The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
The ultimate comparitive bass DI test...
Old 18th April 2012
  #1
Lives for gear
 
Silvertone's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
The ultimate comparitive bass DI test...

We just did a little Ultimate Comparative Bass DI test this past weekend at Dreamland Studios. Jerry Marotta and Pete Caigan hosted it for me, Adam Armstrong was our engineer for the day and Ken McKim was our tech to run tones and make sure levels were matched for each box. Ken left right after we were done recording the files as we had one of his boxes in the mix and he did not want to influence any comments by being made in the room (a true professional). Terry Plunket was our camera man for the day. Our bass played was Tony Levin. (I can't thank you all enough for your time and effort).

For the test Tony did not want to hear any bass in the headphones... only a click track. He wrote a bass part with three different passages (soft, medium and heavy playing) and read that as he played each time. He did not want the sound of the DI's in his headphones as he said it would influence his playing. We had him play his active Music Man bass and then he played my passive Fender Jazz bass. Same line, 13 boxes twice over. To see and hear how accurate his playing is is an amazing thing. The wav forms tell the story.

The boxes we tested were:

1- The Evil Twin
2- The Retrospec Juice Box
3- The A Designs REDDI
4- The TAB V71
5- The Avalon U5
6- The Radial JDV (active)
7- The Radial JDI (passive)
8- The Radial "Firefly" Tube DI
9- The Countryman 85
10- The Whirlwind Director (with stock transformer in it)
11- The Whrilwind Director (with Jensen transformer)
12- The Ampeg SVT
13- A Neve 33122 module (Tony wanted this in there as he sometimes uses it and wanted to see how it compared).

THIS TEST IS NOT A SHOOTOUT. There is no winner. I don't believe there is any "one" best anything in the world of audio (or in most things in life).

Instead this little test was to show some of the offering out there, show some of the oft used boxes in the studio environment (even if they are not made anymore) and let the end user decide what they like (and or) would want to use personally. Yes, let the end user decide.

I wish we had every DI box out there but I did the best I could do in the week and a half I had to pull this together.

What you might find interesting is that what worked for the active bass might not have worked as well on the passive one. That one box might be better used where you don't want to use EQ to get a certain sound or feel in the track. That what box you use really IS program dependent. Indeed I've always had multiple direct boxes at any given time and use them all depending on the song. Same with Levin.

I will be editing a short youtube video for the day... we have over 3 hours of footage. I also have the ability to sync the audio up with the video so any manufacture can show Tony playing through their DI with high bit rate and sample rate audio to accompany it. I don't think this is a conflict of interest for Tony (he does have endorsement deals) as I'm the one who conducted the tests and he was simply the (greatest) bass player to have for this.

Now a few questions:

Where would be a good site to host the 24 bit 96K audio files? My ftp site is secure for my clients so I don't want to use that. Is there a flickr of the audio world?

Should I do an actual article of the day (for one of the trade magazines) or should I just put it out in the world of the web?

Is anybody really interested in this stuff or just us geeks who did the test?
Jerry would like to do more tests... of not only DI's but everything... from kick drum mic's to A/D and D/A converters to comparing vintage amps to there remakes, etc... but this stuff is labor intensive (for all involved) and costly (of time really)... so if there really isn't much interest, well then... you get the picture.

Speaking of pictures...
Attached Thumbnails
The ultimate comparitive bass DI test...-tlev-dis.jpg   The ultimate comparitive bass DI test...-tlev-checking-out-boxes.jpg   The ultimate comparitive bass DI test...-tlev-checking-out-dis.jpg  
Old 18th April 2012
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Joram's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertone ➑️
For the test Tony did not want to hear any bass in the headphones... only a click track. He wrote a bass part with three different passages (soft, medium and heavy playing) and read that as he played each time. He did not want the sound of the DI's in his headphones as he said it would influence his playing.
well done!
Old 18th April 2012
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Ward Pike's Avatar
 
15 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertone ➑️
Where would be a good site to host the 24 bit 96K audio files? My ftp site is secure for my clients so I don't want to use that. Is there a flickr of the audio world?
Well, there is dropbox.com but it usually requires "sharing a folder" with another specific dropbox client.
Old 18th April 2012
  #4
Lives for gear
 
The Listener's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
What do you mean "there is no winner"?? Doing shoot-out with Tony Levin as a test subject is WINNING BIG TIME! You lucky bastard! heh

Any chance to try out the DAV BG1U DI input some time when doing more tests and if one of those units is around - it works perfectly well for me on bass but I would like to hear it compared to some different dedicated DI boxes?

