DI demo

Hey everyone,

There was a DI thread somewhere on here where folks were asking questions about DIs, which DI to get, etc. I chimed in with my opinion, but then thought…

I have several DIs (audio engineer) of different types and pedigrees. Would a demo video or sample audio files be helpful to anyone to hear what the different DIs sound like? I figure I’ll play a few bars through each of the several I have:

  • A Designs REDDI
  • Radial J48
  • Radial JDI
  • Behringer active DI (supposedly a KT clone)
  • Direct out of a Peavey Max 100

Yes! That would be an excellent video to have on the forum.

It would be most helpful if it’s done with zero effects and no changes between examples except for the DI.


Absolutely - anything that you can share to help educate the rest of us would be appreciated… I don’t know what I don’t know about DIs, so a reference would be great…


Yes! I really wonder what the difference will be between a REDDI and a Behringer.


The REDDI sounds huge and articulate, whereas the Behringer sounds a little choked. I gotta say, though, the Behringer does get the job done for not much money!


As someone that just started using the Direct Out of her B7K (and loving it) I’d be pretty interested in this. Too bad you don’t have a Countryman 85, too :smile:


I’m actually buying one! In part for this comparsion, in part because I need more stage DIs.


It is grand isn’t it?
I use it a lot to double track with my amp’s XLR out.
Throw a cool sim on and you get a much more full, rounded bass track.

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I have found DI’s super useful in the past to break ground loops. But to be honest I really don’t see the differentiating benefit of all the DI brands. I get that some of them can add some warm tube tone (or other similar tone coloring, like a SSL4K would), and as much of a fan of tone coloring gear as I am… I wouldn’t want that in a DI. I would just want a low noise floor. So I am really interested in this to see how they differentiate.


Isn’t the REDDI mainly used by studio engineers? Like Gregor from Basstheworld (his actual job). Maybe there is also a big difference between analog and digital users? For example some studio engineers swear by using mics for recording like Sylvia Massy.

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Yeah, mostly I am interested in what actually differentiates them, though. Like is there a real, tangible difference between buying a REDDI versus just using the free DI out on any preamp.


(I get that the REDDI does some nice tone coloring via the tubes. But so do tube preamps, which seem a lot more versatile, and a third to half the cost. So why get a REDDI over something like a TwoNotes Le Bass or EBS ValveDrive?)


If I’m a live events business I’m going to keep DI in my kit because I don’t know what anyone shows up with and I want a compact, rugged, transparent method of getting clean signal available with as few settings to get messed up as possible.

If I’m me as a bass player I’m not spending money on a dedicated DI when I have a fixed level XLR out with pre/post and ground lift switches already on my amp.

Thanks for setting up the comparison! I’m always fascinated to see how things line up.


That makes sense but it still doesn’t really change the question I am asking. In extremis and ad absurdum, for the same price as a REDDI, one could buy nearly 30 Behringer BDI-21’s, which I would argue that in that kind of redundancy are at least an order of magnitude more reliable as a DI than a single point of failure with the REDDI, regardless of how rugged it is. That’s a bit silly as stated as no event organizer is going to buy 30 (comparatively) flimsy plastic preamp/DI’s, but it’s less absurd to consider buying (say) three EBS ValveDrives - still relatively simple, nearly as rugged as the REDDI, and a lot more versatile.

I guess I am saying I kind of don’t get how they fit in to the market, and I assume they have something else to differentiate them.

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Wow, quite a discussion here! I’ll address questions as best I can from a sound engineer’s perspective.

When I put a DI on stage, it needs to be dead simple, rugged, and clean. The stage DI is simply a way for a musician to plug their instrument into the PA, and thus should not affect the tone in any way. I also don’t want a DI that requires a power supply transformer eating up sockets on my stage power strips; it must be passive (like the Radial JDI) or powered by phantom power (like the J48 or Countryman 85). The REDDI is big, heavy, expensive, and requires AC power… So unless I need it as a specialty item in a show, it’s not going on stage to get stepped on and tossed around.

In the studio, we have more options. The REDDI produces a big, clean, clear tone that, to my ears, sounds magnificent. It imparts some subtle harmonics (the “big”-ness) that are pleasing, but mostly just sounds like an immense but clean tone.

I had a Mesa Subway DI+ briefly, but returned it. It was noisy, muddy, and seemed to have a permanent high pass filter around 50 Hz. I can’t speak to other preamps, as I haven’t used them. As a studio engineer, I’m not going to provide a LeBass or Tone Hammer, etc, as those are more personal options, and I don’t want to buy one of everything to suit an individual musician’s needs; if that’s part of their sound, they should bring one. However, I also want as clean a tone as possible, so I can adjust as needed to get it to fit in the mix.

Anyway, whether the REDDI is worth the money to you is a question only you can answer; I’ll provide the sound samples, though, to help facilitate that. :slight_smile:


Voodoo. People like what they know or what others have said works. The REDDI is “legendary”.

I remember when I was a kid my dad brought home Coors beer from a guy who went to Colorado on a trip (wasn’t available in NY then. It was legendary too.


I concur.


The Radial and the Countryman, on the other hand, totally make sense to me. Not extremely expensive, very rugged looking, and no external requirements. Seem like a natural win as a product for someone that is providing the mixer. They could be a little cheaper but if you’re a professional sound engineer they seem completely reasonable to me.

I also tend to think of Whirlwind as a player in this category.


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