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June 2017 Giveaway

LR Baggs Para DI Acoustic Preamp, 5-band EQ, and Direct Box Reviews

4.5 stars based on 32 customer reviews
Questions about the LR Baggs Para DI Acoustic Preamp, 5-band EQ, and Direct Box?

Questions about the LR Baggs Para DI Acoustic Preamp, 5-band EQ, and Direct Box?

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  • from May 15, 2017


    Essential pro gear for acoustic guitar. Solves problems for passive and active pickups. Completely blew away the sound engineer when I swapped out his DI with this.

  • from Kingston, NY February 27, 2016Music Background:
    Engineer, Producer, Multi-Instrumentalist

    Best thing ever for many things

    I have two of these. One kicks around the studio and gets used on stand up bass, banjo, mandolin, and whenever acoustic instruments that have pickups walk in the door. The other one is permanently part of my own violin/fiddle rig. Of all of the properly loaded piezo preamps this one is the most pleasing, most properly tweakable, most rugged, and has no more or less than the features you actually need to get a good tone from all but the crappiest of instruments. I also use the one in the studio as an electric bass and guitar input into my recording rig often, especially for those older lower output bass guitars. With some gentle tone shaping applied on the way in, so good! I was also pleased to discover that if you blast the input into distorting it has a nice warm fuzzy surprise.
    This thing is rugged. I have casually abused the one that lives with my fiddle for over 10 years and it has yet to really show any signs of wear. Also, the battery lasts a VERY long time.

  • from NY February 22, 2016Music Background:
    working acoustic musician in a male female duo

    Perfect compliment

    I was generally happy with my acoustic guitar sound and equipment ( top of the line Martin into a BOSE LI compact system)

    Upon adding the LR Baggs it brought out a deeper, wider sound with natural shine and polish over it all.

    With the guitar tone and presence now perfectly centered it brought out the perfect canvas for vocals to thrive and soar.

    Now that I know what the LR Baggs Para DI adds I cant see myself ever playing without it..

  • from California December 15, 2015

    Best DI/EQ Box for Acoustic Instruments

    The LR Baggs Para DI direct box is superb. It has really cleaned up my signal from both my Guild D55 guitar, Ovation Balladeer and, additionally, my mandolin, as well. It gives me more control over the EQ and provides a richer, warmer tone than just running through an acoustic amp. We go direct from the XLR output into the PA system, and I run a 1/4" to my acoustic amp. The amp acts as a monitor and the direct signal to the box is really appreciated by the sound technician.

    I couldn't be happier. This is pricier than the Fishman, but a better DI Box. I recommend it for any application, whether playing in church or out professionally. It will make any guitar or mandolin sound better plugged in.

  • from September 1, 2015

    Great product.

    Great product.

  • from August 19, 2015Music Background:
    Professional Musician

    Excellent choice.

    The L.R. Baggs preamp DI box works wonderful on stage for my fiddle and mandolin. The EQ was great and the sound very consistent and strong. I like effects loop on it which I used for my reverb pedal.

  • from Valencia, CA March 13, 2015Music Background:
    Pro Muscian, Contemporary Christian, solo fingerstyle

    My Guitar Sounds Even Better

    The LR Baggs Para Acoustic DI pre amp/EQ/Direct Box is a great piece of gear. I'm playing a Martin D-18 with an LR Baggs Lyric mic on board in a Contemporary Christian Band and solo fingerstyle. The guitar sounded really good with the Lyric; it sounds better with the preamp and I hear a big difference in the amplified sound - crisper, clearer highs, better all around sound. Our sound tech noticed the difference at once. With a high quality cable, I can't get any better. I want to be the best I can be and am willing to spend on the equipment. But value is important. I believe I have received great value from the LR Baggs Para Acoustic DI for what I had to pay. Try one, with a high quality cable - see for yourself!

  • from Rochester NY USA December 19, 2014Music Background:
    guitar player/singer

    LR Baggs Para DI 5-band EQ

    I am loving my new LR Baggs Acoustic DI. I have used it with my Martin 000 as well as my nylon crossover and it works great for both. My nylon is very heavy on the bass side and I am able to very simply even out the tone both for practice and gigs.

  • from West Virginia October 12, 2014Music Background:
    Just the Bass player

    Does its job plus more...

    I originally purchased this unit for my Kala U Bass and it really brings out the best of the instruments tone. Now I realize that this is an" acoustic " unit until one gig I plugged my Warwick Thumb into it. Now my Warwick sounds great by itself and I have never used anything between it and the amp in all of the eleven years I'll had it. Going thru this DI it sounds absolutely amazing. Now it goes with me to every gig.

