Anyone used those DI boxes w/ elec gtr, like H&K RedBox or Behringer DI-100?

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by Kiwi, Aug 9, 2005.


  1. Kiwi

    Kiwi Silver Supporting Member

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    Anyone used those $40 DI boxes, that tap your amp's signal between the amp and the speaker and send a signal to your recorder? Are they anywhere close to decent?

    H&K Red Box, Behringer DI-100? Any others?

    Here's my sitch:

    I'm used to recording a four-piece electric band with one elec gtr going direct from its amp out, then I mic up the second amp with an SM57 with a crude iso box.

    It's not perfect, but it gets the job done ... reasonably isolated tracks on the 16-track, that I can separate and mix.

    Band now wants to add a third guitar. (I know, I know. I agree. It'll be mush. Also, we go live, no overdubs. Pity me.)

    All I can think is: Get one or two of those $40 DI boxes for this one-day project. They aren't tone freaks, and I just need to get past this weekend. Something, anything to be able to isolate the three guitar tracks.

    Comments or suggestions on these DI boxes?

    Kiwi
     
  2. aleclee

    aleclee TGP Tech Wrangler Staff Member

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    You probably don't want the DI-100 because it has no speaker emulation. The Behringer GI-100 does, though. Unfortunately, its speaker emulation is doodoo. Unfortunately, I know this through first-hand knowledge.

    The HK Red Box isn't bad, especially compared to the Behringer. I'll never use the Behr's speaker sim as long as I have my Red Box.
     
  3. tonefreak

    tonefreak Member

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    For a super simple speaker sim, get the Palmer PDI-09 "The Junction". Better sounding IMO than the Redbox or the DO-100.

    Palmer PDI-09
     
  4. TAVD

    TAVD Guitar Player Gold Supporting Member

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    The GI-100 is like a $40 fuzz box for you amp, but I don't think it's completely horrible either. It does fart out a little at the peaks though. Shoot me an email, I might still have a mp3 of the GI100. I had an ada microcab2 that was pretty nice. You might be able to score one for around $100.

    -Tom
     
  5. aleclee

    aleclee TGP Tech Wrangler Staff Member

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    Nice to see that they have a new US distributor. When I got my Red Box, they had to be ordered from Europe and shipping was $50: pretty steep for a $150 item.
     
  6. tonefreak

    tonefreak Member

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    Yep! Palmer stuff is very cool when you have to use a speaker sim.

    I've tried most of them:

    Palmer PDI-09
    Palmer PGA-04
    Voodoo Labs CabTone
    H&K Redbox (several versions)
    Motherload Single Channel
     
  7. Bigsby

    Bigsby Member

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    I really need a low/no volume recording solution too!

    I was going to try out the Axetrak, but some posts here turned me away from it.

    I HATE my Pod 1.0, and I'm reluctant to shell out for a PodXT or Vox tonelab for fear of further disappointment.

    My main two amps are an early ('98) TopHat Club Royale and a blackface Princeton Reverb. I also have a nice sounding sf Champ, but even that gets loud enough to bug my girlfriend upstairs.

    Is a Palmer PGA-04 or PDI-03 ok for non hi-gain sounds? I'm more into vintage tones than Van Halen type sounds.

    I'm now leaning towards building a sealed and insulated isolation box for a mic and a small 112 extension cab I have (with a Weber ceramic BlueDog). Also, maybe getting a Weber Mass or something similar to use with it.

    Anybody have a known successful solution?? I have to do something, but I don't want to waste a bunch of time and cash chasing wild geese. I'd love to be able to use my amps instead of modelling.
     
  8. tonefreak

    tonefreak Member

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    Yes, I made one and it works great for me!

    1" MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard)
    3" Auralex Acoustic Foam
    1/8" Auralex Sheetbloc
    Auralex Gramma Isolation Platform
    6 Heavy-Duty Moving Blankets

    Be careful of your measurements because you want the box to accommodate both 1x12 and mic.

    First, I assembled the box after I cut the MDF to my measurements. Then, I line the interior of the box with the 1/8" Sheetbloc using heavy-duty roofing tax. The acoustic foam comes next using 3M spray adhesive... heavy-duty of course.

    Drill holes for your cable(s). I mic my cabinet with two mics, so I had to accommodate for two XLR cables. Put the Gramma Platform in which isolates the cabinet from the iso-box. Put your 1x12 in, mic it up, and then close the lid.

    Then, I lay down the moving blankets folded to double the thickness.

    I have my iso-box in my garage. Keep in mind this is not sound proof! Low frequencies are almost impossible to get rid of!

    This works great for me. Neighbors can't hear my amp nor can the people walking by my house hear it. I used to have a 60 W Naylor SuperDrive 60, so you can imagine the volume I had to surpress!!

    NOTE: This is a commitment! A box of this type will cost you between $500-$600, so make sure this is what you want.

    Pros: You get all the glory of a mic'd cabinet. If you have more than one 1x12, you can interchange your tone by simply switching cabinets. Sounds much better, IMO, than any speaker sim out there.

    Cons: Not very portable due to size and weight. 'Silent' is relative and this box is not completely sound proof. Expensive... for that amount, you can get a Demeter Silent Speaker or the Randall Isocab, but both of those will not allow you to utilize a 1x12, which is the reason why I went to building my own.
     
  9. Bigsby

    Bigsby Member

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    Owens-Corning 700 series rigid fiberglass, covered in a single layer of acoustically transparent cloth such as burlap, is supposed to give similar performance to dedicated pro-audio acoustic insulation in terms of low frequency absorbtion and db reduction (or so I've read on the infallible info source that is the internet).

    I wonder if using this would reduce the cost significantly, and yield similar results? It seems like the Auralex foam and Sheetblok would be the most expensive part of your solution.

    How did you seal your lid?

    Thanks for the response! That's great news. I think it's the way I'm going to go. I need something effective and sturdy, and that will last for years. Portability is a secondary concern.
     
  10. Mayor McCheese

    Mayor McCheese Member

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    I don't know about the Red Box or the Behringer, but I had an ADA Microcab that was OK. It takes an input from your line out or effect send and puts some cabinet mojo on it. It works OK, although it was kind of buzzy.
     
  11. TAVD

    TAVD Guitar Player Gold Supporting Member

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    Hey Tonefreak, was that yours over on Gearslutz? If so, great job. Either way, you guys should check it out to get a visual reference for the iso box construction.
     
  12. r9player

    r9player Silver Supporting Member

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    I think in general stay away from Behringer .. had a DI box from them and it was terrible...
     
  13. tonefreak

    tonefreak Member

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    This is very interesting! I've never heard of the OC 700 series and if it works... I'll probably build another box for a 2x12! However, the OC 700 series is not readily available in my area, and I don't even know if the place I've found will even sell to the public. The Auralex is the most expensive part of my equation!

    My lid is held down by latches. The cover, like the interior of the box, is lined with Sheetbloc, which keeps the lid from vibrating... acts like a rubber seal if you will.

    I would still get the Auralex Gramma Iso Platform... does wonders for isolating the 1x12 from the floor!
     
  14. tonefreak

    tonefreak Member

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    Not me! :D
     

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