« Tube Pre-amp/DI box that colors, but enhances tone »Publié le 20/09/10 à 20:19
It's really easy to get good sounds with this when it's used as a DI. It's basically as simple as plugging into the input and choosing either the balanced or unbalanced outputs, both of which are post-gain There is also an unbalanced output that is pre-gain knob, which I've only used when using it as a mic pre, which actually still requires another transparent mic pre to even work, which I found odd. The manual will explain how to do all of these tasks, and for once, it's totally necessary because it's really confusing.
For all of the difficulty that can come with using this box (at least when it's not just as a DI), there sure are a lot of aesthetic benefits. It sounds fantastic when used properly. If you like to rely on digital-sounding things, and prefer a transparent DI box, this is not at all what you should be looking for. The coloration of this tube-driven box is the selling point. It really makes instruments that can sound weak and anemic (like bass and keys, especially when using a transparent DI) ring out with tone and color. I personally love using it on bass because it absolutely sings when in use. It also gives digital keys a warmth and edge that they would otherwise lack (this is crucial to me, as I have often been frustrated with digital keys in general). This isn't to say it won't also work great on a Rhodes or Wurlitzer, on the contrary I enjoy using it very much. Last but not least, it can make a condenser mic sound like a tube mic, which is pretty awesome. It requires the aforementioned difficult of going through the unbalanced output but it ultimately does sound pretty awesome.
I like the DI functions of this box the most, the tubes really make everything sound more saturated and colorful, in a good way. The downside to this is that there isn't much room to make a change after the fact, however, I'd rather know for sure that I have a particularly good sound before tracking than have one afterwards that I can't get to sound right. This is a really expensive DI, so I'd really think twice if you don't need it for many different instruments. I'd say it's more crucial to have it for keys than anything, because bass can also be amplified for tonal control. As a mic pre it's really awesome, however there are others that do similar things, and either way it still isn't quite like using a tube mic itself. So while it can be amazing, I don't know if it's a must-have by any means.