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Line input/DI for my strat
Old 11th September 2019
  #1
Line input/DI for my strat

I currently use the the high impedance line input on a Great River Me-1 NV preamp when recording my electric guitars. This goes into the line input of PCIe internal interface from RME.

Nothing wrong with that. But I’d like to free up the Great River for mic-only duties. Can you recommend a simple DI/line input? I don’t have any special requirements sound wise. Just a clean, preferably small, gadget that can handle a passive electric guitar pickup. Wouldn’t mind a bit if it’s also cheap....
Old 12th September 2019
  #2
Quote:
Originally Posted by thedberg View Post
I currently use the the high impedance line input on a Great River Me-1 NV preamp when recording my electric guitars. This goes into the line input of PCIe internal interface from RME.

Nothing wrong with that. But I’d like to free up the Great River for mic-only duties. Can you recommend a simple DI/line input? I don’t have any special requirements sound wise. Just a clean, preferably small, gadget that can handle a passive electric guitar pickup. Wouldn’t mind a bit if it’s also cheap....
I have no recommendations that are both quality and cheap. I can name some that are decent and mid-priced and some that are expensive and excellent.
Old 12th September 2019
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
I have no recommendations that are both quality and cheap. I can name some that are decent and mid-priced and some that are expensive and excellent.
Interesting. I would have guessed that the electronics for this are simple. I mean, any guitar pedal takes signal directly from a guitar pickup...

So two follow up questions:
- what are the more expensive options?
- why do they need to be expensive?
Old 12th September 2019
  #4
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thedberg View Post
Interesting. I would have guessed that the electronics for this are simple. I mean, any guitar pedal takes signal directly from a guitar pickup...
I don't have any recommendations, but to answer this... A DI/preamp/direct box takes an instrument level signal and turns it into a line-level signal (which is hotter than instrument level). Pedals take in instrument-level signals, and output instrument-level signals.

Increasing the level with a minimum of noise and tone coloration is a little different than building say, a Tube Screamer.
Old 12th September 2019
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavesNotHere View Post
I don't have any recommendations, but to answer this... A DI/preamp/direct box takes an instrument level signal and turns it into a line-level signal (which is hotter than instrument level). Pedals take in instrument-level signals, and output instrument-level signals.

Increasing the level with a minimum of noise and tone coloration is a little different than building say, a Tube Screamer.
Thanks.

Just goes to show my big ignorance of all thinks related to electronics
Old 12th September 2019
  #6
Lives for gear
 

Lol I see you’ve met John.

Let’s put it this way, how much do you want to spend? What are your expectations? What are you doing with the direct guitar signal (processing it further with an amp modeler plug-in, or what?)?

There is no reason you need to spend a lot just for this.

You can get a cheap passive DI (sub $20 even) that’s largely adequate. If you don’t feel right going that cheap, you can spend more on a name brand (Radial or Whirlwind). Those will be fine too. Or you can spend a lot more on something real fancy with “character” that you’ll probably not appreciate in the context of direct guitar PU recording.

Generally these will go into a mic preamp (most any will be fine...) before hitting your interface.
Old 12th September 2019
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by kslight View Post
Lol I see you’ve met John.

Let’s put it this way, how much do you want to spend? What are your expectations? What are you doing with the direct guitar signal (processing it further with an amp modeler plug-in, or what?)?

There is no reason you need to spend a lot just for this.

You can get a cheap passive DI (sub $20 even) that’s largely adequate. If you don’t feel right going that cheap, you can spend more on a name brand (Radial or Whirlwind). Those will be fine too. Or you can spend a lot more on something real fancy with “character” that you’ll probably not appreciate in the context of direct guitar PU recording.

Generally these will go into a mic preamp (most any will be fine...) before hitting your interface.
Oh, yes. I’m happy to divulge (if that’s an appropriate word) John’s postings here on GS

Your comment seems reasonable. I don’t need character, S-Gear gets me close enough to what I try to achieve. An approach could be to buy a cheapish passive DI and compare the results to the DI in my (not so cheapish) preamp. Then decide if it’s a good idea to upscale. I could use a DI for gigging with my keyboards anyway.

Thanks.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #8
Lives for gear
 
James Lehmann's Avatar
 

I'm a bit of a ringer here as I'm not really a guitarist, although I do play Fender Rhodes which in some ways has quite similar passive pickups to a guitar.

But I'm puzzled as to why there are recommendations here to use a passive DI on instruments with passive pick-ups?

In my experience this is not a good combo, at least not compared to the active Hi-Z instrument input of a preamp like the Great River ME-1NV, or in my case the DAV BG9, which produces a far more full-bodied 'present' 3D sound from instruments with passive pickups like most guitars. (Active pick-ups are a different story, obviously.)

I have a decent enough range of passive DI's here - Radial, LittleLabs etc, all of which have their place in the studio - but none of them sound nearly as good as the DAV preamp DI, which I always use for visiting axe-wielders (guitar and bass) as well as for my own Rhodes.

Passive DI's are what I would use to bring down the level of, say, unbalanced synth outputs; a passive guitar (or Rhodes) needs an active DI.

Here's what Radial have to say on the matter from their website:

"Passive DI boxes require no power to operate and can handle high signal levels with ease. These are typically preferred by musicians with active instruments like a portable keyboard."

"Active DIs employ buffers and require power to operate, and are typically preferred by musicians with passive instruments and acoustic guitars."

Am I missing something?

Last edited by James Lehmann; 3 weeks ago at 06:45 PM..
Old 3 weeks ago
  #9
Lives for gear
 
grannis's Avatar
Don’t you need a preamp? Not sure a passive DI is the right thing.
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