LR Baggs Para DI question please

vbf

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,931
I recently purchased a Para DI and gigged with it last night. The sound difference between using it and a Radial Pro D2 Passive 2-ch DI was big and it sounded like I lost the guitar's great tone using the Para. I admittedly had little time to solo it through the PA and adjust all the controls and hoping it can be adjusted to retain the guitar's tone.

As a new user of a Para, can you please suggest a starting point for all of the controls? The guitar has an under-saddle, rope-style piezo and no preamp. The guitar is a late 80's, MIJ, Alvarz-Yairi and has a one piece spruce top, rosewood laminate back and sides, ebony fretboard, ebony bridge, and mahogany neck.
 

lschwart

Member
Messages
665
I've never noticed the Para DI altering the tone of the pickups I've used with it--beyond the good effect of presenting the proper input impedance. With the EQ and notch flat and the the gain properly set it should just be louder going into the mic input on a mixer. I've always found the EQ very usable for improving things from there. Where were you gigging? I'm in Richmond, too!

Louis
 

jsboswell

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,438
I've not used a para DI, but I believe it has a phase switch, doesn't it? If so, you may need to try toggling between its two settings and see if that fixes the problem. With a phase switch in an acoustic setup one position will typically sound rich and full, the other thin and weak.
 

Tim Bowen

Member
Messages
3,481
There are online demos and tutorials that you can check out if you'd like. The following is lengthy, but thorough. I think the guy does a great job of explaining the unit's capabilities and how to set it up. I did watch all 18+ minutes, as I wanted to see if I was missing anything from when I owned and gigged the Para DI six or seven years back.


Personally speaking, with the Para DI, I was unable to:

- find a point of neutrality within the control settings from which to build; all settings sounded colored to me.

- find sounds that I liked as well or better than those without the Para DI in line.

I asked my long time duo partner to test the unit through a PA as well, and he came to the same conclusions. The opinion of two guys is certainly not definitive, but it remains the opinion of two guys. He has the old LR Baggs precursor to the Para, which is a very simple three band device, and which we both think sounds better than Para DI. I ordinarily don't get on with graphics, but I like the old Baggs unit. However, the precursor does not even begin to approach the capabilities of the Para.

The LR Baggs Para DI was not my first rodeo. I have come to the conclusion that I do not want tone shaping capabilities within a DI unit, but many players do. When I need to DI, I use my active Radial J-48, and EQ elsewhere. Notch filter circuitry is something that I understand, but unlike many or most, not usually something that I require. Although not exactly the same type of architecture as the Para, my aforementioned duo partner shapes the tone of his acoustic-electric instruments with a (discontinued) Headway EDB-1 preamp, which I think sounds great.

Units like the Para DI are additionally not a good fit for myself because:

- there is no way to bypass the dialed settings. One of several reasons why this is important to me is to have a point of reasonable neutrality if desired. The circuitry architecture may very well be such that this is either not possible or is impractical, which of course is an entirely separate consideration than those of my personal preferences and needs.

- The Para DI is highly tweakable and the controls are quite sensitive. The idea is to fine tune to the instrument. I often play several different imstruments at jobs, and this sensitivity of the controls actually works against me in live settings, regarding the marriage of the predictability of settings, with efficient time management between instrument changes (see also tha aforementioned caveat of not being able to bypass the circuitry via a stomp switch or by some other means of default).

Many, many people love and endorse the LR Baggs Para DI. They are not wrong. I gigged the Para DI extensively for several months before deciding to move on. Just because I don't love it does not mean that it is not a quality piece that works well for many. For the record, I love the LR Baggs Element system that is in my Larrivee LV-03E guitar.

I would encourage you to spend some more time with it before making a decision. Check out the link that I posted. Good luck.
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
38,260
The guitar has an under-saddle, rope-style piezo and no preamp.
so totally passive? no battery in the guitar?

the key here is to use the para for its primary purpose, to match the extremely high impedance of the under-saddle pickup.

as such, plug into it first, no tuner or anything else between guitar and para. you should notice a much stronger signal with much more low end. from there EQ to taste; you should be able to center the EQ knobs and have a pretty much flat starting point.

any other pedals should be run into the para's loop to put them after the preamp but before the outputs.
 

vbf

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,931
so totally passive? no battery in the guitar?

the key here is to use the para for its primary purpose, to match the extremely high impedance of the under-saddle pickup.

as such, plug into it first, no tuner or anything else between guitar and para. you should notice a much stronger signal with much more low end. from there EQ to taste; you should be able to center the EQ knobs and have a pretty much flat starting point.

any other pedals should be run into the para's loop to put them after the preamp but before the outputs.
Yes, totally passive, no battery in the guitar. :aok I did notice a stronger signal and more low end. Thanks for the starting point, I'll try it and go from there. Thanks, Walter!
 

vbf

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,931
Thanks for all the great info, everyone! I'm planning to spend some time with it tomorrow through my studio setup and play with the controls.
 

joe*w

Member
Messages
192
I have a Taylor 314ce with the new ES2 electronics. I also prefer running direct vs through the LR Baggs Para DI.

Direct without ParaDI seems to be fuller with less sharpness/treble in the pick attack.

My setup: guitar->TC polytune->barber tonepress->Strymon BigSky->Radial ProDI2
 




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