass.

I have a passive one built with the same Jensen transformer that Radial used to use. IMO, nothing to write home about. Noble Dual Vacuum Tube Preamp & Direct Box & Avalon U5 are both nice, though spendy choices.


What are your pre-amps? What would you use to amplify the DI signal?

mlw123 26th April 2020 05:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kronos147 (Post 14689439)
I have not heard the Miktek, Warm Audio, Bumblebee or the DN100. I don't know the ZOD.

I had issues trying to get the JDI to work one time (probably my fault), and I dislike the REDDI, as I don't like the fact the gain is insufficient to use without another pre-amp. I prefer the Groove Tubes DITTO over the REDDI, as it is a stand alone direct box\pre-amp.


However, one of my most favorite active DI's is the Klark Teknik LLB100.

https://tcfurlong.com/rentals/rental...ct-box-rental/

Unfortunately, it has been discontinued.

I am also NOT a fan of the Countryman. It doesn't seem to keep the booty strong for bass.

I have a passive one built with the same Jensen transformer that Radial used to use. IMO, nothing to write home about. Noble Dual Vacuum Tube Preamp & Direct Box & Avalon U5 are both nice, though spendy choices.


What are your pre-amps? What would you use to amplify the DI signal?

Thanks for the reply I have seen the ditto and U5...unaffordable for me. As it will also be used on bass with passive pickups, an active design and able to reproduce a full sound maybe with an extra bit of mojo.

Kronos147 26th April 2020 08:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mlw123 (Post 14689749)
As it will also be used on bass with passive pickups...

I don't own any active basses. I play Fender Jazz or Precision 90% of the time.

numero6 26th April 2020 09:13 PM

You forgot the Neve RNDI.
That is what I use. I really like it on bass. $275

mlw123 27th April 2020 07:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by numero6 (Post 14690242)
You forgot the Neve RNDI.
That is what I use. I really like it on bass. $275


Hello I found some demos online with the Neve no doubt it sounds good and the money not too sky high....I wondered if I wanted some tube vibe and came across notika electronics. Shame I wasn't educated at the time to take advantage of the groove tube mass clearout sale.

deedeeyeah 27th April 2020 01:58 PM

radial di boxes are missing on your list...

kafka 27th April 2020 04:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by numero6 (Post 14690242)
You forgot the Neve RNDI.
That is what I use. I really like it on bass. $275

RNDI is great on bass into any preamp I've used so far, whether I'm going into a sim or not.

mlw123 27th April 2020 06:20 PM

Im going to try orchid electronics. I have read great things so far and worth far more than the asking price.

reelbigspikey 29th April 2020 07:38 PM

I've tried quite a few DI's and what I ended up with was the following:

Radial JDV Active DIs: Great super clean sound without color. I feel of all the DIs I've tried, these capture the instrument best without any additional color. Perfect for capturing a DI signal while recording guitar or bass amps, in case I need to reamp later. Useful features include ground lift switch and a very handy variable input impedance. Actually has quite a bit of clean gain on it's own and doesn't need much (if any) from the preamp.

Radial JDI Stereo Passive DI: A little bit more of a classic transformer sound DI. Doesn't get used a whole lot, but nice to have around as there is always that time when you need one more DI.

Rupert Neve RNDI: Great on bass. Probably my go to DI for passive electric basses when I am going for a straight DI, no amp sound.

Groove Tubes Brick and Ditto: Essentially both have the same circuit for DI inputs (brick just has extra gain circuitry for the mic input). Sits on my synths, great for a little extra tube warmth and harmonics. Don't expect audible overdrive or distortion, though.

mlw123 29th April 2020 09:07 PM

Id love a groove tube. the radial certainly getting some loving too. Im going to set record (passive bass and stratocaster) on the rme ucx di vs orchid micro see what a difference new di makes. also ot a couple of outboard pres wa12 and joe meek too so hopefully some tone options there too.

kafka 29th April 2020 09:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mlw123 (Post 14697611)
Id love a groove tube. the radial certainly getting some loving too. Im going to set record (passive bass and stratocaster) on the rme ucx di vs orchid micro see what a difference new di makes. also ot a couple of outboard pres wa12 and joe meek too so hopefully some tone options there too.

