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  #16  
Old 01-10-2018, 09:42 AM
atticus1019 atticus1019 is offline
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If it helps, think of the variable drag as a way for those who need it to use the di as it was intended
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  #17  
Old 01-10-2018, 05:25 PM
Doug Young Doug Young is offline
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Originally Posted by atticus1019 View Post
I certainly wouldn’t call the variable impedance one of its most notable features, it’s nice if you are playing with a passive pickup, but I wouldn’t write this DI off simply because you don’t need the variable drag option.
Agreed, I'd say the unique thing about this unit is that it's a tube-based active DI, but it also has other useful features. The drag feature may be useful for some cases, someone mentioned earlier that it was popular among bass players, for example. I'm not sure acoustic guitarists is its targeted audience - there are plenty of other products whose feature set is aimed more squarely at acoustic guitar - but it's a very high end DI with several unique features that might be useful, depending on what you need.
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  #18  
Old 01-12-2018, 03:02 AM
douglasfan1 douglasfan1 is offline
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Thank you for explanation. I use Grace Felix to combine Sunrise pickup and Highlander IP-2, connecting Radial firefly through effect insert.

Since the tube will be distort when the "Trim" button turn more then half. However, the "Level" button need to be turned to at least 3:00 position in order to be audible. I wonder I should boost the signal through Grace Felix or I should add a booster after Radial Firefly after I got the right tube effect by adjusting the "Trim" level for just magnifying the sound level without changing the "tube" effect?
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  #19  
Old 01-12-2018, 08:52 AM
jimmorgan jimmorgan is offline
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The Radial JDV Mk5 is worth a look as well, as it has many of the same features, and also allows for blending in a mic.

http://www.radialeng.com/jdvmk5.php

Last edited by jimmorgan; 01-12-2018 at 09:33 AM.
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  #20  
Old 01-12-2018, 09:39 AM
Doug Young Doug Young is offline
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Originally Posted by douglasfan1 View Post
Thank you for explanation. I use Grace Felix to combine Sunrise pickup and Highlander IP-2, connecting Radial firefly through effect insert.

Since the tube will be distort when the "Trim" button turn more then half. However, the "Level" button need to be turned to at least 3:00 position in order to be audible. I wonder I should boost the signal through Grace Felix or I should add a booster after Radial Firefly after I got the right tube effect by adjusting the "Trim" level for just magnifying the sound level without changing the "tube" effect?
Interesting. So your just trying to use the firefly as some kind of effect? What are you hoping it will do? Just for the tube “warming”? I'm not surprised that a DI doesn't work well inside an effects loop, that's not how it was intended to be used, so you’re in experimental territory. I suspect are other devices that might do what you're hoping for that are more compatible with being placed in an effects loop.
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Last edited by Doug Young; 01-12-2018 at 11:02 AM.
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  #21  
Old 01-13-2018, 10:03 AM
douglasfan1 douglasfan1 is offline
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Ya, actually I just want something that can "tube warming" in the effect loop. But didn't notice there's any device can do that. Any suggestions?
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  #22  
Old 01-13-2018, 05:40 PM
Doug Young Doug Young is offline
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Originally Posted by douglasfan1 View Post
Ya, actually I just want something that can "tube warming" in the effect loop. But didn't notice there's any device can do that. Any suggestions?
You might look at the TC BodyRez pedal. I imagine there are others, tho they may all be integrated with a preamp/DI. You're sort of bucking the direction of your initial gear - Felix is meant to be pristine - hi fidelity, meaning it doesn't add any distortion or mangling of the sound in any way. Tube "warming" is basically introducing distortion (or some like to call it "saturation"). Not audible "fuzz", but distortion nevertheless in that the signal is altered. If you really want an altered sound, Felix may not be the choice for you. There are lots of preamp/DIs that claim to enhance your sound, like the Firefly, or the Baggs' Session DI (which sounds very good to me), or Sansamp makes something, etc. Perhaps the ultimate in a preamp/DI that alters your sound in a good way is ToneDexter, which works exceptionally well. Not trying to talk you out of Felix, I have one, and it's superb. It's just that it's superb because of how clean and pristine it is, so dirtying it up wouldn't be something I'd personally try to do.

One thing you might try, so that you can have the EQ and other benefits of Felix and also the coloration of the Firefly, is to run the line out of Felix into the Firefly, then use Firefly's DI out. This is instead of trying to insert it into the event loop, which probably just isn't a good match. You will still have to watch your levels, since you're cascading two preamp/DIs into each other, but it might work.
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  #23  
Old 01-13-2018, 10:43 PM
atticus1019 atticus1019 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by douglasfan1 View Post
Ya, actually I just want something that can "tube warming" in the effect loop. But didn't notice there's any device can do that. Any suggestions?
In all honesty I would bet that something like the Universal Audio 710 TwinFinity would do what you are looking for. It is a solid state/tube preamp that allows you to blend between the FET solid state and tube pre on the same channel and it costs less than a Felix (albeit without the parametric eq).

Alternately- if you want to have a super awesome setup, for about the price of what you could sell the Felix and the Firefly for, you could afford a used UA 4-710d which has 4 channels that allow independent blending between tube/solid state. Also, an added feature on the 710d is an 1176 style compressor on each channel. Each channel also has an insert would be amazing for multi-channel/instrument setup with vocals.

I use the 4-710d in the studio and have often wondered how it would do in my rack for the road. Typing this has actually inspired me to experiment, haha.
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  #24  
Old 01-14-2018, 12:46 AM
Doug Young Doug Young is offline
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That's thinking out of the box!

