DI Box - fix or replace?

Anything recording, Mic / DI or PA related ... gear, techniques, studios, demos
Post Reply
User avatar
Mr Bass Man
Silver Member
Posts: 238
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2012 3:10 pm
Bands / Groups: splt-second top Auckland covers band
Location: North Shore, Auckland
Contact:

DI Box - fix or replace?

Post by Mr Bass Man » Tue Nov 12, 2013 12:51 pm

Is it worth getting a cheap DI fixed??
Bought one of TM last year for not much and when I went to use it the XLR out didn’t seem to be working, so I just plugged bass into DI and the link to my amp and used the DI on my amp, but don’t think it made much of a difference.
Anyway I unscrewed the DI box apart last week, guitarist looked at it and said all the wires are all there and everything looks connected, so bought new battery for it and still doesn’t work
Rock Shop sells active DI’s for $79, but I wonder if it is worth taking the cheap DI to PK electronics in Glenfield to look at? – may only be a 5 minute fix, but then it might cost me $10 only to be told it’s stuffed.

Also if I buy a new one, do I need an active one or passive?
Rockshop said because I have an active bass I need an active DI, but couple of people said any DI with a ground lift button will work.

Thoughts please?

PS I am a poor bass player with only 1 bass and 1 amp to my name so can’t afford a sansamp or anything!
"We became rich a lot later than I thought - now I'm too old to enjoy my money" - John 'Thunderfingers' Entwhistle

User avatar
john
Gold Member
Posts: 2309
Joined: Mon May 28, 2007 5:10 pm
Location: wellington

Re: DI Box - fix or replace?

Post by john » Tue Nov 12, 2013 3:25 pm

Why don't you just use the DI on your amp

User avatar
Mr Bass Man
Silver Member
Posts: 238
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2012 3:10 pm
Bands / Groups: splt-second top Auckland covers band
Location: North Shore, Auckland
Contact:

Re: DI Box - fix or replace?

Post by Mr Bass Man » Tue Nov 12, 2013 8:44 pm

john wrote:Why don't you just use the DI on your amp
Hi John,

my amp (Ashdown EVO 900 III) doesn't have a ground lift switch, and at almost every gig we are getting buzzing through the PA when we DI the bass - usually through the amps DI.
Our Guitarist thinks it is the active pickups on my Ibanez TR Expressionist causing the buzzing, but at a gig a few weeks ago the amp was buzzing through the PA and it wasn't even turned on, but the amps DI was plugged into the PA, so I don't think the amp or the bass is the problem.
We are resorting to mic'ing up the cab with a spare vocal mic - but then at last Saturday's gig, we tried the amps DI (as we do first before resorting to the mic if necessary) and it was fine - so I am almost certain it is a power / ground lift problem
A DI box would or should fix the problem (hopefully!)

Cheers

Nick
"We became rich a lot later than I thought - now I'm too old to enjoy my money" - John 'Thunderfingers' Entwhistle

User avatar
john
Gold Member
Posts: 2309
Joined: Mon May 28, 2007 5:10 pm
Location: wellington

Re: DI Box - fix or replace?

Post by john » Tue Nov 12, 2013 11:19 pm

Hmmm could be something going wrong with your amp. My amp's di doesn't have a ground lift either. It is isolated from the transformer and I have read that that means ground hum shouldn't be a problem. Might be the same with your amp.
I just found this thread after looking up your amp, could be an interesting read http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f15/using ... i-1002306/

User avatar
Mr Bass Man
Silver Member
Posts: 238
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2012 3:10 pm
Bands / Groups: splt-second top Auckland covers band
Location: North Shore, Auckland
Contact:

Re: DI Box - fix or replace?

Post by Mr Bass Man » Wed Nov 13, 2013 7:55 am

john wrote:Hmmm could be something going wrong with your amp. My amp's di doesn't have a ground lift either. It is isolated from the transformer and I have read that that means ground hum shouldn't be a problem. Might be the same with your amp.
I just found this thread after looking up your amp, could be an interesting read http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f15/using ... i-1002306/
Thanks for that link John – very interesting
I had this same problem with my Warwick profet amp too last year and had both the amp and my bass looked at and neither were found to have any problems that would contribute to excessive PA buzzing – the guy at KP electronics said a simple external DI would fix the problem.
I’ve had the Ashdown amp 6 months now and this problem only flared up again about 3 months ago
I don’t really want to pay $$$ and get the amp looked at only to be told there’s no problems there
Might e-mail the guys at Ashdown and see if they can offer any advice?

