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BSS Audio AR-133 Active DI Box

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The AR-133 Active DI Box from BSS Audio uses an enhanced version of the same audio path as the AR-116, now regarded by many people as a reference sta...Click To Read More About This Product

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Added functionality and enhanced audio performance for a price that won't break the bank.

The AR-133 Active DI Box from BSS Audio uses an enhanced version of the same audio path as the AR-116, now regarded by many people as a reference standard. The sound quality is legendary, particularly on acoustic and bass guitars. Numerous applications can be satisfied by the AR-133. For example, as well as the traditional guitar use, the AR-133 can be used with keyboards, DJ consoles, amplifier outputs, and other electronic sources. An additional bonus is the ability to use the AR-133 as an active balancing device.

Input connectors are both 1/4" jack sockets and an XLR socket, the latter meaning that the AR-133 can be used to convert unbalanced signals to a balanced output on XLRs throughout. The arched case allows cables to run back underneath the unit from the end for neat cable management. Input attenuation is 0, -20 or -40dB, making the box suitable for instrument, line or amplifier levels on inputs. On the output side, a ground-lift switch is provided for quick solutions to ground-loop problems.

The BSS AR-133 includes phantom power and battery supplies as standard. Should the phantom power from the console fail or be accidentally switched off, the AR-133 automatically switches over to the internal 9V battery providing uninterrupted use. This unit is housed in a rugged aluminum extrusion case, with robust polyurethane end-cheeks which give the AR-133 a very distinctive look.

Switchable input 
0dB for guitar-type
-20dB for line level
-40dB for speaker
Matches the level and impedance
with unity gain without
loading the source
Can drive signals up long cable
Powered from console
phantom power or internal
Automatic switchover to battery
if phantom power fails
Parallel Link Jack output to feed
amplifiers directly
Parallel XLR input for
converting unbalanced outputs
to balanced lines
Input Section 

Input Impedance
1MOhm (pad at 0dB)
47kOhm (pad at -20dB)
47kOhm (pad at -40dB)

Max Input Level
+9dBu (pad at 0dB)
+29dBu (pad at -20dB)
+49dBu (pad at -40dB)

Two Parallel 1/4" jack connectors and a parallel XLR connector (unbalanced)

Tip Hot (+ve)
Sleeve Ground

Pin 2 Hot (+ve)
Pin 1 & 3 Ground

Output Section
Output: Transformer Balanced
Max. Output Level: +8dBu into 600 ohms or greater
Connector: XLR3-32 or equivalent

System Performance
Distortion (THD): < 0.005% at 1kHz, 0dBu output
Noise: < -105dB unweighted, 22hz-22khz, rms*
Frequency Response: 30Hz to 20kHz, +0dB/-1dB

Main/Standby battery: 9 volt PP3 type, preferably alkaline.
Current drain: on phantom - less than 7.5mA, on battery - less than 2mA
Phantom Power: +20 volts DC to +48 volts DC
Weight: 650 gms, excluding batteries.
Overall Dimensions: 59 mm x 124 mm x 143 mm (2.3" x 4.9" x 5.6")

Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
BSS AudioAR-133 Active DI Box

(based on 2 reviews)

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Reviewed by 2 customers

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(7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)



By Mike @ Rhythm Records

from Maryland

Comments about BSS Audio AR-133 Active DI Box:

I used the Tech 21 bass driver for my DI which made a low quality bass combo sound really good and more present. However, when I interfaced the Tech 21 into my control room monitors, woah, very colored sound with the circuitry engaged. I want to get the best recordings, so the Tech 21 was not going to cut it for full clean recorded bass sound. This BSS was recommended, so I returned the Tech 21 and gave the BSS a try.I have a top of the line Yamaha TRB1004 bass and I made some comparisons of it using the Pre-Sonus TubePRE as the DI for my bass (it has a 1 mega-ohm instrument input). Then with my bass into the BSS DI feeding the mic input on the TubePRE.The BSS on the front end definitely had a fuller sound. More low presence, solid mids, and nicer high string fizz. Not at all colored like the Tech 21. The TubePRE alone was lacking the full crystal clarity achieved with the BSS before the TubePRE.I also noticed that the BSS was giving me about +6db to +9db cleaner signal. For example, with my monitor volume set to 12 noon with the BSS and TubePRE, I needed to go to almost 3pm on my monitor volume knob to get a similar comparison volume just using the TubePRE as the DI. This was with no adjustments other than putting the BSS in front of the TubePRE.Even though the BSS is an active DI, it is not designed to add gain to your signal, it is meant to give you a very clean impedance conversion of your signal, so everything coming in, goes out, but at a lower impedance.With the BSS DI, my bass sounds much cleaner now across the entire frequency spectrum, and the BSS lets me hear my bass as it is meant to sound.I can only account for the increase in gain being from all of the signal going through properly, as opposed to it getting so so conversion with just the TubePRE.When signals see different impedances, some of the signal gets reflected back, and not all of the signal goes through. Phase issues can occur, and your sound can thin out. But when done properly and with quality components, all your signal can get through full and clear.The proof is in the sound of the signal. I would HIGHLY recommend this as a Bass DI into a mic pre-amp and then into your DAW.


This fits my sound needs

By L. Scott

from Ashtabula, Ohio

About Me Novice

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Verified Buyer


  • Clear Sound
  • Easy To Use
  • Powerful


    Best Uses

    • Home Studio
    • Performances

    Comments about BSS Audio AR-133 Active DI Box:

    I use a Peavey mixer and Mackie powered speakers to amplify the sound from my guitars. This works great for my application.

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