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  #1  
Old 01-06-2014, 08:33 AM
Axeaholic Axeaholic is offline
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Default Best DI Box

First post, so be kind

I'm looking for a DI box, for gigs that I need to travel ultra light. The band I'm in plays mostly classic rock, and I add an acoustic flair to a bunch of renditions. I have a '99 Taylor 714 (Fishman Blend), a Martin HD 35 (LR Baggs Lyric) (I don't bring this out much), and I'm bidding on an old '96 Talyor 555 12 string, which hasa Fishman Piezo.) I usually run this through a Fishman Loudbox Artist and use the DI Mix out. I also have a visual sound H20 chorus/Echo, which I usually reserve for my electric pedal board. There are times where I want to leave the Loudbox at home (like practice, really small venues and open mic nights.)

So, to the question. If I want to go even lighter and just take a feed to the main board. I see the Fishman Aura(s), LR Baggs Para and Venue and a few from Radial ToneBone series. They are all rated well through various sources. Given my situation, and equipment, what recommendations do you have?
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Old 01-06-2014, 08:39 AM
Goat Mick Goat Mick is offline
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The LR Baggs Venue is one of the best ones out there. I know several guys that are on the professional level using them.
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  #3  
Old 01-06-2014, 09:30 AM
briggleman briggleman is offline
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Of the three you have mentioned, the one that stands out to me for your use and overall flexability would be the Radial PZ-Pre.

It has a built in CLEAN boost which will help you cut through the mix when needed.

Allows for blending of pickups

Has a effects loop and post and pre outputs to the board...... when you want to send your EQ to the board or when you do not!

I have never seen or heard of a bad review of this unit. I own several radial products and love them all. Since none of your Taylors use the ES system, I would go with this one.

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  #4  
Old 01-06-2014, 09:41 AM
J Patrick J Patrick is offline
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...its nice to have a 2 channel preamp for those gigs where you're using a couple of instruments....i'd keep that in mind...unless you're stepping up to big dollar territory like Pendulum there probably is no "best"...all we can do is offer our take based on our experience...i personally prefer something with large easy to read knobs..(don't like the Para DI or the now discontinued Highlander for that reason)....i don't care for imaging pedals like the Aura or D-Tar Mama Bear...i prefer less processing......i'm a big fan of Radial products in general....given your requirements i might opt for the Radial PZ-Pre
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  #5  
Old 01-06-2014, 09:52 AM
lschwart lschwart is offline
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It depends on what you want to send to the board: Do you just want to send your signal for the sound person to tweak for the front of house and monitor mixes? Or do you want to control levels, EQ and effects yourself (maybe sending one signal to a stage monitor yourself and another to the board?

For the first choice, a simple passive or active DI box is what you want. There are plenty of inexpensive ones that will do the job well enough (Guitar Center's Live Wire line, for example, or this one: http://www.audiopile.net/products/DI...cutsheet.shtml). If you're looking for something more rugged and "industry standard," look at the Radial ProDI, JDI, Switchcraft SC800/SC800CT, SC900/SC900CT, for passive, and the Radial Pro48 or J48 or Countryman Type 85 for active. These will send your signal as is to the board by XLR cable and also to split the same signal to a stage amp or monitor speaker by unbalanced 1/4" instrument cable.

Units like the Baggs Venue DI or ParaAcoustic DI or the Radial PZ-Pre or PZ-Deluxe are really preamps that also do the work of a DI (just like your Loudbox does). These will allow you to set levels and EQ and also add effects and control feedback yourself (the Venue and the Radials also have a boost switch for solos). They will also split the signal for you and the Radials even allow you to choose between two different XLR signals for sending to the board (one with EQ, effects, boost, feedback control, the other without, just like with a simple DI box--you can even send both for the sound person to mix as they see fit).

The Fishman Aura Spectrum DI adds to all of that a digital acoustic imaging function that blends the feel of a mic'd guitar to your pickup signal and some light compression, too. The Venue and the Aura also include a tuner.

If you need a stage monitor, or you're never quite sure what you will encounter, I'd say stick with the Loudbox. That guarantees you control of your stage sound if you need it and lets you send whatever kind of signal you need to send to the board. If you know that you'll have good monitoring and a good sound person taking care of things, use just a plain DI. Get one of the preamp/DI units if you want some of the control of signal you get with the Loudbox (or perhaps more control), if you need to apply it before going to the board, but in a smaller package, and if you don't need to worry about your stage sound. Another reason to look into the Preamp/DI units is perhaps for that 12 string you mention if the piezo it has is passive.

