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Help! I'm playing live this Friday and I need a good direct box.

It seems as though every time I go to play out live, there never are enough Direct boxes to go around. I am fairly new at playing live with a bunch of other musicians so if anyone out there has any advice for me, I would greatly appreciate it. I have two or three guitars that I take when I play out. The first and my main guitar is a Fender solid top acoustic electric. The next one is my Taylor GS Mini with the EsGo pick-up. I also on occasion bring my Cordoba classical guitar with a Dean Markley stick- on pick-up. I have looked on Amazon for Direct boxes and the prices range from $20 up to $350. I have also seen ones that are double Direct boxes... Anyone have a favorite brand or suggestions?

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Robert, check out the LR Baggs para-acoustic DI.  I've read a lot of good things about them and a buddy said that's the one to get.  Good luck Fri.

Charlie

It's the most overlooked component of the signal chain!  I had a wow experience with the Radial J48, it was really like pulling out the earplugs.  It's pricey and you'll want to keep an eye on it in public.  It requires 48v phantom power (though, it can be modified for a battery...) and acts as a preamp with limited tone controls.  Radial also makes the Pro48 which is a lower priced version, but I haven't tried it.  There seems to be lots of enthusiasm for Radial products and Countryman.  Anything under about $100 is going to be 'just a direct box'...

When you say 48v phantom power, does that mean it is powered from the mixing board back down through the mic cable? I have a condenser mic that has phantom power and have always wondered how it actually worked. And is this the same process with the DI box?

yep, same thing.  the mixing board sends voltage down the cable to your mic or di.  the LR Baggs also operates on phantom power or battery in a convenient way

I use the LR Baggs para-acoustic DI and recommend it.

Thans everyone for the input. Do the cheaper di boxes work or should I spend the bucks on one? I have seen a bunch on amazon for around $20 to $30 and was wondering if they would work ok. Or should I plop down the $170 for an LR Baggs Para-acoustic.. I have also seen one by Behringer that has hook-ups for eight instruments. Tell me your thoughts.

one of the less expensive di's that seems fairly highly regarded is the imp2.  I think they're about $40-50.  when you look at less expensive models they simply convert your signal from high impedance to low but they do it in a way that can color your tone.  Good quality units use higher quality components that have less effect on your signal.

The Baggs is a good choice especially if your guitar doesn't have a preamp built in.  It is really a preamp with a balanced xlr output, so you have tone shaping and some feedback controls.  It's a good product, but it's more than a di.  If your guitar has a preamp and all you want is to convert your signal to get to the mixing board you can save some money going with a quality di box.  

If you have some good shops in your area, go try some out.  If the clerk says they're just di's your talking with the wrong person...  

As I have said to a few others asking about DI Boxes, I have tried numerous ones, and actually the cheapest one I have found does the best job that I have seen.  It's the Behringer ADI21 Acoustic Modeler/DI.It stays on my board and I use it even on my electric guitars on clean setting to boost the signal, and conture sound on single coils.  Works outstanding.

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