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Has anyone used a tube DI?

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  • Has anyone used a tube DI?

    I am running electric guitar to pedal board to mains. For this thread, let's leave an isolation cabinet out of the equation.

    I purchased a Sans Amp and it's OK, but I plug the board out into my amp's input and get a certain sound (Sans Amp disengaged), and then I used the Sans Amp and plug into the effects return and really can't get a sound remotely equivalent or even one I can tolerate. My intent is not to knock the Sans Amp. This just doesn't seem to be its best application.

    I realize that several factors are missing ... most notably the tube and speaker contributions to the tone.

    I am curious as to whether I might be able to tolerate the end result by only addressing one of those missing factors.

    Does anyone have any experience using an active direct box that uses a circuit that includes a tube? They are not inexpensive so I'd rather have some input/reviews before taking the plunge.
    Last edited by Lazarus1140; 03-15-2016, 09:08 AM.
    I am so close to retirement that I could play in a band full time. All I have to do is figure out what to use instead of money, improve my playing, learn some songs, and find some other musicians more talented than me who will do exactly as they're told. .

  • #2
    Re: Has anyone used a tube DI?

    I have, but only for recording bass. It's a different sound for sure, but its not going to give you a better amp emulation because of it imo. However like I said, haven't used in your application.

    Can you describe your setup in a bit more detail? And what you are ultimately trying to achieve? I'm having a hard time piecing it together. There could be some other factors at play here.
    TOUQUE ROCK...EH???? I AM CANADIAN

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    • #3
      Re: Has anyone used a tube DI?

      Without going into a long explanation of why - it is a festival stage set up to host vocal groups accompanied by acoustic guitars only. Let's just say amps are not allowed, and I don't want to play acoustic. There's nothing more to it. I purchased a Sans Amp Para Driver DI hoping that placing it between my pedal board and the mains would be good enough. To me, it is not, and I don't want to use any type of digital processor.

      My stomp boxes may not be the greatest, but they are the ones that I'm accustomed to and that get me closest to the tones or modulation effects I'm after. I just need the finished product to sound and if possible react more like it should.
      I am so close to retirement that I could play in a band full time. All I have to do is figure out what to use instead of money, improve my playing, learn some songs, and find some other musicians more talented than me who will do exactly as they're told. .

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      • #4
        Re: Has anyone used a tube DI?

        Just a stupid question, but where are you setting the Blend control? It should be full clockwise for electric guitar so there is no direct signal in the mix. You should be able to get something usable out of the Para-Driver with some tweaking, they do take some dialing in.



        That said, it's never going to be the same as playing through an amp, although one of the character series might be more what you are looking for. A tube DI box probably won't get what you want either, it will just be a warmer direct signal, but it won't sound playing through an amp.

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        • #5
          Re: Has anyone used a tube DI?

          Yeah, I printed out the manual and I have the Blend full clockwise. That setting actually diminishes the volume so the volume has to be turned up, and even with the 10 db boost engaged a little gain "Drive" has to be added. So I can match the volume and EQ that I get through my amps preamp. There is just lacks any sort of organic feel or richness.
          I am so close to retirement that I could play in a band full time. All I have to do is figure out what to use instead of money, improve my playing, learn some songs, and find some other musicians more talented than me who will do exactly as they're told. .

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Has anyone used a tube DI?

            Hmm, for the application you want - electric direct into the board WITH tube amp/speaker artifacts, I wouldn't look to the Paradriver, but instead the GT2 or Flyrig5 - I've used both direct into PA and they are so close to a mic'd amp that I've had folk asking where the amp is.

            Last Saturday, I was running sound at a small, intimate songwriter's circle, and was asked to get as close to Jeff Buckley's tele on Grace as I could. The Flyrig5 did it with no other outboard or EQ.


            Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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            • #7
              Re: Has anyone used a tube DI?

              I would strongly advise you look into the Neve DI; it's not valve, but is quite special. Also, the JHS Colour Box would be a great solution. Valve DIs are interesting, but I wouldn't advise it for gigging, especially outdoor gigs; they are not made to withstand the rigors of a hot, humid, outdoor stage. The valve itself can also be a fail point should something happen to it.
              Why don't you take your little Cobra Kais and get outta here?!
              My collaborative PROGRESSIVE ROCK PROJECT, As Follows.

