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Author Topic:  Using Direct Box from Speaker Output
Dan Robinson


From:
Colorado, USA
Post Posted 4 Jul 2017 5:21 pm     Reply with quote

I found a few posts on this topic, but I did not see a clear answer on using a passive Direct Box for this application.

In my band we use the PA for house sound and to feed MyMix controllers for monitors (in-ear or floor wedge). I am mic'ing my amp, as none of my amps have XLR direct out. Would like to get rid of the mic, and go direct.

My main amp is a Fender HR Deluxe. Also have a Peavey LTD -400, but I'm not using it right now.

Can I use a direct box that takes a signal from the speaker terminals? A passive Direct Box, such as the Whirlwind EDB1 might be capable of doing this. But I can't find this application mentioned specifically.

The Peavey LTD-400 has a Booster jack. IIRC this uses a network of resistors in the power amp to derive a line level output. That seems easy to do, but need to hook up the Deluxe first.

Anybody do this?


Last edited by Dan Robinson on 4 Jul 2017 10:00 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Randy Schneider


From:
Central Texas, USA
Post Posted 4 Jul 2017 5:56 pm     Reply with quote

Dan,

I think you're looking for a 'speaker simulator' product -- they have DI outputs, some have dummy loads to be used without cabinets, others have just 'through' paths to be used with a speaker.

Palmer devices, Hughes & Kettner Red Box, things like that. Lots to pick from...
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Lane Gray


From:
Topeka, KS
Post Posted 4 Jul 2017 6:00 pm     Reply with quote

I THINK, but check with Ken Fox or some similar cat with knowledge, that the Session 400 doesn't use "a network of resistors", but just a single resistor. The Super Twin Reverb does something similar.
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Dan Robinson


From:
Colorado, USA
Post Posted 4 Jul 2017 7:10 pm     Reply with quote

Session 400 Booster out is unbalanced, line level. DI box with an attenuator pad and transformer should work fine. It's the speaker solution I'm after. One product said it was ok to use up to 100 watts, fine for the Deluxe, no-joy with the Session/LTD,

Randy, I think you're describing something that replaces the speaker, and presents a load (4 or 8 ohms) to the amp. I'm not looking to do that. I need to hear the amp, and have an output to the PA.
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Dan Robinson


From:
Colorado, USA
Post Posted 4 Jul 2017 9:17 pm     Reply with quote

Lane, I looked at the Session power amp schematic. Booster out uses a simple voltage divider, 47K from speaker Hot, then 1.5K ohms to ground. Bear in mind that this is in parallel with the 4 ohm speaker. A similar circuit should be easy to use across the speaker out of a 40 watt amp. In a tube amp this is happening on the speaker side of the output transformer, so there won't be high voltage present. What I dont know is whether these direct out boxes already incorporate this.
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Scott Duckworth


From:
Etowah, TN Western Foothills of the Smokies
Post Posted 5 Jul 2017 3:32 am     Reply with quote

Dan, you need a speaker level direct box. Rapco makes one, as well as others.

http://www.rapcohorizon.com/p-16-spl-1.aspx

http://www.countryman.com/type-85-direct-box

https://www.music-group.com/Categories/Behringer/Signal-Processors/DI-Boxes/DI100/p/P0062
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Randy Schneider


From:
Central Texas, USA
Post Posted 5 Jul 2017 4:38 am     Reply with quote

Dan Robinson wrote:
Randy, I think you're describing something that replaces the speaker, and presents a load (4 or 8 ohms) to the amp. I'm not looking to do that. I need to hear the amp, and have an output to the PA.


Dan, both the Palmer PDI 09 and H&K Red Box are designed to pass amp output through to the speaker cabinet, in addition to providing the direct output.

http://www.palmer-germany.com/mi/en/PDI-09-Passive-DI-Box-for-Guitars-PDI09.htm

http://hughes-and-kettner.com/products/redbox-5/red-box-5/
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ajm


From:
Los Angeles
Post Posted 5 Jul 2017 6:43 am     Reply with quote

To sum up and/or clarify what has been said...........

