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Radial DIs-- JDI Duplex vs Pro D2


Dave Ferris

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A friend lent me his Pro D2 last night and I used it on the CP5. I ran into the Di > the A&H ZED10 mixer. Didn't notice much difference if any in the sound. I also tried the Nord Piano through it at my studio and ditto.

 

I had an email into Radial asking about the Pro D2 vs the JDI Duplex. All I got back was -- "The Duplex has a Jensen transformer which is the best money can buy. It has the widest frequency and the warmest sound. You can't go wrong with the Duplex".

 

So what I could gather (not from the Radial site) from a retailer's site was the Pro D2 has the Radial transformer and the Duplex the Jensen.

 

Anyone using the Duplex ?

 

Anyone ever heard one of these ?

http://www.adesignsaudio.com/reddi.html

https://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

 

 NY Steinway D

Yamaha  AvantGrand N3X, P-515

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I use the Duplex in the studio for ALL of my keyboard work, and also while ghosting guitar and bass tracks when a band is incapable of doing proper overdubs )(most bands in my area, in fact, fit this description). It is well worth its price.

 

My keyboard/synth tracks have tightened up considerably since switching to the passive JDI Duplex vs. using active DI's in mic pre-amps.

 

Beware the mono sum though; don't use it except as a convenience factor. You will only get proper phase coherent mono summing (if you're lucky) in your source modules and keyboards.

 

Although I go for transformerless designs when buying mic pre-amps, for the most transparent signal possible, transformers are almost a necessity when going the passive route, to get adequate impedance matching without an actual phantom power based boost stage involved.

 

Jensen transformers are about as clean and transparent as they come. There are two other more recent designs whose names I forget, but commercial products using them are hard to come by in the USA so I settled for the Radial JDI Duplex for now.

Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari

Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, ES295, PM2, EXL1

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As for the Reddi, I know everyone at Gearslutz loves it, but I find it awfully coloured. It's popular for bass recording but I avoid it like the plague. Many people like to colour their signal though. You can hear some examples at basstasters.com.

 

Remember, it is an active DI, not a passive DI. For keyboards and for active pickups, you will want a passive DI in almost every case. Match active DI to passive instruments, and vice-versa.

Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari

Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, ES295, PM2, EXL1

XK1c, Voyager, Prophet XL

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I have the Pro D2 - it does the job well, I like the genuine Jensen transformers (remember them well from the 60's broadcast work), but find that the transformers in the Pro D2 are adequate. They do sound better than the lower priced passive DI's.

 

I bought the D2 so I could use it mono with two keyboards, or mono/stereo with one.

 

We are using the cheap Whirlwind DI's at the church, seem adequate for guitar & bass, I run my keys balanced right into the board (but I'm considering getting another Radial to stay there, so I can also have a feed to my monitor that no one else besides me can change level on - then I'll mix in the overall monitor, but always be able to hear myself. Probably going to get another Pro D2 for the purpose.

 

Howard Grand|Hamm SK1-73|Kurz PC2|PC2X|PC3|PC3X|PC361; QSC K10's

HP DAW|Epi Les Paul & LP 5-str bass|iPad mini2

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

Jim

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http://www.radialeng.com/images/duplex-slice.jpg

 

This is the best tool I use for live playing. The fact that is is bulletproof, sounds great and allows me to eliminate a mixer when using two keyboards in stereo is well worth the price.

 

I'm not a fan of active DIs for most apps. This DI makes me think that I'll never need an active DI for any reason ever.

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Thanks guys , appreciated.

 

From what I can tell Radial doesn't make a two input passive DI (one instrument stereo) in the J series. (Jensen transformer)

 

I'd like to somehow hear the Duplex to see if there's a night and day difference between it and the pro d2. To be honest, I couldn't hear any improvement in the sound using the Pro D2 last night. I still have it...maybe I'll try bypassing the A&H mixer.

 

I have an invitation from Peter Mondessi at A-designs to check out the Reddi. They're just out in West Hills so that's convenient..

https://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

 

 NY Steinway D

Yamaha  AvantGrand N3X, P-515

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I just tried going direct from the pro d2 to the xlr inputs on my rcf tt08a speakers and I think it's a tighter, focused, less digital, harsh sound. Problem is..I'm not getting enough gain on the CP5, everything is maxed out. I think it would be ok for jazz stuff but definitely not enough juice for louder scenarios.

 

The Nord is fine, it has a hotter signal.

