Active Direct Boxes: Bring on the Basics

by George Petersen
in Buyer's Guide
Active Direct Boxes
Active Direct Boxes

There are few more basic — or more useful — accessories than a direct box. These can range from simple transformer-in-a-case units to elaborate rack mount multichannel designs. Let’s sidestep the active-versus-transformer debate for now. Both have their place; in fact, I have a half-dozen of each in my shop. So let’s examine some straightforward active direct boxes. All of those spotlighted here are single-channel, compact units that are powered via a phantom power and/or a standard 9-volt battery. Sorry, no tube models or units with preamps or onboard guitar/bass EQ, and nothing requiring AC powering.

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