The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Active di box with line level output? Direct Injection & Re-amp Boxes
Old 25th December 2010
  #1
Active di box with line level output?

Hi everybody.For a long time i'm searching for a di box that would be suitable for my emu 1212m line level input.I'm in search for a transparent clear as posible guitar sound that i could work with in my DAW.I found that one of that di boxes that i search for is Waves PRS guitar interface.It has guitar input(for guitar with passive pickups like mine).I don't have phantom power wich is great since i don't have it on my Emu1212m card.They say that it is prety transparent and hum free,and that the best way to record guitar is through line level output.It seems that is the right thing for me.I didn't found any video tutorial or heard Waves prs guitar interface,i just read some things about it,so i need you're help.What are your's experiences with this di box?Is this right thing for me,should i go for it?Is there some better di box that does the same thing turns guitar output to a line level input withouth going to external preamp?Cheers.
Old 25th December 2010
  #2
Lives for gear
Without doubt, the best transparent DI i've ever heard/owned is my Creation Audio Labs MW1, in this case its professional level throughout, so you'd have to set your Emu card to +4dBu...i.e. professional level. This is a lot more expensive than the waves prs di box though (waves prs - ~$90, MW1 - $795)...but thats there if you really wanna get into something truly professional and transparent.

Ok now onto the Waves PRS thing, it looks alright, but you pretty much get what you pay for in the audio world. This may be exactly what you need though, some other brands you should be looking at are radial, BSS (the AR-133 can be phantom powered OR battery powered, so you're covered here)...at the end of the day, you won't know which one suits you best until you try them out, try a few in your price range and see which one gets you what you need.
Old 25th December 2010
  #3
Registered User
The Avalon U5 is an industry standard for this application (line level DI). Which means there are far more expensive and exotic solutions, and plenty of cheaper alternatives. But why not get a decent mic preamp with a line input? It won't cost a lot more, and there is much greater choice. You may also want to consider a two channel box. You might be content with DI guitar at the moment, but what happens if you want to add acoustic, or vocals, or a small amp? Even a battery powered Pignose can add something that DI just lacks. With two channels of mic pre, you can do so much more.

There are so many options at all price points. Be wary of cheap semipro stuff - you can waste a lot of time and money by messing around with mediocre gear. 'Upgrading' in incremental or sideways moves is far more costly than buying something of reputable quality in the first place. But experience is more important than gear, so it's better to be recording with cheap stuff than not to be recording at all.
Old 25th December 2010
  #4
Lives for gear
 
DeadPoet's Avatar
Little Labs IBP is a great DI in my book. Clean and solid. Spits out line level.
(And you get a free reamper and phase tool with it! )



Herwig
Old 25th December 2010
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nelson89 View Post
Without doubt, the best transparent DI i've ever heard/owned is my Creation Audio Labs MW1, in this case its professional level throughout, so you'd have to set your Emu card to +4dBu...i.e. professional level. This is a lot more expensive than the waves prs di box though (waves prs - ~$90, MW1 - $795)...but thats there if you really wanna get into something truly professional and transparent.

Ok now onto the Waves PRS thing, it looks alright, but you pretty much get what you pay for in the audio world. This may be exactly what you need though, some other brands you should be looking at are radial, BSS (the AR-133 can be phantom powered OR battery powered, so you're covered here)...at the end of the day, you won't know which one suits you best until you try them out, try a few in your price range and see which one gets you what you need.
I know that radial di class a di but i don't know wich one is for me,as i know they cant use batteries,and they need preamp after they go into the soundcard.
Old 25th December 2010
  #6
bee
Lives for gear
 
bee's Avatar
 

The Eclair Evil Twin is superb!
Old 25th December 2010
  #7
Lives for gear
Maybe its just time to upgrade your interface...as far as i can see you're really limiting your options if you want it specifically active without phantom power...there's like a big jump when it hits about the $250 area money wise...you increase your options a bit more if you have a preamp handy, and you increase your options even more on top of that if you have a different interface with instrument inputs, line inputs, phantom power...etc etc...however i'm not particularly intimate with the intricacies of your setup or how you've got your workflow going for you...just a suggestion none the less...
Old 25th December 2010
  #8
Lives for gear
 
Red 7's Avatar
Little labs Red Eye is fantastic multifunction tool. DI and reamping and you can play through your amp at the same time as you are recording D.I. signal to your computer.
Old 25th December 2010
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red 7 View Post
Little labs Red Eye is fantastic multifunction tool. DI and reamping and you can play through your amp at the same time as you are recording D.I. signal to your computer.
As i can see this thing is tube,they say that tube preamps are not transparent,they bring their color into recording.What about gap pre-73 it has di input on it?
Old 25th December 2010
  #10
Lives for gear
Tube anything can be pretty transparent if you don't drive it...onto the GAP pre73...GREAT little piece...also imparts a kind of colour, but again if you're not driving the input, then it can be pretty transparent.