Thanks for this. And - wow. Big Tony Levin fan here.


edit: for hosting high resolution files - you could "abuse" Bandcamp for this maybe...
Old 18th April 2012
  #5
Here for the gear
 
J_Clark's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Look into soundcloud. Convenient little html type players to post with also. Not sure about the 96k though...
Old 18th April 2012
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Silvertone's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Terry Manning over at PRW offered to host the files... he's looking into making sure 24-96k files (x13 takes x2 basses) will not be a problem for the site to handle.
Old 18th April 2012 | Show parent
  #7
Lives for gear
 
Silvertone's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Listener ➑️
What do you mean "there is no winner"?? Doing shoot-out with Tony Levin as a test subject is WINNING BIG TIME! You lucky bastard! heh

Any chance to try out the DAV BG1U DI input some time when doing more tests and if one of those units is around - it works perfectly well for me on bass but I would like to hear it compared to some different dedicated DI boxes?

Thanks for this. And - wow. Big Tony Levin fan here.


edit: for hosting high resolution files - you could "abuse" Bandcamp for this maybe...
Yeah, you're right... and Tony is such a great guy as well. Jerry and Pete too for that matter. I feel honored that they all gave up their time for this.

You know Tony wants to keep testing DI's further. I had a couple other boxes I was trying to get in as well (like 6 more) but we just couldn't get them in in time for the test.

We wanted to keep it to DI's that were used in the traditional manner (split to an amp and balanced level sent to the console), so we didn't want to get any rack gear in there. Tonys Neve only made it because... well, it's Tony and it was his only request of the day.

So maybe next time we can have more DI's in the mix and or do rack ones as well. Jerry wanted to do this on a regular monthly basis (with all sorts of gear) but just coordinating everybody's schedule is the hardest part.

Personally I really can't complain, at the end of the day Tony gave me his (signed) Ampeg SVT tube DI. I for one am a very happy camper.
Old 18th April 2012 | Show parent
  #8
Lives for gear
 
Silvertone's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by J_Clark ➑️
Look into soundcloud. Convenient little html type players to post with also. Not sure about the 96k though...
Thank you... I will look into this as well.
Old 19th April 2012
  #9
Gear Maniac
 
MisterMark's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Looking VERY forward to hearing these sound samples!
Old 19th April 2012
  #10
Lives for gear
 
stardustmedia's Avatar
Very interesting. If you just need some webspace, I can offer mine. Depending on what you need further, like player etc. you might want to check out Soundcloud or similar.

How big is the whole package?
Old 19th April 2012
  #11
Lives for gear
 
Arthur Stone's Avatar
 
92 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Excellent. Thank you.
Old 20th April 2012
  #12
Lives for gear
 
Silvertone's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Bill and Murat,

Thank you so much for the offer to host the files.

Terry Manning over at the Pro Recording Workshop offered to host them on the site for all to access a couple days ago as well.

I will trying to load them up on Terry's site later this morning. If it has trouble playing back the 24/96K files then I may take one of you up on the offer... but I did want to thank you both for you gracious offer sooner rather than later.

It's just been a crazy catch up week here.
Old 20th April 2012
  #13
Lives for gear
 
mikeyman's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
To bad you can't try out the Aurora Gtq2.Geoff says its the best bass DI on the planet and a famous bass player uses it in his setup
Old 20th April 2012
  #14
Lives for gear
 
mikeyman's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
To bad you can't try out the Aurora Gtq2.Geoff says its the best bass DI on the planet and a famous bass player uses it in his setup
from his website;
When is a DI not just a DI? When it’s the GTQ2 DI! The 10 Megohm DI input allows for a full frequency experience. You will hear Bass and Keyboards with a whole new sense of clarity and fullness. For those recording instruments β€œin the box” like electric guitars, amp and room simulations will sound more real than ever since the GTQ2 provides an unparalleled source material for the modeling program to react to.
Old 20th April 2012
  #15
Lives for gear
 
Silvertone's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
I know of Geoff's products and I'm sure it's great but again these are only actual DI's in this test.

