I have an old Extron BUC 102 and it is a great-sounding “DI box” for it’s use. This is the newer model that replaced it, the BUC 202. It has the same functions at the older BUC 101, which is to convert unbalanced audio to balanced audio and vice versa. The only difference is that this model has a built-in power supply whereas the older one needed an external Extron power supply. I suppose the only thing I like about these boxes are it’s versatility in converting balanced to unbalanced and vice versa. For all other uses, an inexpensive, passive DI box will do the job just as well.
I have an SM Pro DJDI stereo DI box that I am very happy with. It has been through so many events with me and makes my controller sound totally great all the time. But now that it is getting old, I decided to get a new DI box for my controller. I thought of getting the Palmer stereo DI but decided to get something that sounds even better. That is when I chanced upon this Radial ProD2 stereo DI box and I think that is the next one I am going to get. According to what I got from Radial’s website:
The Radial ProD2 is a compact stereo direct box developed specifically to address the needs and challenges of interfacing a stereo keyboard to a professional audio system. This passive DI features two independent channels with separate inputs and thru-puts for the artist’s stage amp and two fully isolated outputs for the PA system.
At the heart of the design are two high performance Eclipse ET-DB2 transformers. These deliver 20Hz to 20kHz performance with less than 1.5dB deviation above 18kHz and are able to withstand tremendous signal levels without distortion. Unlike active circuits that overload when the signal exceeds the rail voltage, transformers saturate. This creates a pleasing effect that naturally rounds out the tone, acting like a subtle limiter which is particularly advantageous when interfacing the ProD2 with digital pianos, samplers and drum machines that can produce excessive dynamics. Transformers are particularly adept at eliminating hum and buzz caused by ground loops.
As with all Radial products, the ProD2 is built tough to handle the rigors of professional touring. A 14-gauge steel ultra rigid i-beam skeleton frame eliminates opportunity from outside stress to flex the sensitive PC board and cause premature solder joint failure. The innovative book-end design creates a protective zone around the connectors and switches further increasing lifespan. And a full bottom no-slip pad adds mechanical isolation and electrical insulation to further reduce opportunity for noise.
The Radial ProD2’s warm sound, legendary build quality and compact design have made it the most popular stereo direct box made today.
Radial DI boxes are legends in the audio world and I dare say that this one will suit me well. One thing I like about their transformers within the DI box is that they are encased in cases with Faraday shields. They are a little pricey but I think you get what you pay for…and that is excellent sound
I was the DJ cum soundman at a wedding a couple of days back and the audio company supplied me with this mixer for the whole event. Very nice sounding mixer, like most Yamaha mixers are. Hooked up my trusty DDJ-WeGo to my SMPRO DJDI DI box, and from the outputs to input channels 3 and 4 of the Yamaha mixer and I was set for the night. I did not see the need to use the Denon DN-4500 dual CD decks as I already had my controller, even though they were hooked up to two of the stereo channels. It was a good wedding and everything went smoothly. Looks like Yamaha have really improved on their mixers.
While at a gig a couple of weeks back, I happened to chance upon this microphone briefcase that was used by the audio rental company. I thought to myself that this was a novel idea, keeping all the mics and DI boxes in one box, with lots of padding protecting the microphones. I do not have that many mics but I will be getting some more when I expand my audio inventory and a case like this is what I might get.
A few days back, at a wedding, I was the DJ. It was my cousin’s wedding and all the guests had a great time. many thanks to my DDJ-WeGo and my MacBook for providing the music. But there was a bit of a problem. At one point in time, I noticed that the right channel of the mixer had no levels. So what I did was to fiddle with the RCA cables that connected my controller to my DI box. That did not do anything except to add more static to the system. I then checked my gig bag and noticed that I only had one stereo RCA to RCA cable. The only other cable in the gig bag was an RCA to mini-jack cable.
After kicking myself not not practising what I preached, I decided or rather, vowed, that I would get one of those RCA to minijack sockets like the one pictured above. This would serve two purposes. One, if my RCA cable ever gave out again, I could use this in conjunction with my RCA to minijack socket as a way to connect up to the house mixer. Since I did not have another cable, I turned both the PAN knobs on the Yamaha mixer (which my stereo DJDI was connected) to centre, giving it a mono signal.
In any case, I finally found out what was wrong. One day after the event when I was keeping my stuff away, I decided to test all my cables. My cables were all ok with no problems at all. So I suspect that it had to be the house mixer. I was a bit surprised that one of the channels that was used for my DI box was missing a PAN knob. I suppose it was faulty or must have been damaged, hence the dropping sound. But in a way, the silver lining in the dark cloud was that I bought this cable pictured above too…one day later!
Just last night, one of my colleagues told me that the Mackie mixer belonging to a client of mine has issues so it must be sent for repair. Unfortunately, the client needs the mixer for an event today. So we search our store and the only mixer that we have available is a Behringer Xenyx 802. But unfortunately, the Mackie mixer has XLR balanced outputs and the Behringer only has unbalanced 1/4″ outputs. So how do we solve this?
Simple. I asked my colleague if they had any DI boxes in the store. She said that we have a single DI box. So what I do is to make a XLR Y-cable and a couple of 1/4″ to 1/4″ TS phone jacks. I had some spare plugs and XLRs left over so they would do nicely. The way it is going to be connected is:
- 1/4″ to 1/4″ TS phone plug cable will be plugged to the unbalanced output of the Behringer mixer
- The other end of the 1/4″ to 1/4″ TS phone plug cable will be plugged to the input of the DI box
- The output of the DI box will be connected to the XLR Y-cable
- The two outputs of the Y-cable will be plugged into the existing XLR cables
This is the only way this is going to work. Meanwhile, I have to make sure we have a proper mixer with a balanced output. Unbalanced outputs like the one that Behringer has is not gonna cut it these days
Just the other day, I came across this old Extron BUC 102 and decided to set it up as an active DI box. There is nothing wrong with my DI box at present. As it stands, my DI box has been giving me exemplary service and I am very happy with it. This Extron BUC 102 will be used as a permanent installed DI box for use within clubs, or in auditoriums. I am sure that this one will serve me well but I need to solder some cables for it first. In case you all want to read up about it, you can go to the Extron website and read up about the BUC 102 there.