 

The A&H ZED has a straight input channel with no mic pres--I'm going to try that now. I still need to use whatever DI I get in conjunction with a mixer because I need the vocal mic.

https://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

 

 NY Steinway D

Yamaha  AvantGrand N3X, P-515

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The standard Radial transformers are much better in my experience than many other DI's. I'm using the 8channel. Jensen transformers are well known as th best you can buy, but I don't know that there's enough of a difference to justify the cost for a live application - you've already got excellent sound quality with the Radal. Maybe in the studio it would be worth it.

 

Btw, if you're handy, you can buy the transformers direct and they provide schematics on their website. This might be preferable if you want a specific package that isn't commercially available, and it would likely be a bit cheaper. The price list is on their site as well. Last time I checked, I think they were about $80 a pop, plus connectors, switches if you want ground lift and/or pad, and case.

Clonk

 

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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Urgh.....couldn't go into the straight input channel on the A&H as they are 1/4" and the Radial outs are XLR, I don't have a special 1/4"/xlr cord to try it with.

 

But I tested it pretty extensively and running straight from the Pro D2 into the speaker, it definitely smoothes out the high end on the CP5. Especially on the D two octaves and a whole step up from middle C on the Simple RII Rhodes sound . Usually that note tears my head off through the speakers. The DI gives it a bit more bite and definition while still keeping that softer Rhodes character particular to the CP rhodes. I actually prefer it now to the celebrated Nord Sparkle Top and bright Tines.

 

Gotta get my hands on a Duplex to try...

https://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

 

 NY Steinway D

Yamaha  AvantGrand N3X, P-515

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Any difference in sound quality between the Radial Pro D2 and the Radial Pro AV2? I assume they are the same except for additional inputs on the AV2.
Nord Stage 88, Roland XP80, Barbetta Amps, and a bunch of stuff gathering dust in the corner.
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The RedDI is designed to emulate the sound of an Ampeg B-15 bass amp. I don't think that kind of coloration is ideal on keyboards.

 

Thanks. I don't think I need to spend $1400-15 on a pair either.

 

I'm returning the Pro D2 to my friend tomorrow and he's gonna let me borrow one of these for grins..

 

http://www.apiaudio.com/3124mb.html

 

Like I said just borrowing for grins out of curiosity sake, ain't going there... :cry:

https://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

 

 NY Steinway D

Yamaha  AvantGrand N3X, P-515

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Jensen transformers are well known as th best you can buy, but I don't know that there's enough of a difference to justify the cost for a live application - you've already got excellent sound quality with the Radal. Maybe in the studio it would be worth it.

 

I have a friend who's a formally trained recording engineer and who's owned his own studio and mastering facility for 18 years, and he does say that for live, the extra cost of Jensens are not necessary and that for live use you wouldn't hear a difference among most passive DIs. He did offer to make me a stereo/two input passive with nice transformers and offered me a menu of items I could choose from to add to this box but what do I know? Virtually nothing. He makes boutique preamps and EQs that seem to be well-received tho, so I guess if I'm willing to wait till he gets around to it I will have a nicer DI to compare to the cheapy I already have.

Original Latin Jazz

CD Baby

 

"I am not certain how original my contribution to music is as I am obviously an amateur." Patti Smith

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I don't have much experience with DIs, but I own a couple of Pro D2s and I've used them live both for stereo keyboards, two mono keyboards, and even two mics. They work really, really well, and the price is right. I use them in the studio as well on occasion, and though I'm thinking the Duplex may work a bit better, to my ears, I don't know if the added cost would be justifiable. Also, I'm thinking of buying an Active DI for my Korg R3, since it doesn't have a hot signal at all, and has given me quite a few problems live.

~ Sean

Juno-60, Juno-G, MicroBrute, MS-20 Mini, PX-5S, R3, etc.

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OK, here's where I get to show how incredibly ignorant and inexperienced I really am, despite my 40-plus years - but a DI box is something I've never even considered that I needed, up until reading this thread. Just how many of you guys out there are actually using these gadgets on a regular basis?

 

Also, in your opinion, do I really need such a thing? To summarise my set-ups:

 

* Live - band: Up till this far, the Nord and the Hammond go into the two stereo channels of my Soundcraft EFX 8 mixer (albeit both in mono). Up until now, we've never done gigs where the mains weren't under my control from the same mixer. Also, because the keys are going into jack inputs, there's no danger of accidentally sending phantom power down the line etc.

 

* Live - solo: Nord Piano direct into back of either my EV monitor or a K10.

 

* Studio - the keys go straight into the rear unbalanced inputs on my Focusrite Saffire Pro 40 interface.

