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Author Topic: Passive or Active  (Read 1285 times)

TJ (Tom) Cornish

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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.
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Frank DeWitt

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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. 
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brian maddox

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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.
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brian maddox
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Keith Broughton

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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.
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Tim Hite

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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.
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Bad Quail
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