Buyers Guide – DI boxes for guitarists

Buyers Guide – DI boxes for guitarists

It really is important to think about the DI box in your sound chain. Many people spend thousands on a beautiful guitar and acoustic pick up system and not think about how that sound actually gets into the PA. There are loads out there so worth doing some research. Here are a few options with really wide price ranges, all will be better than a cheap generic DI box.

The photo above is from a selection sent to us by people in the Musicademy Facebook Group. Each is in use every week in a church near you!

LR Baggs – Their Para Acoustic DI is used by numerous musicians all over the world. It has a 5 band EQ so you can adjust the frequencies that optimize the sound of your instrument and the rugged metal casing should make it last a lifetime.

Sansamp acoustic DI – This useful little box has lots of tone shaping options for acoustic guitar and bass so you can dial the appropriate sound for the different playing styles, e.g. jazz, finger style, strumming etc.

Yamaha Magicstomp – Although not technically a DI box, this pedal uses microphone modeling to improve your sound – i.e. artificially recreating the sound of using an expensive microphone in front of your guitar. By plugging into the Magicstomp pedal you can add some zest to the sound of a cheap guitar and or PA system. A number of companies are starting to produce some inexpensive modeling pedals so also check out the Fishman Aura range.

Avalon U5 – expensive but a truly great sound. This DI unit is used by many top professional musicians and will optimize the sound of both guitar and bass as well as many other acoustic instruments.  I was talking to Jesse Reeves from Chris Tomlin’s band recently who says the investment is worth every penny as it gives him a really consistent sound regardless of the quality PA system he’s playing through and maximizes the original tone of his vintage basses.

Another is option is to buy an acoustic guitar amp which is effectively a combination of tone shaping preamp, DI box and monitor. Lots of manufacturers – Carvin, Ashdown, Fender, Marshall, AER, LR Baggs and many others produce these at all price points so try out as many different models as you can before you buy. Again you do get for what you pay for so there will be a quality and tonal difference between a £200 and £1200 amp but it is a compact and multi usable way of being able to shape your guitar tone and volume on stage if you have a limited or budget monitoring system.


Why DI?