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Active, tube-based DI box with a four-band filter circuit.
The Palmer PDI-CTC – which stands for Palmer Direct Injection Box Classic Tube Circuit – is much more that your standard impedance matching DI boxes. This particular DI box is a step above the normal in that it also features a tube-based preamp with transformer-balanced output and a four-band filter circuit. All of this is housed in a 2-unit high, half-rack width design, complete with ventilation to allow airflow in to cool the tubes. It also allows for the warm orange glow of the tubes to shine through, which makes for an excellent visual aesthetic.
In addition to the standard parallel and balanced mic level outputs the PDI-CTC also features both a balanced line level and a ¼" unbalanced low impedance output. The wide band low, lo-mid, hi-mid, and high frequency filters are "musically" voiced. A bell-shape filter characteristic has been chosen to prevent boosting undesirable subsonic frequencies as well as those beyond the audio range.
To exactly reproduce sound settings each and every time Palmer decided on individual toggle switches to set each of the four frequency bands to 0dB, +4dB, or +8dB. Essentially, the PDI-CTC circuit design is based on the idea to realize the shortest possible signal path in order to bring out the subtle tone characteristics of a tube. For that reason the unit does not incorporate a volume control. Due to the unit's extended dynamic range no limiting occurs before signal levels exceed +30dBu at the line output.
If you want more than a standard DI box, order the Palmer PDI-CTC.
Reviewed by 1 customer
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Comments about Palmer Audio Tube DI Box:
This is way overkill for an active DI, but it also includes a tube mic preamp. Tube mic preamps of this quality are generally rack-mount, and all run about the same price, which is about $1k per channel (this is $1k and 1 channel).
It has preset EQ settings, which isn't as flexible, but it simplifies operation and as Palmer says, allows you to produce a consistent tone time and again. I feel they did a good job with the EQ settings.
Another thing to note, is the transformer is also custom handmade by Palmer in Germany, and is as good as any transformer on the market (think Jensen). This is a top-tier active DI/tube preamp! Oh yeah, it's HEAVY!!! Top quality through & through.
The only bad thing, is MF shipped it in the factory box, which is clearly marked "DO NOT SHIP IN THIS BOX". Fortunately the box arrived undamaged, but I feel I got lucky. Ship this item right MF!