Not sure how practical that would be, tho it would probably sound good. But besides the form factor, you'll be missing most of the things a lot of people want in a stage preamp - EQ, tuner out, mute switch, boost switch, notch filters, etc, etc. If a simple preamp with some gain and tubes is sufficient, then the Firefly alone would do it, in a more road-worthy package.
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  #25  
Old 01-14-2018, 02:39 AM
Spook Spook is offline
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Sunrise -> Felix -> 'Amp Out' Output -> Tube DI input (Palmer PDICTC) -> Powered Speaker

Sounds pretty good. Probably cheaper ways to get there.
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  #26  
Old 01-14-2018, 11:34 AM
atticus1019 atticus1019 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Young View Post
That's thinking out of the box!

Not sure how practical that would be, tho it would probably sound good. But besides the form factor, you'll be missing most of the things a lot of people want in a stage preamp - EQ, tuner out, mute switch, boost switch, notch filters, etc, etc. If a simple preamp with some gain and tubes is sufficient, then the Firefly alone would do it, in a more road-worthy package.

Since posting I have thought through a little more deliberately how I would pull it off, were I to take my 4-710d out of my studio rack and put it into my road rack. As a starting place just to mess around, I would probably run my guitar through my tuner (solves mute/tune issue) into Empress paraEQ (solves eq/boost issue) into the 710d (engage “slow” setting on 1176/blend ~40% tube in) put strymon Blue Sky in the insert. That would sound pretty darn good IMO.

The dreamer in me would go way more complex, haha. Dual source guitar into stereo parametric rack eq, into two different channels on the 710d with two different tube blend/compression settings depending on the pickup, a stereo lexicon reverb unit in the inserts, the third channel for a second single source backup guitar, and the fourth channel for vocals, tube blend all the way up, faster compression setting, etc. drool... what FOH engineer DOESN’T want to see the acoustic guitarist roll in with a 10u rack right? Haha.. I’m getting carried away.

The more I think about it the idea seems like definite overkill for someone looking for a simple open mic setup or something like that, but as someone who does this for a living, week in and week out, it is intriguing to think about taking the equipment I use in the studio and bringing it on the road. A rack is a rack right?
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  #27  
Old 01-14-2018, 12:58 PM
jimmorgan jimmorgan is offline
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I'm as much into playing with cool gear as the next person, but unless you are willing to cart around the rest of the signal chain, including some high dollar speakers to reproduce the nuances of that studio grade sound, nobody, including yourself, is going to pick up on the tube warmth through your average set of bar room speakers.

Most places you'd be taking all that gear and then running a line out into the preamp of a cheap Behringer or Yamaha mixer or something.

Last edited by jimmorgan; 01-14-2018 at 01:05 PM.
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  #28  
Old 01-14-2018, 04:11 PM
atticus1019 atticus1019 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmorgan View Post
I'm as much into playing with cool gear as the next person, but unless you are willing to cart around the rest of the signal chain, including some high dollar speakers to reproduce the nuances of that studio grade sound, nobody, including yourself, is going to pick up on the tube warmth through your average set of bar room speakers.

Most places you'd be taking all that gear and then running a line out into the preamp of a cheap Behringer or Yamaha mixer or something.
Yea, that’s why I included the caveat that it definitely seems like overkill for someone just doing smaller gigs, I do generally play through very high end PA systems, and I already have the equipment so, for me, it makes sense to have some fun.

I sort of hijacked the thread with all of my dreaming... to steer things back to the question at hand, my arguement was simply that if you’re spending $1000 on a Felix and $600 on a Firefly to put in the fx loop for “tube warmth” you are already combining two great preamps- one a transparent solid state and the other a “tube” DI. In the end you get two blendable channels and can add in some tube character from the Firefly- albeit in kind of a roundabout way. For the same money you can get a 4 channel studio grade preamp made by one of the most legendary names in audio on the planet that allows true blending of tube/solid state preamps, independently on each channel.

Additionally I believe the tube in the Firefly relies on what is called a “starved plate” power design in which the tube is not actually receiving the voltage it needs to operate at its full linear range. To be fair, I believe it receives more voltage than most starved plate designs because the voltage is internally stepped to 48v and you still get plenty of tube character and what not in your signal, however the dedicated tube pre in the UA operates at a much much higher voltage and is a true, all tube signal path so if you are looking for authentic tube character, it can’t be beaten.

To be sure, you miss out on the mute/tuner out/eq, but in my opinion, those can be solved relatively easily for what you’ve already sunk into a preamp. You do also have the benefit of an 1176 compressor on each channel and if you ask around I bet you would be hard pressed to find an engineer who would frown at a light dose of 1176 to polish and tighten up an acoustic.

I dunno, obviously this isn’t gonna be for everyone- or maybe even anyone. Like Doug said, this was thinking out of the box in response to an interesting request. For me, it has provided a fun opportunity to brainstorm ways to get a little closer to that holy grail.
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  #29  
Old 01-14-2018, 07:47 PM
Doug Young Doug Young is offline
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I actually think the closest thing I've seen to the holy grail for playing with a pickup is finally available for $399 :-) No rack or tubes required. Just a small red box.
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  #30  
Old 01-14-2018, 08:02 PM
atticus1019 atticus1019 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Young View Post
I actually think the closest thing I've seen to the holy grail for playing with a pickup is finally available for $399 :-) No rack or tubes required. Just a small red box.
Ha! The wife got me one for Christmas, but they were backordered and it isn’t here yet!! I’m anxiously awaiting that package in the mail. It’s gonna sound great infront of my UA 4-710d
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