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Bass Guitar DI's Direct Injection & Re-amp Boxes
Old 27th December 2010
  #1
Gear Head
 
Enuncia's Avatar
 

Bass Guitar DI's

I'm currently looking into the purchase of a DI box for my bass guitar. I play a Schecter Hellraiser 5 (5-string bass) with EMG 32Hz Active pickups. I have used a Radial J48 active DI box, but I wasn't all that impressed with the tone (bass sounded very tubby). I had a Sans Amp Bass Drive DI suggested to me, but I've not had an opportunity to listen to it, plus I'm not looking for something with built-in overdrive and FX (maybe EQ, but not much else), and something that can put out mic level (the pre's at my school are all wired through the patch bay into the mic level inputs, and I don't want to break one and owe the school some money). I mostly play hard rock/metal, but some of the groups I play in range through just about every genre, so versatility would be nice.

Would any y'all be willing to pass along any advice on what DI's have worked for you on electric bass guitar? Thanks for any help.
Old 27th December 2010
  #2
A Designs REDDI - Hands down the best bass DI ever and IMHO the best DI for everything.
Old 27th December 2010
  #3
Gear Nut
 
Jon Estes's Avatar
 

+ 1 REDDI, best DI out there.

The SansAmp is awesome too.

Actually, for rock, using these 2 DI's together is a magic combo. (SansAmp dirty + REDDI clean)

Also, there are no phasing issues when you use 2 DI's, unlike trying to use an amp + DI which can be really problematic in my experience.
Old 27th December 2010
  #4
Another vote for the REDDI, it's completely smoked everything else I've used.

I was reluctant to spend so much on a DI, but I'm glad I did and will never look back.
Old 27th December 2010
  #5
Lives for gear
 
davey boy's Avatar
 

Ditto on the REDDI. Also, you don't need any more gain in conjunction with it (unless you want it). I usually just go bass into the REDDI and then into a compressor. I can boost the gain a little if needed with the compressor. You could use this thing with a dynamic mic as well as a mic pre, even though I haven't tried it.
Old 27th December 2010
  #6
Gear Head
 
Enuncia's Avatar
 

Thanks for the replies!

I've never heard of that DI before, and upon some research, that does look like a very strong box. My only concern is that I'm working off a college kid budget, and can't exactly drop $715 on something like that right now. Is there something that's also good that's a little more budget friendly? Or perhaps I just wince my way through the school's less than ideal DI's and save up?
Old 27th December 2010
  #7
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enuncia View Post
Thanks for the replies!

I've never heard of that DI before, and upon some research, that does look like a very strong box. My only concern is that I'm working off a college kid budget, and can't exactly drop $715 on something like that right now. Is there something that's also good that's a little more budget friendly? Or perhaps I just wince my way through the school's less than ideal DI's and save up?
Save up, you won't regret it later on...i'm also a student, so i used to buy "budget friendly" gear...sometimes you're lucky and you hit up on some good gems...but more often you'll end up with crap that you never use 6 months to a year later and can't sell because its not worth anything...just take a look at my cupboard haha...
Old 27th December 2010
  #8
Lives for gear
 
loujudson's Avatar
Have you tried a simpler DI? I carry two kinds in my live sound rig, passvie and active - simple IMPS or other transformer types for active instruments such as yours, and Countryman type 85 for pasive instruments.

I'm not saying they will be better than the expensive ones recommended above, but have you tried them?

I bought three J48s last year but have not really found them any better than the Countryman 85s.
Old 27th December 2010
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Chris Parsons's Avatar
 

Summit TD-100 does it for me almost every time.
Old 27th December 2010
  #10
Gear Head
 
Maximum Sound's Avatar
 

Bass Guitar DI's

Great river straight it's sick too...love the radial stuff...never got
A "tubby" tone from
It...must be the player....
Old 27th December 2010
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enuncia View Post
Thanks for the replies!