All direct boxes are not the same.
Some are for instrument level.
Some are for line/amp output level.
You need to get the right kind.

Direct boxes will not eliminate the need for a speaker or load on the amp.
This is especially important for tube amps.

The Palmer and the H&K have been around a long time.
Good luck finding a Palmer on the shelf; You'll probably need to order one.
I have used one for many years and it works great.

One manufacturer that I didn't see mentioned is Radial.
With all of the stuff that they make, I'd be stunned if they didn't have one.

The other manufacturer I didn't see is Peavey.
They used to make one for this purpose.
I think that it was called the EDI box.
I don't know if they still offer it; You can check their web site.
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Dan Robinson


From:
Colorado, USA
Post Posted 5 Jul 2017 10:06 am     Reply with quote

100% agree with everything ajm said.
Peavey no longer offers the EDI, but they have mic-simulated direct out in most of their new amps.

I need min. cost/min. functionality.

Scott Duckworth nailed it. The Rapco box will suit my needs. 50 bucks, here:

https://tinyurl.com/ycfbdhfc

Let's see if I can actually get one.
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ajm


From:
Los Angeles
Post Posted 5 Jul 2017 11:53 am     Reply with quote

There is a Peavey EDI for sale right now in the Accessories section of the forum.

(There may be more than one, I only looked at the first page.)
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b0b


From:
Northern California
Post Posted 5 Jul 2017 12:31 pm     Reply with quote

The signal from the direct box will not be the same as what you hear from the speaker. Speakers have tone. Cabinets have tone. The sound man and the front of house will not get the tone that you are hearing if you use a direct box. That's why I prefer a mike when one is available.
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Dan Robinson


From:
Colorado, USA
Post Posted 5 Jul 2017 4:16 pm     Reply with quote

b0b, I can't argue with that. It won't sound the same, but it also won't have the bleed-thru from the loud Whoa! bass amp that is right behind me, nor the feedback when a floor monitor is too close on a small bandstand. Alas, the challenges of a six-piece band. I don't have them properly trained (yet) on dynamics and managing stage volume.
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b0b


From:
Northern California
Post Posted 5 Jul 2017 4:25 pm     Reply with quote

The Sennheiser e609 supposedly solves those kinds of problems by lying flat against the grill cloth of your amp. Plus it's one less wire to deal with, compared to a direct box. You just loop the wire through your amp handle and drop the mic in front of your amp.
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Dan Robinson


From:
Colorado, USA
Post Posted 5 Jul 2017 5:55 pm     Reply with quote

That e609 is a great suggestion. The loop-thru-handle is my favorite "mic-stand." The M81 I was using really needs a mount to work properly.

I'm going to try the $49 direct box, and reserve the right to change my mind.
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Jack Stoner


From:
Inverness, Fl
Post Posted 6 Jul 2017 2:23 am     Reply with quote

I've got an e609 and don't care for the sound of it. If I'm going to mike its an SM57. I've got a "desk stand" that I mount the SM57 in and point it directly at the speaker.
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ajm


From:
Los Angeles
Post Posted 6 Jul 2017 7:03 am     Reply with quote

In my limited opinion a mic'ed amp will probably always sound better, IF it is properly done.

I do all of my "mic'ing" with home recording. Mic positioning is an art and can be very time consuming.
Moving the mic a fraction of an inch can change the sound.
Plus, you still have the volume of the amp to deal with.

That is why I went to a speaker attenuator/load box set up with the Palmer PDI-09 in between.
No sound in the room.
The Palmer has a switch for three different cabinet types (EQ curves). It also has a switch for three different signal levels.
Simple, quick, repeatable, done.

