ProSoundWeb Community

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

Pages: 1 2 [All]   Go Down

Author Topic: Passive or Active  (Read 716 times)

Joel Colin

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 14
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
Logged

Tim Hite

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 49
    • Bad Quail
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
Logged
Bad Quail
Professional Audio
Joshua Tree, California

TJ (Tom) Cornish

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3551
  • St. Paul, MN
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.
Logged

Steve M Smith

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2841
  • Isle of Wight - England
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.
Logged

Frank DeWitt

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 888
    • LBP DI Box
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.
Logged
Not to Code

Steve M Smith

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2841
  • Isle of Wight - England
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.
Logged

Jay Barracato

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1735
  • Solomons, MD
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

Logged
Jay Barracato

Robert Lofgren

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 384
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.
Logged

Joel Colin

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 14
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?
Logged

Robert Lofgren

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 384
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?
Logged

TJ (Tom) Cornish

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3551
  • St. Paul, MN
Re: Passive or Active
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2017, 07:11:33 am »

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?
Robert is right - your DI is very low-quality and/or broken; it's not an active vs. passive thing.

Generally speaking, active DI boxes were designed for very low-level devices like passive guitar pickups because their extremely high input impedance won't load the guitar pickup down which could affect the guitar tone. That said, a quality active DI can take a very high level as well.  If I remember correctly, one of the first active DI boxes - the Countryman 85 - boasted that it could take a 120v mains level signal without damage.

If necessary, the pad switch is there to knock down really hot signals.

Get a good active DI and you will be fine. The Radial Pro48 is a great choice at a reasonable cost, as is the BSS mentioned, however I prefer the Radial as the BSS effectively has an off switch that is problematic.
Logged

Frank DeWitt

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 888
    • LBP DI Box
Re: Passive or Active
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2017, 08:34:29 am »

A guitar with a built in preamp or any guitar with a peddle board will work very well with a quality pasive DI. There are others, but any passive DI with a Jensen transformer is a quality DI.  I prefer passive because there is less to go wrong on a Sunday morning. 
Logged
Not to Code

brian maddox

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1377
Re: Passive or Active
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2017, 08:42:46 am »

A guitar with a built in preamp or any guitar with a peddle board will work very well with a quality pasive DI. There are others, but any passive DI with a Jensen transformer is a quality DI.  I prefer passive because there is less to go wrong on a Sunday morning.

This.

I've spent frantic minutes many many times tracking down issues with Active Di's, but not once have i had a passive one plugged in and thought to myself "this sounds terrible.  If only i had an Active DI".  And that's even with relatively cheap passive DI's.
Logged
brian maddox
11brian.maddox11@gmail.com

'...do not trifle with affairs of dragons...

       ....for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup...'

Keith Broughton

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Online Online
  • Posts: 2189
  • Toronto
Re: Passive or Active
« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2017, 11:15:13 am »

A guitar with a built in preamp or any guitar with a peddle board will work very well with a quality pasive DI. There are others, but any passive DI with a Jensen transformer is a quality DI.  I prefer passive because there is less to go wrong on a Sunday morning.
This is how I see it. The emphasis on quality!
I do keep a couple of active DIs for instruments with piezo pickups.
Logged
I don't care enough to be apathetic

Tim Hite

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 49
    • Bad Quail
Re: Passive or Active
« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2017, 11:55:32 am »

. . . not once have i had a passive one plugged in and thought to myself "this sounds terrible.  If only i had an Active DI". . .

That sums up my thinking.

I don't think I own any gear that requires an active DI box.
Logged
Bad Quail
Professional Audio
Joshua Tree, California
Pages: 1 2 [All]   Go Up
 


Page created in 0.078 seconds with 16 queries.