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Active Direct Boxes: Bring On the Basics

George Petersen • Buyer's GuideOctober 2020 • October 11, 2020

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

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