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DI Box Attenuation Switch

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DI Box Attenuation Switch

Postby Mike Sullivan » Sat Apr 21, 2012 2:23 am

I'm looking at a couple of relatively cheap DI boxes with attenuation switches. Would it be feasable to use these with a powered output from an amplifier (external speaker connection) to hook into a board? Just making sure what I'm thinking is right before I give it a try...plus it's much easier to do it that way than to try and mic an amp up on stage...haha. Thanks!
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Re: DI Box Attenuation Switch

Postby Mike Stranks » Sat Apr 21, 2012 8:25 am

Mr Behringer advertises some of his DIs as being able to be driven directly from a speaker output, but I'd REALLY not want to go that way m'self.

If we're talikng guitar amps here then the overall sound you hear is a comination of amp and speaker and the interaction between the two. I'm not sure most guitarists would be happy with any suggestion of removing (for them) an important element of their sound.

If you really don't want to mic amps I think there are three preferred options to your suggestion:
1) Check if the amp-head has a direct out. Connect that to a DI and then into your desk.
2) Put a DI between the instrument and the amp. Instrumentalist is happy because they can hear their guitar as they like to - volume is another issue! This will probably give quite a 'sterile' sound which may not be what you/musos want in the PA.
3) as for (2) but... Use Mr Behringers red DI boxes - can't remember model - which has a speaker emulator built-in. For this application it's actually not bad.

The other option is to get the guitarist to use a 'pod', but some don't like doing that, they may not have one and they're more expensive than a decent DI.
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Re: DI Box Attenuation Switch

Postby Polaris » Sat Apr 21, 2012 11:45 pm

Yo,

Using the Speaker output will fry most DI boxes as the pad wont be enough. usually the pad takes the line level signal down enough to make it mic level. Speaker level will be way higher.....

The output after the amp head raw sounds quite brittle. There are dedicated boxes out there for guitars which incude a speaker simulator to add some of that warmth back to the signal. We Use 2 Redboxes (http://www.thomann.de/de/hugheskettner_ ... lassic.htm) on guitars and I supplement it by adding the mic channel to give back some of the warmth. Palmer do a really nice one with simulator switches. (http://www.thomann.de/gb/palmer_pdi09.htm)

These however can't be used as standard DI boxes.

If your looking for something a bit more versatile Emo (E520) do one that has Line ins and on the opposite side it has speaker ins so you can get the best of both worlds. But you'll end up with the more brittle sounding guitar as there is no processing in there. Radial J48 also has this feature and do sound REALLY nice on acoustics too!

I have used all of them. and I still go back to using a mic or using it along side a mic.....

If space is an issue to using a mic Mic stand getting in the way etc..... have a look at zbars as an alternative they can give you the use of mics without having stands on stage. or a flat mic say a e906/e609.

another down side to only running DI's on guitar amps is allot of amps don't have speaker outputs. you ether have to solder cables on to the speaker terminals to make it possible, or install a connector on the am yourself.

Good luck.

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Re: DI Box Attenuation Switch

Postby ef37a » Sun Apr 22, 2012 6:29 am

An attenuator to feed a standard DI box, active or passive is a pretty simple build.

A 39k in series with 1k (DI box "across" the 1k) will give 32dB of attenuation and bring the likely worse case 100W into 16R signal down from 40V rms to 1V rms. Surely well within the input limits of even the crappiest DI and an Orchid will hiss all over one volt!

The connection to the speaker is an easy one. Pair of insulated croc clips. These were always an indespenisble tool in the PA/recordists' kit box made up to a variety of audio connectors (and some NON audio ones NOT for eyes here!) and were refered to as an " XLR 3 male to "croc".

NB:Put another 39k in the other "leg" and you can pinch line level from balanced 100volt speaker lines.

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Re: DI Box Attenuation Switch

Postby Mike Stranks » Sun Apr 22, 2012 8:26 am

Polaris wrote:...These however can't be used as standard DI boxes....
Is that because you can't disengage the emulation at all? I've used my 'Red' Behringer DI as a standard DI when I've had no other option and it's been OK. It has an emulation engage/disengage switch.

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Re: DI Box Attenuation Switch

Postby Polaris » Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:08 am

Yep pretty much, as well as the Pads being permanent for Speaker level.
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Re: DI Box Attenuation Switch

Postby Mike Sullivan » Mon Apr 23, 2012 5:00 pm

I had plans on buying a couple 609's and short stands, as they do make mic'ing easy, just didn't know if using a DI would work in some cases, as some amps do have a powered cabinet output. Most do have a line output, and I use that whenever possible, but I'm just trying to go for simplicity here (solo guy on a sound rig, but someone has to do it :-) ) just trying to find the best solutions. Looks like I may just get 2-4 DI's just to have for line outs, and just buy 2 or 3 609's. At least I asked before I tried. Thanks guys!
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Re: DI Box Attenuation Switch

Postby planetnine » Tue Apr 24, 2012 7:19 pm

The EMO boxes can be used on the outputs of amplifiers. I've done this when I've wanted the Muso's amp settings and there's no other outputs on the head. I wouldn't want to plonk one on a Crown 5000, but I've had no problems with bass amps, keyboard amps, etc...

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