  • from New Orleans, LA USA September 3, 2014Music Background:
    Pro Musician, Recording Engineer

    Ultimate violin tone, mod instructions for DC power supply

    I've been using one of these for about 10 years. I've performed for crowds of as few as 10 and as many as 10,000 people with this signal chain: violin with Baggs pickup > sennheiser ew100 body pack (mounted on shoulder rest) > sennheiser ew100 camera top receiver > Baggs para DI > whatever they have PA setup, or one of my amps (Roland AC60 or (2) Tech 21 Power Engine 60's). The sound guys love it, because they don't have to fix anything about the tone. I figured out a way to mod the box to accept a standard 9V pedal power supply. The biggest challenge was finding a spot for it - they don't waste any space in that chassis, I suppose that's why the thing is so compact. But I found a way: Replace the XLR connector mounted to its own PCB with one that does not require a PCB. Fly the leads that went to the PCB directly to the new XLR's connector pins. That leaves enough room underneath to drill in the very bottom corner of the chassis, to the right of the battery compartment under the XLR jack. There, you mount a kobeconn round panel mount DC power jack. Wire the battery + leads through the jack, run a - lead in parallel and done. Works great: In this wiring setup, phantom power is still 1st priority if present, 2nd is the DC power supply connection if one is plugged in, 3rd is battery.

  • from Hillsville, VA May 10, 2014

    The small block Chevy of acoustic direct boxes.

    The reputation of this box speaks for it's self. Transparent, clean, and loud. If your playing acoustic guitar live without this DI box, you're missing out.

  • from Lawrence, Ma March 27, 2014Music Background:
    Live Sound Engineer, Pro Musician

    Crisp and Clear

    This DI is something I first learned about a few years ago running sound. I would run sound for a lot of musicians using acoustic in a worship environment. The church used a venue sc48 and seats about 1700 people. We have 2 subwoofers and EV line array setup speakers. There was a guitar player who sounded better than other players each time, when I asked what he was using I noticed he was playing a taylor guitar, but others were too. I then noticed he had the LR Baggs DI, The clarity, quality of sound and overall realness to the acoustic tone was unbelievable. I know after listening to so many different DI's and pickups for acoustic that this is TOP Notch. After purchasing my own, I am using a dean markley pickup to quarter inch. When I plug into the LR Baggs the quality of sound makes this run of the mill pickup sound INCREDIBLE. Definitely worth every penny, quality craftsmanship.

  • from Egan,LA. January 10, 2014Music Background:
    Singer,Songwrter,Acoustic guitar player.

    Great Preamp

    I was hoping it would boost the volume of my Yamaha but it did more than that.Great highs and lows and you can adjust it to the sound that you want.If you are looking to boost you acoustic guitar sound then this is the piece of equipment you need to get.

  • from Fenton, MI August 12, 2013Music Background:
    Pro musician

    Always come back to my PADI

    To date, I have yet to find a better DI for live acoustic guitar sound. I play professionally 3-4 times per week in an acoustic duo (and occasionally with a full band). My guitars are all equipped with passive pickups (K&K), and the PADI is the only DI that gives me a natural acoustic guitar sound that I can easily dial in with little effort. My signal chain is simple: Guitar > 10 ft. high quality cord > BOSS TU3 Tuner > LR Baggs PARA DI > BOSE L1 system. I can say this because I have every high quality active DI made at my disposal (Radial, Red Eye, K&K, etc.), but always come back to my PADI. I've tried to top the sound I get from this setup, just never been able to so. For all you tone purists out there, do yourself a favor and keep it simple....i.e, high quality guitar, high quality cord, LR Baggs Para DI, and a full range speaker system...end!

  • from Spokane, WA USA November 26, 2012Music Background:
    Guitar, Banjo, Mandolin and recording engineer

    more than just the best bang for the buck

    I compared this on my mandolin (Radius-M pickup) and my banjo (Schatten Design pickup) to a Schertler, a ToneBone, and many others. The $500 Schertler had maybe a 5% better sound, but it added more than triple the noise floor. This DI makes even just wimpy sounding acoustic guitar pickups sound almost wonderful. It's rock solid. It runs on phantom or battery. The tweak knobs make a moving difference even with just slight adjustments, and the notch filter is... well... top notch. Plus, since most instruments havea resonant pitch or a string that stands out, the notch is labelled in pitch - brilliant and simple.

    If you don't have $1K to get your rig amped, this is THE box for you.

  • from Austin November 20, 2012Music Background:

    The Acoustic Comforter

    The LR Braggs DI is a little miracle worker. If you don't want to spend thousands for a Taylor or Martin try the LR Braggs on your four hundred dollar Takemine or Yamaha or Alvarez. You'll be pleasantly surprised by the fidelity it brings to the sound. Do you get feed back from your acoustic when you play live? This little puppy will put that problem to bed. Tuck you in and wrap your sound in a warm feedback free blanket! Thanks Sweetwater I'm glad I thought of that and glad you guys had one...(<:!!