I can tell you from doing the beta testing that the DI in the Electrodyne 501 pre-amp remake rivals a lot of boxes as well but I did not include that one either. Maybe in our next round of tests we can have rack DI's.
Old 20th April 2012
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Silvertone's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Test to try uploading a 24 meg files... no can do... 9.5 limit... off to try sound cloud next
Old 20th April 2012
  #17
Lives for gear
 
ddageek's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Excellent Larry hope there is a next round thank everybody for their time and contact me if you need help in getting samples for round 2!
Old 20th April 2012
  #18
Lives for gear
 
Silvertone's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Jerry (and Tony) would like to do a next round. Jerry wants to make a semi regular event and host all sorts of things with different musicians.

There are so many great musicians, producers and engineers that live in and around the Woodstock area it's not even funny. Also NYC is only an hour and a half away.

Could be fun but I have to figure out a way to streamline the "aftermath" process.

I'm going to check with my web hosting service to see if I can have both an open ftp site and my secure one at the same time.
Old 20th April 2012 | Show parent
  #19
Lives for gear
 
mikeyman's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertone ➑️
I know of Geoff's products and I'm sure it's great but again these are only actual DI's in this test.

I can tell you from doing the beta testing that the DI in the Electrodyne 501 pre-amp remake rivals a lot of boxes as well but I did not include that one either. Maybe in our next round of tests we can have rack DI's.
i understand.Yea we are interested in your project.I Like recording bass and guitars thru the DI.
Old 20th April 2012
  #20
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
I appreciate your quest for quality and am looking forward to listening, but do bass files really need to be 96khz?

You'd halve the file sizes with 48k and I doubt it'd make a noticeable difference to bass tracks.

Just a thought...
Old 20th April 2012
  #21
Lives for gear
 
Bob Ross's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Thanks so much for doing this on such a comprehensive level. Looking forward to hearing the files. Question...you wrote:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertone ➑️
For the test Tony did not want to hear any bass in the headphones... only a click track. He wrote a bass part with three different passages (soft, medium and heavy playing) and read that as he played each time. He did not want the sound of the DI's in his headphones as he said it would influence his playing.
Does this mean Tony was listening to his bass sound through an amp in the room? (and was that amp's sound fed to his headphones, or was he hearing it just via bleed through the cans?) Or was he literally not listening to the electric sound of his bass and only hearing click track?
Old 20th April 2012
  #22
Lives for gear
 
imaginaryday's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
i look forward to hearing this. thanks for your contribution!
Old 21st April 2012 | Show parent
  #23
Lives for gear
 
Silvertone's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by nd33 ➑️
I appreciate your quest for quality and am looking forward to listening, but do bass files really need to be 96khz?

You'd halve the file sizes with 48k and I doubt it'd make a noticeable difference to bass tracks.

Just a thought...
Resolution wise... yes, in my book or 88.2. Plus I do not want to alter the files from their original state. I could also just use a smaller passage of the clip, only a couple measures to fit it on GS or PRW but I don't want to do that either. Bit it may come down to that.

Hopefully have them posted by the end of the weekend.
Old 21st April 2012 | Show parent
  #24
Lives for gear
 
Silvertone's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Ross ➑️
Thanks so much for doing this on such a comprehensive level. Looking forward to hearing the files. Question...you wrote:

Or was he literally not listening to the electric sound of his bass and only hearing click track?
That's it... for 2 hours. What a pro... a lesser man would crumble.
Old 21st April 2012
  #25
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Looking forward to seeing/hearing this out in the world!
Old 22nd April 2012
  #26
Lives for gear
 
Rolf Ebitsch's Avatar
I am very interested at that !
Looking forward to hearing all your sound samples!
R.
Old 22nd April 2012
  #27
Lives for gear
 
Silvertone's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Sorry for the delay guys I'm a dolt when it comes to internet file sharing.

