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New BAE Direct Box


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for an active DI, maybe...for a passive? I have to think that just because it is new, does not make it any better than the existing competition, and I respect BAE as a manufacturer of quality gear, but the price, for a passive DI, is too high.

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But they want $120 for a passive DI, and I can find good quality ACTIVE DIs for less than that...sorry, I think BAE makes good quality gear, but that price is way out of line for a passive DI. There is so much competition that I think they goofed on their pricing; that second 1/4" output isn't worth the extra $. We will wait and see what the final street price is...

Edited by daddymack
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But they want $120 for a passive DI' date=' and I can find good quality ACTIVE DIs for less than that...sorry, I think BAE makes good quality gear, but that price is way out of line for a passive DI. [/quote']

 

 

Again, I don't think their price is necessarily unreasonable. Have you priced studio quality passive DI's lately?

 

The Radial Engineering ProDI is $99 "street", and a Radial JDI with a Jensen transformer is twice that... two bones. Both are highly respected and used by countless pros, and for good reason - they're incredibly well-built and excellent sounding boxes.

 

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/ProDI

 

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/JDI

 

Sure, you can get passive direct boxes for a lot less, or active ones for less (or more...I think my Radial J48 active DI was also about two bills new...) but quality costs - a good transformer makes a big difference in the price - and the performance. I'm not interested in a $40 direct box unless it can hang with my Jensen-equipped passive boxes, and I've yet to hear cheap iron that could. That's the reason why people pull the cheap transformers out of inexpensive direct boxes, preamps and microphones and replace them with transformers from Cinemag, Jensen, Lundahl, Sowter, St. Ives et al... because the sound quality difference is far from subtle.

 

As to the passive vs. active DI box debate, they both have their uses... as do tube DI's. That's why I have "all of the above." (And if you think BAE's price is expensive, don't look up the Rupert Neve RNDI or the A Designs REDDI. ;) )

 

As to whether BAE's price is unreasonable or not, I have to reserve judgement on that until I can give one a try.

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Not going to argue apples and oranges, Phil. For most of my purposes, which is being able to plug some lunkhead's a/e into the PA, an inexpensive passive DI is more than adequate. If I were doing a large stage gig...I would expect the house to provide me a top tier DI... for recording purposes, I'd definitely want a better unit, but in that regard, I would not go passive...and again I would expect the studio to provide it. And, as you know, they get to write it off...

 

That REDDI is not passive, and it is more than a DI, it really is a low gain tube mic pre-amp. and yeah, IIRC, they're around $800, but that is an orange, from a different world, not an apple.

 

But just for club level stage use, an inexpensive DI is fine. Not studio quality, not 'WOW! my guitar never sounded that good!' but just fine. Working musicians have to make sacrifices, and unless you use a DI regularly, why sink a c-note into it? That's all. As I said, BAE makes great gear, but this one seemed like the MAP, compared to passive DIs already on the market, was high....IMHO. And I can find good quality used active DIs for less...

 

I guess it also matters to whom they are marketing this unit...which I don't know, but apparently, it ain't me... :wave:

Edited by daddymack
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Not going to argue apples and oranges' date=' Phil. For most of my purposes, which is being able to plug some lunkhead's a/e into the PA, an inexpensive passive DI is more than adequate. If I were doing a large stage gig...I would expect the house to provide me a top tier DI... for recording purposes, I'd definitely want a better unit, but in that regard, I would not go passive...and again I would expect the studio to provide it. And, as you know, they get to write it off...[/quote']

 

When recording, there are times when a passive DI is a much better option - especially when working with keyboards or basses with hot active electronics that might cause even a good active DI to distort. You won't run into that issue with a good passive DI.

 

 

That REDDI is not passive,

 

I never said it was. At that point in my post I was talking about active and tube DI's too. The Rupert Neve Designs RNDI mentioned in the same sentence isn't passive either. :)

 

 

and it is more than a DI, it really is a low gain tube mic pre-amp. and yeah, IIRC, they're around $800, but that is an orange, from a different world, not an apple.

