Could I put a DI box between my amplifier and my guitar cabinet, and then run the DI signal in to my USB interface? Or would that create issues? I'm using a Michael Kelly guitar, through a Bugera 333xl head in to a Bugera cab.

  • I would only say to be a little careful with Tube Amplifiers. I have a Krank amp-head and the manual clearly says not to operate it wihtout connecting a cabinet load. I don't think the DIs are capable of providing matching impedence as a cabinet speaker.
    – user13042
    Feb 24, 2015 at 18:27

3 Answers 3


Not with any old DI box. The signal going from the power amp section of your guitar amp, to your speaker cabinet, is HIGH POWER. Face-melting type of power. Most DI boxes cannot handle this kind of power and you will melt them in an instant trying to run them between your power amp and your speaker cabinet.

There is a notable exception: the Palmer PDI-09 The Junction. This DI box is specifically designed to go between your amplifier and your speaker cabinet and provide a line-level signal of your power amp's output. Suitable for running in to a USB audio interface or a mixing desk.

It also has a switch that can apply some simple equalization to the signal (the Bright and Mellow settings) so you could use this in place of a microphone to run your signal to FoH.

With the PDI-09 you still have to run your speaker cabinet -- your power amp doesn't see any load when it's just connected to the PDI-09. You need your cabinet attached as well or you'll risk damaging your power amp.

If you want to be able to run your amplifier without even attaching a speaker cabinet take a look at the Palmer PGA-04 or Palmer PDI-03 -- both of these can act as DIs like the PDI-09, but they also contain active, dummy loads that allows them to dissipate all that power your power amplifier is pushing at it. So you can run without a speaker cabinet and record your guitar head completely silently.


+1 to Ian's answer above. However, if you're able to come out of your effects loop on either your pedal board or on your amplifier (or if you have a DL4 or some other effect that has a stereo out) then you can just use the input at the DI there.

From there, run the thru side of the DI box back to complete your FX loop and the XLR side to the recording device.

Update: Diagram

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  • This can work but understand that it's not quite the same thing as what you'd get with a Palmer unit. Your effects loop is pre-power amp. You're only getting your preamplifier signal with this approach. The Palmer gives you the post-power amp signal, same as your speaker cabinet sees. They sound can be quite different betwen the two tap points.
    – Ian C.
    Mar 6, 2011 at 16:17
  • i am not looking to have the DI box go between the Cab and the Head, i just am wanting to go from the Head, into the DI box, into my audio interface.
    – user514
    Mar 10, 2011 at 15:24
  • Does your head have an FX loop on it?
    – philwinkle
    Mar 10, 2011 at 18:44
  • yes it does have an effects loop
    – user514
    Mar 24, 2011 at 14:34
  • See my update for a diagram of how it should be set up to achieve the 'amp' sound at the correct impedance for recording. This allows you to capture the amp and effects prior to recording without having to use a microphone on the speaker and without purchasing a special DI that can bear speaker load.
    – philwinkle
    Mar 24, 2011 at 15:09

Look for a Box that has two 1/4" jacks (marked "IN" and "OUT") and a pad switch (0/-10db/-20db). I use one of these when a guest sets up their own system and I want a mix into my system for remote speakers or recording a video. I grab the (amplified) line to one of their kickers and route it through the box (IN/OUT), pad it, and run the balanced output to my board. It should work the same way between your guitar head and speaker.

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