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Bass amp's DI vs a Dedicated bass DI box
Old 12th May 2020
  #1
Gear Head
 

Bass amp's DI vs a Dedicated bass DI box

Browsed solid state bass amps @ Thomann and noticed that some of those amps are actually cheaper than a dedicated Bass DI box such as those from Sansamp. Wouldn't it sound bigger and better if i'd record an amp straight into interface compared to using a DI box?

Also you would probably be able to utilize some cab IR's with your real amp as well which probably would sound better or?
Old 14th May 2020
  #2
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Anyone?
Old 14th May 2020
  #3
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Yuri Kogan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gondola View Post
Browsed solid state bass amps @ Thomann and noticed that some of those amps are actually cheaper than a dedicated Bass DI box such as those from Sansamp. Wouldn't it sound bigger and better if i'd record an amp straight into interface compared to using a DI box?

Also you would probably be able to utilize some cab IR's with your real amp as well which probably would sound better or?
Price has nothing to do with anything. Sansamp has been around for ages, is well known and done quite well. Therefore you are now paying for the name. I have several of their top of the rsnge racks (at the time) but they are not used (at least for guitar or bass) for the last 15 years, because guys here are sick of that tone and prefer other things.
Class D amps are inexpensive (depending on the brand) but are still an immature tech, so most guys here prefer tube or SS amps which are anything but cheap. Having said that I have "DIs" which are quite expensive also. Whether it is justified is your personal choice. BTW a di in a Great River mic pre will compete well with many a boutique one for bass
Old 14th May 2020
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri Kogan View Post
Price has nothing to do with anything. Sansamp has been around for ages, is well known and done quite well. Therefore you are now paying for the name. I have several of their top of the rsnge racks (at the time) but they are not used (at least for guitar or bass) for the last 15 years, because guys here are sick of that tone and prefer other things.
Class D amps are inexpensive (depending on the brand) but are still an immature tech, so most guys here prefer tube or SS amps which are anything but cheap. Having said that I have "DIs" which are quite expensive also. Whether it is justified is your personal choice. BTW a di in a Great River mic pre will compete well with many a boutique one for bass
Okay, so i'm probably talking about Class D amps then. But judging by the youtube clips, i think they sound a lot better thru their direct outs than all the DI box clips that i've listened. More solid sound with bigger low end and almost minimal harshness.
Old 14th May 2020
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gondola View Post
Okay, so i'm probably talking about Class D amps then. But judging by the youtube clips, i think they sound a lot better thru their direct outs than all the DI box clips that i've listened. More solid sound with bigger low end and almost minimal harshness.
They sound quite "flat, really. That's why Orange went to old school power amps in their cheaper range of bass amps. I have a MarkBass Class D amp and an Aguilar AG500 (?). The rest are tube or SS. Guess which ones haven't seen any use in the last 4 years?
DIs vary too. Or tube/SS bass pres. Some of my Bass DIs put amps to shame.
You can buy an old Ampeg SVP pre, or an Alembic pre - will put any class D to shame. And even with a cheap PA will give you all you need for live.

I learned long ago that saving a bit more for a superior unit will give me a very useful tool with good resale value
Old 14th May 2020
  #6
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri Kogan View Post
They sound quite "flat, really. That's why Orange went to old school power amps in their cheaper range of bass amps. I have a MarkBass Class D amp and an Aguilar AG500 (?). The rest are tube or SS. Guess which ones haven't seen any use in the last 4 years?
DIs vary too. Or tube/SS bass pres. Some of my Bass DIs put amps to shame.
You can buy an old Ampeg SVP pre, or an Alembic pre - will put any class D to shame. And even with a cheap PA will give you all you need for live.

I learned long ago that saving a bit more for a superior unit will give me a very useful tool with good resale value
Can you recommend some good SS Bass amps or Bass DI's?
Old 14th May 2020
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gondola View Post
Can you recommend some good SS Bass amps or Bass DI's?
Budget?
Old 14th May 2020
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri Kogan View Post
Budget?
Anything goes, maybe not over 3000€.
Old 14th May 2020
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gondola View Post
Anything goes, maybe not over 3000€.
If you can afford that, you will have an amazing DI and a great amp
https://www.ebay.com/itm/RARE-Aguila...Condition=3000

For cheaper check this out
https://www.gallien-krueger.com/fusion-550-head

Eden used to make excellent World Tour amps. Get a 500W one with a tube pre. Also their studio pre-amp is excellent. SH is ok.

