Jump to content

Welcome to the new site. We hope you enjoy it. We also hope you like this little sticky note. You can send them to each other or to yourself for reminders. 

Have a read of this thread (click) where I describe some new functions.

Take some time to try the new content search, maybe set up your own custom search and make it your bookmark.

A note about PMs - please read the note in the link above about PMs from the old site.

Thanks for visiting, and enjoy.

(you can dismiss this note so you won’t see it again)

1976fenderhead

Recommend me a cheap, small, good passive DI box (without a preamp)

Recommended Posts

The thing about DI boxes is that it depends on what you're trying to achieve: do you want to preserve the sound of your bass with maximum fidelity, or do you want to mess with it in some way that you hope to find subjectively pleasing?

If you're trying to maintain fidelity, the answer is easy: you want an active DI box, because electronics that do this are cheap and reliable; nothing is really going to do this any better than the £35 Orchid DI box mentioned by various people above.

If you want the sound to be altered in some way, then all bets are off, because who knows what changes you might deem acceptable or desirable?
Any passive DI box, no matter how high quality, with a passive bass plugged directly into it, is going to alter the frequency response quite radically, because their input inpedance is always too low to match the bass's magnetic pickups properly. This doesn't apply with active basses, because the pickups are buffered by the electronics in the bass, so then you might well notice that the more expensive passive DIs have lower distortion and greater fidelity than cheaper ones. But then if high fidelity is what you're after, you should probably just get an active DI anyway. So at this point, it's really all going to be a bit hit-and-miss which passive DI, cheap or expensive, will do things to the sound that you happen to like. In which case you might as well try out some cheap ones (as long as they're sufficiently well-constructed to not fall apart, which most seem to be...) since they're probably just as likely to make the particular sound you want as a more expensive one is...

Edited by paulbuzz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@kodiakblair

Not extensively - I seem to recall that one of them was pressed in when I first tried it and turning it off seem to make things slightly better, ie, louder,  so I never used them after that. Why do ask, have you found they make a difference to the tone? I'm using a passive bass so didn't expect to have to pad the signal.

Edited by Phil_T

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, paulbuzz said:

The thing about DI boxes is that it depends on what you're trying to achieve: do you want to preserve the sound of your bass with maximum fidelity, or do you want to mess with it in some way that you hope to find subjectively pleasing?

If you're trying to maintain fidelity, the answer is easy: you want an active DI box, because electronics that do this are cheap and reliable; nothing is really going to do this any better than the £35 Orchid DI box mentioned by various people above.
....

This is true, to get maximum fidelity you need an active DI as that will present a high impedance input. Passive DIs always introduce some loading due to the transformer - typically a 12:1 ratio is used so a 1.5k loading mic preamp looks like a ~200k load to the instrument (the mic preamp easily makes up the loss of level in the transformer).

The snag with inexpensive active DIs like the Orchid one is that they don't have true galvanic isolation so can be prone to hum loops (no transformer so the earth lift switch only has partial effect in these). Truly isolated active DIs (e.g. BSS AR133, KT DN100 or the Radial DIs) are pretty expensive as they have both active circuitry and a transformer to give a true earth lift (and are rugged pro-level products).

The Behringer DI is a cheap lookalike of the AR133 and is often perfectly ok for amateur/semi-pro applications. It falls down for pro use as the cheap transformer isn't properly shielded so can pick up a load of hum/buzz.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, nilebodgers said:

This is true, to get maximum fidelity you need an active DI as that will present a high impedance input. Passive DIs always introduce some loading due to the transformer - typically a 12:1 ratio is used so a 1.5k loading mic preamp looks like a ~200k load to the instrument (the mic preamp easily makes up the loss of level in the transformer).

The snag with inexpensive active DIs like the Orchid one is that they don't have true galvanic isolation so can be prone to hum loops (no transformer so the earth lift switch only has partial effect in these). Truly isolated active DIs (e.g. BSS AR133, KT DN100 or the Radial DIs) are pretty expensive as they have both active circuitry and a transformer to give a true earth lift (and are rugged pro-level products).

The Behringer DI is a cheap lookalike of the AR133 and is often perfectly ok for amateur/semi-pro applications. It falls down for pro use as the cheap transformer isn't properly shielded so can pick up a load of hum/buzz.

Orchid will also do custom orders and add/remove things you want. For example I had a transformer added to mine for a small cost, mine cost £42 including postage and came the next day after ordering.

Si

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, Sibob said:

Orchid will also do custom orders and add/remove things you want. For example I had a transformer added to mine for a small cost, mine cost £42 including postage and came the next day after ordering.

Si

Interesting - £42 is very cheap for an active DI with a quality transformer. High quality passive-only boxes are more than that.

Edited by nilebodgers
typo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, nilebodgers said:

Interesting - £42 is very cheap for an active DI with a quality transformer. High quality passive-only boxes are more than that.

Mine has no battery capability actually, just phantom power, simply as my starting point was their Micro DI rather than the Classic.

So mine sits firmly between the Micro & Classic with feature set, input for instrument, output to amp, and the XLR out sits on the back edge.

ejhp9h.jpg

 

Si

Edited by Sibob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, paulbuzz said:

Interesting! Another gold star for John at Orchid! :)
I assume he incorporated one of the transformers that he uses in the isolator box that he sells as a separate item: http://www.orchid-electronics.co.uk/trans.htm

Looking back through my emails, here's what John suggested:

"The only thing that might be worth adding - is an isolating transformer on the unbalanced output to feed your amplifier, to ensure that earth loop hum would never happen."

Which I went for obviously.

Will pick up one of their re-amp boxes too soon I think, £56....yes please.

Si

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 31/10/2017 at 23:03, 0175westwood29 said:

The radial stage bug is very small and sounds decent I use it as a board di for my meatbox

+1 on the Stage Bug from Radial. It is super small and reliable, it has saved me a couple of times as a backup DI.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Phil_T

I never use the buttons either. There's a marked increase in volume using the silver box Behringer instead of just plugging into the mixer.

Since I mainly play a single coil P-bass with flats I appreciate the kick in volume,

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×