Jump to content


Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

Direct (D.I.) Box recommendations


Recommended Posts

I've decided to add a direct box to my live rig.

 

Two, actually. Since I'm stereo, I'll either get two, or one two-channel model.

 

Just wondering if anyone has any specific recommendations, positive or negative on specific models.

 

I'm not looking for a list of d.i. boxes, I can do that myself. Rather, I'm trying to get specific recommendations - do you have experiences, good or bad, with specific models. What do you like or dislike about them compared to other brands/models.

 

Since I only need these occasionally (sound guys usually have their own anyway), one of the things I have to decide is how much to spend, whether it's worth it to go for higher quality (Radial JDI for example), or whether I can get away with one of the lower-priced ones (Whirlwind IMP-2 for example).

 

I'm pretty sure I want a passive d.i.

Link to comment
Share on other sites



  • Replies 24
  • Created
  • Last Reply

I use two Whirlwind Director passive boxes. They work great and are built well.

 

For live use, passive is fine. No batteries to worry about. :thu:

 

Tom

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
Link to comment
Share on other sites

FWIW, Floyd, I picked up a Yorkville 2-channel passive DI for $75 CDN at L&M... not the best unit, but it was within my budget at the time, and has served me pretty well. Ground lift per channel, and parallel inputs so I can run each channel to my personal monitor as I like.

 

What I like most is that it's the same size as a Whirlwind single-channel DI, so it packs away nice and neat.

 

Of course, it doesn't have the best components, but for the variety of gigs I'm doing, it covers what I need. For larger stages, and outdoor 'festival' dates and such, the production company will supply their own higher-end DI's, so it works out just fine. ;)

 

As with anything, though, YMMV. :cool:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The absolute best DI box I have ever used is the BSS AR-133. Looks like this:

 

http://img3.musician.com/dbase/pics/products/tn/4/3/3/410433.jpg

 

I owned one for several years, but lately have been working with sound crews that have several, so I actually sold mine for whatever silly reason. I'd prefer to carry one less item and rely upon the sound crew. The BSS DI box is ultra quiet, excellent ground lifting (never had hum with it even in the oddest power conditions) and it also is flexible in terms of having XLR and 1/4" inputs. I usually run the XLR outs from my KT80 amps into the DI box (running straight to the PA provides extra noise/hum and no ground lift on the KT80). Most regular DIs only accept 1/4" input, so a series of adapters would be required to jump the XLR down to 1/4".

 

I've also seen a rackmount DI box (I think it was in this month's Keyboard Magazine article by Fortner) and that looks pretty slick for running multiple lines.

 

One thing that is a bit confounding to me, since I don't carry a mixer, is when I need to send multiple DI lines to the FOH and my combo amps. One soundman prefers stereo to FOH and wants to mix each keyboard separately. So summing them out of my KT80s is out the window - he uses 4 DI boxes or 6 if I happen to have a 3rd keyboard on the gig. This makes for a lot of wires on the stage.

 

Regards,

Eric

 

I also used a pair of Rapco DI boxes for a long time (still have those) and they were fine.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Eric and everyone,

 

That green rackmount DI is the Radial JD-6. You could use it to run three keyboards in stereo, giving the FOH engineer total control of your mix and you total control of your onstage mix. That's probably overkill for most real-world situations, though, seeing as if you get two channels from the FOH for your keys, you're lucky.

 

I carry a Radial JDI Duplex everywhere I go - it's stereo, with a lot of merging and signal routing options. Radial stuff is also built like a tank - some drunk rushes the stage, just throw it at 'im!

Stephen Fortner

Principal, Fortner Media

Senior Editor, Music Player Network

Former Editor in Chief, Keyboard Magazine

Digital Piano Consultant, Piano Buyer Magazine

 

Industry affiliations: Antares, Arturia, Giles Communications, MS Media, Polyverse

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

http://www.countryman.com/html_data_sheets/t85data.html

 

These are the ones I see in top studios. They've been around for years and are still the first choice 95% of the time. Of course, I've never used them live, but thought it worth mentioning.

