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Senior Member
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 1287
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Monday, January 31, 2005 - 7:39 am:   Edit Post

I'm considering purchasing a direct box for my rack. It would be placed in the signal chain right before the power amp. I'm looking at the Art Z Direct; this is a passive unit. Here are the specs:

Frequency Response: 10Hz 50kHz, +/-.5dB @ +4dBu
THD: .01% Typical @ 1kHz, +18dBu,
<.05% @ 100Hz, +18dBu
Input Connections: 1/4 TRS unbalanced, 50k Ohm
Output Connection: XLR male, 600 Ohm
Filter Type/Response: Switchable, Low Pass, -3dB @ 30kHz
Input Attenuation: Switchable, (0dB, -20dB, -40dB)
Output Phase: Switchable, Normal/Invert
Ground Lift: Switchable, fully isolates inputs from chassis and output.

Does anyone have an opinion as to the suitability of this unit? Is there any reason to consider an active DI? Other units have an output impedence of 150 ohms and an input impedence of 20k ohms; is this an issue?
Intermediate Member
Username: wayne

Post Number: 118
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Monday, January 31, 2005 - 8:07 pm:   Edit Post


Not that I fully understand the technical specs, but this looks in line with others that I've seen.

I've not played through the Art Z, but I did a side-by-side-by-side-by-side comparison of my F1-X (pre-EQ), the Radial JDI (passive), the Radial J48 (active), and a Raven Labs DI. The winner was the F1-X. A very close second was the Radial JDI. Distant third was the J48 and then the Raven Labs. All were better than the standard DI's you typically see. I've also played through Rolls, Horizon, Behringer, and Whirlwind. They're nothing to write home about.

I have played through an Avalon U5 and was not impressed with the sound. It was too, ummm, sweet for my taste.

If you're looking to spend a bit of money on a really good DI (in excess of $200), take a look at the Little Labs Multi-Z. I've been told it's what Jimmy Johnson uses. The Grace Labs gear also gets high marks from what I've read.

Good luck finding the right one for you.

Senior Member
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 1292
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Monday, January 31, 2005 - 8:28 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks Wayne! No I wasn't really wanting to spend a "bit" of money on this. The ART Z is pretty inexpensive. This is a subject I know practically nothing about. And your response suggests to me that maybe I need a little education.
Intermediate Member
Username: gare

Post Number: 135
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Thursday, February 03, 2005 - 10:12 am:   Edit Post

Any luck on this yet Dave ? Interested in hearing more about DI's.
I liked the U5..but then its $595.
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 1310
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Saturday, February 05, 2005 - 5:41 am:   Edit Post

Gare; I'm leaning heavily toward the ART Z. It's very inexpensive, and I may be setting myself up for a lesson in "you get what you pay for". I haven't pulled the trigger yet. My new band is going to record some demo stuff tomorrow to take around to local clubs; but we'll just mic the cab for that. Otherwise, there is not at the moment a pressing need. Still, I'll probably go ahead and order one pretty soon.
Username: sscastro

Post Number: 4
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Saturday, February 05, 2005 - 10:43 am:   Edit Post

I am not a pro bass player anymore, but on a recent production we had great results with the active valve DI frm Summit Audio, the TD100. A great feature is the hability of fine adjusting the input impedance. It's not cheap, but I believe you will be able to find it for around $400 or less.

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