by Matt O’Donnell
Bass Frontiers Managing Editor
We live in a world where most large stage gigs are a matter of either running through a DI, and using the parallel output to run to an amp for stage monitoring, or foregoing the stage amp all together and just running a DI box and having all the stage volume come through the monitors or in-ear systems. No matter which of these methods your production manager or house sound guy want to use, it’s best for any of us if we use a DI box with a preamp that we like the sound coming out of. Eden, one of the most loved and trusted names in bass amplification, has just thrown their name into the fray with the WTDI “World Tour” Direct Box Preamp Pedal.
As I said, bass players LOVE them some Eden gear, and this piece should come as no exception. This box gives the player a ton of control over their sound, which is great because in the situations where you might only be using a DI signal on a gig, you’ll want to be able to tweak what you’ve got coming out so that you sound the best and perk up some ears.
The WTDI has a single 1/4″ input, with two outputs, one XLR balanced out and the other a 1/4″ unbalanced out. One feature I was really happy to see was a ground lift switch, so that you don’t have to look around and shrug your shoulders when the sound guy asks if you can do anything about the hum.
As far as the EQ sound goes, you get your 3 basic bass, mid, and treble controls, each of which have a boost/cut amount of 15dB. In addition, the box has a bass boost that follows the Fletcher-Munson curve (You can read exactly what that is, in brief, here. Essentially, humans don’t hear low frequencies at softer levels. This helps.). There is also a mid shift switch. It alternates between 550Hz and 2.2KHz for your mid signal. Very helpful.
Past the EQ, you’ve got your basic gain knob and master volume knob. Beyond that, you get a VERY handy compression knob that is subject to the input gain level. If you ever decide to get working on effects and outboard gear, as a bassist, the first thing you want is good compression. This knob can squash some unruly peaks, but never quite sounds like it’s beating your tone down. I really, really liked that.
Then there’s the “Enhance” knob. In the literature included with the box, it is also referred to as “The Magic Knob”. This knob helps dial in the very specific sound that hoards of bass players have come to rely on from Eden. It’s what you would dial in when you plugged into an Eden head or combo. They’ve just made it really really simple. The knob, all at the same time, boosts the really low bass frequencies, the upper mids (simultaneously cutting the low mids), and highs. This way, you get that stomach rumbling bass sound, but get punch and cutting clarity all at the same time. On funk/r&b gigs, as well as pop/country gigs, I found that this was all I needed. I left the 3-band EQ at zero, and turned this puppy up to about 60-70%. Worked like a charm. They should make a smaller cheaper version for me that just has the bottom row of knobs!
Overall, if you’re in the market for a DI preamp, you should give the Eden WTDI some serious consideration. I found that with both passive and active basses, this really helped give me a serious, professional sound on a few small and medium stages. In addition, I was using it both with output to an amplifier and without. My sound in the front of house was great no matter what.
The Eden WTDI is yet another fantastic product out of a bass amplification juggernaut.