Do i need an active di?

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by docgorpon, Jan 17, 2015.

  1. docgorpon

    docgorpon Member

    Mar 8, 2007
    I have a 12 string that I'd like to amplify. I think ill get a soundhole pickup as I don't want to install a whole system. Being that the soundboard pickup is passive, I assume I'll need an active di box? I can't just go straight into a board, right? I have a nice radial passive di. But I don't know that it'll give enough signal for a passive pickup?
  2. Synex7254

    Synex7254 Member

    Sep 16, 2011
    New Jersey | Big Island HI
    An active DI will give you more signal and make the guitar a little louder but depending on the board/mixer/PA it's being plugged may not be necessary and a passive DI would work just fine.

    I have a passive DI I use when live gigging and plug both active and passive acoustics into it. They both sound fine although the passives may need little increase of the gain/fader.
  3. mark norwine

    mark norwine Member

    Jul 25, 2005
    To me, it's like horsepower under the hood: you may not need it right now, but when you do need it, it's nice to have it.

    An active box will never let you down. A passive might, depending on what you're feeding.

    If you don't carry your own PA (and therefore can't control what you'll be feeding), spend the extra few bucks and get a good active box. And while you're at it, make sure it has a ground lift and a polarity reversal switch.
  4. dgonz

    dgonz Member

    Feb 7, 2008
    Was a Detroiter, now in the outskirts...
    You don't "need" one, but after you play without one, you'll definitely want one. It will help boost the signal, control and shape the tone much better, give you a better response, and help curb or eliminate feedback.

    After many years of gigging with only active and passive pickups, I bought a used LR Baggs Para-DI off Ebay for about $90. Best investment I made in regards to live acoustic tone.
  5. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 16, 2006
    if you do go with the soundhole pickup and already have the nice passive DI, all you need is a buffered pedal in between, say a boss tuner pedal.

    a plain ol' graphic EQ pedal can be really useful as both tone-shaping and preamp/buffering before the DI box.
  6. TheoDog

    TheoDog Silver Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2011
    Bethany, OK
    Just any one component with battery or power supply is all you need. If you are plugging a passive pickup into a DI straight to the board, an active DI is the appropriate choice. Radial's active DI in the $99 range is really good. I think the Stage Bug series is great as well.

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