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Item # 189904 | Customer Ratings: Ratings ( 5 Based on 1 reviews)

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A Designs REDDI Tube Direct Box
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      A Designs REDDI Tube Direct Box (189904)

All-tube DI with incredibly high-quality sound at a project-studio price.

What do world-class bassists Reggie Hamilton and Justin Meldal-Johnsen have in common with producer/engineers Tony Shepperd, Ted Perlman, and Dylan Dresdow? The answer is using the A-Designs REDDI Tube Direct Box as their go-to DI. The REDDI has been field tested and referred to by recording engineers as the "best tube DI ever made." With wider bandwidth and just the right amount of gain, the REDDI stands clear and clean above the competition. Great for basses, guitars, synths, and electronic instruments that require a direct box for recording, the REDDI is ready to give you sound for recording or live performance that you won't ever want to be without.

A Designs Audio REDDI, First Take:
All-tube direct box with custom output transformer
Based on the Ampeg B-15 with an ultra-wide frequency range
New version adds a 1/4" thru jack
Field-tested by notable engineers/producers before release

All-tube and custom transformers -- the key to big, punchy sound

Inside its unmistakable fire-engine red case, the REDDI houses a toroid power transformer, which offers the quietest operation, and a 6N1P tube-driven amplifier that feeds signal direct into a massive custom output transformer. Therein lies the secret to its sound. It's a well-known fact that transformers are responsible for a truly big, punchy sound (also called the "big iron" sound of the '70s). By sending the tube-amplified, harmonically rich signal direct to a transformer that is hand and "ear" built you get a sound like no other. (You don't have to take our word for it, see what the pros are saying below.)

Ultra-wide Frequency Range

Based on the sound of the legendary Ampeg B15 all-tube bass amp, The REDDI's tone is tight, focused, and deep -- in essence, right in the pocket. It's ultra wide frequency range is another reason for the depth and clarity of the bass, as well as its unique ability to add a sense of dimensionality to whatever instrument is played through it. Another thing that professional bassists have discovered, is that rather than combining the DI sound with an amp, as is customary in bass recording, that sound of the REDDI alone is just perfect. On guitar, keyboards, and other electronic instruments, the REDDI works its particular brand of magic just as effectively as it does on bass. In fact, once you own a REDDI, you'll be tempted to put just about anything you can through it. (In fact, Grammy-winning producer Ted Perlman, has even used the REDDI with a Shure Green Bullet mic to record harmonica!)

New version adds a 1/4" thru jack

In order to keep the focus of the REDDI on sound quality, A Designs included only the most necessary features. On the original version of the REDDI, A Designs Audio had eliminated the 1/4" thru-put. The reason was because the REDDI sounded so good on its own, A Designs wanted users to realize that they didn't need to combine a miked amp with the direct sound of the REDDI. But A Designs listens to its customers and added a 1/4" thru jack without compromising sound quality. A Designs also refuses to sacrifice sound quality for high gain. As such, the REDDI is not a high-gain device, rather, it has just the right amount to keep its sound intact.

The REDDI's front panel features include a combo XLR/1/4-inch input, balanced XLR output, a level control knob, and very bright blue LED power indicator. On the rear panel, there's an on/off power switch, ground lift, and EIN power connector.

Field tested by Audio Professionals

Taking its place in A Designs Audio's line up of "all tube" high-end microphone pre-amplifiers and equalizers, the REDDI is another example A Designs' mission of making pro audio affordable. As always, A-Designs Audio field tests its products before releasing them to the public with notable engineers and musicians like Dylan Dresdow (TEC Award Nominee and Grammy Award nominee for Black Eyed Peas), Ross Hogarth (Grammy Award winner) Viktor Krauss (bassist for Lyle Lovett and renowned studio musician) and Reggie Hamilton (session/live bassist for Babyface, Seal, Bette Midler, etc.) who recently used the REDDI on his bass tracks for the new film Dreamgirls.

Here's what top engineers, producers, and musicians are saying about the REDDI:

"The sound of the REDDI all tube direct box on my bass and guitars is dramatic. When people come in and listen, they just go "WOW what's that? What did you do to get that sound?" "It not only delivers on bass and keys, but just out and out kills on acoustic guitars with pickups. It puts something on the sound that makes them jump and be present in the mix without that electric-type sound." -- Ted Perlman, Grammy Award-winning producer, engineer, musician (Bob Dylan, Chicago, Elton John, Burt Bacharach).

"Now, the REDDI is my favorite DI and definitely my go-to on bass." -- Dylan Dresdow (Black Eyed Peas), Grammy Award nominee, Tech Award nominee, engineer.

"The REDDI is not only the largest and brightest colored DI that I've encountered, it's the best sounding." -- Russ Long, Pro Audio Review, 11/1/2005.

"The New REDDI DI from A Designs kicks ass..." -- Ross Hogarth, Grammy Award winning producer, engineer, mixer.

"I didn't use an amp at all. I used only the REDDI and it sounded really, really nice." -- Justin Meldan-Johnsen, Bassist with Beck.