 

A quick search found them HERE

to give you an idea of the cost.

Don't rush me. I'm playing as slowly as I can!

 

www.stevenathanmusic.com

https://apple.co/2EGpYXK

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Stephen Fortner:

Radial stuff is also built like a tank - some drunk rushes the stage, just throw it at 'im!

Stephen -

 

I like your style. :thu::D

 

Rock on.

 

Tom

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Floyd Tatum:

Originally posted by forceman:

Radial ProD2 ain't too shabby, either...

What is it you like about it, compared to other d.i.'s?
It is simple, built like a tank (like Stephen said), clean, and very affordable.

 

I must admit: I haven't done a "Bake-off" between all available products (I suspect Mr. Fortner has) so please take this into consideration. :wave:

Steve Force,

Durham, North Carolina

--------

My Professional Websites

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've got three Radial JDIs in my case. Not the cheapest, but I expect them to outlive me and be passed down to future generations of cover band hacks. Uses have inlcuded;

 

1- My Motif will buzz a bit on some stages. DI between Motif and keyboard amp.

2- Line out on the keyboard amp sometimes makes the FOH board buzz. DI between them.

3- Too lazy to bring the amp? The JDI has a MERGE button that mixes two unbalanced 1/4" inputs to an XLR output. Plug straight into the PA.

4- I play guitar on a few songs, and use a POD XT Live into my keyboard amp. FOH gets a split from the DI so I hear myself through the amp, and the audience hears me through FOH.

 

... and what Stephen Fortner said. That, and its great to hold down set lists on windy stages when you run out of gaffa tape.

 

I think the only difference between the Radial JDI and the Radial Pro is the transformer, but I could be wrong. http://www.radialeng.com/ is their webbie.

"More tools than talent"

Motif ES7:Kurzweil PC1x:Electro 2 73:Nord Lead 3:MKS-80:Matrix 1000:Microwave XT

Link to comment
Share on other sites

based on testing with the few DI's I have, you must make sure that if you choose a passive DI that it has a Jensen matching transformer. I compared the Rapco DB-100 (with the Jensen) to a ProCo CB-1, and the amount of bass is much greater and a overall cleaner signal. I think many of the very good DI's mentioned above also use the Jensen transformers.
Hammond T-582A, Casio WK6600, Behringer D
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Hammodel AV:

based on testing with the few DI's I have, you must make sure that if you choose a passive DI that it has a Jensen matching transformer. I compared the Rapco DB-100 (with the Jensen) to a ProCo CB-1, and the amount of bass is much greater and a overall cleaner signal. I think many of the very good DI's mentioned above also use the Jensen transformers.

There are active DI's available, like some of the ones mentioned above (BSS AR-133, Countryman Type 85, etc), but I would like to get a passive di. For passives, conventional wisdom seems to have it that Jensen tranformers are the best. This is one of the issues I'm considering - whether it's worth the money to go for a higher-end di with a Jensen transformer (which is supposed be very transparent and not alter the sound very much).

 

Like I said, when I work bigger gigs, sound guys usually have their own good-quality di's. So, I only need my own DI's occasionally, so I think I might be willing to compromise a bit (but hopefully not too much) on sound quality to save some $$$ (which are in short supply for me right now).

 

Sven, I remember trying a pair of Yorkville di (YDP-1P) a few years ago, and my recollection is that I thought they had a negative effect on my sound. Now, I realize that they're lower-priced, non-jensen-tranformer DI's, and so are some of the other ones mentioned (Whirlwind Director).

 

So, for those of you using non-Jensen tranformers, how are your impressions of whatever you're using in terms of how much it colours your sound? Have you compared different models, and prefer one over another, for sound quality?

