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DI: Passive vs Active

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by blaumph2cool, Aug 15, 2005.

  1. blaumph2cool

    blaumph2cool Active Member

    Okay, i know this might be basic knowledge for most. but.

    What are the main differences between Passive and Active DI's and what applications would i use either on respectively.

  2. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    passive has the advantages of simplicity
    ... and reliability of zero power requirements ... grounding and any conflicting power supplies can almost be eliminated as a problem

    disadvatages can be related to lack of energy or power transfer from some of the very weak sources like Strats (single coil) and Piezo pick-ups

    active will provide a very high impedance input and some gain if required

    can also provide for multiple buffered outputs
  3. jahme

    jahme Guest

    ACTIVE man...why pay so much for passive and then having to buy an amp for it too which costs bills.
  4. CoyoteTrax

    CoyoteTrax Well-Known Member

    You know man, sometimes, passive is ust exactly what you need.

    Active isn't always the answer.

    If you want to take a high impedence instrument like a Strat and change the impedence to low impedence and add a little ground lift...Passive is the way to go IMO.

    Single coils, Passive DI to 150 Ohms, plugged into a vintage all-tube pre and into some beautiful vintage 8 inch speakers with those old warm magnets....

    Mmmmmmm Good! Doesn't get quieter or thicker or more tasty than that for a deserving Fender Strat. :lol:
  5. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    The CountryMan is a very famous FET high imp input active DI
    ... it still requires a Mic-pre to get to line level for the recorder

    I think it takes a good transformer to handle some single coil pick-ups well.

    Jensen and others have some fine Transformers that will make an excellent passive DI box
    ... some of these can be configured to RE AMP-lify the recorded DI'd signal

    My favourite DI is a non-name passive unit.
    you can never have too many passive and active adapter boxes.
  6. blaumph2cool

    blaumph2cool Active Member

    Since you mention Re-amping, i saw on a DI box it had a toggle button for In/Out. is this something that would be handy for re-amping of is this just a frilly gimmic?

  7. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    It could be just the thing

    difficult to say for sure as I would need to know more about it

    a re-amplifying unit can be as simple as a sheilded cable with the appropriate connectors and wiring at each end
    a more complicated box provides the facilities to earth lift with level and impedance matching to get the most out of both source and destination

    a simple idea is all the job may call for

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