I had a GT Brick for a number of years. I liked it on guitar a lot. Reminded me of a hi-fi Champ amp.

mlw123 30th April 2020 07:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kafka (Post 14697744)
I had a GT Brick for a number of years. I liked it on guitar a lot. Reminded me of a hi-fi Champ amp.

an amp sound from a DI would be amazing to have. The feeling of playing in front of an amp through studio monitors must be so inspiring

tenderboy 30th April 2020 02:14 PM

Little Labs have a cool DI/Reamp solution.

https://littlelabs.com/redeye.html

nedorama 30th April 2020 04:14 PM

I really like my Summit 2BA-221 as a DI; lets you dial in how much tube you want, and also doubles as a mic pre. They also have their TD-100 which is just a tube direct preamp, with variable impedance. Can be found used and are built well.

Jim Williams 30th April 2020 04:36 PM

DI's will do a lot of gain staging, attenuation then a lot of mic preamp make up gain. That causes losses. I much prefer a mic preamp with a 1/4" high impedance input, take only the gain you need and go. AC powered units tend to have much better low end punch as they are not dependent on 10 ma of 48 volt current to survive on.

mlw123 30th April 2020 06:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tenderboy (Post 14699302)
Little Labs have a cool DI/Reamp solution.

https://littlelabs.com/redeye.html

Bookmarked!! thank you for headsup :)

mlw123 30th April 2020 06:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jim Williams (Post 14699695)
DI's will do a lot of gain staging, attenuation then a lot of mic preamp make up gain. That causes losses. I much prefer a mic preamp with a 1/4" high impedance input, take only the gain you need and go. AC powered units tend to have much better low end punch as they are not dependent on 10 ma of 48 volt current to survive on.

Crazy. did some tests today. my hiz to wa12 pre sounds better than di to pre...more noise. At first I was upset (first time trying to record passive pickups im hi def). orchid micro di to interface is good but the wa12 is fuller.

kafka 30th April 2020 08:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mlw123 (Post 14698707)
an amp sound from a DI would be amazing to have. The feeling of playing in front of an amp through studio monitors must be so inspiring

Well, it wasn't that exciting. But it was a nice DI, and closer to an amp - at least, a really clean one - than most.

Kronos147 1st May 2020 01:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by reelbigs***** (Post 14697383)
I've tried quite a few DI's and what I ended up with was the following:

...Groove Tubes Brick and Ditto: Essentially both have the same circuit for DI inputs (brick just has extra gain circuitry for the mic input). Sits on my synths, great for a little extra tube warmth and harmonics. Don't expect audible overdrive or distortion, though.

Quote:

Originally Posted by mlw123 (Post 14697611)
Id love a groove tube...

I have a DITTO that was customized. I found another DITTO on eBay last week and purchased it. I finally was able to A/B the custom one to a stock one.

The stock one has a nice round mid-range presence. I was surprised at the lack of gain; it hits the converters quite soft even when wide open. The one that was customized has tons more gain (and more frequency response - it goes lower).

I like the custom one much better.

I am on the fence as to re-sell the DITTO or find someone to mod it like my custom one, but try a different output transformer.

Recent bass track with custom DITTO (into a Buzz DBC-20, Lynx Aurora interface into Pro Tools, Buzz DBC-20 on the insert again on playback).


numero6 1st May 2020 05:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jim Williams (Post 14699695)
DI's will do a lot of gain staging, attenuation then a lot of mic preamp make up gain. That causes losses. I much prefer a mic preamp with a 1/4" high impedance input, take only the gain you need and go. AC powered units tend to have much better low end punch as they are not dependent on 10 ma of 48 volt current to survive on.

