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Author Topic: Passive or Active  (Read 1761 times)

Joel Colin

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Passive or Active
« on: April 03, 2017, 09:02:30 pm »

Hi,
I am looking to buy a series of passive direct boxes for the church that I do sound in. The instruments that I have are as listed: 2 keyboards, 1 electric drum set, bass guitar and acoustic guitar (with pickups). The bass guitar is having a mic placed in front of the amp, however the acoustic is running straight from Di through to front of house.
The question that I have concerning the setup is whether I should be using active or passive direct boxes. Some have told me that if you are using powered instruments, you should be using passive direct boxes.
In that instance, would the guitar be considered as a powered instrument or would I have to use an active direct box for it?
Thanks
Joel C
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Tim Hite

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Re: Passive or Active
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2017, 09:43:39 pm »

Hi,
I am looking to buy a series of passive direct boxes for the church that I do sound in. The instruments that I have are as listed: 2 keyboards, 1 electric drum set, bass guitar and acoustic guitar (with pickups). The bass guitar is having a mic placed in front of the amp, however the acoustic is running straight from Di through to front of house.
The question that I have concerning the setup is whether I should be using active or passive direct boxes. Some have told me that if you are using powered instruments, you should be using passive direct boxes.
In that instance, would the guitar be considered as a powered instrument or would I have to use an active direct box for it?
Thanks
Joel C

Acoustic guitar with a built in preamp would use a passive DI box. Something like an electric guitar with passive pickups you'd want an active DI for.

http://www.radialeng.com/di-questions.php
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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: Passive or Active
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2017, 07:20:47 am »

Acoustic guitar with a built in preamp would use a passive DI box. Something like an electric guitar with passive pickups you'd want an active DI for.

http://www.radialeng.com/di-questions.php
You can use an active DI on anything you want to, including acoustic guitars with built-in preamps.

Other than potentially cost, the only downside of active DI boxes is you can't run them backwards in a pinch.  Every sound board made in the last 25 years supports phantom power, so the battery issue is no longer a thing.

I would do one of two things - either use all active DI boxes for everything - Radial Pro48 probably so everything is standardized, or go with passive for the multichannel stuff - drums and keys (ProD2), and active for all the guitars.
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Steve M Smith

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Re: Passive or Active
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2017, 09:27:21 am »

You can use an active DI on anything you want to, including acoustic guitars with built-in preamps.

That's all I ever use.  Usually a BSS AR-133.


Steve.
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Frank DeWitt

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Re: Passive or Active
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2017, 02:03:11 pm »

That's all I ever use.  Usually a BSS AR-133.

Steve.

There is a down side to the less expensive active DI boxes.  They do not have a true ground lift. there for you can't get complete isolation and this can cause hum or buzz problems.  The expensive active DI boxes like the Radial J48 have a switching power supply and complete ground lift.

On the passive side, The transformer is everything.  A passive DI with the filters and pads turned off has a transformer and a resistor between the input and output, nothing else.

Disclaimer, I make and sell passive DI boxes.
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Steve M Smith

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Re: Passive or Active
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2017, 03:09:29 am »

The expensive active DI boxes like the Radial J48 have a switching power supply and complete ground lift.

As does the AR-133.

I also make my own DI boxes, they are active with high impedance FET inputs for piezo pickups.

Steve.
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Jay Barracato

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Re: Passive or Active
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2017, 11:27:56 am »

If this is an established stage setup, this might be a good time to get a couple of drop snakes with the di's built in.

Whirlwind has had several configurations through the years.

Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk

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Jay Barracato

Robert Lofgren

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Re: Passive or Active
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2017, 02:12:15 pm »

Be careful with high output devices like 18v basses as they can clip the active DI unless being pad'ed.
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Joel Colin

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Re: Passive or Active
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2017, 11:05:14 pm »

You can use an active DI on anything you want to, including acoustic guitars with built-in preamps.

Other than potentially cost, the only downside of active DI boxes is you can't run them backwards in a pinch.  Every sound board made in the last 25 years supports phantom power, so the battery issue is no longer a thing.

I would do one of two things - either use all active DI boxes for everything - Radial Pro48 probably so everything is standardized, or go with passive for the multichannel stuff - drums and keys (ProD2), and active for all the guitars.

First of all, thank you for your reply.

I have one question regarding a previous setup that I had. I originally had an active Di Box (https://www.storedj.com.au/behringer-ultra-di-di20-2-channel-di-box-splitter) running out from the acoustic guitar (with a built in preamp) and then into front of house. It produced a large hiss noise, and I wondered where this was coming from. I then tried plugging the electric keyboard into the active DI and the same result was present. I then concluded that the Di box was broken. Would the hiss have occurred because I did not use a passive Di box instead of the active, because both instruments had built in preamps?
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Robert Lofgren

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Re: Passive or Active
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2017, 05:23:04 am »

The di20 is not a good di. It is very noisy...

Their di100 and gi100 are very decent though.

First of all, thank you for your reply.

I have one question regarding a previous setup that I had. I originally had an active Di Box (https://www.storedj.com.au/behringer-ultra-di-di20-2-channel-di-box-splitter) running out from the acoustic guitar (with a built in preamp) and then into front of house. It produced a large hiss noise, and I wondered where this was coming from. I then tried plugging the electric keyboard into the active DI and the same result was present. I then concluded that the Di box was broken. Would the hiss have occurred because I did not use a passive Di box instead of the active, because both instruments had built in preamps?
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