If you can find one get a Thunderfunk head (Jaco Pastorius signature). Superb. There was also a Gibson branded version.

German Glockencklang makes excellent and very versatile amps. Will work for many styles.

Check out the better Darkglass pres. Very good and versatile. Amps - less so. There is also a spin-off of that - Pike Vulcan XL. Similar but better. Also providence make 2 cheaper and superb bass pre's (one clean, one with higher gain). I like them a lot.

There are others which are great but these are affordable and will cover most base's
Old 14th May 2020
  #10
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With that budget you're well into diminishing returns for your cash sound quality wise. You could even go for (probably over-priced but classic) any decent DI into an Ampex 350 pre-amp. In reality bass cabinets have vastly more influence over bass sound than which DI (and even amp) is used. Of course the guitar, its pickups and how it’s played all heavily influence what will work best. I really think experimentation is going to be king here – there’s no such thing as the right answer – particularly as we all have preferences with tone. I find lower power guitar amps into a loadbox/DI work well for some of my bass guitars (particularly active fretless). I use a Hayden Mini MoFo or a Peavey Valve Jnr into a Koch Dummybox – all budget stuff and it sounds big - better than the direct outs on any of my bass amps. I do sometimes re-amp at low volumes just using a Guitar 12’ cab or my Harke combo with a Coles 4038 using the proximity effect to add some warmth.

Last edited by Scragend; 14th May 2020 at 12:26 PM.. Reason: usual typos.
Old 14th May 2020
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scragend View Post
With that budget you're well into diminishing returns for your cash sound quality wise. You could even go for (probably over-priced but classic) any decent DI into an Ampex 350 pre-amp. In reality bass cabinets have vastly more influence over bass sound than which DI (and even amp) is used. Of course the guitar, its pickups and how it’s played all heavily influence what will work best. I really think experimentation is going to be king here – there’s no such thing as the right answer – particularly as we all have preferences with tone. I find lower power guitar amps into a loadbox/DI work well for some of my bass guitars (particularly active fretless). I use a Hayden Mini MoFo or a Peavey Valve Jnr into a Koch Dummybox – all budget stuff and it sounds big - better than the direct outs on any of my bass amps. I do sometimes re-amp at low volumes just using a Guitar 12’ cab or my Harke combo with a Coles 4038 using the proximity effect to add some warmth.
I believe running a bass into a small guitar combo, and why its a little deficient has been discussed ad museum. You need an amp with headroom if you want to use a guitar mp for bass
Old 14th May 2020
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri Kogan View Post
I believe running a bass into a small guitar combo, and why its a little deficient has been discussed ad museum. You need an amp with headroom if you want to use a guitar mp for bass
You need headroom to drive large speakers at loud volumes. Small valve amps have plenty enough headroom in these applicaions (both of which in my case are heads - not combos) sure a small SS amp would lack current - these valve amps don't. The 12" Guitar cab I use sometimes for re-amping is a full size (ie 2x12 size) one - again at low volumes you move plenty enough air with a 12" speaker. When re-amping with my trace 15" cab I have to turn it up too loud (for my current environmental situation) to get the tone I want. But DI does just fine for the vast mahority of cases.
Old 14th May 2020
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scragend View Post
You need headroom to drive large speakers at loud volumes. Small valve amps have plenty enough headroom in these applicaions (both of which in my case are heads - not combos) sure a small SS amp would lack current - these valve amps don't. The 12" Guitar cab I use sometimes for re-amping is a full size (ie 2x12 size) one - again at low volumes you move plenty enough air with a 12" speaker. When re-amping with my trace 15" cab I have to turn it up too loud (for my current environmental situation) to get the tone I want. But DI does just fine for the vast mahority of cases.
Head is just the amp in the combo. Pus there is a difference in the response and design of a bass speaker and a guitar speaker. So with a small amp you are struggling to move that coil to generate low frequencies. People used properly designed 45-60W "small " amps like the B15/B18 to get a decent tone. In the studio at lowish volume otherwise you get too much mids. I have 2 of them, I know. The dual showman was an 80W amp, so with the huge headroom that got was ok to get a balanced bigger tone. From that Large Oranges and Hiwatts.... yes they work ok. V4 Ampegs, thats over 100W. The little 5W amp has 1W headroom before you over-saturate the transformer.
BTW, I drive my 50W, 12" speaker at home with a 1W amp. Audible? Yes, plenty. What headroom and power in the output it has? Negligible. Mud, mud, mud
Old 14th May 2020
  #14
Gear Head
 

