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Author Topic: New DI purchasing advice  (Read 2091 times)

Steve M Smith

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Re: New DI purchasing advice
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2014, 09:42:28 am »

They need to be about the size they are to house decent transformers.

The ones that don't have decent transformers are still trying to look like they do.

I was thinking of an active one with phantom power.  That doesn't need to be very big.


Steve.
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Geoff Doane

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Re: New DI purchasing advice
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2014, 09:54:03 am »

The best

http://lbpinc.com/DI.html 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

The LBP, JDI and Whirlwind IMP2-JT all use the the Jensen JT-DBE transformer, so the performance ought to be identical.  It really comes down to which form factor you prefer.  I've owned half a dozen that I built 20 years ago, also using the JT-DBE transformer, and they've always done the job for me.  To eliminate any switches, I put in two XLRs instead.  One has the ground connected, and the other has it lifted (with an RF bypass cap), so nothing can get changed inadvertently after I plug things in.

While the DIs mentioned above are first choice general purpose boxes, I think it's a good idea to have the option of an active box available when you had to interface a piezo pickup and I like the Radial Pro48 for that.  The performance is the same or better than the J48, but it is smaller, the power LED stays on all the time, there are fewer switches to get put in the wrong position, and at about $100, it's quite affordable.  It doesn't have the merge and polarity switches like the J48, but those are some of the switches I consider superfluous.

There are probably other active DIs you should consider, but except for the J48s, I don't have much experience with them.

GTD
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: New DI purchasing advice
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2014, 09:59:20 am »

Another option if you know of any electronic hobbyists or engineers is to gut out the insides and have a new circuit built.

It's not rocket science and is what I would do.

It is my opinion that the majority of DIs are too big.  I plan to see if I can make a phantom powered only version which will fit in an XLR barrel so it will be the same size as an XLR to jack convertor.


Steve.
Back in the '80s I built a DIC (DI cord) where I built a pair of discrete JFETs into the barrel of a 1/4" plug. It used phantom power and put out a mic level signal.

I only built one for a friend, but yes using modern SMD technology an active DI (without transformer) could easily fit inside a very compact package.
 
JR
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Steve M Smith

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Re: New DI purchasing advice
« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2014, 10:19:51 am »

Back in the '80s I built a DIC (DI cord) where I built a pair of discrete JFETs into the barrel of a 1/4" plug. It used phantom power and put out a mic level signal.

You can do it with a single transistor with equal value resistors in the collector and emitter connections.  Similar to the phase splitters in cheaper valve/tube guitar amplifiers.

I have used this configuration together with a mini electret microphone to make some phantom powered boundary mics.


Steve.
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: New DI purchasing advice
« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2014, 10:22:27 am »

You can do it with a single transistor with equal value resistors in the collector and emitter connections.  Similar to the phase splitters in cheaper valve/tube guitar amplifiers.

I have used this configuration together with a mini electret microphone to make some phantom powered boundary mics.


Steve.

Mine was for studio use so was completely balanced, and padded the hot guitar level signals down to mic level.

JR
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John Halliburton

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Re: New DI purchasing advice
« Reply #15 on: May 05, 2014, 10:58:07 am »

The best

http://lbpinc.com/DI.html 


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

A negative for me on these is the top mounted I/O.  Much prefer the Radial/Countryman/99% of the rest of the DIs out there where it's on the ends.

FYI, I've had one out of four Countrymans break down in the 12 years I've owned them.  They fixed it n/c.

Best regards,

John
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: New DI purchasing advice
« Reply #16 on: May 05, 2014, 11:14:07 am »

A negative for me on these is the top mounted I/O.  Much prefer the Radial/Countryman/99% of the rest of the DIs out there where it's on the ends.

FYI, I've had one out of four Countrymans break down in the 12 years I've owned them.  They fixed it n/c.

Best regards,

John

I have 6 FET85 of my own that I'm sending to Countryman.  They've accumulated over the last several years and some have obvious problems that I could probably fix myself, but I'd rather have the mothership inspect and repair.

FWIW, the last time my employer sent FET85s back, Carl Countryman said "don't leave dead batteries in them and quit buying cheap mic cables; there's not a damn thing wrong with any of units you sent back."
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Samuel Rees

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Re: New DI purchasing advice
« Reply #17 on: May 05, 2014, 11:23:03 am »

My countryman hasn't failed me yet. Used plenty of functioning old ones at venues.
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Chuck Simon

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Re: New DI purchasing advice
« Reply #18 on: May 05, 2014, 11:38:09 am »

FWIW, the last time my employer sent FET85s back, Carl Countryman said "don't leave dead batteries in them and quit buying cheap mic cables; there's not a damn thing wrong with any of units you sent back."

That's right!  Even when using phantom power  the Countryman's won't function with dead batteries in them.  You are better off removing the batteries if you don't need them.  I have two that have been trouble free for probably 15 years.
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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: New DI purchasing advice
« Reply #19 on: May 05, 2014, 11:54:52 am »

That's right!  Even when using phantom power  the Countryman's won't function with dead batteries in them.  You are better off removing the batteries if you don't need them.  I have two that have been trouble free for probably 15 years.
I own one 85 that I bought around 2001 or so.  It recently went intermittent (epoxy block developed a crack).  Countryman was good enough to repair it for me free of charge, which is a heck of a warranty, but the box failed due to age, not due to abuse, dead batteries, or overuse (I probably used it 5 times per year).

I have had good luck with my Radials, other than the paint peeling off from gaff tape.
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