  • from Ohio February 29, 2012Music Background:
    Freelance ubassist

    Awesome for bass

    After a long and exhaustive search for preamps for my Kala U-Basses, I have settled on this and the VTBass pedal. It has all the features I want. Variable cut/boost notch, para mid, 2 treble bands, perfect high pass at 35hz, phase, battery, D. I. Out. Loop... This thing is warm and sounds great. Very organic, the actual tone of the instrument shines through.

  • from Random Lake, WI USA December 10, 2011Music Background:
    Music loving senior

    Para DI

    I'm pleased with the Para DI. I play an autoharp & this is what I needed to be heard in a group that consists mainly of guitars! Autoharps DO have a great sound but need that boost to be heard. Now they tell ME to turn my volume down!
    I was also impressed (once again) at the speed in delivery. You guys are fantastic & I will continue to let my fellow 'jammers' know that.

  • from LA April 27, 2016


    Works on everything. Sounds great. Kind of a no-brainier. If you need a DI, and you can't afford their "venue", just get this thing.

  • from South Padre Island, Texas March 29, 2016

    Repeat Buyer

    I am a working Performing Songwriter (260+ shows a year), working both as an Acoustic soloist and with my backup band - this unit has become my go-to for all situations. It seems to be built solid enough although I have had to replace 2 now in 5 years of use; I don't fault LR Baggs... my road people are gorillas and always in a hurry. My onstage guitar is a Collings D2HA with the LR Baggs Anthem SL Acoustic Soundhole Microphone/Undersaddle Guitar Pickup. I've purchased several boutique pre-amps and DI's in that elusive quest for the magical tone... and I always come back to this unit.

  • from Grand Marais Mn. March 7, 2016

    D I box

    I have been able to use the L R Baggs Para D I box twice since my purchase and have been very happy with the quality of sound that it is capable of producing. Works well with my D28 Martin. Highly recommended

  • from St Helena Is, SC September 3, 2014Music Background:

    LR Baggs Para DI 5 Band EQ

    Since purchasing this piece of equipment, I've been playing my acoustic more often. The sound that I get thru my PA has been greatly enhanced. Plus the greater degree of sound control this unit offers has made this an invaluable piece of equipment.

  • from Chico, CA USA August 21, 2014Music Background:
    Singer-songwriter, live sound and recording engineer, open mic host

    A versatile classic

    I've used one of these for more than a decade on a variety of guitars (Gurian Jumbo Rosewood and two Taylors). It's simple to learn to use, simple to use, and does the job.

    I host and do sound for a weekly open mic event, and this unit is in the #1 guitar signal chain. I'm able to fine-tune any player's guitar sound on the fly very quickly, from brightening up dull strings to killing boominess to attenuating midrange quack.

    It is very durable. After all these years and weekly use, there are a few dings in the paint; that's it. Otherwise, it looks and works like new. I made a U-shaped cradle that fits on a mic stand so it's at waist level, which keeps it stationary and handy to adjust. Otherwise, cables want to move it around unless it's on the floor (where it's hard to make changes).

    In all, a solid performer at an appropriate price.

  • from Muncie, IN May 16, 2013Music Background:
    Semi Pro.

    We "like" it.

    Like I say - we "like" it. Nothing wrong with it at all. I would have given it a 5.0 rating - but I'm just not "Blown Away". For $ 200 (right?) I would expect a good pre-amp. For $ 39 - I'd be "Blown Away". LR Baggs is a good company - I also have a LR Baggs " Element" Pre-Amp in my Yamaha Acoustic Guitar - and it too is very nice ( also like $ 200).

    I really wanted a Radial PX Deluxe - but they were sold out. The Radial Unit is also really nice - and is more of a "Foot Pedal" - having a nice "MUTE" button and a "BOOST" Button that you can hit with your foot (very rugged construction).

    So I ordered this Baggs unit instead - and it is fine - more of a "table top" unit than a "foot switch". I "like" that it can run on phantom power (saves having to plug it in). Absolutely silent operation. (Shrugs.) We are using this on a fiddle with a passive pickup. We just run the EQ flat - so I have no comment to it - but I'm sure it's fine too. He uses the "level" knob when he switches to Mandolin - and it too is totally silent.

    No complaints. Happy with it. It's doing exactly what we want - and does not need "fed".

  • from Cape Cod, MA August 8, 2012Music Background:

    Does the Job

    My passive pick up is very bright and I wanted to richen up the sound. A pro recommended I try the Para DI...glad I did...very pleased with this little unit. Not only can I control my volume and tone on stage, It has useful filters that cut string buzz and noise to a minimum. It is a ruggedly built, simple to use, and best of all, does the job!

  • from Phoenix, AZ March 1, 2012Music Background:
    Professional Musician

    Great Sound - Some Annoyances

    First off, I'd like to say that I give this DI a 5 star for sound. It's great sounding, and that's not the concern at all. Here are the things that bother me a lot.