I've never heard of that DI before, and upon some research, that does look like a very strong box. My only concern is that I'm working off a college kid budget, and can't exactly drop $715 on something like that right now. Is there something that's also good that's a little more budget friendly? Or perhaps I just wince my way through the school's less than ideal DI's and save up?
Save up, it's worth it.

You can find them used for $450-500 too.
Old 27th December 2010
  #12
Lives for gear
 

Bass Guitar DI's

Avalon u5 anyone?
Old 27th December 2010
  #13
Registered User
With the active EMG pups being low-z and battery powered, have you tried going directly into your A/D converter? One of the advantages of EMGs ...
Old 27th December 2010
  #14
Lives for gear
 
DeadPoet's Avatar
I've never heard anyone call a Radial DI tubby... I'm guessing you'l find a Reddi even more tubby then...

Do you rely on EQ on your bass when you record? If so I would try backing off that first before investing in a new DI.


Oh, and it's my opinion that there's more of a tone difference in the preamp you send your DI into than in different DI's...
Any BSS, Countryman, Radial,... should do just fine.




Herwig
Old 28th December 2010
  #15
Lives for gear
 
Slikjmuzik's Avatar
 

Most of what everyone is recommending seems to be a bit on a Conway studio budget. He clearly said he's in college. Dude, try the countryman type85. Always works for me. In fact, one of my favorite setups is not very expensive at all, It's my pbass with wuarter pounders in it and a badass bridge into the countryman and into my Focusrite Octopre. I have Burl, Five Fish, Manley, Vintech and the Octopre, for rock, takes the cake for me. If you wanna hear what it sounds like, PM me.
Old 28th December 2010
  #16
Lives for gear
 

Get an Orchid Active DI shipped over from the UK.

It uses the same Jensen transformer as a Radial box but is hand-made in a little electronics workshop in the countryside and checked individually so you'll not get any issues.

Sound excellent and all the people round here swear by them.
Old 28th December 2010
  #17
Lives for gear
 
loujudson's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by therealbigd View Post
Get an Orchid Active DI shipped over from the UK.

It uses the same Jensen transformer as a Radial box but is hand-made in a little electronics workshop in the countryside and checked individually so you'll not get any issues.

Sound excellent and all the people round here swear by them.
But - these are active. Do they have a tensformer too?

Here's another excellent active DI - small and simple and great!
Avenson Audio
$80 at Mercenary.
L
Old 28th December 2010
  #18
Registered User
An active DI usually doesn't have a transformer, but there is no reason why it can't. A passive DI can only be a transformer.

Transformers have a sound that - imo - benefits bass.

Transformers offer true galvanic isolation. Active DI boxes that don't have a transformer can introduce ground loop hum because they require power, and have no isolation from the next unit (preamp or converter) that also requires power. If there is any potential difference between the electrical grounds for both boxes, current can flow in the signal shields - causing hum. Usually these boxes have a ground lift switch which might minimise the hum.

A general rule of thumb: passive pickup - active DI. Active pickup - passive DI.

Some of the thinking behind this is that passive pickups need buffering as soon as possible. Active pups are already buffered, and hence a passive DI will work very well with the advantage of low noise and transformer tone. By removing all the circuitry of DI and preamp, this should be the cleanest, fullest DI sound. It's a question of taste - for vintage "tubby" bass sounds you don't want clean or full, you might want all the distortion and coloration of a tube DI ...

Depending on genre and aesthetic taste, you may not want transformer tone. You might prefer the cleaner, brighter, tighter full range short-path DI tone.

EMG's active pups are low-z, and they don't actually need a DI. Read about it at their site. Seriously - try it direct to your a/d or interface. You might be surprised. And with battery power, no worries about ground loop hum.
Old 28th December 2010
  #19
Lives for gear
 
loujudson's Avatar
Thanks Kiwi, I hope your desription helps the OP. Very accurate.
On another hand, one of the best bass tones I ever got was an active bass into the direct input of a Digi 002 - just tried it for the heck of it and it sounded fabulous!

