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  #1  
Old 06-04-2014, 09:45 AM
MichaelAngstadt MichaelAngstadt is offline
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Location: Oregon
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Default DI box, Pre Amp, or Both?

Hi, this topic might have been beaten to death, but I haven't found anything specific to my setup yet. So...

I'll be hitting the coffee houses and other small venues soon and want to be prepared, regardless of provided PA, or lack of.
My gear:

I have just fitted my wonderful J-45 with a LR Baggs M1-a and love it.
My amp (if I ever need it, is Genz Benz 100)

Two questions
-Do I need a DI or Pre Amp if there isn't a PA system provided? Or can I just tap vocals and guitar directly into my amp and not worry?
-Does a provided PA system always eliminate the need for a pre amp and DI, at small venues?
(Okay that's actually 3 questions.)

I'm eyeing the Countryman for DI or Para, but really have no idea if I need either.
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  #2  
Old 06-04-2014, 10:29 AM
Luke W Luke W is offline
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Location: Northamptonshire, UK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelAngstadt View Post
-Do I need a DI or Pre Amp if there isn't a PA system provided? Or can I just tap vocals and guitar directly into my amp and not worry?
That will depend on the size of the room, if your amp can run an instrument and mic at a good enough level for the space, then yes thats a solution.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelAngstadt View Post
Does a provided PA system always eliminate the need for a pre amp and DI, at small venues?
You'll nearly always need a DI to "plug straight in". Even if there are instrument level inputs available, theres no guarantee you'll be close enough to make use of them.

In general, everything down to the DI should be the responsibility of the PA company (or venue if its a permanent install), and everything after that is up to the musician. But this doesn't always work out (badly spec'd venues, broken/stolen gear etc) so its good practice to have your own.

Having your own pre very much depends on the output of your pickup, the M1a should have a hot enough output to run straight to a DI with no problems.
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  #3  
Old 06-04-2014, 11:57 AM
lschwart lschwart is offline
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Location: Richmond, VA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelAngstadt View Post
Hi, this topic might have been beaten to death, but I haven't found anything specific to my setup yet. So...

I'll be hitting the coffee houses and other small venues soon and want to be prepared, regardless of provided PA, or lack of.
My gear:

I have just fitted my wonderful J-45 with a LR Baggs M1-a and love it.
My amp (if I ever need it, is Genz Benz 100)

Two questions
-Do I need a DI or Pre Amp if there isn't a PA system provided? Or can I just tap vocals and guitar directly into my amp and not worry?
-Does a provided PA system always eliminate the need for a pre amp and DI, at small venues?
(Okay that's actually 3 questions.)

I'm eyeing the Countryman for DI or Para, but really have no idea if I need either.
A couple of things you should understand: There's a difference between a "preamp" and a "DI," although some units like the ParaAcoustic DI combine these functions. A provided PA does not "eliminate" the need for a DI--it's actually the reason you probably do need one.

As Luke says, if the gig is small and there's no PA provided, you can plug your mic directly into one channel of your Shen 100 and your Baggs M1a guitar into the other. No interface is necessary. The amp is designed to take mic inputs and active pickup inputs like yours directly.

Also, your Shen has 3 different DI outputs that let the amp do the work of both a preamp and a DI. Assuming the person running the PA thinks it's OK, this means you can use your Shen as a stage monitor and send your guitar signal to the PA using one of the DI outs (probably the "pre-eq" out for that channel). This lets the sound person have a strong, un-messed-with signal that's independant of the master volume on your amp, and that he or she can mix and manipulate at the board for the best sound in the room. This person will probably want you to send your vocal directly to the board, but you can do the same thing with your vocal out of the other channel of the amp if there's no other way to monitor your vocal on the stage. Usually, however, there will be monitors for both, and the sound person will tell you how he or she wants to handle it. No competent sound person is going to have trouble with the signals from your mic or guitar and they will usually have a DI box for you to use (although it's not a bad idea to have one, just in case--a simple passive DI will do the trick).

Now, if you want a more complicated preamp/DI unit like the PADI or Venue, etc. for your own tone-shaping and for this or that other function, that's a different story--and a more complicated one. But if you're happy with the sound of your M1a running into your amp, I wouldn't worry too much about it just yet.

Louis

Last edited by lschwart; 06-04-2014 at 01:07 PM.
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  #4  
Old 06-04-2014, 01:25 PM
MichaelAngstadt MichaelAngstadt is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Oregon
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Great info. Exactly what I was looking for. Thank you both!
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