 

Given these set-ups, what is your opinion?

 

a) Basically, I don't really need to use a DI box on a regular basis but it might be handy to at least have in the bag in case of ground-loop buzz at venues, and as an occasionally useful bit of kit in the recording studio? (If that assumption's correct, a more basic solution may suffice, say, Pro D2 versus Duplex?)

 

b) A high quality DI box will make my keyboards sound discernably better anyway. Therefore, this is a piece of kit worth carrying an extra box and two more leads around for, and using all the time.

 

Your thoughts, guys?

Studio: Yamaha P515 | Yamaha Tyros 5 | Yamaha HX1 | Moog Sub 37

Road: Yamaha YC88 | Nord Electro 5D

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I always carry my Switchcraft DI with me to gigs and rehearsals. I bring my QSC K10, but have found that the XLR out is wired direct to the input (or something like that) and can cause nasty issues with FOH mixers. Most places I play are either so small that my K10 is providing my sound for the room, or I'm going into FOH. In the latter case, I plug my keyboard into the Switchcraft, plug their XLR into that out, and plug my K10 into one of the 1/4" thru.

 

Every time I've given direct signal to FOH, it's via an XLR on the stage. Sometimes they have DIs, but sometimes they don't. At one gig, their DI was buzzing like a nest of hornets when I connected to it. I pulled it out and plugged in mine, and it was silent. Then I told them that DI wasn't working right, but I was covered for now.

 

http://www.sweetwater.com/images/items/350/SC800.jpg

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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Aiden:

 

your answer (a) is closest. I carry the Radial DI when I gig at any location that I'm not already familiar with - just for it's ability to ground lift, in the event that it is needed. My usual rig connection is PC3 into QSC K10 (or sometimes two keyboards into the K10). The built-in output of the K10 can be connected to FOH and act as a DI, but it does not have ground lift. I bought the Radial rather than anything cheaper because it gives me ONE box to carry around that will suffice for most any DI need anywhere (two separate channels if I'm using two keyboards); and it is reasonably priced considering that it would be likely to outlast an 18 year old keyboard player, much less me at my age. I don't think that the JDI Duplex additional cost is justifiable for that purpose.

 

It has also been helpful in connecting up my bass guitar when needed to go direct into the FOH mix.

 

It is built with a very solid metal construction, doesn't add a lot of size nor weight in my small gear bag (a JBL EON 10 bag), and I'd much rather carry it and not need it than to have a bad hum problem without it along. I do not use it if not needed, long being a beliver that the fewer things in the audio chain, the less liklihood of trouble (and the quicker setup). Many of my gigs just use my K10 for all of my sound. However, if I am connected to a FOH system in larger venues, I always use it. Just the ability to use whatever AC mains outlet is readily available and not be concerned with AC mains phase caused hum is worth having it.

 

Frankly, a pair of the cheap Whirlwind DI's would probably accomplish my purpose, at $30 each, rather than $150 for the Radial. But this solution does not introduce any audible change in my sound (at least to my ears).

Howard Grand|Hamm SK1-73|Kurz PC2|PC2X|PC3|PC3X|PC361; QSC K10's

HP DAW|Epi Les Paul & LP 5-str bass|iPad mini2

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

Jim

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Aidan, the main use of a DI is to convert your high impedance keyboard outputs to low impedance for running longer lengths to the FOH mixer. They also help isolate ground loops and remove them from your signal before hitting FOH.

 

Therefore if you're doing sound from the stage and your cable runs are under 15 feet, a DI becomes less important. It will still help reduce signal loss and help reject interference and the low impedance will lower the load on your mixer inputs. However, when running short cable lengths the affects on your sound are less substantial.

 

When your playing on bigger stager in bigger venues or outdoor festivals however, DI's become crucial to getting a good sound to the FOH.

 

If you don't carry your own DI's you'll be stuck with what the sound man gives you which is sometimes great, often just adequate and sometimes horrible.

 

Most important thing for me is that the DI's are PASSIVE and not ACTIVE. Active DI's are needed to boost low signals like from a bass with passive pickups or an acoustic guitar pickup with no active preamp. Keyboard output at line level which is much hotter and therefore the active electronics are not needed.

 

In my experience, active DI's harshen the transients and don't have that smooth sound you get from good passive DI's. This is especially noticeable on acoustic piano sounds.

 

As for gauging the quality of a DI, it's easier to rate the lower quality ones because they will affect your tone in someway. A really high quality DI is supposed to get your sound to the FOH with as little coloration and phase distortion as possible.

