FAQ: REDDI All Tube Direct Box
Do I need to use a mic pre to amplify the signal after the REDDI?
This is up to you. The REDDI has 16db of gain and can be patched directly into your converter’s or tape machine’s line inputs for recording. In most cases there will be plenty of gain available to acheive a solid signal level. When working with a DAW it is not necessary or advisable to run your level up near 0dbfs. The risk of clipping is very high especially with bass material and you will not yield greater fidelity by taking this risk. A good target is an average of -18dfs, but a bit lower is fine. Don’t be afraid to crank the REDDI all the way up if necessary.
In the case that you need more gain or wish to add more transformation or amplifier color, we suggest running into a high quality transformer balanced mic pre’s microphone input. The Pacifica pairs exceptionally well with the REDDI as do all of our 500 series mic pre modules. You may also use an EQ, compressor or line amplifier for a bit of clean boost.
Will 48v Phantom Power damage the REDDI’s output?
No. The REDDI has a transformer output that blocks DC voltages, including the phantom power on a mic pre that you are feeding. While 48v phantom will not damage the REDDI, the best practice is to turn the 48v phantom off as you would if you were using a dynamic or ribbon microphone.
Why is there a combination 1/4″/XLR input jack?
There are two reasons:
First, when A-Designs founder Peter Montessi was doing bass sessions he liked to be able to move around the studio during tracking and found that he was unplugging himself from time to time! When it came time for him to design his own DI, he thought a great solution was to have the option of using a 1/4″ to locking XLR cable. Of course, the unit may still be used with a regular TS/TS 1/4″ guitar cable.
Secondly, the REDDI may be used with dynamic microphones as a microphone preamplifier and works great on drums.
What does the “GND” switch do?
The GND label is short for Ground Lift. This ground lift simply lifts the output xlr’s pin 1 to break certain ground loops you might encounter. Note that the REDDI itself is dead quiet and exceptionally well grounded and shielded. Noise is rarely an issue.
What is the Thru Jack for?
The Thru allows you to send a 1/4″ cable to your amplifier while sending the xlr output to your DAW, Tape Machine or mixer. It works like any other conventional direct box in this way.
What kind of circuitry do you use?
The REDDI features an all discrete component, Class A dual triode amplifier feeding a huge, custom Cinemag output transformer. This thing is overbuilt in every way you want it to be. The comparisons to the Ampeg B-15 are somewhat on the mark sonically, but the circuit is not a copy.
Can I use the REDDI live?
Absolutely! The REDDI is built for the road and has a very “amp-like” tone that front of house engineers love.
Is the REDDI only for bass?
No. While the REDDI is considered amongst the world’s best sounding tube direct boxes for bass, it also excels at adding life to your synths, guitars, drum machines and samples.