What DI box would you recommend?

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Spoonie
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What DI box would you recommend?

Post by Spoonie » Sat Dec 13, 2008 8:06 am

I am looking to buy a new di box, at the moment my behringer is working well but i think it is time for an upgrade. what would you recommend as an excellent di box? i have read that the avalon is pretty much the best but is there nothing that can compare at lower price?

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minorkeylee
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Post by minorkeylee » Sat Dec 13, 2008 8:31 am

Countryman 85 would be a step up from Behringer. I think they work pretty well.

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NeglectedFred
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Post by NeglectedFred » Sat Dec 13, 2008 8:42 am

What are you looking to use it for, mostly? Bass, Keys, a little of everything?

Radial and Countryman pretty much lead the way with DI's. Do you have a preference for passive or active? What about the possibility of a sansamp? Not exactly the cleanest choice for a regular ol' DI, but certainly a wonder box when it comes to an affordable bass solution.

You could always DIY it, they're not too complex. If you can make about a dozen solder joints it won't be too tough.
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Post by Aquaman » Sat Dec 13, 2008 10:37 am

The Radial stuff is all fantastic. They have a great site which will give you some more ideas about what DI's can do and help you decide whether one of their more specialty boxes would be right for you. I got a lot out of it when I was diving into the subject.

Countryman is also great, so is anything by LittleLabs.

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Post by cgarges » Sat Dec 13, 2008 11:05 am

There's nothing that compares to the Avalon in a lower price bracket because it's well-built and has a TON of features. It's sort of like getting a DI, an EQ, and a line-level output (so you don't have to use an external mic preamp) all in one box. And the routing options are ridiculous.

An excellent relatively inexpensive direct box is the Avenson Small DI. It's tiny, unobtrusive, about $100, and sounds fantastic.

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Post by dynomike » Sat Dec 13, 2008 11:28 am

i like radial best of the stuff i've used.

of course the DI input on some preamps (i'm thinking of the hamptones specifically) sounds better than a DI box into the same pre...

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Spoonie
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Post by Spoonie » Sat Dec 13, 2008 12:59 pm

thanks for all the replies you have been very informative. i was plannig to use this mainly for bass but always be readily available for other purposes. i have heard positive reviews for the bss di, how does it compare?

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Post by cgarges » Sat Dec 13, 2008 1:06 pm

The BSS is cool, too. Built like a tank and has a few nice features. I haven't used the Radials, but to me, the Avenson has a little extra "something" that's really pleasant, although it's hard to describe. Sort of like those mics. They're neutral, but on the really nice side of neutral, if that makes any sense. The BSS is heavier and has more features (parallel out, XLR input, pads, ground lift, etc) and I own pairs of both, but most of the time, I find myself reaching for the Avensons first.

I also own an Avalon and find myself using that on bass more frequently than the others. Just depends on the gig.

Of all three of those, I would feel most comfortable dropping the BSS from a standing height.

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Spoonie
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Post by Spoonie » Sat Dec 13, 2008 1:13 pm

i dont know, the avension for all its simplicity seems to be too expensive for what you are buying. as you have mentioned the bss has a lot more features and is listed at $130 new.

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Post by kayagum » Sat Dec 13, 2008 1:42 pm

I *really* like my Groove Tubes Ditto Box- it's basically a DI only Groove Tubes Brick. Discontinued, which means you should be able to find one used.

One useful feature is that it does have a variable gain (up to +30dB).

Sounds fabulous, and it has never let me down live or in the studio. Sound is quite nice.... just a hair more iron than straight gain.
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Post by Huntlabs » Sat Dec 13, 2008 3:01 pm

The Hamptone JFET Pre is almost identical to the Avalon U5, except the U5 has all the cool eq. The EQ is cool and worth having on the U5. The JFET is a really good two channel mic pre too. They are both great bass DI's.

I know Hamptone is going to have some new kits soon that may be exactly what you are looking for. They aren't listed yet and I don't know when but they should be a DI that is very similar to the JFET pre.

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Post by Scodiddly » Sat Dec 13, 2008 3:37 pm

For me the sleeper DI bargain is the EWI DIs from Audiopile:
http://audiopile.net/products/DI_Boxes/DI_Boxes.asp

The active LDB-101 sounds good on bass, and whatever else I've used it on. Built like a tank, too.

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Post by dsw » Sat Dec 13, 2008 3:41 pm

The Jensen transformer is one thing that helps the Countryman and the Radial (some models...the more expensive ones....duh...) sound better.
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Post by rwc » Sat Dec 13, 2008 5:03 pm

There is a big studio using a schematic from jensen, who put their name on the box, and call it their own DI box.

Who am I referring to?

:)

I like the countryman.
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Post by cgarges » Sat Dec 13, 2008 7:55 pm

Spoonie wrote:i dont know, the avension for all its simplicity seems to be too expensive for what you are buying. as you have mentioned the bss has a lot more features and is listed at $130 new.
$100 is not a lot for a great-sounding direct box, features or not. Plus, Brad's a great guy and I'm happy to support a company like his. Still, I have a pair of BSS DIs, a pair of the Avensons and regular access to a pair of Countryman Type 85s and use the Avensons most frequently. They're that good.

Chris Garges
Charlotte, NC

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