My question though....why is a little colour so bad? I could understand if say you were reamping or what not, but it sounds as if you're just going to record straight into the DAW and probably use an emulation...and i can tell you, the best emulation sounds i've got out of a DAW were from coloured pre's...
Old 25th December 2010
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nelson89 View Post
Tube anything can be pretty transparent if you don't drive it...onto the GAP pre73...GREAT little piece...also imparts a kind of colour, but again if you're not driving the input, then it can be pretty transparent.

My question though....why is a little colour so bad? I could understand if say you were reamping or what not, but it sounds as if you're just going to record straight into the DAW and probably use an emulation...and i can tell you, the best emulation sounds i've got out of a DAW were from coloured pre's...
I'm not profesional,so when i record my music it is already dirty.That is why i need clear guitar signal into my daw.If i get good recording at the start it will be a lot easier to me.
Old 25th December 2010
  #12
Lives for gear
A clear guitar signal and a transparent guitar signal are two entirely different things...something like the GAP pre73, while not transparent will still get you a good sound at the start...some may argue the slight colouration helps your sound...remember when people say colouration, its not so dramatic if you don't want it to be...obviously you can really crank it into some fairly different things, but if you err on the conservative side, you end up with a slight colouration that gets described as "warmth" once you've mixed a few tracks together...
Old 25th December 2010
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nelson89 View Post
A clear guitar signal and a transparent guitar signal are two entirely different things...something like the GAP pre73, while not transparent will still get you a good sound at the start...some may argue the slight colouration helps your sound...remember when people say colouration, its not so dramatic if you don't want it to be...obviously you can really crank it into some fairly different things, but if you err on the conservative side, you end up with a slight colouration that gets described as "warmth" once you've mixed a few tracks together...
Nice avice.
It would help if people that are making virtual guitar amps tell us what did they use while they were making guitar rig,amplitube,revaler .....
Old 25th December 2010
  #14
Lives for gear
 
Daedalus77's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by disco violence View Post
As i can see this thing is tube,they say that tube preamps are not transparent,they bring their color into recording.What about gap pre-73 it has di input on it?
The Little Labs is NOT tube. You are thinking of the A-Designs REDDI.
Old 25th December 2010
  #15
Lives for gear
 
subspace's Avatar
I was shopping for the same thing a year ago, instrument input to line level output, and ended up getting the Focusrite ISA One. The instrument thru jack was a must have feature for me as I needEd to be able to feed a live amp as well as an amp sim. I wanted it transparent to capture the pickup's output as cleanly as possible, which the active transformerless DI does. I use a Little Labs RedEye into the mic pre side as well for bass, which is great when I'm looking to use the sound of the DI itself in the mix, but the transformer in both the DI and the mic pre definitely adds color that's not there on the active DI side.
It's more functionality than you're asking for, but it happens to accel in this application. You'd get the ISA mic pre with switchable insert on one channel, the instrument pre with thru output on the second channel, and the Emu's stereo output could feed the stereo headphone amp allowing you to flip from monitoring the input signal to the Emu's output. Kind of a tidy combo, though I've got no idea what you already have for monitoring...
Old 26th December 2010
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwi View Post
The Avalon U5 is an industry standard for this application (line level DI). Which means there are far more expensive and exotic solutions, and plenty of cheaper alternatives. But why not get a decent mic preamp with a line input?
Because a normal line level input is not the correct impedance for a DI. A DI has to have a high enough impedance to avoid loading a HiZ magnetic pickup - greater than 1 Meg Ohm for an active DI, at least 50K-100K for a passive transformer DI. A typical line input is only 5K-10K which simply isn't high enough. You can run the output of most (not all) keyboards into a line in as they typically have a LoZ output (exceptions include all electro-mechanical keyboards such as Rhodes, Wurlitzer piano, Clavinet, Hohner pianet & Cembalet, etc), but 95% of all electric guitars and basses will suffer tone degradation and decreased level (the exceptions being instruments equipped with LoZ active electronics.)

There are preamps that have a dedicated DI input, but this will be labeled as such and will be separate from the line in or will have a switch to select between DI and line.

The Avalon is a very good unit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by disco violence View Post
As i can see this thing is tube,they say that tube preamps are not transparent,they bring their color into recording.What about gap pre-73 it has di input on it?
That's BS if it's a well designed unit. High quality tube circuitry is as clean of cleaner than transistor circuitry.