Thanks
Nick – Mr Bass Man
"We became rich a lot later than I thought - now I'm too old to enjoy my money" - John 'Thunderfingers' Entwhistle

User avatar
timi
Gold Member
Posts: 847
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 11:01 pm
Location: Auckland

Re: DI Box - fix or replace?

Post by timi » Thu Nov 14, 2013 8:50 am

Is it active or passive? If active have you tried it with both batteries and phantom power? If it looks like there aren't any loose wires then it's probably not going to be a quick job. No idea what DI box you have but if it's cheap it won't be worth paying someone to fix. I highly doubt they will only charge $10 to look at it.
Mr Bass Man wrote: Also if I buy a new one, do I need an active one or passive?
Rockshop said because I have an active bass I need an active DI, but couple of people said any DI with a ground lift button will work.
Lol Rockshop. I think they're getting mixed up, need to be careful using a passive bass with a passive DI as the pickup loading can screw with the tone but with an active bass this isn't an issue. Considering your budget I'd probably go active, cheap transformers aren't a good idea.

Another option would be to buy an inline XLR barrel ground lifter and just use the built in DI on your amp.

I'd still rather use a vocal mic than a DI...

User avatar
Mr Bass Man
Silver Member
Posts: 238
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2012 3:10 pm
Bands / Groups: splt-second top Auckland covers band
Location: North Shore, Auckland
Contact:

Re: DI Box - fix or replace?

Post by Mr Bass Man » Thu Nov 14, 2013 9:18 pm

timi wrote:
Another option would be to buy an inline XLR barrel ground lifter and just use the built in DI on your amp.

I'd still rather use a vocal mic than a DI...
thanks for that - someone on talk bass posted a picture of a 'ground lift adaptor' - that you plug onto the XLR cable then plug in to the DI, but the Rock shop said they didn't have anything like that and Music Planet suggested I go to Jay Car, but they didn't have anything either.

my bass is active, but when I switch the pick ups to passive the buzzing is less noticable, but still there

Funny thing is though at last saturdays gig, we used the amps DI and it worked fine with no buzzing - so I've not got a clue what's going on really
"We became rich a lot later than I thought - now I'm too old to enjoy my money" - John 'Thunderfingers' Entwhistle

User avatar
timi
Gold Member
Posts: 847
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 11:01 pm
Location: Auckland

Re: DI Box - fix or replace?

Post by timi » Fri Nov 15, 2013 8:11 am

Mr Bass Man wrote:
timi wrote:
Another option would be to buy an inline XLR barrel ground lifter and just use the built in DI on your amp.

I'd still rather use a vocal mic than a DI...
thanks for that - someone on talk bass posted a picture of a 'ground lift adaptor' - that you plug onto the XLR cable then plug in to the DI, but the Rock shop said they didn't have anything like that and Music Planet suggested I go to Jay Car, but they didn't have anything either.
ProCo do one, see if Oceania Audio have any in stock. Whirlwind also do one, Jands/Nowsound are the distro so almost any pro audio shop should have access. Alternatively you could just get a short ground lift cable made up.
Mr Bass Man wrote:my bass is active, but when I switch the pick ups to passive the buzzing is less noticable, but still there
Sorry was talking about your broken DI not the bass, but interesting the problem is worse when the bass is set to active. I think a while back I suggested at soundcheck that you and the guitarist swap instruments to see if the problem follows the bass or the amp, you should try that. However it totally sounds like a grounding issue.
Mr Bass Man wrote:Funny thing is though at last saturdays gig, we used the amps DI and it worked fine with no buzzing - so I've not got a clue what's going on really
At a different venue I assume? Just depends on the power situation it's not really predictable.

User avatar
Mr Bass Man
Silver Member
Posts: 238
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2012 3:10 pm
Bands / Groups: splt-second top Auckland covers band
Location: North Shore, Auckland
Contact:

Re: DI Box - fix or replace?

Post by Mr Bass Man » Sun Nov 17, 2013 8:59 pm

timi wrote:
Mr Bass Man wrote:
timi wrote:
Another option would be to buy an inline XLR barrel ground lifter and just use the built in DI on your amp.

