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Arthur Stone



Joined: 03/08/06
Posts: 24
Loc: Wales
Radial JDI Passive DI Review
      #970130 - 14/02/12 02:51 PM


Background: I use an Ibanez SR500 bass and whilst it's perfect to play, I haven't been totally happy with the tone which was lacking resolution both live and recorded; also the dynamics were uneven across strings and the fretboard. In the mix this led to an ambiguity in the soundstage and I needed a lot of top end to bring definition whilst boosting the bass meant wooliness. Things improved after DI'ing the bass through a BAE1073mpf (which passed through the output transformer but not the input transformer)...the tone was there...a healthy ringing warmth - but still the lack of definition and uneveness of dynamics.
After reading up at Gearslutz.com I reckoned I needed a passive DI - I nearly bought a cheap one, but decided to save up for a Radial JDI.

Hardware: The first thing I noticed as I unpacked it was the weight (720g)...very solid; this acts like an anchor with the non-slip rubberised base. The folded-steel design is ergonomic and there are no sharp edges to snag cables. The enamel finish is quality with clear legends; the push-buttons latch well and the insert sockets are tightly secured to the chassis. As the JDI a passive unit there is no batteries or external power needed.



In Use: The weight is a well-judged balance between stability and portability, it's a solid base for the cable and doesn't drag around easily, it's set and forget. I plugged in an active bass (Ibanez SR500) to the JDI input; then a short XLR from the JDI output into the mic input on the BAE and added 40dB of gain (@1200ohms).
I was blown away from the start - it sounded 'peachy' (sorry!). The tone was very pleasant, still the harmonics but no harshness; the resolution of the tone, the shape of it, was incredible...very 3D (and I'm looking forward to mixing bass now); the articulation of dynamics seemed to have been improved too - there was more evenness across strings and frets. Basically it sounded like one guitar rather than 4 different ones.

On electro-acoustic guitar the JDI performed just as well as bass...same peachiness of tone and smoothing of harsh harmonics with added 3Dness.
I tried a passive electric guitar too and was impressed...better than any other DI input I have - the fact that the JDI is passive didn't adversely affect the tone...maybe a little bit darker but certainly full bodied.
'Musical' really does apply here; it's as if the JDI is an instrument itself.



Conclusion: This is great bang-for-buck for your signal path. It sounds superb. Excellent design and build quality. I'd thoroughly recommend the JDI for anyone who wants to improve their guitar tone and resolution.


References:
Radial Engineering JDI & J48
http://www.radialeng.com/pdfs/smartsheet-jdi.pdf

Edited by Arthur Stone (14/02/12 02:57 PM)


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Glenn Bucci
active member


Joined: 28/10/02
Posts: 1214
Loc: Pennsylvania
Re: Radial JDI Passive DI Review new [Re: Arthur Stone]
      #974667 - 08/03/12 03:49 AM
I have the unit also and just love it. I use it mostly for recording bass as well. I use the XLR to a mic to record thebassamp with my Brauner mic. Then the quarter inch jack goes to my Portico pre or Manley Voxbox.

I also foundby going in it and then my bass amp, it gives a more solid sound. Really happy with it.

--------------------
revelationsoundstudio.com


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Jimmy T



Joined: 30/07/06
Posts: 46
Re: Radial JDI Passive DI Review new [Re: Arthur Stone]
      #975535 - 13/03/12 03:28 PM
I've got one also and again I use it for bass. It works very well.


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Helmutcrab



Joined: 08/08/06
Posts: 697
Loc: County Durham, UK
Re: Radial JDI Passive DI Review new [Re: Glenn Bucci]
      #975635 - 14/03/12 08:44 AM
Hi Glenn,

Im interested as to how you use your jdi for recording bass amp with a mic but am confused. Are you using the xlr output of the jdi into your mic and then taking the jdi 1/4" input to a preamp ? Is the impedance not too high for a preamp from the 1/4" unbalanced input on the jdi or is that sorted by your portico/manley. I didn't realise you could reverse the signal path on d.i's, if so thats very interesting. Im just trying to learn about this subject.

Cheers

Peter

--------------------
music for the downtrodden
https://soundcloud.com/slipper-hero


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Henry Mark1



Joined: 05/03/12
Posts: 19
Loc: USA
Re: Radial JDI Passive DI Review new [Re: Arthur Stone]
      #976699 - 19/03/12 09:13 AM
This thing is very nice. I have it with me and I am very satisfied with it.


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ryanevans1



Joined: 22/03/12
Posts: 1
Re: Radial JDI Passive DI Review new [Re: Arthur Stone]
      #977551 - 22/03/12 06:20 PM
Wow this is quite unique and fun thing. Good job man!

Edited by zenguitar (22/03/12 07:36 PM)


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Frank EleveldModerator



Joined: 30/08/04
Posts: 3819
Loc: NL
Re: Radial JDI Passive DI Review new [Re: Arthur Stone]
      #979105 - 30/03/12 09:37 AM
I'm a big fan of the Radial DI-boxes as well. Nice concise write-up!


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Arthur Stone



Joined: 03/08/06
Posts: 24
Loc: Wales
Re: Radial JDI Passive DI Review new [Re: Arthur Stone]
      #985960 - 05/05/12 08:39 PM
Anyone considering the Radial should check out the review of the Orchid DI's in this months issue of SOS.


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Martin WalkerModerator
Watcher Of The Skies


Joined: 28/02/01
Posts: 17489
Loc: Cornwall, UK
Re: Radial JDI Passive DI Review new [Re: Arthur Stone]
      #986226 - 08/05/12 12:13 AM
Orchid products are getting quite a reputation for quality results at bargain prices


Martin

--------------------
YewTreeMagic


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Imran500



Joined: 25/03/08
Posts: 1054
Re: Radial JDI Passive DI Review new [Re: Arthur Stone]
      #987399 - 14/05/12 07:19 PM
Quote Arthur Stone:




'Musical' really does apply here; it's as if the JDI is an instrument itself.






I've got the J48 Active one - I'd say it bumped up the quality of my DI'd in Guitar Rig recordings by 30% it was significantly better sounding. Quality DI boxes are a must have


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grab



Joined: 08/07/07
Posts: 2903
Loc: Cambridge, UK
Re: Radial JDI Passive DI Review new [Re: Martin Walker]
      #988882 - 22/05/12 09:15 AM
I've just got some Orchids too. We played a large-ish pub in St Ives on Friday, so we thought it'd be a good opportunity for our newbie soundman to practise. Also a good test for the Orchid DIs too (two mini ones on the two guitar synths and a standard one on my bass), since the room lights were incandescents on a dimmer, turned down to about a quarter. Not a trace of hum, and everything sounded spot-on.


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