I'll be posting the files later today on Drop Box and probably the whole Pro Tools session on Gobbler. Some forum members helped to point the way for me... thank you.

I can't get to it till late in the day but I'm hoping to have them up by tonight.
Old 22nd April 2012 | Show parent
  #28
Lives for gear
 
henge's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertone ➑️
Jerry (and Tony) would like to do a next round. Jerry wants to make a semi regular event and host all sorts of things with different musicians.

There are so many great musicians, producers and engineers that live in and around the Woodstock area it's not even funny. Also NYC is only an hour and a half away.

Could be fun but I have to figure out a way to streamline the "aftermath" process.

I'm going to check with my web hosting service to see if I can have both an open ftp site and my secure one at the same time.
This would be true gearsluttery!! To have Levin and Marotta and co. testing out gear every once and a while...
Larry you are a god. Amazing.
Old 23rd April 2012
  #29
Lives for gear
 
Silvertone's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Thanks for the kind words... Marotta and Levin are the Gods in my book!

I have all the files loaded up on Drop Box right now. Unfortunately they don't let you link to the folder without joining. They will however let me send a link to the individual files for sharing (so you don't have to join). But you will have to download the individual files one at a time. What a PITA but I don't know how else to do this with 24 bit 96K files.

In most cases the files are very close level wise (it was all up to Tony and his playing), but to be fair there will be some files that have to be raised (or lowered) a db or so to match. My suggestion is line up the files, loop a small passage, use the X-OR option for solo and solo through each file.

Note that I spelled out the active files vs. the passive ones. You'll want to create 2 groups probably.

I'm just going to try to include the folder where I copied the individual link files. I'm not sure how else to do this. If anyone has an easier way to do this using Drop Box please let me know.

Okay, so I can't link the folder.

Here are the individual links:

ACTIVE BASS into DI BOX:

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/47780410/Ult...ddi_Active.wav

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/47780410/Ult...TDI_Active.wav

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/47780410/Ult...0U5_Active.wav

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/47780410/Ult...man_Active.wav

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/47780410/Ult...win_Active.wav

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/47780410/Ult...122_Active.wav

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/47780410/Ult...Fly_Active.wav

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/47780410/Ult...JDI_Active.wav

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/47780410/Ult...JDV_Active.wav

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/47780410/Ult...Box_Active.wav

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/47780410/Ult...V71_Active.wav

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/47780410/Ult...-JT_Active.wav

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/47780410/Ult...tor_Active.wav






PASSIVE BASS into DI BOX:

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/47780410/Ult...di_Passive.wav

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/47780410/Ult...DI_Passive.wav

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/47780410/Ult...U5_Passive.wav

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/47780410/Ult...an_Passive.wav

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/47780410/Ult...in_Passive.wav

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/47780410/Ult...22_Passive.wav

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/47780410/Ult...ly_Passive.wav

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/47780410/Ult...DV_Passive.wav

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/47780410/Ult...DI_Passive.wav

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/47780410/Ult...ox_Passive.wav

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/47780410/Ult...71_Passive.wav

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/47780410/Ult...JT_Passive.wav

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/47780410/Ult...or_Passive.wav

Last edited by Silvertone; 1st May 2012 at 07:02 PM.. Reason: corrected missing JDI passive file link
Old 23rd April 2012
  #30
Lives for gear
 
Silvertone's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Hopefully I will be trying to load this to Gobbler later tonight as the original Pro-Tools session. So anyone with PT can just open the session.

Thank you everyone for your patience.

If there is an easier way to do this with Drop Box (without everyone having to join) please let me know.

Can't wait to get to editing the video but there is 3 hours of footage... to quote Tony Levin "Oy".
πŸ“ Reply

Similar Threads

Thread / Thread Starter Replies / Views Last Post
replies: 44859 views: 2833034
Avatar for The Count
The Count 12th June 2022
replies: 50 views: 18045
Avatar for Josey Stranded
Josey Stranded 23rd November 2012
replies: 196 views: 33433
Avatar for ruby06
ruby06 1st July 2021
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearspace Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…

Forum Jump
Forum Jump