I'd still rather use a vocal mic than a DI...
thanks for that - someone on talk bass posted a picture of a 'ground lift adaptor' - that you plug onto the XLR cable then plug in to the DI, but the Rock shop said they didn't have anything like that and Music Planet suggested I go to Jay Car, but they didn't have anything either.
ProCo do one, see if Oceania Audio have any in stock. Whirlwind also do one, Jands/Nowsound are the distro so almost any pro audio shop should have access. Alternatively you could just get a short ground lift cable made up.
Mr Bass Man wrote:my bass is active, but when I switch the pick ups to passive the buzzing is less noticable, but still there
Sorry was talking about your broken DI not the bass, but interesting the problem is worse when the bass is set to active. I think a while back I suggested at soundcheck that you and the guitarist swap instruments to see if the problem follows the bass or the amp, you should try that. However it totally sounds like a grounding issue.
Mr Bass Man wrote:Funny thing is though at last saturdays gig, we used the amps DI and it worked fine with no buzzing - so I've not got a clue what's going on really
At a different venue I assume? Just depends on the power situation it's not really predictable.
thanks for that.
I don't think that a ground lift adaptor or in fact a DI will fix the problem - but then again I'm not sure either
it happens at different venues - not just the same one

Last night (Saturday) we played at the Backbeat bar in K-Rd (above the Rock Shop) and I used my Ashdown amp and plugged it into their Ampeg 8x10 - with my active pickups on it was buzzing just through the 8x10 - switch the pickups to passive and buzzing hardly noticible.
Then the guitarist had a good idea, he plugged his guitar into my bass amp, we hooked up the DI on the amp to the desk and no buzzing through the PA, but same set up with my bass plugged in and it's buzzing mad - with pickups switched to passive it still buzzes but not as much. so he and maybe me thinks it might be the pick ups in my bass
I ended up using my own cab mic'ed up and the sound in FOH was good - but that's not fixing the problem
I can always try and change the battery in the back for a really good energiser one and see if that makes a difference?

Our singer feels sorry for me and drummer keeps asking "why is this happening at nearly every gig"? as we spend an extra 15-20 minutes stuffing around with the bass / amp setup.

My amp has a permanent Ground lift in the built in DI, so maybe the ground lift is not the problem??
We've tried different chanels on the PA and different leads (XLR & Jack to Jack) and I've had my bass looked at twice last year

the only 3 things left I think I can try is
1) change the battery in my bass for an good quality alkaline / energiser one - see if that does anything
2) get an external DI and see if that does anything
3) borrow a bass from someone and see if that fixes the problem

thanks for your help - I'll get to the bottom of this problem!
"We became rich a lot later than I thought - now I'm too old to enjoy my money" - John 'Thunderfingers' Entwhistle

User avatar
timi
Gold Member
Posts: 847
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 11:01 pm
Location: Auckland

Re: DI Box - fix or replace?

Post by timi » Mon Nov 18, 2013 10:31 am

Mr Bass Man wrote:Last night (Saturday) we played at the Backbeat bar in K-Rd (above the Rock Shop) and I used my Ashdown amp and plugged it into their Ampeg 8x10 - with my active pickups on it was buzzing just through the 8x10 - switch the pickups to passive and buzzing hardly noticible.
Even if it wasn't coming out of the PA was the DI still plugged into the amp?

Mr Bass Man wrote:Then the guitarist had a good idea, he plugged his guitar into my bass amp, we hooked up the DI on the amp to the desk and no buzzing through the PA, but same set up with my bass plugged in and it's buzzing mad - with pickups switched to passive it still buzzes but not as much. so he and maybe me thinks it might be the pick ups in my bass.
Sounds like the bass then, use it passive for now until you can get it looked at. You should also try plugging you bass into the guitarist amp to see if it's buzzing. I can't imagine a new battery helping, usually when they go flat the output drops and the signal can distort but it's cheap so might as well try.

User avatar
Mr Bass Man
Silver Member
Posts: 238
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2012 3:10 pm
Bands / Groups: splt-second top Auckland covers band
Location: North Shore, Auckland
Contact:

Re: DI Box - fix or replace?

Post by Mr Bass Man » Mon Nov 18, 2013 11:31 am

timi wrote:
Mr Bass Man wrote:Last night (Saturday) we played at the Backbeat bar in K-Rd (above the Rock Shop) and I used my Ashdown amp and plugged it into their Ampeg 8x10 - with my active pickups on it was buzzing just through the 8x10 - switch the pickups to passive and buzzing hardly noticible.
Even if it wasn't coming out of the PA was the DI still plugged into the amp?