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              • #8
                Re: Has anyone used a tube DI?

                I considered a Universal Audio SOLO/610 because I could use if for recording as well, but it is completely out of the budget right now. There is a limit to how much oatmeal, beans, and rice I'll eat in order to buy something that expensive that will ultimately get used sparingly.

                I will check out the other recommendations. Thanks for your input.
                I am so close to retirement that I could play in a band full time. All I have to do is figure out what to use instead of money, improve my playing, learn some songs, and find some other musicians more talented than me who will do exactly as they're told. .

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Has anyone used a tube DI?

                  I'm kinda having trouble understanding what you are looking for, are you looking for something to use WITH the Para Driver or INSTEAD of it? I have run direct a lot, and have had good luck with AMT SS series preamps and Tech 21 Character series, mostly the Leeds and the British, so I might be able to help... A regular direct box (tu-be or not tu-be) is not going to give you what you are looking for, you want some kind of amp/cabinet simulator.

                  I'll second the other Tech 21 options, maybe the Blonde would be what you are looking for. Or, one of the AMT pedals, like the F1 if you are going for a Fender sound, both of those are cheaper than the Para Driver.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Has anyone used a tube DI?

                    I haven't tried one but seems feature laden for the price

                    http://www.laney.co.uk/products/irt-pulse/

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                    • #11
                      Re: Has anyone used a tube DI?

                      Originally posted by devastone View Post
                      I'm kinda having trouble understanding what you are looking for, are you looking for something to use WITH the Para Driver or INSTEAD of it? I have run direct a lot, and have had good luck with AMT SS series preamps and Tech 21 Character series, mostly the Leeds and the British, so I might be able to help... A regular direct box (tu-be or not tu-be) is not going to give you what you are looking for, you want some kind of amp/cabinet simulator.

                      I'll second the other Tech 21 options, maybe the Blonde would be what you are looking for. Or, one of the AMT pedals, like the F1 if you are going for a Fender sound, both of those are cheaper than the Para Driver.
                      In answer to your first question, I am looking for something that sounds more like a mic'd cabinet to me than the Para Driver does. I already own the Para Driver. I found a bit of information that may help in the Q & A section on Tech 21s website. I have been testing the rig by running into the effects return of my tube amp. That may not be the best proving grounds.


                      6. What power amp do you recommend using with the SansAmp products?

                      Any solid state power amp with at least 100 watts of power should have enough clean headroom to amplify your tone without coloring it further or adding additional distortion. Since the SansAmp offers tube amp emulation, using a tube power amp could possibly add too much compression.
                      I am so close to retirement that I could play in a band full time. All I have to do is figure out what to use instead of money, improve my playing, learn some songs, and find some other musicians more talented than me who will do exactly as they're told. .

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Has anyone used a tube DI?

                        Unfortunately running through your amp won't tell you what it will sound like direct, even just going through the power section. You are still getting the frequency filtering of the speakers, and maybe a little compression from the power tubes, but unless you are running them really loud they aren't adding much. It would be better to run through some full range speakers to dial it in to run direct. Even running through a stereo will give you a better idea.
                        Last edited by devastone; 03-16-2016, 03:06 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Has anyone used a tube DI?

                          I need to borrow my Mackie powered mixer from my daughter's band to use.
                          I am so close to retirement that I could play in a band full time. All I have to do is figure out what to use instead of money, improve my playing, learn some songs, and find some other musicians more talented than me who will do exactly as they're told. .

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Has anyone used a tube DI?

                            I looked at the GT2 Vince suggested and if one can judge from the text of the ad copy alone it seems like it and the Para Driver would share the same basic tube amp/speaker emulation circuit.
                            I am so close to retirement that I could play in a band full time. All I have to do is figure out what to use instead of money, improve my playing, learn some songs, and find some other musicians more talented than me who will do exactly as they're told. .

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Has anyone used a tube DI?

                              Originally posted by regan View Post
                              I haven't tried one but seems feature laden for the price

                              http://www.laney.co.uk/products/irt-pulse/
                              I will study this tonight, but there seems to be a heavy emphasis on recording and the USB connectivity etc.
                              I am so close to retirement that I could play in a band full time. All I have to do is figure out what to use instead of money, improve my playing, learn some songs, and find some other musicians more talented than me who will do exactly as they're told. .

                              Comment

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