Louis

Last edited by lschwart; 01-06-2014 at 02:08 PM.
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  #6  
Old 01-06-2014, 11:57 AM
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ljguitar ljguitar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Axeaholic View Post
…So, to the question. If I want to go even lighter and just take a feed to the main board. I see the Fishman Aura(s), LR Baggs Para and Venue and a few from Radial ToneBone series. They are all rated well through various sources. Given my situation, and equipment, what recommendations do you have?
Hi Axe-etc...

First of all Hello and welcome to the forum! Glad you joined and asked a question...

If your guitar has internal preamp, you could just carry a passive DI box which allows you to go directly from guitar to house without anything but the passive DI.

They come in many sizes and price ranges, and the $20 are as effective and quiet as the $200 ones.

Passive DI - CliCK

If you need/want additional Preamp which also has DI functions, the the Baggs Venue is a great choice, and I prefer it to the Radial. Actually there are a lot of good choices when it comes to preamps with DI function, and the things I find essential in my rigs are:
  • ¼" out
  • XLR out
  • Ground Lift
  • Tone adjustment
  • Discrete controls for Gain/Volume

Things I don't care about…
  • Parametric EQ
  • Sweepable mids
  • Boost
  • Tuner
  • multiple channels

That way I can interface with any system, and if I have a stage amp, I go through the preamp first diverting the ¼" signal through the preamp then out to the amp, and the XLR out of the preamp to the board. That way I can adjust the volume/tone of the amp without affecting the house mix.

Hope this is helpful...


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  #7  
Old 01-06-2014, 02:03 PM
jomaynor jomaynor is offline
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FWIW, the Countryman Type 85 is an active DI, phantom powered.
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Old 01-06-2014, 02:09 PM
lschwart lschwart is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jomaynor View Post
FWIW, the Countryman Type 85 is an active DI, phantom powered.
You're right, and I accidently put it in the wrong place, above! I just edited my earlier post.

Louis
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Old 01-06-2014, 07:09 PM
dberkowitz dberkowitz is offline
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If you're just looking for a DI, the following are among the more popular in the professional sound world.

Countryman DI
BSS Audio AR133 Active DI
Radial J48 Active DI
Avalon U5

With the exception of the Avalon, all of these are basic, phantom powered DI's. The Countryman is passive, with XLR out, and TS input, pass through, and ground lift. The BSS AR-133 and the Radial J48 are both active, and have the advantage of having a pad switch on the box. The J48 is unusual in that you can use the "thru" jack as a second input and by using the merge switch, it will combine the signals.

The Avalon is a beast unto itself, and given what you've asked for, it probably isn't what you want. It is an amazing DI, tonally adjustable, and really clean. But it also is the equivalent of 3 half rack units in height/width.
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  #10  
Old 01-06-2014, 09:57 PM
jomaynor jomaynor is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dberkowitz View Post
If you're just looking for a DI, the following are among the more popular in the professional sound world.

Countryman DI
BSS Audio AR133 Active DI
Radial J48 Active DI
Avalon U5

With the exception of the Avalon, all of these are basic, phantom powered DI's. The Countryman is passive, with XLR out, and TS input, pass through, and ground lift. The BSS AR-133 and the Radial J48 are both active, and have the advantage of having a pad switch on the box. The J48 is unusual in that you can use the "thru" jack as a second input and by using the merge switch, it will combine the signals.

The Avalon is a beast unto itself, and given what you've asked for, it probably isn't what you want. It is an amazing DI, tonally adjustable, and really clean. But it also is the equivalent of 3 half rack units in height/width.
The Countryman, being 48v phantom powered, is, by definition, an active box, as well.
Unlike, say, the Radial JDI, which is a true passive DI, using no internal or external power source.
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  #11  
Old 01-07-2014, 02:54 AM
pieterh pieterh is offline
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Default Best DI Box

If it is just a DI you are after, Radial have developed Stage Bugs, small passive or active DI's that are designed specifically for musicians. They are small enough to fit in the pocket of a guitar case.
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