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Author Topic: Direct Box for Headway The Band Violin Pickup System  (Read 6457 times)

Alan Chavis

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Direct Box for Headway The Band Violin Pickup System
« on: March 20, 2015, 02:03:27 pm »

Anyone have any experience working with a violin with the Headway The Band Violin Pickup System?

http://www.headwaymusicaudio.com/product/the-band-violin/

We have a violinist in our group with this pickup and I'm thinking we need to use a direct box for it.  I'm wondering if I need to use a direct box that is designed for a piezo pickup or not.

Thanks!

Alan

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Art Welter

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Re: Direct Box for Headway The Band Violin Pickup System
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2015, 01:44:09 pm »

Anyone have any experience working with a violin with the Headway The Band Violin Pickup System?

http://www.headwaymusicaudio.com/product/the-band-violin/

We have a violinist in our group with this pickup and I'm thinking we need to use a direct box for it.  I'm wondering if I need to use a direct box that is designed for a piezo pickup or not.

Thanks!

Alan
Alan,

The ad copy:

"It requires no alteration of the instrument itself and generates a strong passive (no batteries required) signal which can usually be plugged straight into a mixing desk or combo amp."

would indicate it could use any ordinary direct box. An active direct may have more extended high frequency response over a passive due to the higher input impedance not loading the pickup, but given that we often cut the HF on violins, the choice of DI could be subjective.

Art

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g'bye, Dick Rees

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Re: Direct Box for Headway The Band Violin Pickup System
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2015, 02:03:20 pm »

Art is not wrong.

But as usual with such products, I recommend purchasing the matching pre-amp/DI designed and engineered by the manufacturer to match the transducer part of the SYSTEM.

Here's a link to the primo model.  Two other less featured models are available for less cost.

http://www.wwbw.com/Headway-EDB-2-Direct-Preamp-J08559-i3687911.wwbw

Why instrumentalists persist in buying 1/2 a system is beyond me...
« Last Edit: March 21, 2015, 02:08:40 pm by dick rees »
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Keith Broughton

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Re: Direct Box for Headway The Band Violin Pickup System
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2015, 03:58:05 pm »

Art is not wrong.

But as usual with such products, I recommend purchasing the matching pre-amp/DI designed and engineered by the manufacturer to match the transducer part of the SYSTEM.

Here's a link to the primo model.  Two other less featured models are available for less cost.

http://www.wwbw.com/Headway-EDB-2-Direct-Preamp-J08559-i3687911.wwbw

Why instrumentalists persist in buying 1/2 a system is beyond me...
Dude...too many knobs man.  8) What do they all do?  ;D
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Lyle Williams

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Re: Direct Box for Headway The Band Violin Pickup System
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2015, 04:47:40 pm »

If it is a Piezo pickup it needs an ultra high impedance active DI.

http://www.radialeng.com/pzdi.php

http://www.radialeng.com/stagebugsb4.php

Etc...

But I agree with the half a system comment too.


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Alan Chavis

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Re: Direct Box for Headway The Band Violin Pickup System
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2015, 05:56:52 pm »

I ordered the StageBug SB-4 as well as a StageBug SB-1, so we'll see which one sounds better.

I'll encourage the violinist to consider buying one of the preamps designed to work with pickup.

Thanks for the help!

Alan
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John Halliburton

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Re: Direct Box for Headway The Band Violin Pickup System
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2015, 09:28:54 am »

Dude...too many knobs man.  8) What do they all do?  ;D

I agree.  I've seen enough players botch up their sound with overly complicated "direct boxes".  I've even demonstrated a couple of times that swapping theirs for a cheap tube preamp/DI like the ART Tube MP sounds better with less work.

Best regards,

John
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James A. Griffin

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Re: Direct Box for Headway The Band Violin Pickup System
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2015, 11:17:32 am »

Why instrumentalists persist in buying 1/2 a system is beyond me...

The same reason they show up at a gig without a 1/4" cable.   The sound guy has everything needed to make their stuff work.
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g'bye, Dick Rees

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Re: Direct Box for Headway The Band Violin Pickup System
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2015, 11:33:41 am »

I agree.  I've seen enough players botch up their sound with overly complicated "direct boxes".  I've even demonstrated a couple of times that swapping theirs for a cheap tube preamp/DI like the ART Tube MP sounds better with less work.

