The Hughes and Kettner Red Box 5 Guitar Direct Box takes the incredibly popular original Red Box to the next level! This is the new industry-standard DI box with speaker simulation, allowing you to accurately capture the sound of guitar amps without using mics. Hughes & Kettner gives the Red Box 5 new filtering options for small/large housings, modern/vintage speakers, and loose/tight response of the cabinet so you can get the tone you want without crosstalk with other instruments or hassling with mic placement.
PA techs and studio engineers will become your new best friend because of the great sound and zero noise of the Red Box 5. Hughes and Kettner designed this DI to not just sound like a mic’d cab, but to sound like the cab itself! The secret behind many of today's best sounding guitar tracks is that they are double-tracked with a mic and a Red Box, or that the pure Red Box signal is run through mic- and room-emulating software plug-ins. This enables a perfect mix of ambience and ultra-direct attack.
Hughes and Kettner Red Box 5 Guitar Direct Box Features
- Loose/Tight: Tight gives you a taut, dense tone that’s great for throatier riffs. Loose yields an airier, softer sound
- Vintage/Modern: Modern gives you the bark and honk of modern speakers, while Vintage yields a warmer, woollier tone associated with old-school cabs
- Small/Large: Small captures the compressed sound of a small housing; Large gives you greater girth and added bass of a sizable cabinet
- Ground/Lift: This switch severs the Red Box 5’s ground circuit to eliminate humming or buzzing caused by ground loops. As the name suggests, Lift severs the connection
The Red Box 5 provides one unbalanced 1/4-inch jack input for line and speaker signals and two different outputs: One unbalanced 1/4-inch jack lets you patch through the unprocessed signal to the cabinet. One balanced XLR lets you feed the processed signal to a mixing console. Note that some mixing consoles do not provide phantom power. In that case, the Red Box 5 is ready for an optional power supply and comes with a compartment accommodating a 9 V battery.
The Hughes and Kettner Red Box 5 features the usual Ground Lift switch and Pad switch to adjust input gain. There are also three sliding switches that provide some unusual sound-shaping filters. Providing rather more subtle than dramatic EQ, they help you conjure the sound of your favorite cab. These filters’ action is most evident in slightly overdriven and heavily distorted lead sounds.
0 dB / -26 dB
Your choice of input gain level can make or break your sound. If it’s too high, you’ll get undesirable distortion. If it’s too low, the noise floor can degrade your signal. As a rule of thumb, go with ‘-26 dB’ for speaker signals and ‘0 dB’ for line signals. There are some instances where ‘0 dB’ is the more sensible choice for speaker signals: The amp’s master volume level determines the speaker’s output level directly, so of course the signal level drops markedly when you turn the master volume well down, for example, when you want to record at home at moderate volume.