I was looking more of complete SS amps without any tubes, but thanks for the suggestions still. I'll take look into them.
Old 15th May 2020
  #15
Gear Nut
 

I have an 60's Ampeg SB12 and a Radial JDI. However I don't record full bands that often and so run my basses through the DIs on my Chandler Ltd TG2 Or Lil Devil. I don't know what you have now for mic pres, but on your budget you could get a really nice pre that would represent your bass nicely. Unless you need or want the volume from an amp.
Old 15th May 2020
  #16
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Yuri Kogan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gondola View Post
I was looking more of complete SS amps without any tubes, but thanks for the suggestions still. I'll take look into them.
Most of these are SS, or have SS versions. Except the Aguilar. Thats all tube. I have one - its the most used amp in the studio and is my "little treasure". As is Thunderfunk (SS) and Glockenklans (SS). As are Darkglass....
Old 19th May 2020
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by gondola View Post
Okay, so i'm probably talking about Class D amps then. But judging by the youtube clips, i think they sound a lot better thru their direct outs than all the DI box clips that i've listened. More solid sound with bigger low end and almost minimal harshness.
You cannot really judge anything by a Youtube clip. If the clip is produced by somebody with some sort of interest in selling product (and the vast majority are, whether they say so or not) you have no way to tell how the signal might have been manipulated after recording or even during the recording process itself.
Old 19th May 2020
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scragend View Post
With that budget you're well into diminishing returns for your cash sound quality wise. You could even go for (probably over-priced but classic) any decent DI into an Ampex 350 pre-amp. In reality bass cabinets have vastly more influence over bass sound than which DI (and even amp) is used. Of course the guitar, its pickups and how it’s played all heavily influence what will work best. I really think experimentation is going to be king here – there’s no such thing as the right answer – particularly as we all have preferences with tone. I find lower power guitar amps into a loadbox/DI work well for some of my bass guitars (particularly active fretless). I use a Hayden Mini MoFo or a Peavey Valve Jnr into a Koch Dummybox – all budget stuff and it sounds big - better than the direct outs on any of my bass amps. I do sometimes re-amp at low volumes just using a Guitar 12’ cab or my Harke combo with a Coles 4038 using the proximity effect to add some warmth.
Lots of misinformation here.

I would not want to use a low power guitar amp for bass for many reasons, starting with a severe lack of headroom. There are a couple of great low powered bass amps, but they're vintage and expensive these days (Ampeg N-15N and Ampeg SB-12). There are also a couple of preamp/DIs designed specifically for bass and other instrument applications that I seriously doubt that Mr Scragend would be familiar with - the A-Designs KGB-1 ($750), which has a 3 band Baxandall EQ section similar to that in many Ampeg bass amps, and the Tonecraft 363 all tube DI/preamp ($1,500), which is all tube and features a 2-band Baxandall tube EQ circuit derived from the famous Ampeg B-15 studio bass amp. http://www.tonecraftaudio.com/
Old 20th May 2020
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scragend View Post
You need headroom to drive large speakers at loud volumes. Small valve amps have plenty enough headroom in these applicaions (both of which in my case are heads - not combos) sure a small SS amp would lack current - these valve amps don't. The 12" Guitar cab I use sometimes for re-amping is a full size (ie 2x12 size) one - again at low volumes you move plenty enough air with a 12" speaker. When re-amping with my trace 15" cab I have to turn it up too loud (for my current environmental situation) to get the tone I want. But DI does just fine for the vast mahority of cases.
Er, no. And it doesn't have that much to do with power, per se - the major problem is headroom, mostly in the front end. Guitar amps are generally designed to start breaking up at a certain point because that's what most guitar players want. On a bass, however, you want a cleaner front end and great dynamic range, else you get a lot of mud and distortion - which is fine if you're Lemmy, but doesn't really work if you're anyone else playing bass. The Ampeg SB-12 is a great little 20 watt, 12" bass amp, but it was specifically designed for jazz string bass players. And that's really the only bass amp in that category worth playing through. Its bigger brother, the B-15N is 30 watts with 1-15", and was also specifically designed for studio bass players.