Set the amp and switches and move on.
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Kevin Mincke


From:
Farmington, MN (Twin Cities-South Metro) USA
Post Posted 6 Jul 2017 9:35 am     Reply with quote

The e906 is closer to the 57 vs the e609.....
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Bill Hatcher


From:
Atlanta Ga. USA
Post Posted 6 Jul 2017 9:47 am     Reply with quote

Dan Robinson wrote:

I'm going to try the $49 direct box, and reserve the right to change my mind.


a $49 direct box will make your thousands of dollars rig sound just like $49.....

you would be better off buying a used pod XT and running your guitar in it and take one output to your amp and the other direct to the PA. at least you would have a speaker AND and mic emulator as well as full EQ and effects that YOU will be able to control.

you can probably find a POD XT for a hundred bucks or less. you can also use it to record with and to practice with when you dont want to hook up your rig. tommy dodd has plenty of steel guitar programs for the POD. i just looked on ebay at completed auctions for pod xt units. some as low as $55.

forget the speaker output DI box. your amp wont like it. i would never put anything inline from the output of my amp to the speaker or take anykind of signal from the speaker out, unless there was a very expensive Lpad involved.

your mileage may vary.
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Godfrey Arthur


From:
Philippines
Post Posted 12 Jul 2017 3:51 pm     Reply with quote

This will do what you need and not as expensive as the others. You don't want to skimp on a product that might blow your amp.





It converts your amp to speaker signal to a mic level XLR connector to send to the PA.

Mic bleed from other amps on stage is always a problem which is why on many pro situation stages, the amps are placed off stage.
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Dan Robinson


From:
Colorado, USA
Post Posted 12 Jul 2017 8:21 pm     Reply with quote

I appreciate getting so much "feedback" on this topic.

There's a wealth of products available. This is going to be an inexpensive experiment. For 50 bucks, a passive device is my best bet. Might be disappointed, might be pleasantly surprise. If it doesn't work out, oh well.... every musician should have at least one SM-57 in the accessory bag.

We have gigs Friday and Saturday, same club both nights. I don't expect to have the box in time, but we had a nice chat about dynamics at yesterday's rehearsal.
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Godfrey Arthur


From:
Philippines
Post Posted 13 Jul 2017 6:24 am     Reply with quote

Dan Robinson wrote:
had a nice chat about dynamics at yesterday's rehearsal.


You hit the proverbial nail on the head. It's what was running through my mind throughout this whole thread.

Getting everyone on board with dynamics is key although not an easy task. It's what makes bands that can do that "magical." Not everyone can hear in the same time and space, loudness wars erupt and players are off doing their own thing not really listening to the whole stream of music consciousness.


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ajm


From:
Los Angeles
Post Posted 14 Jul 2017 7:48 am     Reply with quote

Bill Hatcher wrote: "a $49 direct box will make your thousands of dollars rig sound just like $49..... "

It's possible that using a mic and having it poorly placed would do the same thing. In addition to having background noise bleeding in.
For my uses I like the direct box approach because it is fast and repeatable. Same thing every time. No bleed and no feedback issues.
But, a properly placed mic will probably still sound better.

Godfrey Arthur wrote: "You don't want to skimp on a product that might blow your amp."

And it's probably been said in previous posts, and it probably also says in the manual, but you still need a speaker or load connected in some way to the amp if it is a TUBE amp.
Not having that will DAMAGE the amp severely.

It will be interesting to see Dan's opinions on the direct box thing.
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Ken Morgan


From:
Midland, Texas, USA
Post Posted 14 Jul 2017 10:39 am     Reply with quote

I've used the old rack mount Palmer PDI 04 from a Pro Reverb to a console tracking steel, with near perfect results...kinda rare, but with the EQ, you just can't go wrong.

http://www.palmergear.com/pga04.shtml
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Dan Robinson


From:
Colorado, USA
Post Posted 17 Jul 2017 6:55 pm     Reply with quote

It's here. Direct box connects between amp and speaker. Output is mic-level balanced XLR. This replaces mic'ing the amp. It seems well built, enclosed in a steel box. Switches operate with authority.

I'll try it at our outdoor gig Saturday. We'll have the big P.A. system and monitors. I finally achieved mic placement that sounded good, so this will be an interesting comparison.


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