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Author Topic: Best inexpensive DI box for Keys/Synth  (Read 18296 times)

Stuart Pendleton

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Re: Best inexpensive DI box for Keys/Synth
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2012, 09:55:09 pm »

No problem with the Imps except they didn't continue to work after a couple of years. When they worked they were fine.
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Tim Weaver

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Re: Best inexpensive DI box for Keys/Synth
« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2012, 10:14:12 pm »

What's everyone's beef with IMPs? I've got a bunch that sound fine and take quite a beating. They are only like $40 and made by a respectable company.

I use Type 85s for the money channels but for everything else I'm happy with IMPs.

I picked up a Radial D2 last month and it arrived from the factory with one dead channel. Probably a fluke, but for what I consider a high-end DI I would expect better QC.


For 90% of stuff the IMP will be fine. It has a cheaper transformer in it which will distort earlier on loud sources, and it won't pass the lowest notes on a bass guitar, but even this I doubt would be noticed by anyone.

I use an IMP for a fiddle, which works fine. I use a RedDI for 5 string bass, which is flat out THE tits.
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Bullwinkle: This is the amplifier, which amplifies the sound. This is the Preamplifier which, of course, amplifies the pree's.

Bob Leonard

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Re: Best inexpensive DI box for Keys/Synth
« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2012, 11:37:29 pm »

Brian,
I use Roland XV-3080 and 5080 sound modules as part of our live rig. You might know that the 3080 and 5080 have up to 8 line level outputs each. You didn't mention your board but I don't know of many that don't have a line level input as well as an XLR input for mic/low level sources. I'm sure that you're batteling some high level output to the board, driving your channel strips to peak with little or no control over the channel gain.

I have found over the years that a DI may work, but that lower costs DIs tend to have adverse effects on tonal quality, not to mention the cumulative costs for quality DIs.

I use and suggest either of the products at the links below. Either can usually be found on Ebay for less than $200. They will never let you down, alter tone, or hurt your equipment. They can also be used in a number of applications where a DI is just not the right tool.

http://www.rane.com/sm26s.html

http://www.rane.com/sm82s.html
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Brian Kilpatrick

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Re: Best inexpensive DI box for Keys/Synth
« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2012, 11:50:22 am »

Thanks for the replies guys! The more keyboard players I talk to, the more I find are using Radials, so that must be a good thing. We really only have one money channel so I guess it would be worth it to invest in that one, and keep the cheap EBDs for the other channels until we can afford otherwise.

Now, is there a significant difference in sound quality with DIs that have a Jensen transformer? I think this is the most inexpensive one I could find - http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/725907-REG/Whirlwind_IMP_JT_IMP_JT_Direct_Box.html. Its an IMP tho, and I see some of you have had failures with that brand. Radial seems like the sure bet but pretty expensive for the Jensen which goes back the the first question, is their huge difference in the ProDI vs JDI? It would be for the main Yamaha Motif, using acoustic piano and rhodes patches most of the time.

I use and suggest either of the products at the links below. Either can usually be found on Ebay for less than $200. They will never let you down, alter tone, or hurt your equipment. They can also be used in a number of applications where a DI is just not the right tool.

http://www.rane.com/sm26s.html

http://www.rane.com/sm82s.html

Thanks Bob, I dont know much about those, do they perform the isolating and ground lifting that a DI would or?
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Tim Weaver

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Re: Best inexpensive DI box for Keys/Synth
« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2012, 12:07:43 pm »

Thanks for the replies guys! The more keyboard players I talk to, the more I find are using Radials, so that must be a good thing. We really only have one money channel so I guess it would be worth it to invest in that one, and keep the cheap EBDs for the other channels until we can afford otherwise.

Now, is there a significant difference in sound quality with DIs that have a Jensen transformer? I think this is the most inexpensive one I could find - http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/725907-REG/Whirlwind_IMP_JT_IMP_JT_Direct_Box.html. Its an IMP tho, and I see some of you have had failures with that brand. Radial seems like the sure bet but pretty expensive for the Jensen which goes back the the first question, is their huge difference in the ProDI vs JDI? It would be for the main Yamaha Motif, using acoustic piano and rhodes patches most of the time.

Thanks Bob, I dont know much about those, do they perform the isolating and ground lifting that a DI would or?


The difference between the ProDI and the JDI is all the fancy switches. The ProDI is just a basic, good DI. The JDI can do polarity, pads, signal combining, waffles, cuddling, etc...

The ProDI has a pad and a ground lift and that's it. Same transformer though. Personally I like this one better for live work. There is less to screw up.

I will say again, though, check out the DBX line of DI's. They are fantastic for the money.

You can get the DB10 under $60, and the DB12 is under $70. If you watch for sales they'll get even cheaper.
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Best inexpensive DI box for Keys/Synth
« Reply #15 on: April 26, 2012, 12:10:04 pm »


The JDI can do polarity, pads, signal combining, waffles, cuddling, etc...


Waffles?  Count me in!
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Brian Kilpatrick

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Re: Best inexpensive DI box for Keys/Synth
« Reply #16 on: April 26, 2012, 12:21:02 pm »

The ProDI has a pad and a ground lift and that's it. Same transformer though.

Unless I'm missing something, according to their website, the JDI has the Jensen, ProDI does not. http://www.radialeng.com/r2011/comparing-dis.php

I will check out the DBXs tho!
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Tim Weaver

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Re: Best inexpensive DI box for Keys/Synth
« Reply #17 on: April 26, 2012, 12:27:16 pm »

Unless I'm missing something, according to their website, the JDI has the Jensen, ProDI does not. http://www.radialeng.com/r2011/comparing-dis.php

I will check out the DBXs tho!

I always thought they had Jensons too, but I guess not. Here it is, straight from the horse's mouth.

http://www.gearslutz.com/board/so-much-gear-so-little-time/163751-difference-between-radial-prodi-jensen-radial-jdi.html
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Bullwinkle: This is the amplifier, which amplifies the sound. This is the Preamplifier which, of course, amplifies the pree's.

Brian Kilpatrick

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Re: Best inexpensive DI box for Keys/Synth
« Reply #18 on: April 26, 2012, 01:27:13 pm »

I always thought they had Jensons too, but I guess not. Here it is, straight from the horse's mouth.

http://www.gearslutz.com/board/so-much-gear-so-little-time/163751-difference-between-radial-prodi-jensen-radial-jdi.html

Ah! Thanks much, looking more like a JDI for me unless the solution Bob mentioned would yield the same audio fidelity. Anybody have experience with this? 
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Tim Padrick

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Re: Best inexpensive DI box for Keys/Synth
« Reply #19 on: May 10, 2012, 01:23:32 am »

Audiopile.net or Radial Pro.  The Radial J do sound a little better, but will anyone notice?
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Re: Best inexpensive DI box for Keys/Synth
« Reply #19 on: May 10, 2012, 01:23:32 am »


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