Also, bass speakers are not designed like guitar speakers. Nearly all guitar speakers have a LF cutoff around 80 Hz, which is low E on a guitar. Basses go down to 40 Hz, a full octave lower. So you're not going to get a really full low end with a small guitar speaker.
Old 20th May 2020
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
Lots of misinformation here.

I would not want to use a low power guitar amp for bass for many reasons, starting with a severe lack of headroom. There are a couple of great low powered bass amps, but they're vintage and expensive these days (Ampeg N-15N and Ampeg SB-12). There are also a couple of preamp/DIs designed specifically for bass and other instrument applications that I seriously doubt that Mr Scragend would be familiar with - the A-Designs KGB-1 ($750), which has a 3 band Baxandall EQ section similar to that in many Ampeg bass amps, and the Tonecraft 363 all tube DI/preamp ($1,500), which is all tube and features a 2-band Baxandall tube EQ circuit derived from the famous Ampeg B-15 studio bass amp. http://www.tonecraftaudio.com/
If you read the OP it doesn't sound like someone working on an endless budget, I’m not 12, I played in studios long enough ago that something like an Ampeg B-15 in the corner was almost normal - before they became gold. I've played bass for over 40 years it's my primary instrument - yes I know a guitar amp isn't a bass amp. My point is a cheap tube guitar amp does often have more headroom than a cheap solid-state bass amp. When I stopped playing live and moved out of the place with my studio, I sold 90% of my gear – at least 5 bass amps, several cabs, I’m down to “only” around 20 guitars and basses. Now I’m space-constrained I've produced quite a few tracks playing bass through small tube guitar heads into my guitar cab, none of the musicians I produce for have ever complained about the bass sounding too wimpy or light. You are a professional with many years experience - yes I respect that – and being a professional you need the best gear, I'm not suggesting any of the above will match high-end studio bass DIs or amp - or it will be usable in a live music situation. I got the feeling this thread wasn't about splashing thousands on the best gear and was trying to impart that I do successfully get a bit of vibe for very little cash using cheap tube guitar amps and the proximity effect of a decent mic to get some fatness – it works – there’s plenty enough bottom end to work with in the mix and it sounds fine - that’s all that matters to me.
Old 20th May 2020
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by gondola View Post
Anything goes, maybe not over 3000€.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scragend View Post
If you read the OP it doesn't sound like someone working on an endless budget, I’m not 12, I played in studios long enough ago that something like an Ampeg B-15 in the corner was almost normal - before they became gold. I've played bass for over 40 years it's my primary instrument - yes I know a guitar amp isn't a bass amp. My point is a cheap tube guitar amp does often have more headroom than a cheap solid-state bass amp. When I stopped playing live and moved out of the place with my studio, I sold 90% of my gear – at least 5 bass amps, several cabs, I’m down to “only” around 20 guitars and basses. Now I’m space-constrained I've produced quite a few tracks playing bass through small tube guitar heads into my guitar cab, none of the musicians I produce for have ever complained about the bass sounding too wimpy or light. You are a professional with many years experience - yes I respect that – and being a professional you need the best gear, I'm not suggesting any of the above will match high-end studio bass DIs or amp - or it will be usable in a live music situation. I got the feeling this thread wasn't about splashing thousands on the best gear and was trying to impart that I do successfully get a bit of vibe for very little cash using cheap tube guitar amps and the proximity effect of a decent mic to get some fatness – it works – there’s plenty enough bottom end to work with in the mix and it sounds fine - that’s all that matters to me.
Read his post above. His budget is 3000 euros. That leaves a lot of room for most anything, and certainly does not suggest a constrained budget. It DOES suggest that he's looking for quality gear.
Old 23rd May 2020
  #22
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REDDI anyone?
Old 25th May 2020
  #23
Gear Addict
 