Best regards,

John

The linked box was their most ambitious.  There are two other models, each simpler with fewer suck knobs, but designed by the engineering staff to match up with the pickup thingee itself.

Me, I'd play a full out electric fiddle if I had to work in a band with  amplified instruments.  No messing around...solid body, plenty of signal, no feedback.
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Jim McKeveny

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Re: Direct Box for Headway The Band Violin Pickup System
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2015, 11:37:18 am »

I've seen enough players botch up their sound with overly complicated "direct boxes".

It's about a 1 in 5 shot that anyone coming to my theater with a LR Baggs acoustic DI hasn't totally bodged their sound.
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Steve M Smith

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Re: Direct Box for Headway The Band Violin Pickup System
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2015, 12:29:33 pm »

An active direct may have more extended high frequency response over a passive due to the higher input impedance not loading the pickup, but given that we often cut the HF on violins, the choice of DI could be subjective.
A high input impedance with a piezo pickup is usually required to bring out the low end of an instrument rather than the high end.

Plugging a piezo double bass bridge pickup into a normal line input loses the bottom end.


Steve.
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John Halliburton

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Re: Direct Box for Headway The Band Violin Pickup System
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2015, 01:19:44 pm »

The linked box was their most ambitious.  There are two other models, each simpler with fewer suck knobs, but designed by the engineering staff to match up with the pickup thingee itself.

Me, I'd play a full out electric fiddle if I had to work in a band with  amplified instruments.  No messing around...solid body, plenty of signal, no feedback.

I agree-we've been tempted to go that route on and off for years.  A nice Jensen 5 string with the Barbera bridge...

John
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Scott Helmke

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Re: Direct Box for Headway The Band Violin Pickup System
« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2015, 04:00:35 pm »

A high input impedance with a piezo pickup is usually required to bring out the low end of an instrument rather than the high end.

Plugging a piezo double bass bridge pickup into a normal line input loses the bottom end.

It also makes the mids sound really bad.
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Tim Padrick

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Re: Direct Box for Headway The Band Violin Pickup System
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2015, 02:51:28 am »

I'd go with a PZDI.  Whether or not the PZ buffer sounds better on that pickup, it will likely sound better on whatever is on the backup instrument.  (If you are in the UK and it's hard to get Radial, try an Orchid active DI.)
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Dan Richardson

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Re: Direct Box for Headway The Band Violin Pickup System
« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2015, 08:54:57 am »

It also makes the mids sound really bad.

Doesn't help the high end much, either.
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Steve M Smith

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Re: Direct Box for Headway The Band Violin Pickup System
« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2015, 01:32:58 pm »

Doesn't help the high end much, either.

So apart from the low end, the mids and the highs, it sounds fine!


Steve.
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Scott Wagner

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Re: Direct Box for Headway The Band Violin Pickup System
« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2015, 03:17:12 pm »

I'm loving the new Rupert Neve Designs RNDI in this application. It only has a 2MOhm input impedance, but it seems to be enough.
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Scott Wagner
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Hanno Meingast

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Re: Direct Box for Headway The Band Violin Pickup System
« Reply #17 on: April 12, 2015, 10:46:22 am »

Avenson mini DI


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk.    Hanno
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Steve M Smith

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Re: Direct Box for Headway The Band Violin Pickup System
« Reply #18 on: April 12, 2015, 12:33:24 pm »

Avenson mini DI

That looks good.  I see no reason for a DI to be much bigger than that.  I have no idea why the industry standard (at least over here) BSS DI is so large.


Steve.
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David Morison

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Re: Direct Box for Headway The Band Violin Pickup System
« Reply #19 on: April 12, 2015, 12:38:23 pm »

That looks good.  I see no reason for a DI to be much bigger than that.  I have no idea why the industry standard (at least over here) BSS DI is so large.


Steve.

Double duty as a 12AM aiming device?  ;)
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: Direct Box for Headway The Band Violin Pickup System
« Reply #20 on: April 12, 2015, 01:05:32 pm »

http://forums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/topic,151663.msg1390673.html#msg1390673

I don't know if this linked thread is instructive, but just about any active input DI will have a very high inherent input impedance, often using a resistor termination to define the input Z lower. In the above case we were able to raise the input impedance to 3M for use with a piezo transducer by swapping out the termination resistor.

JR 
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