Mr Bass Man wrote:Then the guitarist had a good idea, he plugged his guitar into my bass amp, we hooked up the DI on the amp to the desk and no buzzing through the PA, but same set up with my bass plugged in and it's buzzing mad - with pickups switched to passive it still buzzes but not as much. so he and maybe me thinks it might be the pick ups in my bass.
Sounds like the bass then, use it passive for now until you can get it looked at. You should also try plugging you bass into the guitarist amp to see if it's buzzing. I can't imagine a new battery helping, usually when they go flat the output drops and the signal can distort but it's cheap so might as well try.
I can't remember if the DI was plugged in or not, but it was buzzing just through the 8x10 itself... don't think the DI was plugged in as I was just getting a stage sound.

Guitarist only has a small marshall amp and I don't want to blow up his amp or something with my bass - but last year we did plug the bass straight through the PA and from memory there was no buzz.
I might try that at this weekends gig - plug the bass direct into the desk and see if it buzzes out of FOH

I get a small hum out of my Warwick 4x10 but that's pretty normal - if I turn the horn on it busses like mad though - but it did that with my old bass from memory too

someone suggested ages ago I take the bass to Mr Glynn? but I don't know where in Auckland he is or how much he would charge to look at it.... besides the band is booked up every weekend until Mid March 2014 now and I can't play a gig without my bass!
"We became rich a lot later than I thought - now I'm too old to enjoy my money" - John 'Thunderfingers' Entwhistle

User avatar
timi
Gold Member
Posts: 847
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 11:01 pm
Location: Auckland

Re: DI Box - fix or replace?

Post by timi » Mon Nov 18, 2013 3:25 pm

Mr Bass Man wrote:I can't remember if the DI was plugged in or not, but it was buzzing just through the 8x10 itself... don't think the DI was plugged in as I was just getting a stage sound.
It matters because that could be a source of the buzz (although it's starting to sound like the actual bass). Next time it happens mute the channel on the desk and pull the xlr out of the DI and see if it stops.
Mr Bass Man wrote:Guitarist only has a small marshall amp and I don't want to blow up his amp or something with my bass - but last year we did plug the bass straight through the PA and from memory there was no buzz.
I might try that at this weekends gig - plug the bass direct into the desk and see if it buzzes out of FOH
It's fine to plug into the small Marshall at low volume to test.
Mr Bass Man wrote:I get a small hum out of my Warwick 4x10 but that's pretty normal - if I turn the horn on it busses like mad though - but it did that with my old bass from memory too
This is because the buzz will be at a higher frequency than the regular drivers can output, so you only hear it when the horn is turned on. Also you shouldn't really be getting any hum...
Mr Bass Man wrote:someone suggested ages ago I take the bass to Mr Glynn? but I don't know where in Auckland he is or how much he would charge to look at it.... besides the band is booked up every weekend until Mid March 2014 now and I can't play a gig without my bass!
I don't know the go to people in Auckland but yes you should probably get the bass looked at, but unfortunately most people have you drop it off and wait in the queue. Sounds like a great excuse to get another bass, even something cheap as a backup.

User avatar
Mr Bass Man
Silver Member
Posts: 238
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2012 3:10 pm
Bands / Groups: splt-second top Auckland covers band
Location: North Shore, Auckland
Contact:

Re: DI Box - fix or replace?

Post by Mr Bass Man » Mon Nov 18, 2013 7:54 pm

thanks for your suggestions timi

I remember about 6-8 weeks ago we set the bass up as normal and the bass amp was turned off and the bass unplugged from the amp, but the DI was running from the amp to the desk and it was buzzing, but when we turned the amp on the buzzing stopped.
it is totally random really

I'll try a few things this weekend when we set up at the gig - hopefully it is only a grounding issue, then an $80 DI box will fix it.

A spare bass is on my list of things to buy if the mrs will let me... along with a practice amp, extension speaker cab...etc...
"We became rich a lot later than I thought - now I'm too old to enjoy my money" - John 'Thunderfingers' Entwhistle

User avatar
Mr Bass Man
Silver Member
Posts: 238
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2012 3:10 pm
Bands / Groups: splt-second top Auckland covers band
Location: North Shore, Auckland
Contact:

Re: DI Box - fix or replace? UPDATE

Post by Mr Bass Man » Sun Nov 24, 2013 9:48 pm

So I decided to try the cheapest of the 3 options - get an energizer battery.
Replaced battery and got to gig on Saturday, plugged bass in as usual - no buzz through PA.... not a bit!
I was stoked! :D
We ended up spending more time getting kick drum sorted as there was a horrible echo in the rook at the Crowne Plaza

I will see if it is ok for the next 2 gigs and if so then the problem is sorted! 8)
"We became rich a lot later than I thought - now I'm too old to enjoy my money" - John 'Thunderfingers' Entwhistle

Post Reply