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FDP Forum / Performer's Corner / DI box: active or passive?

greg1948
Contributing Member
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Vero Beach FL

Tbird Greg
Aug 6th, 2019 08:17 AM   Edit   Profile  

For our acoustic group, we have gone directly from the guitars to the mixer. Usually, cable runs are pretty short. But I'm wondering if there's an advantage to using a direct box for each guitar, and if so, would the active or passive type be better?

Roly
Contributing Member
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Whitehorse Canada

I don't get out much
Aug 6th, 2019 08:45 AM   Edit   Profile  

For short runs, 1/4" cable to the mixer is rarely a problem.
One thing you can't do without a DI in line is lift the ground if there is a hum or buzz issue with the source.
I always go active but passive DIs work fine if the source is hot.
It's not uncommon to have a channel add noise to the mix if the DI is passive, and the mixer inputs have a high noise floor.
cheers

greg1948
Contributing Member
*********

Vero Beach FL

Tbird Greg
Aug 6th, 2019 10:03 AM   Edit   Profile  

Roly, your answer seems to imply that active DI's boost the signal as well. Two of our guitars have on-board electronics which don't need as much input gain on the mixer as the one passive pickup guitar. I have a couple of inexpensive passive boxes, so maybe an active one will give us what we need.

themaestro
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Wichita, Kansas

Drums = pulse, Bass = heartbeat
Aug 6th, 2019 10:39 AM   Edit   Profile  

I don't know how true this is, but I've always heard the maxim "active DI for passive instruments, passive DI for active instruments". I can see where it makes sense. No need to add two gain stages (active instrument and active DI).


greg1948
Contributing Member
*********

Vero Beach FL

Tbird Greg
Aug 6th, 2019 12:28 PM   Edit   Profile  

"active DI for passive instruments, passive DI for active instruments" . Makes sense to me too, think I'll go with the active box for the passive pickup.

Roly
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Whitehorse Canada

I don't get out much
Aug 6th, 2019 05:05 PM   Edit   Profile  

I think Bob's advice should work fine.

gmanNJ
Contributing Member
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Joisey

Aug 7th, 2019 06:41 PM   Edit   Profile  

I have both and always have better results with active. I even have one with a real tube amp in it to give tube warmth.

I use one with phantom power since my board has it. No need to worry about batteries that way

the active are not much more than passive and I never have issues with volume or quality

acplayer

MA

Earn while you learn
Aug 7th, 2019 07:57 PM   Edit   Profile  

Part of what I do is provide PA systems for local multi-band shows.

I use Horizon Stereoline passive DI's for all of my DI applications.

(I do have an LR Baggs active DI...but have yet to use it on a gig.)

I have had sound gigs where a band member has requested an active DI. I will always try a passive DI first...and it has always been fine.

Maybe the preamps on my A&H mixers (QU-24 and Mixwiz) are really good...??

I haven't had the need for an active DI so far....


FDP Forum / Performer's Corner / DI box: active or passive?




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