Active DI

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Active DI

Postby josh porter » Thu Mar 05, 2009 4:36 pm

I'm looking for an active DI box and was wondering where is a good place to get them and how much I should expect to pay. I tried calling some music stores around the city and most places I tried said that they had no idea what I was talking about.

Any info would be greatly accepted.
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Postby Mathieu Benoit » Thu Mar 05, 2009 4:55 pm

Cool... What's your budget?

http://www.radialeng.com/re-products.htm

These guys make some of the best DIs out there, but they can be pricey...

J48 is your best bet probably and will run close to $250 give or take.
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Postby Malcolm Boyce » Thu Mar 05, 2009 6:16 pm

I've had great luck with the LA Audio actives, as well as the older SCV actives that predate the LA Audio version.

http://www.laaudio.com/product_Di2_1371.aspx

I believe D&D sound is the local dealer for these.
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Postby Alain Benoit » Thu Mar 05, 2009 10:21 pm

First of all why do you want an active D.I. over a passive one?
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Postby Malcolm Boyce » Fri Mar 06, 2009 12:04 am

Alain Benoit wrote:First of all why do you want an active D.I. over a passive one?
Be polite...

Answer first, then question.
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Postby Alain Benoit » Fri Mar 06, 2009 12:09 am

How about another question instead?


I get asked literally on a daily basis; "Hey Al what kinda _______ should I get for my ________?"

My answer is usually the most expensive in whatever category fits.

So in your case I would have said this.

Now going back and assuming your budget is more around $250 I'd suggest this one.

Now it is a passive D.I. But if you're not limiting yourself to active D.I.'s only, then your choice within your budget will expand to include many great jems.


My point is, tell me what your budget is, and I will fit the best possible product I can think of for the intended application(s).
Last edited by Alain Benoit on Fri Mar 06, 2009 12:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Malcolm Boyce » Fri Mar 06, 2009 12:17 am

I agree. Budget first, then choose from the options that fit into it.
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Postby Alain Benoit » Fri Mar 06, 2009 12:19 am

Alain Benoit wrote:So in your case I would have said this.



Had I been being impolite. :shock:
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Postby josh porter » Fri Mar 06, 2009 8:29 am

Well my budget is around 250 to 300. I would prefer an active DI but if I can find a good passive one, I would gladly use that.
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Postby Alain Benoit » Fri Mar 06, 2009 8:39 am

Well if you're open to a passive I wholeheartedly reccomend the RedEye.
It is a stellar sounding D.I. on active basses. As you likely noticed it doubles as a great quality reamp box with passive level control by way of a 'mode' switch.
It is my first call stand alone D.I.
It also is within your budget.
See here.
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Postby Alain Benoit » Fri Mar 06, 2009 4:06 pm

So...............................................................................................
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Postby Alain Benoit » Sun Mar 08, 2009 10:30 pm

What's the verdict?
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Postby josh porter » Mon Mar 09, 2009 6:40 am

I'm going to go with a passive DI from a local store. It will save on shipping. And fewer things to go wrong with it.
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Postby Mathieu Benoit » Mon Mar 09, 2009 8:47 am

Which one are you deciding to go with?
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Postby josh porter » Mon Mar 09, 2009 10:37 am

It's the Yorkville YDI-1P passive DI. It will do what I'm looking for it to do.
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Postby Mathieu Benoit » Mon Mar 09, 2009 11:18 am

Wow... you could buy 5 of those and still be within your previously mentioned budget. What are you gonna buy with the the $200 or so dollars left over? Anything fun and gear related?
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Postby josh porter » Mon Mar 09, 2009 1:02 pm

I'm not sure. On a topic kinda related to DI's: can I take an XLR terminated microphone and run it backwards through a DI? In the balanced end and out the link end?
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Postby Mathieu Benoit » Mon Mar 09, 2009 1:21 pm

josh porter wrote:I'm not sure. On a topic kinda related to DI's: can I take an XLR terminated microphone and run it backwards through a DI? In the balanced end and out the link end?


Um... Where is the other end of the 1/4" cable going to exactly? A mic preamp with a 1/4" input perhaps? I'm kinda lost... Are you asking hypothetically?
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Postby josh porter » Mon Mar 09, 2009 2:08 pm

The portable amp that I have is 1/4" only. And the cable that I have from XLR to 1/4" is kinda, how do I put it, CRAP. So I'm looking for another viable way to hook it up and if I need to get another DI to do it, then I will.[/quote]
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Postby Jef » Mon Mar 09, 2009 2:08 pm

josh porter wrote:I'm not sure. On a topic kinda related to DI's: can I take an XLR terminated microphone and run it backwards through a DI? In the balanced end and out the link end?


Perhaps it's an in-line balancing transformer that you seek?

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/5 ... ow_to.html
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Postby Mathieu Benoit » Mon Mar 09, 2009 2:11 pm

Jef wrote:Perhaps it's an in-line balancing transformer that you seek?

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/5 ... ow_to.html


I'm gonna side with Jef on this one.

I take it you basically just want to plug a microphone into a guitar amp?
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Postby Malcolm Boyce » Mon Mar 09, 2009 2:36 pm

The problem you have with a "mic-into-amp" connection is level and impedance as opposed to the connector not fitting.

A small mixer would be a better solution than a direct box backwards.

On a related note, a passive DI will work "backwards" to make a balanced signal unbalanced. It won't however make something like what you describe work out. That is unless the device you are plugging into was meant for a microphone.
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Postby macrae11 » Mon Mar 09, 2009 2:54 pm

Just to add one more note. Plugging a mic into an amp, if that is what you are planning, will "work", just really crappily. The level will be low, and there will be all kinds of noise.

As Malcolm suggested a small mixer would work best, and would still be in your budget. It still wouldn't be the best signal path I'm sure, but at least you'd be feeding the amp the proper level, and impedance. (assuming the mixer has unbalanced outs)
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Postby Alain Benoit » Mon Mar 09, 2009 4:48 pm

What you are actually looking for is a transformer that will have let you plug a low impedance microphone, nominally ~600Ω to a high impedance of around 10kΩ. Preferably all packaged into something with a female XLR on the primary and 1/4" TS on the secondary.
The second and crucial issue is gain. The level out of a microphone is substantially less than that out of let's say an active bass which is still in the instrument category. This is one of the reasons why microphone lines are balanced, to protect this very 'weak' signal. Typical microphone pre-amplifiers have a gain of 70dB just to get it up to a level that can be electronically manipulated comfortably. So a mic level is not very well suited to drive an instrument input to decent levels.
I custome make devices of this nature using Neutrik custom parts.
See here. They are not super cheap.

Thisis likely your best option, as it is active and will give you a degree of gain. I believe they have some in stock at Musicstop. All in all a microphone with a balanced output should only really be plugged into a balanced microphone preamplifier. And only an istrument should be plugged into a instrument amplifier. In a pinch though it's always whatever works in my book, that is when your options are truly limited and your up against IT.

YMMV
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Postby Alain Benoit » Mon Mar 09, 2009 5:08 pm

Josh, did you notice that the Little Labs device I had reccomended is also a reamp® box?
Incidently I tried it in the application that you were inquiring into and it worked cleanly as long as the passive level control was turned fully clockwise.
Of course the best and most crucial part is that the devices instrument out is impedanced matched to the input of your instrument amplifier, thus noise was and band filtering was minimal. the lesser crucial part is that no gender bender is necessary.
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