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Which Radial DI box?

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Which Radial DI box?

Postby GlynH » Wed Feb 26, 2014 7:11 pm

Looking at the Radial site there are so many DI boxes that seem to do a similar task the choice seems overwhelming.

So let me try the simple approach by asking those of you who have experience and have trodden this path before;

A friend of mine has an acoustic guitar fitted with an a active piezo pickup powered by a 9v battery.

This would be the primary purpose for the DI box but I can't rule out using it with another instrument in the future such as a Reverend electric guitar perhaps?

What would be the best Radial DI box for use with the active piezo pickup?

I like the idea of the J48 which can be phantom powered from the desk easily rather than having a separate PSU for the DI but not sure how the impedance/black magic might match the pickup on one side and mixer (PreSonus StudioLive) on the other with a 1k input impedance I believe?

If there is one DI box that is so much better for this particular purpose then running 240v to power it is something I could live with!

Any advice/hints/tips/gotchas would be gratefully received!

Thanks & kind regards,
-=Glyn=-
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Re: Which Radial DI box?

Postby niallharp » Wed Feb 26, 2014 7:41 pm

Be aware the J48 can ONLY be powered by phantom power, Threre are no batteries... And just as well as the tone sucks as soon as the battery goes down even a little bit. A j48 will work fine with any desk. It's over specced to the max, and sounds great. Well, it does if you put a good instrument thru it!
All the best!
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Re: Which Radial DI box?

Postby Bob Bickerton » Wed Feb 26, 2014 8:03 pm

J48 is a great DI, but for acoustic I'd be thinking LR Baggs Para DI, a fantastic bit of kit with onboard EQ. Radial do have some purpose built DIs for piezo pick ups but I haven't tried them.

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Re: Which Radial DI box?

Postby twotoedsloth » Wed Feb 26, 2014 8:41 pm

Have you considered the PRO 48? It sounds great to me, and it's much cheaper.

What happened to the "conventional wisdom" that you use a passive DI with an active pickup/source, and an active DI with a passive pickup/source?
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Re: Which Radial DI box?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:02 pm

GlynH wrote:Looking at the Radial site there are so many DI boxes that seem to do a similar task the choice seems overwhelming.


Not really. You have a choice of active or passive, and then different levels of performance determined largely by different qualities of transformer. On the passive side, the J series use top flight Jensen transformers, while the pro range uses slightly less capable transformers. You'll see the difference in the specs. It's not huge...

What would be the best Radial DI box for use with the active piezo pickup?


If its an active system a passive DI would be fine, the active bits provide the necessary buffering, so look at the JDI or Pro passive models depending on budget. If you were connecting a straight piezo pickup the. You'd need an active DI box with a very high input impedance, and ideally some tone tweakery as well.

I like the idea of the J48


It's a very good and reliable DI. But you might also consider the Orchid active DIs which outperform it in some respects for a lot less money. Check out the SOS review.

H
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Re: Which Radial DI box?

Postby GlynH » Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:02 pm

Thanks for taking the time to reply guys.

I think at one time or another I have looked at nine different boxes from the same manufacturer just for acoustic guitar!

Here is a snippet of an email exchange between myself & the manufacturer;

----------snip----------
From your Active vs. Passive.doc it would appear that I should go for the J48 and JDV Active boxes for quote; 'Piezo pickups'

But when I look at the chart it only makes mention of the JDV and not the J48 but also recommends the Pro48 & Pro DI

On your website it recommends;

if the source is active then use a passive DI Box.
If the source is passive use an active DI Box.

The guitar has an active pickup for which you suggest a passive DI and yet you recommend the J48 or JDV which are active!

There is also a PZ-DI which is switchable for piezo pickups.

Don't forget the Stagebug SB-1 Active which is recommended for Acoustic Guitar or the Stagebug SB-4 which is recommended for piezo transducers.

The Stagebug SB-2 is also recommended for acoustic guitars it would seem.

The Pro48 is also suitable for acoustic guitars it would appear and the ProDI is shown with an acoustic guitar.

On the Comparison page on your websites it also mentions the PZ-Pre.
----------snip----------

Talk about contradictory & confusing...I was going round in circles! Minefield...

The last exchange I had with Radial suggested that either J48, PZ-DI or PZ-Pre which was why I thought I'd ask around here to see which DI boxes you guys might be using for a similar application and what your experiences were?

For myself I would prefer it utilised phantom power for ease of installation etc. but didn't want to compromise too much on sound quality.

Also as I said above it might also be used for another instrument such as an electric guitar at a later date.

Thanks & kind regards,
-=Glyn=-
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Re: Which Radial DI box?

Postby LRS » Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:34 pm

Passive vs active often depends on the instrument however for piezo type of pickup I would tend to go active. If it were bass guitar then I would probably tend towards the active instrument/passive DI line of thought and vice versa if passive instrument. For keys I always reach for my JDI Duplex (passive).

I also have an active orchid DI and agree with Hugh regarding its capabilities. I alternate between this and Buzz Audio active DI quite happily depending on what's closest to hand. And I really rate the Buzz Audio (Kiwi of course)!!!

Cheers
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Re: Which Radial DI box?

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Feb 27, 2014 12:34 am

Orchid Micro DI for me, not perfect on passive pizzos but workable, great on active acoustic guitars, keyboards, Classic for bass just so I can send to the bass amp too.
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Re: Which Radial DI box?

Postby p.dakin » Thu Feb 27, 2014 4:21 pm

+1 for J48 all the way for live use on anything and everything.

Not that this shold sway your choice, but its the main DI specified on most of the riders I see, and I see my fare share of them.

However as an alternative I'm a big fan of the KT DN100, simply for its lovely rubber shell. Another great DI and my 2nd favourite. Its considerablly cheaper than the J48.
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Re: Which Radial DI box?

Postby Guy Johnson » Thu Feb 27, 2014 6:10 pm

I have some Orchid DIs, they're very good, but make sure the phantom is on or the link to amp won't work, it's an active link.
The mini Orchids are great, many musos have them in their pedal effects board, and kit bags.

Love the Baggs tone control DIs … really good with acoustic instruments that have a boom or honk, or tend to feed back. If one's a touring muso who comes across PAs with only basic EQ, this tone control ability is a great boon.

Radial … Great stuff. But not the 'best' for every application, by any means.
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Re: Which Radial DI box?

Postby niallharp » Thu Feb 27, 2014 6:23 pm

My J48 does the business very time, but I recently heart a buddy play his old jumbo takamine through a LR Baggs para DI. Best sound ever to come from that guitar.
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