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DI Solutions That Work For You

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  • DI Solutions That Work For You

    If you use a DI setup, what do you use?

    I have to admit, I haven't kept up with much of the floorboards and such until recently, simply to avoid G.A.S. (LOL), even though I have friends that use them. However, I have been looking at a few DI solutions lately and keep coming back to the Tech 21 Fly Rig 5 v2. I'm probably going to snag one this month of I can.

    There's so many options out there with DI boxes tailored to guitars with cab simulations, pedals with amp/cab sims, modeling floorboards. Heck, even overdrive pedals that are basically complete preamps in of themselves with full tone stacks. Certainly makes for a compact and lightweight rig.

    I'm curious what folks here use, if anything, as a DI solution.
    Last edited by ErikH; 10-16-2020, 01:23 PM.

  • #2
    I've messed with several things. Direct into a Focusrite instrument input, (bad), using an inexpensive DI box, (ok), direct into a small Mackie mixer with dedicated guitar input, (pretty good), direct into a larger mixer with dedicated guitar input, (also good), but, by far the best has been:

    The BBE AcoustiMax preamp. While it's marketed as an "acoustic" preamp, it works equally well for electric. It has a nice tone control configuration with Bass/Treble and parametric mid. Also, a variable notch filter, and of course, the BBE Sonic Maximizer. While I'm not usually crazy about that, it works great in this application. The icing on the cake is EFX loop and tuner out, and output/line-out, AND DI XLR out. Super versatile unit with killer sound. Price is not outrageous either.

    Edit: It occurs to me that you're probably talking about a "live" situation, while I'm talking about a home studio setup. Probably way different solutions.
    Last edited by ArtieToo; 10-13-2020, 05:01 PM.


    • #3
      I use a Fractal AX8, or a Tech 21 Fly Rig. Both work well, and generally sound better than a miked amp through a PA. Both really depend on a good monitor mix onstage, though.
      Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan


      • #4
        Can't say I've heard of the the AcoustiMax preamp. Sounds like you have it working well for you, Artie. And yeah, I'm looking more at a live performance situation.

        The Tech 21 v2 really ticks all the boxes that I like in a unit like that, one of the reasons I'm targeting for it. It would certainly be great for rehearsals and even if we played somewhere that supplied the PA, I could always bring one of our floor monitors and run the 1/4" out to that with the cab sim on while feeding the FOH the XLR feed.


        • #5
          The FlyRig also does well with external pedals, too. I am not super thrilled with the Plexi pedal portion, so I use my own drive (SD 805), and it works really well.
          Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan


          • #6
            I noticed that in some demos. My plan is to have my usual pedalboard with the FlyRig on it. I like the Plexi enough that it'll add that Marshally flavor to the Sansamp and I can smack it with the OD-3 for more.
            Last edited by ErikH; 10-13-2020, 06:21 PM.


            • #7
              These are the products that I eventually found.

              The Radial JDX Direct-Drive provides a full amp cabinet simulation, along with balanced output to the board. It seems more sophisticated in that it has a polarity switch for the audio output along with a ground lift. It also has a selection of speaker types. What it doesn't have is an amp-like distortion. It seems like more of a clean machine, where upstream pedals are responsible for controlling the levels, and amount of distortion. It also has a pass-through for sending audio to another guitar amp, say one you have on stage as a personal monitor. It doesn't have a headphone out or auxiliary-in, limiting it's use as a tool for practice, unless it's combined with other equipment.

              The next one I'll mention seems to be the primary source for the others that follow. It's the Tech 21 SansAmp GT2. While it lacks balanced output for the board, it does provide an amp/cabinet simulation with switchable microphone placement. It also provides "Tweed", "British", and "California" amps which I take to be Fender, Marshall, and Mesa amps. It has clean, crunch and lead settings for each amp. It also has drive and output controls, along with bass and treble controls.

              The Behringer TM300, is functionally a knockoff of the SansAmp GT2. Its controls and input/output are identical. The form factor is smaller and the case is plastic like a number of the other Behringer pedals.

              The Palmer Pocket Amp MK 2 is mostly like the SansAmp GT2, but adds more input/output choices. It has an auxiliary-in, headphone jack and XLR out. It also adds a ground lift.