 

I've yet to try a DI I've liked better than the Radial JDI's with the Jensen transformer.

Ian Benhamou

Keyboards/Guitar/Vocals

 

[url:https://www.facebook.com/OfficialTheMusicalBox/]The Musical Box[/url]

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Oh yeah, many of the provided DIs I've seen including the buzzing one I mentioned are along the lines of the cheaper Whirlwinds. No harm in an equipment upgrade in your signal path for the night!

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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... Just how many of you guys out there are actually using these gadgets on a regular basis?

 

Every gig Aidan. Ground loop switch is great. You can also adjust the level in your monitor without changing volume of what's going to PA.

 

Lastly - read something In Sound On Sound years ago (maybe a Paul White article?) - something about a bit of unwanted voltage on some desks/powered head inputs. This is even with pahantom switched off. Article implied that a DI between your keyboard and the offending input was a good idea.

I'm the piano player "off of" Borrowed Books.
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I always carry my Switchcraft DI with me to gigs and rehearsals. I bring my QSC K10, but have found that the XLR out is wired direct to the input (or something like that) and can cause nasty issues with FOH mixers. Most places I play are either so small that my K10 is providing my sound for the room, or I'm going into FOH. In the latter case, I plug my keyboard into the Switchcraft, plug their XLR into that out, and plug my K10 into one of the 1/4" thru.

 

Every time I've given direct signal to FOH, it's via an XLR on the stage. Sometimes they have DIs, but sometimes they don't. At one gig, their DI was buzzing like a nest of hornets when I connected to it. I pulled it out and plugged in mine, and it was silent. Then I told them that DI wasn't working right, but I was covered for now.

 

http://www.sweetwater.com/images/items/350/SC800.jpg

 

So Joe, is that "thru" a high-level output? I see a pad switch there. It looks and sounds like you do the same thing I would do when going to FOH, which is send the mic cable signal output to FOH, then you are feeding the unchanged signal back to your speaker via the "thru" (mine says "out" for the 1/4-inch but I think that's just semantics). So from the K10's standpoint, it's like going from keyboard straight into the speaker without a DI, right?

 

Obviously of course you need the DI to go FOH and a DI gives you separate control at the speaker of your volume as well as offers ground lift if you need it, whether you are using it for FOH or not ... I guess I'm wondering how many people use a DI between keyboard and single speaker for those small gigs. I carry it around in case I need ground lift but honestly I haven't used it for years; I used to use a Motion Sound KT-80 amp before i bought the EV, and that amp has a DI out built in.

 

I haven't even used my DI for bigger gigs yet, because so far for those rare occasions I've either used acoustic piano or their backline.

Original Latin Jazz

CD Baby

 

"I am not certain how original my contribution to music is as I am obviously an amateur." Patti Smith

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I second the comments that Dave Ferris made, as those were the improvements I noticed as well once I inserted the JDI Duplex into my signal path.

Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari

Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, ES295, PM2, EXL1

XK1c, Voyager, Prophet XL

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So from the K10's standpoint, it's like going from keyboard straight into the speaker without a DI, right?
Yep, AFAIK it's a straight pass-thru.

 

There's the PAD switch on one side and ground lift on the other, and I believe both of these only affect the XLR out.

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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I'm returning the Pro D2 to my friend tomorrow and he's gonna let me borrow one of these for grins..

 

http://www.apiaudio.com/3124mb.html

 

Like I said just borrowing for grins out of curiosity sake, ain't going there... :cry:

 

Oh man...I really, really shouldn't have borrowed this. The sound difference on the NP & CP5 compared to the $300 A&H mixer is pretty substantial..I guess it should be for the price. The whole sound on both are way more detailed and less digitally grating. High ends are more open and airy. The reverbs are a lot clearer on the Nord. Like I said I shouldn't have borrowed this--now I want one.. :cry:

https://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

 

 NY Steinway D

Yamaha  AvantGrand N3X, P-515

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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You get what you pay for. But in a live situation, any decent DI should be good enough. Again, IMHO, for the price, Radial is noticeably better than the cheaper ones, and definitely good enough. Whirlwind, proco, switchcraft are all ok. Had bad luck with Be@%*@er.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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Just to jump in. I have been using a Radial Pro D2 for about 5 years now with zero issues. I use it as a two mono channels setup for my two boards. My FOH guy loves it, and I've never had an issue in any venue with it.

 

 

David

Gig Rig:Roland Fantom-08| Yamaha MODX+ 6 | MacBook Pro 14" M1| Mainstage

 

 

 

 

 

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