    1) There is no way to monitor your gain from clipping. When you have an onboard volume on your guitar, and then a gain knob on the DI, and then a volume on the DI, there are 3 different gain stages. That's not a problem IF there was any sort of meter to let you know if you're clipping or not. How do you expect to properly set the gain without some sort of indication other than distortion. I play professionally, and this is extremely bothersome. The venue DI has this feature, and this DI should.

    2) The thing that bothers me the most is the fact that the XLR comes out of the top of the DI. Why they designed it this way blows my mind. I have a very clean stage set up, and things are laying flat, and look clean and professional. Then I add this DI, and I have an XLR sticking straight up in the air, and taking the clean look and making it ugly. This is poor design in my opinion, and I wish they would make a new model with the XLR like every other DI is, out the side.

    I love the DI, but those two major things just don't make sense to me.

  • from Mena, AR June 30, 2011Music Background:
    Playing since I was Six. Play in about 4 different bands and have my own Studio, and Sound Reinforcement Co.

    Love This Di

    I used this on a Boulder Creek Solitaire last weekend. The Solitaire doesn't have the greatest built in pre, but( it does look really cool with out a sound hole). when i plugged in the LR Baggs Para Di It gave the shape of the output a much more pleasing tone. Really like the notch filter built in to the DI for controlling feed back onstage. I bought this as a backup for a friend of mine he was having some issues with his. Which LR Baggs gave great support for BTW. The tech was great and they actually replaced his unit for no charge. I would highly recommend this DI and LR Baggs as a vendor.

  • from Baltimore, MD January 18, 2015Music Background:
    Amateur musician

    LR Baggs Para DI

    This box does what I want. Effective preamp, EQ & DI for my Baggs M1 pickup and a Taylor Expression system. This unit makes both pickups sound better with minimal effort. Highly recommend!

  • from Cary, NC November 14, 2014Music Background:

    Nice DI and convenient EQ and feedback control

    This thing does what they say. It is a nice XLR DI, handling phantom power with convenient straight forward active EQ and feedback control.

    The phase switch and the NOTCH will help controlling feedback in live situation. Amazing what a simple phase inversion can do in odd situations.

    If your instrument really needs EQ, this is a good deal for you.

    However THIS IS WILL NOT MAKE A NICE SOUNDING INSTRUMENT SOUND BETTER. If you have a nice sounding guitar already, the EQ may not be so convenient for you unless you go through a bad sounding PA. I use the EQ only to scoop some MIDS around 800 Hz on my Taylor but that's it. The Bass and Treble does exactly the same as the Bass and Treble on my guitar.

    If you want your instrument to sound bigger, you need an expensive preamp and/or a compressor which could run through the effect loop.

    That being said, this is a very fair deal for a well U.S. built, good sounding DI with many extras.

  • from Lookout Mountain, TN January 23, 2014Music Background:
    Semi-Pro Musician, Recording addict, Live Sound Fanatic

    Solid as a Rock

    Have been using this DI for several years (5+) and it's really solved a lot of problems (Live). Using for fiddle and mandolin with full band and also using a Beta 87 or Beta 58 to mic in certain situations. Anyway, this thing is built like a "Sherman Tank". It's Made in the USA, so there's a plus. Not very useful in the studio, IMO, there are better options (small cond. mic + good tube pre). Price is good for what you get(paid $175). Must have for fiddle and mandolin players using LR Baggs pick up system, that want to be heard. Your sound man will thank you when you show up to the gig with this box. EQ not very useful IMO, but you can't expect that at this price. Notch is great for feedback. Has phantom power, so no dead batteries. Running on a mini pedal train with tuner and AB switcher. Excellent addition to my signal chain. Get one today. Sweetwater has the best service in the industry! Period!

  • from Lookout Mountain, TN January 23, 2014Music Background:
    Live Sound/Recording Engineer, Semi-Pro Musician (Will Ferrell style)

    Solid....Solid As A Rock........Rock...Rock

    Have been using this DI for several years now (5+), and it has reaIly changed my sound. Clear and transparent sound with tons of gain. EQ is not really that useful in my opinion, but for $175, you really can't expect that. It's MADE IN THE USA I play in a full band and being heard have never gone direct to sound board. In the past I've always mic'd my fiddle because I thought it sounded better

  • from Alaska January 18, 2016

    L.R.Baggs DI

    I needed a DI, so I bought the L.R. Baggs, which is a solid piece of equipment. I plug in my guitar and into Marshall Amp. The DI helps control one's sound; especially feed-back in which a twist of a knob and good go. Equalizing also provides quick sound improvements.Definitely recommend it to anyone looking for DI for Acoustics guitar/string instruments.

Questions about the LR Baggs Para DI Acoustic Preamp, 5-band EQ, and Direct Box?

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