Passive rack mounted DI boxes

I’ve got the Presonus StudioLive desk and I’m looking to use inputs 1-16 which are mic input only. I presume this is because there’s no way to bypass the mic pre’s on these inputs unlike 17-32 which are on combo sockets. I’m looking at passive rack mounted DI boxes as it’s gonna be more cost efficient and neater than using one or two boxes for each input. I’m only planning on using these channels for line level signals such as synths/drum machines etc so I’m assuming passive is the way to go.

Have any of you guys gone down the same route? The ones I’ve seen are the Palmer Pan 16 (8ch passive) and ART do one too I believe. I’m aware of the Behringer one but they’re active only.

Any ideas or suggestions welcomed.

I’ve heard very bad things about ART DI boxes. Can’t confirm or deny anything as I’ve never used any of their stuff but when I was looking at DI boxes recently I came across a lot of people saying not to touch anything ART.


Given that I’ve been looking for a decent stereo DI for a bit, I’ve had a look at the Palmer 04, which seems pretty good and fairly well regarded. I imagine the 16 will be the same, but more of them in one box. Certainly a lot cheaper than the equivalents by radial etc.

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I use one of these for my live setup. Works and sounds great.

Radial JD6


Thanks for the replies guys. The Radial is a lovely piece of kit (as is their other stuff) but it’s just more that I can warrant for my home studio. Horses (and wallets] for courses tho!

Yeah, I read some bad reviews of the ART one myself. Seems they use sub par transformers? That said a Single Jensen tranny is likely upwards of £80 so at the lower end of the market manufacturers must be compromising somewhere? Or have mass produced cheap trannies got better and cheaper recently?

Passive DI’s like the Radial JDI attenuate a signal a lot, which is OK or even good when going into a high quality preamp. With something like the Presonus, I would go with active DI’s, which are not more expensive. Better yet, for a studio setup just get a Jack-XLR snake. Will better than cheap DI’s.

Dont want to hijack the thread for active DI’s, but am thinking of installing one in my studio. would like to hear some experiences. also about the low budget behringer di800. dont want to spend more than needed

How many channels do you actually need?

since my setup is not complete yet, hard to say. I think having 8 channels would suffice

Radial and EMO di’s are the best I’ve come across. You get what you pay for with di’s as transformers cost money unfortunately.

I would really think twice weather Di’s are at all necessary. Most mixers an interfaces an take a line level signal without issue. If Ihad to use a DI I would go for Klark Teknik DN200. It’s a Behringer owned brand these days, but I’ve used them literally hundreds of times on any source you can imagine and I can’t tell the difference from a Radial J48 costing double. Klark also make a low cost passive DI (DI22P) but I haven’t used those myself.

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what I was thinking of using it for would be as a hum destroyer. I use Behringer HD400 for this, and they work, but they sit around which kind of annoys me. having a rack unit for this would be nice.

I have tried getting rid of the noise in different ways. just didnt work.

If the 400’s work for you than you should be fine with the 800. Nothing can touch it price-wise. But do try a ground-lift adaptors, shorter cables etc. first. I have not seen anyone discuss the desirable sonic attributes of a Behringer DI :slight_smile:


thanks joe
I have already gone through the process of trying different electricity setups, I have USB hum dongles installed, have done things like isolating the rack gear (plastik washers and screws). helped with some, didnt help with all.

have read alot this morning, and the di800 seems to be noisier than the 4 channel di4000. hate the outputs in the front, but probably would go that route. anybody use the di4000?

re. passive DIs: if budget and quality are both a concern, have you considered DIY?

I haven’t done it yet, but I have a couple of cinemag transformers and am planning on building a pair of DI boxes.

If you wanted multiple in a 1u rack, you could buy an empty enclosure and drill as many holes for jacks as you could reasonably fit. You could even add each circuit incrementally over time to spread the pain of paying for the transformers in one hit. Or even have different transformers on each input/pair for a choice of sonic characteristics.

Some tips on how to do it here:

To answer the OP’s question, Palmer is a well respected brand with quality products. I vote for their Pan 16.


How about something like the Radial Pro D8?

It only costs $800…

Only… can I borrow your gold shitting goose? ;-p

Hey, if you were touring with your setup, being paid 3k$ per gig, it would seem like small change we’ll spent and Behringer would not enter into the discussion. Till then I guess it’s overkill.

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This. Have you tested whether it s actually necessary? On many modern devices the gain range of mic inputs is large enough to take line signals. Maybe with a bit of care for the levels at the source instruments.

(Ps: in the live sound sector around here BSS and Klark are the standard DI makers)

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