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If Using Direct Out in a Dream Rig, Do I Really Need the DT25???

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#1 kawititnow

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Posted 26 June 2014 - 04:26 AM

I bought the DT25 head a few days ago, for the sole purpose of playing in church where I intended to use the Cabinet Simulated Output (Direct Out) straight to the PA. We're going to an In-Ear Monitor system and want to eliminate all speaker amps from the stage. I thought the DT25 would be perfect since it's still a FULL TUBE amp with no speakers that I can control from my POD HD500X. However after connecting via the POD via the L6 link and then the Direct Out to a recording audio interface (Presonus Firepod), I realized the Direct Out is only usable in "Low Volume Mode." Come to find out when using this configuration I'm only using the amp Pre-Amp section and not the power section of the amp.

 

So my question is am I really gaining anything by using the DT25? I was just plugging my POD HD 500X straight into the PA and getting decent sounds. I thought getting the DT25 would step it up a notch, but if I'm not using the Power Section of the amp I don't know if I'm really gaining anything.

 

Anyone that can chime in would be helpful!!

 

Thanks


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#2 phil_m

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Posted 26 June 2014 - 05:32 AM

I bought the DT25 head a few days ago, for the sole purpose of playing in church where I intended to use the Cabinet Simulated Output (Direct Out) straight to the PA. We're going to an In-Ear Monitor system and want to eliminate all speaker amps from the stage. I thought the DT25 would be perfect since it's still a FULL TUBE amp with no speakers that I can control from my POD HD500X. However after connecting via the POD via the L6 link and then the Direct Out to a recording audio interface (Presonus Firepod), I realized the Direct Out is only usable in "Low Volume Mode." Come to find out when using this configuration I'm only using the amp Pre-Amp section and not the power section of the amp.

 

So my question is am I really gaining anything by using the DT25? I was just plugging my POD HD 500X straight into the PA and getting decent sounds. I thought getting the DT25 would step it up a notch, but if I'm not using the Power Section of the amp I don't know if I'm really gaining anything.

 

Anyone that can chime in would be helpful!!

 

Thanks

 

If you're leaving the amp in standby mode, then, yes, the direct is only active when you're in low volume mode. This is because when you're in full volume mode, the direct out is tapped from the output transformer going to the speaker. So in full volume mode with standby on, there's no signal going to the output transformer. If you're in full volume mode with standby off, the XLR out does benefit from the tube power amp interaction with the speakers. Personally, though, I'd say that the difference this makes compared to what's coming out in LVM is not all that great.

 

It seems to me that in your particular case using the DT25 isn't benefiting you at all. If you can't run it and have it somewhat loud, or in your case, on at all, really, you might as well just go direct from the HD500X. The DT amps were meant to be used like you'd use a real tube amp in the sense that they liked to be cranked up.


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#3 kawititnow

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Posted 26 June 2014 - 10:36 AM

OK, I was messing around with it some more and realized that:

 

A: Direct Out will ONLY work in "Full Volume Mode" if Standby is OFF and a speaker cabinet load is connected. Last night when I was messing with it I did NOT have any speakers connected and could only get a signal in Low Volume Mode, not in Full Volume Mode.

 

B: The DT25 sounds damn good when cranked in Full Volume Mode.

 

I recorded a few samples from the Direct Out in the various output modes to compare.

 

The first was in Full Volume Mode, then Low Volume Mode, and lastly removed the DT25 altogether and recorded straight from the HD500X. The average person probably wouldn't be able to tell that much of a difference, especially in a "band" setting, but I'd rank them in that order too.

 

The best was Full Volume Mode, then Low Volume Mode, and the HD500X sounded a little flat and didn't have that "warmth"

 

All that being said and given my situation is there any reason I couldn't hook up an external speaker simulator that emulates a cabinet load and then use the direct out?


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#4 phil_m

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Posted 26 June 2014 - 01:20 PM

All that being said and given my situation is there any reason I couldn't hook up an external speaker simulator that emulates a cabinet load and then use the direct out?

If you wanted to run the DT25 in full power mode without a cab attached, you'd need an attenuator, yes, and then you could take an output from that to the mixer. Honestly, though, it seems somewhat silly to go down this route when you have very good power amp and cab modeling at your feet with the HD500X. My bet is that you would not be completely happy with output you get from the attenuator. It's not going to sound like the XLR out in full volume mode.
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#5 kawititnow

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 05:15 AM

I built a selectable load simulator (4-Ohm, 8-Ohm and 16-Ohm) that fools the amp into thinking there is a speaker cabinet attached, then take the Direct Out, and it sounds fantastic!!! I'm super excited and can't wait to try it out at the next rehearsal. It has that tube warmth and fullness that I just wasn't getting from the POD alone.


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#6 Tboneous

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 08:06 AM

A couple of thoughts...First, just for clarification, if you don't have the trilogy (Variax, a pod, and a DT/L-series Speaker) then you don't have a Dream Rig. Second, I am curious as to why you want to eliminate speakers from the stage? As great as pod is at modeling amps and fx, it can't capture the interplay between guitar and speaker. To me that is a critical element of tone. I would even argue that the L-Series speaker falls well short of capturing that interplay. Having your guitar signal routed through the Pod and sent to PA speakers across the stage without a guitar amp seems to take all of the fun out of playing guitar.

Just an opinion for sure, but can you imagine Hendrix playing the Star Spangled Banner with his Strat plugged into a few fx and then routed to the PA? YIKES!
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#7 kawititnow

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 12:50 PM

I agree that taking the amp out of the equation takes all the fun out of playing. Once I got it dialed in with the POD and the DT talking to each other the way they should it sounds awesome!

 

The whole reason for taking the speakers off of the stage is so FOH can have more control. As I originally said we are going to an In Ear Monitoring system, so what I hear in my ear is coming from the mixer and not the stage. So, on stage speakers wouldn't really do me any good. 


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#8 Tboneous

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 10:31 PM

I agree that taking the amp out of the equation takes all the fun out of playing…...

……….So, on stage speakers wouldn't really do me any good. 

Hmmmm…. I don't know… sounds like the "good" that an on stage speaker would do for you is put the fun back into playing guitar!

Red hot glowing tubes, the magnets pols of the pickups, the heavy magnet of a celestion v30 and the vibration of steel wound strings creates a wonderful concert of sound and color that goes away even with the best in ear monitor. Crank your stuff up and tell the FOH dude to chill and make it happen. Robben Ford once said something to the effect of "If I have to turn my amp up to 10 for me to sound like me, then so be it!" and that is specifically because guitar and speaker interact with each other. 

 

I've got your back bro! If the FOH dude gives you any flack, you send him to this forum. I'll straighten his %@! out!!!!

 

 

CRANK IT UP!!!!


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