Funny you say that, I just realize that recently myself.

reelbigspikey 1st May 2020 06:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kronos147 (Post 14701755)
I have a DITTO that was customized. I found another DITTO on eBay last week and purchased it. I finally was able to A/B the custom one to a stock one.

The stock one has a nice round mid-range presence. I was surprised at the lack of gain; it hits the converters quite soft even when wide open. The one that was customized has tons more gain (and more frequency response - it goes lower).

I like the custom one much better.

I am on the fence as to re-sell the DITTO or find someone to mod it like my custom one, but try a different output transformer.

Recent bass track with custom DITTO (into a Buzz DBC-20, Lynx Aurora interface into Pro Tools, Buzz DBC-20 on the insert again on playback).


Do you know if the mod was the "Fabulous Fred" modification? Aspen Pittman (founder of Groove Tubes) was offering that modification before he passed away recently. I've been trying to track down someone who could perform the modification for me, or at least had a schematic of it.

Kronos147 1st May 2020 07:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by reelbigs***** (Post 14702374)
Do you know if the mod was the "Fabulous Fred" modification?

It was not, sorry.

John Eppstein 7th May 2020 07:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mlw123 (Post 14689156)
Hi folks can anyone comment on the sound qualities for the below di boxes please?

Miktek DI2
Warm Audio Active DI
Bumblebee DI
Klark Teknik DN100

I bought a cheap £15 passive DI before doing any reading - it made the background hum disappear on my x0xb0x synthesizer and using it to record a 1980s stratocaster stopped it from buzzing into my interface (RME UCX). a little bit thin sounding on passive pickups but I heard it is not advised to set up this way.

I also have a couple of preamps - joe meek & warm audio so I was hoping for a few new tonal combinations or reamping options with a more expensive DI. Will there be much of a difference? I am wondering if there can be an improvement in tone going with something a bit more expensive.

I see JDI, REDDI, ZOD, Neve all out of my price range but hoping there could be something that offers a vibey, low noise, big sound for a more modest price.

Any help would be very much greatly appreciated.

Thank you!!

Anything I would suggest is way past your budget.

John Eppstein 7th May 2020 07:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jim Williams (Post 14699695)
DI's will do a lot of gain staging, attenuation then a lot of mic preamp make up gain. That causes losses. I much prefer a mic preamp with a 1/4" high impedance input, take only the gain you need and go. AC powered units tend to have much better low end punch as they are not dependent on 10 ma of 48 volt current to survive on.

Jim, have you checked out the A-Designs KGB-1 and KGB-2? Not cheap - $750 each. The 2 is 2 channel, the 1 is one channel with 3 band Baxandall EQ. You might know the guy who designed them. They're actually instrument preamps with DI features.

Jim Williams 7th May 2020 04:22 PM

$750 for a DI is out of my league. I have a few passive Jensens but most stuff feeds a line input. I tend to avoid DI's here.

John Eppstein 8th May 2020 06:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jim Williams (Post 14716591)
$750 for a DI is out of my league. I have a few passive Jensens but most stuff feeds a line input. I tend to avoid DI's here.

The KGB "DIs" ARE preamps, but without the mic input. They have more than enough output to drive any recording device or power amp.

They were designed by Carl Johnson and feature his discrete opamps.

Jim Williams 8th May 2020 04:56 PM

Other than the Jensen 990, I've not found a discrete opamp with enough open loop gain, low THD+noise and good FFT results to use here other than as an effect.

John Eppstein 8th May 2020 08:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jim Williams (Post 14719272)
Other than the Jensen 990, I've not found a discrete opamp with enough open loop gain, low THD+noise and good FFT results to use here other than as an effect.

Have you tried Carl's? He originally developed it as an upgrade for the Quad-Eight consoles. They're not the same lineage as the usual ones you see on the DIY boards.

Is 90 dB gain on a .775V source enough for you?

CineMag output transformers.

Scragend 9th May 2020 12:22 AM

I love my GAP Pre73 DLX for bass DI - turning up the pad and driving the output transformer does some wonderful things. Works nicely for mono synths as well. I rarely use it as a mic pre!