Radial Debuts PZ-DI — Orchestral + Acoustic Direct Box
September 26, 2012 by David Weiss
Solo acoustic players and symphonies alike now have their very own DI.
Radial Engineering has just introduced a highly advanced direct box in the form of the PZ-DI. A special direct box designed to work with all types of acoustic and orchestral instruments, it enables users to optimize the input impedance to match the pickup or transducer.
The PZ-DI will start shipping in October, 2012 with an estimated retail price of $300 USD.
Radial talks about the PZ-DI purely in terms of live use, but it looks to us like the unit should have studio applications as well. Here’s more information on this intriguing new DI, according to Radial Engineering:
“’With bigger and better PA systems in every venue and on every tour, the need to faithfully amplify acoustic instruments has never been greater,” says Radial President Peter Janis. “In the past, the sound was masked. Today, you hear every
nuance. This has spawned a need for a direct box that is equally capable of adapting
to piezo transducers as it is to magnetic pickups. Piezos are particularly problematic
due to the squawk and peaks that they produce. The PZ-DI is set to easily overcome
these problems and is well equipped to help eliminate feedback and resonance caused
by low frequencies along with the interaction between the room acoustics and the
The design begins with a 3-position impedance selector switch that lets you match
load with the pickup. This includes a 220k-ohm setting to warm up magnetic pickups,
a 1 meg-ohm setting to replicate a classic DI box and a super-high 10 meg-ohm setting
to eliminate the squawk and peaks that are common with piezo transducers. To eliminate
resonance and modulation between instruments, a variable lo-cut filter lets you
dial out unwanted low-frequencies. This also helps improve clarity for a better
mix. Should the PZ-DI be called upon to interface a high output active bass or
digital keyboard, one simply engages the -15dB pad. A hi-cut filter can also be
engaged to gently smooth out the over aggressive top-end produced by many active
The PZ-DI is fully capable to work double duty as a standard direct box with front
panel ¼” input and thru connectors to interface with an electric bass and the stage
amplifier plus XLR out to feed the PA. The PZ-DI employs 48V phantom power with
an innovative internal switching supply that at once elevates the rail voltage while
reducing distortion of all types to deliver a smooth, natural tone with the same
perfectly cascading even harmonics normally found on high-end studio preamps.
And as with all Radial products, the PZ-DI is made tough to handle the rigors of
professional touring. 14 gauge steel I-beam construction eliminates torque and
reduces stress on the PC board for longer, trouble-free performance while a unique
book-end design creates protective zones around the controls, switches and connectors.
The PZ-DI is backed with a 3-year transferable warranty.”