Checkout Aguilar and Dark Glass
Old 27th May 2020
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gondola View Post
Browsed solid state bass amps @ Thomann and noticed that some of those amps are actually cheaper than a dedicated Bass DI box such as those from Sansamp. Wouldn't it sound bigger and better if i'd record an amp straight into interface compared to using a DI box?

Also you would probably be able to utilize some cab IR's with your real amp as well which probably would sound better or?
There are various reasons for using a DI. Here is some useful information from Whirlwind.

Most modern recording interfaces utilize combo inputs that accept mic/line and High impedance instrument signals. For the most part you don't need a DI for that application unless you are simultaneously recording a bass amp into your DAW.

The DI's on most SS amp's can be used without driving the speakers. That may not be the case with a tube/valve amp.

Most DAW's have some sort of plugin amp sims which means you don't necessarily have to buy anything if this is just for recording.

You need to decide if you need an amp. Using a simple DI won't do anything magical for most amps versus using the onboard DI in the amp if designed properly. Many amp DI's have the ability to be pre or post preamp which is means they can be used like a regular DI.

If you're looking for more over driven sounds you should look for an amp or DI that has a compensated speaker sim type of output. You may also be able to use a speaker sim of some sort in your DAW.
Old 28th May 2020
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tech21NYC View Post
There are various reasons for using a DI. Here is some useful information from Whirlwind.

Most modern recording interfaces utilize combo inputs that accept mic/line and High impedance instrument signals. For the most part you don't need a DI for that application unless you are simultaneously recording a bass amp into your DAW.

The DI's on most SS amp's can be used without driving the speakers. That may not be the case with a tube/valve amp.

Most DAW's have some sort of plugin amp sims which means you don't necessarily have to buy anything if this is just for recording.

You need to decide if you need an amp. Using a simple DI won't do anything magical for most amps versus using the onboard DI in the amp if designed properly. Many amp DI's have the ability to be pre or post preamp which is means they can be used like a regular DI.

If you're looking for more over driven sounds you should look for an amp or DI that has a compensated speaker sim type of output. You may also be able to use a speaker sim of some sort in your DAW.
Many tube amps have a di/pre-amp out option which you can use for a direct tone. However they do require a load-box of suitable rating. Many load-box's have a direct out too. Most SS amps may work without a load, but its the matter of which tone you want.
Old 28th May 2020
  #26
Gear Addict
 

Here is an example of my bass recording no processing just a blend of 3 sources.

Bass > Radial Pro 48
Bass > Aguilar Tone Hammer
Bass > Dark Glass Bk7

For me the Tone Hammer gives me that "clean amp tone but it can really be pushed. HARD"

The Dark Glass gives me the high end sizzle which cuts through really well.

Inspired by Justin Chancellors method of blending 3 sources.
Attached Files

beat_idea_87_BPM - Bass m.mp3 (1.68 MB, 105 views)

beat_2.mp3 (1.26 MB, 103 views)

Old 28th May 2020
  #27
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Yuri Kogan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lethem View Post
Here is an example of my bass recording no processing just a blend of 3 sources.

Bass > Radial Pro 48
Bass > Aguilar Tone Hammer
Bass > Dark Glass Bk7

For me the Tone Hammer gives me that "clean amp tone but it can really be pushed. HARD"

The Dark Glass gives me the high end sizzle which cuts through really well.

Inspired by Justin Chancellors method of blending 3 sources.
I usually do 3 sources
Evil Twin
Phil Jones P1 or Aguilar DB680 pre (sometimes one of the Ampeg SVPs or Darkglass or Alembic)
B15/Aguilar db369/ Glockenklang/ Thunderfunk amp.
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