But for the OP I think a Countryman or the Avenson wil do you well, they are abotu the same price.

L
Old 28th December 2010
  #20
Registered User
Sorry - I didn't fully read the OP, and I see now that it is about live rather than recording, and requires mic level output. The direct EMG thing is really for studio use, where short run unbalanced cables are ok.

Frankly, I would use a Radial JDI. It's used by many top session players. No batteries, no hum, no worries.
Old 28th December 2010
  #21
Lives for gear
I have a great river and love it di on bass! I go di with my api more and get it hot without clipping...sit great in the mix. College kid here and I saved my loans and decided to work a lot to pay my own way so I could use some loan money. Had decent gear for years and dropped 5g to complete my studio. More clients for sure and pushed me to work harder knowing Im the only weak link now. Lunchbox has 3 open slots :p gearslutz has been quit a influence ha. My love of playing,mixing and gear has cost me a few girlfriends.

What's for lunch? What's for dinner? Ramen! But that lunchbox is filling out!
Old 28th December 2010
  #22
Tone Bone... 2 channels, tone control, xlr out, tuner out... it is excellent. I use it in studio and on my live pedalboard. Price is right!
Old 28th December 2010
  #23
Gear Nut
 

There's Clips of bass DI comparison at the preamp section, check it out.

basstasters.com || welcome
Old 28th December 2010
  #24
Gear Nut
 
Jon Estes's Avatar
 

Just reread this post -- and realized that if you can't get a good sound with your Radial, I don't think the REDDI is gonna fix your problem.

Maybe it's the bass...

Also - for rock/metal, recording with an amp could be more the way to go.

Thought I'd chime in before you felt compelled to spend $700.
Old 28th December 2010
  #25
Lives for gear
Little Labs redeye!! I'll never use anything else.
Old 28th December 2010
  #26
Lives for gear
 
Silvertone's Avatar
Best bass DI (IMHO) is the Evil Twin by Eclair Engineering... period end of story.

Second best is a tie between a REDDI and a Retrospec Juice box

Third is the Avalon U5

I do have a couple custom stereo ones (for my Chapman Stick) that will better the above boxes as well but since these are not commercial products I won't bother to list them.

Good luck in your quest, try them all (I did), listen and figure out witch one works best for you.

I may be doing an article on this very subject very soon.
Old 28th December 2010
  #27
Lives for gear
 
Unclenny's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Randall View Post
been using a BBE DI-1000 with the Jensen transformer and Sonic Maximizer on board for bass lately... It does it's thing pretty well
I use the same unit.

I know that the Sonic Maximizer gets abused pretty badly hereabouts, but it does help in sculpting a bass sound.

EDIT:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Estes View Post
+ 1 REDDI, best DI out there.

The SansAmp is awesome too.

Actually, for rock, using these 2 DI's together is a magic combo.
Used this setup recently on a track in the big studio (JDL Project) and it was a religious experience.
Old 28th December 2010
  #28
Lives for gear
 
Sigma's Avatar
Sigma Sound Studios

Quote:
The day Sigma opened its doors and the 35 years that followed it was the only DI I used for recording musician like Ronnie Baker, Gerald Veasley, Steve Beskrone, Bob Babbitt, Anthony Jackson and many others.
LOL i have the original unit..made with a budd box with the transformer mounting on top
Old 28th December 2010
  #29
Gear Maniac
 
bassguy6's Avatar
 

I have been using the Aguilar Tonehammer with excellent results.
Aguilar Amplification: Bass Pedals, Bass Pickups, Bass Preamps, Bass Amplifiers, and Bass Speaker Cabinets
Old 29th December 2010
  #30
Lives for gear
 
Unclenny's Avatar
Yeah.....I come out of the BBE and into the preamp of my Trident strip.

By the time I'm done tweaking the tasty EQ and compressor on that unit I'm usually smiling.
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