              My favorites are the JDX Direct-Drive, and the Palmer Pocket Amp. I think the Direct-Drive is best for live and recording with other stomp boxes. The Palmer is flexible in a different way. You can use it to practice in headphones, or use it as an amplifier replacing DI for live performance or recording.


              • #8
                Are you talking about recording or going direct in to a board at a gig?

                Sent from my SM-A115A using Tapatalk


                • #9
                  Good info, rbc. Thanks for sharing.

                  Demanic, recording or live.


                  • #10
                    I put an order in with Sweetwater this morning for a Tech 21 Fly Rig 5 v2. It's already shipped and I might see it Sunday or Monday. Will find out real quick if it's the right DI solution for me. The specs tick all the boxes I like.


                    • #11
                      I gigged a Sansamp for bass for the last couple years. It was great. Tone sounded better than my amp. We used in-ears so I was able to still hear myself in the mix. Showing up to gigs with nothing but a pedal and a couple cords was pretty righteous. I played several gigs without any monitoring at all. Not ideal, but it worked. I couldn't see being a stage guitarist without some monitoring though - easier to get away with this on bass, I think. This is my only experience with Tech 21 gear, but I'll be looking to them when the time comes again.
                      Originally posted by crusty philtrum
                      Anyone who *sings* at me through their teeth deserves to have a bus drive through their face


                      • #12
                        I have a small amp-less board I use at my church gigs, and it's a tuner, some sort of OD/boost into a Tech21 FlyRig original, with some added modulation on the outboard side. That into a Mooer Radar (great amp/cab sim) and a DI. It gets me 95% of the amp mic'ed up that I want, so it's been my main thing for a while.
                        Originally posted by crusty philtrum
                        ...Gimme a call when it's time to take 'em out. I don't have a gun, but i have a very sharp pointy stick and enough negativity to take out a small country...
                        Originally posted by Securb
                        The only blackmachine I care about is sitting in my jeans.


                        • #13
                          Very cool. Last night my band played our first gig since I joined at the end of August. We opened for Bryan Adams tribute (Summer of '69). I noticed right away their guitar player was going DI. We talked during soundcheck and he has a Headrush Pedalboard which he runs DI and also to a Friedman FRFR (which he has 2 of but brought 1). The lead singer uses a Headrush Gigboard straight up DI. Both sounded really good. Then here I was with my Vox AV30 getting mic'd up old school but the soundman had me set it more like a sidefill so it wouldn't mess with the FOH mix. If I can get he Fly Rig to work how I want at rehearsals, I may gig with it too.


                          • #14
                            Hughes and Kettner Redbox.
                            Guitars:Gibson LP Trad ('57 Classics), PRS SE CU 24 Flametop (TB5/PGn), Ibanez RG870RWZ (PATB set), Jackson DK2M1H (TB4) & DK2 (TB10/VRn/CRn), LTD MH-1000HS (TB-15/Lil59n), ST213A (HRb/STK-S4 m&n) & TE212 (Hot Stack/A2Pn), Dean Cadillac 1980 (59 set) & Old Skull V (TB6/JazzN), Squier VM JM (SJM-1 set);Effects:Korg Pitchblack Poly, Digitech Drop, MXR CAE MC404 & EHX Wailer wahs, L6 HX FX & Stomp, Fender FVP-1, EHX Volume Pedal; Amp & Cab:H&K GM 40 Dlx, L6 DT25 cab;


                            • #15
                              Funny you should ask. Just today I tried this rig, the Ampig into my Redbox, straight into my Focusrite Scarlett 2i4. My old band is recording a socially-distanced version of The Cars' "Dangerous Type" and Ric Ocasek's rhythm parts called for that tight Ampeg sound. The Ampig is a clone of the Catalinbread SFT SVT-in-a-box that I built for my son several years ago when he wanted some dirt for his bass.

                              It was stupid simple to dial in and it sounds awesome.

                              Tra-la-laa, lala-la-laa!
                              Rich Stevens

                              "I am using you; am I amusing you?" - Martha Johnson, What People Do For Fun