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DI Gain Preference

Discussion in 'F.O.H.' started by TheWinterSnow, Nov 20, 2015.

?

In a DI I prefer

  1. Lower Gain, potentially not enough gain for low output pickups

    100.0%
  2. HIgher Gain. potentially wasted output and increased noise floor

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. TheWinterSnow

    TheWinterSnow Den Mørke Natt

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    I am trying to get a census here especially by the big hitters around here as to how you prefer the natural gain of a DI. If you have an active DI that has a gain control built-in would you either:

    1) Have a DI that has really low gain (unity to 6dB max) where you might now have enough gain for lower output pickups but have lower noise?

    2) Have a DI that has high gain (6dB to 20dB max) so that all pickups may get to proper tracking levels but have to attenuate higher output pickups like actives and as a result have a 6dB to 20dB higher noise floor from the DI?
     
    #1 TheWinterSnow, Nov 20, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2015
  2. JeffTD

    JeffTD Senhor Testiculo

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    Can I ask why these are the only two choices? They both sound pretty awful compared to a switch or knob or external control.

    FWIW, I'd opt for the first option since I'm mostly using actives/high output pickups, but god forbid I want to use the same DI for a Telecaster.
     
  3. TheWinterSnow

    TheWinterSnow Den Mørke Natt

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    The third option you mention is actually something that did go through my mind as being a possibility. My curiosity was more along the lines of, if you had to choose one shitty situation, which would it be?
     
  4. wishtheend

    wishtheend clip the apex

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    Since I track bass with passives as much as actives (guitars are mostly active) I'd go with the latter. I would imagine you can rely on your pre for some gain besides just the DI. You should still be able to have lower noise floor even if you aren't relying on her DI alone as source of gain.
     
  5. TheWinterSnow

    TheWinterSnow Den Mørke Natt

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    Lets throw the idea out there...if a DI box was too small to have another gain control would it be acceptable or tolerable to have that gain control as a screwdriver pot that is inside the enclosure. I ask because to me I could see that as an issue for some that rack their DI and would have to take it out or pull it out of a shelf and need a screwdriver to adjust the setting. To me it wouldn't be an issue but if that third option is desirable would that method be okay?
     
  6. TheWinterSnow

    TheWinterSnow Den Mørke Natt

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    Transformers in passive DI's have less noise per gain than a mic pre. My scenario was if you are using an active DI that had a built in preamp and the gain I am talking about is coming from that internal preamp.
     
  7. JeffTD

    JeffTD Senhor Testiculo

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    Having the gain control inside the DI, requiring me to unscrew a box to get at it, would be MORE frustrating than it lacking the control entirely.
     
  8. TheWinterSnow

    TheWinterSnow Den Mørke Natt

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    Sorry I meant that there would be a pot on the PCB that would be screwdriver adjustable, and there would be a hole in the enclosure so you didn't need to open the enclosure up. You just need a screwdriver and if you have it rackmounted, pull it out of the rack/slide the rack drawer out.
     
  9. mickrich

    mickrich Member

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    This seems like a solution to a non existent problem.
    A DI needs headroom, not gain.
    Quality components will allow you to push gain on the preamp it is connected to without bringing up noise.
    I see no need for having a gain control on a DI box.
     
  10. TheWinterSnow

    TheWinterSnow Den Mørke Natt

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    Let's say the DI is an active unity gain buffer and outputs a balanced +4dbu output signal so that the DI does not need to go into a preamp. If the gain for a particular pickup is not enough, the DI can provide a boost to get it to tracking levels, instead of attenuating like a typical DI does and then needs even that much more gain to it. Remember a guitar's signal (or any other signal) is stepped down through a DI transformer to get all the way down to mic level only to amplified even more than the guitar's original output to get to line level. If you can eliminate that step-down then massive step-up my question applies to this scenario.
     
  11. mickrich

    mickrich Member

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    I see.
    So you are thinking about an instrument to line level device.
    Basically, a reverse reamp box.
    is this a product you are thinking of releasing?
    A couple of things to consider would be,
    Power if it's an active device that is connecting to line where no phantom is available.
    Input impedance changing due to pad or gain pot/switch.
    Activ basses pushing out massive transients.
     
  12. TheWinterSnow

    TheWinterSnow Den Mørke Natt

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    Realistically anything that is not mic level to balanced line level with as much frequency and phase linearity as humanly possible.

    Not Familiar with that phrase but I think I know what you are talking about so yes?

    Its already released, I was trying to get a feeler for the idea of adding an additional gain feature if people were willing to pay 15-20 USD more and if it was worth my time re-designing my current DI device.

    After posting this and pondering on it I do think it would be worth my time and money to do so. Unfortunately adding just one gain nob given the equipment I have is much more complicated than would be initially realized again which is why I want to know if it is worth my time.

    It is instrument and line level I/O the connectors are TS or TRS. Since it is a big no-no to send phantom through those terminals the device has to be powered via reverse polarity barrel terminal like guitar pedals. If I have the room for an XLR terminal that is just for power I can do that but I do not see the point. I have another idea I will PM you about because I don't want it public just yet but it is an idea I have had about active power for some time now.

    I spent over two years designing and re-designing my system and I can tell you that:
    1) The input impedance does not change due to the gain/boost controls of the output like some DIs and preamps do
    2) The input/output impedances do not change from the I/O configuration. All passive DIs suffer from this

    Unless an active bass can put out more than 17Vpp I don't see that as an issue. All of my electronics while requiring exactly 9Vdc they can all output almost 18Vpp on their outputs, defectively double the power supply's voltage. Again I spent a lot of time in the designing of my products.
     

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