 

No, it's a DI... an expensive, tube-powered one, but it's most definitely a DI, so we're talking apples / apples here, not apples / oranges. :)

 

With a maximum gain increase of 16 dB, there really isn't enough gain available from a REDDI to use it as a tube mic preamp in most situations. It was designed as a DI, and it's marketed as a DI. It does have an XLR / 1/4" combo input, but no phantom power, and no mention of using it as a mic preamp is made anywhere in its manual or in any of the A Designs ads.

Maybe you're confusing it with the similar looking Groove Tubes Brick? :confused2: I have a Brick too, and it can be used as either a mic pre or as a tube DI, but it amplifies the signal anywhere from 25 db - 55 dB when being used as a mic preamp. When used as a DI, the maximum gain available is 30dB.

 

 

But just for club level stage use, an inexpensive DI is fine. Not studio quality, not 'WOW! my guitar never sounded that good!' but just fine.

 

Quite possibly, but this is a recording forum, not a live sound forum. :) And again, a lot of people use Radial's passive DI's live, which cost as much as or more than the BAE unit that you're claiming is priced "way out of line" for a passive DI.

 

 

Working musicians have to make sacrifices, and unless you use a DI regularly, why sink a c-note into it?

 

If you record direct and care about the quality of your signal and sound, it's not an unreasonable investment IMO, but you're right - if you rarely use a DI, it might be more than you want to spend on one.

 

 

That's all. As I said, BAE makes great gear, but this one seemed like the MAP, compared to passive DIs already on the market, was high....IMHO.

 

And here's where we get into the apples vs oranges (or lemons) comparison. The DI's on the market that you're comparing the BAE to are stage oriented, budget DI boxes, not high-quality studio boxes. Again, I've given multiple examples of passive DI boxes that are in the same price range as the BAE, or even more expensive - and those have been highly successful on the market, and a huge hit with musicians. They get used on stage and in recording studios daily.

 

The direct boxes you listed are far less expensive, and are using no-name transformers in them, and I stand by my statement that I've never heard a DI in that price range that could come close to the sound of a Jensen-equipped DI. And putting a Jensen or similar quality transformer into a passive box costs more money. Good iron always does.

 

 

And I can find good quality used active DIs for less...

 

As can I... but that doesn't mean they sound better, nor does it mean that an active DI is the best choice in all situations.

 

You seem to be suggesting that active DI's are somehow superior to a passive box, and while they have some advantages, IMHO they're not always the better choice. Again, both passive and active DI boxes have their uses, and in some situations one is going to be better than the other. I don't think you can really make a blanket statement that one is superior to the other - it's always situation and application-dependent.

 

 

I guess it also matters to whom they are marketing this unit...which I don't know, but apparently, it ain't me... :wave:

 

I think you're right there... this isn't being marketed towards you... but towards studio owners and studio musicians who run direct regularly.

 

I want to reiterate that I have not heard the BAE box, so it could sound great, or it could sound like tuned pig flatulence for all I know... :idk: But I do know that, compared to other high-quality passive DI boxes such as the Radial Engineering units I mentioned previously, the price is not outlandish. It might be when compared to the least expensive passive DI boxes that are out there, but they don't perform at the same level as the nicer passive boxes with better transformers. Maybe the BAE performs at about the same level as the cheap boxes, and if that turns out to be the case, then I'd agree with you and say it was overpriced, but if it performs comparably to a nice unit like a JDI (which sells like hotcakes at $199 "street"), then the price isn't out of line at all.

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  • 7 months later...
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BAE is highly reputable brand, the unit contains Carnhill tranny made in the UK, top notch components. No doubt it sounds great. What price would you expect?! Similar product from Telefunken(tdp1) costs 199 us$ same as Radial's JDI. For 120$ it's a real deal. Good transformer makes the difference. For keyboards and active basses this box is the magic spice. I use one home made with Lundahl transformer for my digital wireless reciever. My shure KSM9 sounds rich and warm like tube studio mic.

 

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