That "tube dirt" myth got started as hype from makers of cheap gear who throw a tube into a transistor design to allegedly "warm up" the sound - usually the tube in these units isn't even operating in a properly designed circuit at all, but is used in "starved plate" mode at much lower voltage than it was designed to be used at. When you run a tube designed for operation at 250 volts or more on a 12 or 15 volt power supply (or even 25 or 30 volts) of course it's going to distort.

If a unit is high quality it will be clean regardless of whether it's tube or solid state. If you buy cheap junk you get what you pay for.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nelson89 View Post
Tube anything can be pretty transparent if you don't drive it
In most cases you can drive tube gear significantly harder than solid state gear. When solid state gear starts breaking up it usually sounds a lot worse than tube gear.

Of course it depends on the design. But for units of similar design spec you can almost always hit the tube unit harder.
Old 26th December 2010
  #17
Lives for gear
 
Red 7's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by disco violence View Post
As i can see this thing is tube,they say that tube preamps are not transparent,they bring their color into recording.What about gap pre-73 it has di input on it?
Red Eye

It's passive and it definitely isn't tube.
Old 26th December 2010
  #18
Registered User
Sorry - I meant a preamp with an "Instrument" input. They are often called Line input, but they are intended for use with guitar, bass, synth - whatever. Unbalanced hi-z "consumer" line input if you prefer. If your preamp has plenty of gain range it's semantics really.

An example is my API A2D. The Line inputs are called "Line" inputs, but the A2D sounds fantastic for DI bass or guitar. Colored, but in a really good way.
Old 26th December 2010
  #19
Lives for gear
 

I own the Waves PRS and I think it's great. I use it specifically for using with amp simulators. I was previously using the built in DI of my Protools 003 Rack. When I got the PRS and started using it, it was a significant upgrade in quality.

Note that it uses 2 9-volt batteries, but can also take an AC adapter. It does not come with the adapter and you have to look around to find a generic one that's compatible, but I recommend doing this if you plan on using it a lot.
Old 26th December 2010
  #20
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post


In most cases you can drive tube gear significantly harder than solid state gear. When solid state gear starts breaking up it usually sounds a lot worse than tube gear.

Of course it depends on the design. But for units of similar design spec you can almost always hit the tube unit harder.
I don't get what point you're trying to make? My initial point was that when you drive tube it starts to impart colour the more you drive it...and i've actually found that most solid state stuff has a little more headroom, however tube is more pleasant when it does start to break up...but its all source dependent of course...i wouldn't go as far as saying solid state sounds outright worse when its driven, just different...hell trident and neve wouldn't have a name if solid state sounded outright worse when its driven...of course its different for guitar amps, but mic pre's are an entirely different story...
Old 26th December 2010
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by nst7 View Post
I own the Waves PRS and I think it's great. I use it specifically for using with amp simulators. I was previously using the built in DI of my Protools 003 Rack. When I got the PRS and started using it, it was a significant upgrade in quality.

Note that it uses 2 9-volt batteries, but can also take an AC adapter. It does not come with the adapter and you have to look around to find a generic one that's compatible, but I recommend doing this if you plan on using it a lot.
So you are satisfied how waves prs works.Unfortunately there is no video review of this di box(be first to review it)I don/t know why but i got a felling that this is a thing that i'm loking for.What adapter is compatibile with it?
Old 26th December 2010
  #22
Lives for gear
 

I'm not sure exactly on the adapter. If you call Waves sales, they might be able to recommend one. There's specs for the power supply listed in the manual that comes with it. You might be able to go to Radio Shack and find one. I also checked B & H Photo, and they had several different types that might work.

I think this is a great solution if you're on a budget. To get this quality you'd have to spend a lot more money, most likely on a good preamp that has a good DI built in.

I'm hoping to get something like that in the next month or two. If I do that, I would probably sell my PRS. But I don't know if you could wait that long.

Also, keep in mind that if you own Waves Mercury Bundle, I believe you're entitled to get one of these free. It's unofficial, but I think several people have mentioned it.
Old 27th December 2010
  #23
if you have the cash, avalon...if you're a regular person, the Radial JDI is basically the best passive DI dollar for dollar in the world, and will probably outlive you to boot.
Old 27th December 2010
  #24
Lives for gear
 

Active di box with line level output?

So you don't actually want a DI you want a mic pre with instrument inputs? Well, there are plenty of great choices.
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
dj_who / So much gear, so little time
8
geoffroy / So much gear, so little time
0
loglady / So much gear, so little time
6
Umlaaat / So much gear, so little time
7

Forum Jump
Forum Jump