 

Another thing I'm considering is form factor. I know that recessed inputs are a good thing, but I'd rather have non-recessed inputs. Some of my cables have 90-degree connectors. Also, I like the inputs to be spaced well-apart. Some of my connectors are bulky, and I've run into situations where there's not enough room for two of them close together on some di's. Anybody have any comments along those lines (other than 'get new cables', which of course is an option).

 

The Radial ProD2 for instance - are the 1/4" inputs recessed? (I can only find a picture of the XLR inputs on the web). If they are recessed, how much? And how far apart are the 1/4" inputs spaced?

 

Originally posted by Unsound Practices:

I think the only difference between the Radial JDI and the Radial Pro is the transformer, but I could be wrong.

That could be a big difference!

 

Originally posted by Hammodel AV:

I compared the Rapco DB-100 (with the Jensen) to a ProCo CB-1, and the amount of bass is much greater and a overall cleaner signal.

Hammodel, are you sure the Rapco DB100 uses a Jensen transformer? I found a description of it online that mentioned a proprietary transformer. Also, I searched for prices, and it seems to sell for $25 in some places - too low for a Jensen transformer! On the other hand, Jensen does mention Rapco as one of the companies that use their passive transformer. But maybe it's a different model than the DB-100.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Floyd Tatum:

 

The Radial ProD2 for instance - are the 1/4" inputs recessed? (I can only find a picture of the XLR inputs on the web). If they are recessed, how much? And how far apart are the 1/4" inputs spaced?

 

Below plug would be a problem.

http://www.tait-components.com/images/ProductImages/531223.jpg

 

Below plug--absolutely no issues.

 

http://www.klotz-ais.com/quickorder/pix/a/v/1048503324-7074.jpg

 

(Am referring to the type of connector, not the size of the photos! :D )

Steve Force,

Durham, North Carolina

--------

My Professional Websites

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by forceman:

Below plug--absolutely no issues.

When you say absolutely no issues - don't forget that there would normally be four 1/4" cables plugged into the 'input' end (since we're talking about the ProD2): two inputs (from instrument) and two 'THRU's (to amplifier).

 

So, could four 90-degree cables be plugged into it with no issues? If it's recessed, I don't see how that's possible.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Floyd Tatum:

Originally posted by forceman:

Below plug--absolutely no issues.

When you say absolutely no issues - don't forget that there would normally be four 1/4" cables plugged into the 'input' end (since we're talking about the ProD2): two inputs (from instrument) and two 'THRU's (to amplifier).

 

So, could four 90-degree cables be plugged into it with no issues? If it's recessed, I don't see how that's possible.

No issues whatsoever.

 

Although there is indeed a "lip" (protruding edge) on the case (to protect the switches, etc) the 1/4 inch jacks themselves are just a very slight fraction below the lip.

 

To verify it, I placed four Hosea 90-degree patch cables into my ProD2 with no problems whatsoever (they rotated freely over the "lip")

Steve Force,

Durham, North Carolina

--------

My Professional Websites

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by forceman:

No issues whatsoever.

 

Although there is indeed a "lip" (protruding edge) on the case (to protect the switches, etc) the 1/4 inch jacks themselves are just a very slight fraction below the lip.

 

To verify it, I placed four Hosea 90-degree patch cables into my ProD2 with no problems whatsoever (they rotated freely over the "lip")

Thanks.

 

How do you like the sound of the ProD2 (or, ideally, lack thereof)? Have you compared it to the JDI?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No, unfortunately haven't had the opportunity to A/B these devices.

 

If someone has please comment!

 

I do find the signal very clean and all annoying hums, buzzes, etc. inherent in live settings are h-i-s-t-o-r-y.

 

I also use it for my modest recording sessions and the signal is IMO very clean.

Steve Force,

Durham, North Carolina

--------

My Professional Websites

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i have the behringer 2 in 1 DI...i cant think of the name...it was 40 bux, will do active, or phantom power, and is the toughest piece of behringer gear i've ever touched. a couple of switches to set it up, and the jacks...very simple, and smaller than a boss pedal.
so, its not so much about curing it as it is about hiding it...to help spread it faster
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...