"If it needs to be really clean, then I'll just use the REDDI." -- Viktor Krauss, bassist for Lyle Lovett.

"I've used a number of DIs on electric pianos over the years, active, passive, tube, solid state, whatever was around. But, I don't remember that any of them worked as well or sounded as good as the REDDI." -- Dave Martin, Recording Magazine

"REDDI's first outing was on an active bass. The bass player's head turned as soon as he heard his instrument in the phones. It was an instant hit both in and out of the control room." -- Kevin Becka, Mix Magazine

The REDDI is only the second product I've had in for review [this year] that I sent back and then realized how much I missed it when it was gone." -- Dan Richards, Studio Review

"The best way I can describe what REDDI adds is dimension. It reveals a wide range of harmonics in a source, with an excellent translation of an instrument's character. It doesn't have to be blended with an amp signal to sound good. I tried it with electric guitar and bass as well as a synthesizer, and found the REDDI to perform impressively on every source." -- Frank Moldstad, Digital Pro Sound

Channel Strips of the Stars: Ted Perlman

Ted Perlman, renowned Grammy-winning producer, musician, arranger, engineer, and programmer, has a resume that reads like a who's who of popular music. His credits include Bob Dylan, Chicago, Burt Bacharach, Elton John, Dave Mason, Brian Wilson, Carole King, Albert Hammond, Jr. (The Strokes), Desmond Child, Young M.C., Dolly Parton, and, well, the list goes on. Ted was kind enough to provide us with his go-to signal chain for guitar and percussion. Here it is, straight from Ted Perlman himself:

"I'm producing and writing with Sara Lumholdt of the mega-selling Swedish pop group A-Teens.

ALL guitars go through the A Designs REDDI DI box > Hammer EQ (#180185) > Pacifica preamp (#189903) > Toft DC-2 Compressor (#187025)."

A Designs REDDI Tube Direct Box Features:

  • Warmth, transparency, and quality sound, clean and airy high end
    Vacuum-tube design
    Perfect gain
    Level Control
    Ground lift
    Front cover overlaps to provide protection for controls
    Thru Jack 1/4"
    Heat Vents allow the flow and circulation of air to cool the tubes and transformers. Located on both sides, front and back
    Ultra bright Blue LED Lamp On/Off
    Neutrik Combo XLR/1/4" Input Connectors
    XLR Output Connector
    Zero Feedback Loop
    Custom Wound Output Transformers
    Large size for easy operation up and down
    Back cover extends slightly to provide protection to switches
    Power Switch On/Off
    Power A/C inlet
    6NI-P Tube

A Designs REDDI Tube Direct Box Specifications:

  • Input Impedance Min1.4k Ohm
    Gain Range 16 dB
    Noise (EIN) -126 dB
    Instrument Jack Input XLR / 1/4" combo
    Input Impedance Min > 100k Ohm
    Balanced XLR Output:
    Output Impedance 600 Ohm
    Maximum Level +22 dBu
    Output Low-Z, transformer-balanced
    Frequency Response 20 Hz - 60k Hz
    Distortion THD: > .08 @ 1 Khz
    Power Requirements: 100/120/230 VAC - 42 Watts
    Dimensions (W x H x D) 3.5" x 3.5" x 14.5"
    Weight 10 lbs. (4.54 kg.)

A Designs REDDI Tube Direct Box

A Designs reserves the right to make improvements or changes at any time to this product. Warranty is void if opened by unauthorized personnel or enduser.

Published by: A Designs Audio
P.O. Box 4255
West Hills, CA 91304

Edition 1.0 2005
Copyright 2005 A Designs Audio
All Rights Reserved.

1 Year Warranty Internal Parts, 30-Day Limited Warranty Labor

A Designs warrants that our hardware conforms substantially to the specifications contained in this manual when used in accordance these specifications for a period of 1 year from the date of original purchase from A Designs or its authorized dealers. In case of a valid warranty claim, your sole and exclusive remedy and A Designs' entire liability under any theory of liability will be, at its option, to repair or replace the product without charge, or, if not possible, to refund the purchase price to you. The warranty is not transferable and applies only to the original purchaser of the product.

For warranty service, contact A Designs Audio at 818-716-4153 to obtain a Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) number. After obtaining the RMA number, ship defective product to A Designs Audio, P.O. Box 4255, West Hills, CA 91304. Write RMA number on outside of shipping box. Be sure to include your name, address, phone number, copy of original sales invoice and detailed description of the problem. A Designs Audio will not accept responsibility for loss or damage in shipping.
Warranty is void if product serial numbers have been removed or if the product has been damaged by abuse or unauthorized modification and repair. There are no user serviceable parts inside.


A Designs, A Designs Audio, and PACIFICA are trademarks of A Designs. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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Product Reviews
(Based on 1 reviews)
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  • Serious Professional Necessity

    As reviewed by L. Platanazo on 6/4/2010

    There are two downsides to this product to get out of the way first: the size and the price. If they are going to be a problem, this is not the product for you. What this is, is a serious professional tool for laying down world-class bass tracks. It is used in many of the best studios as their #1 go-to for tracking bass. One of the main reasons for this is that it often doesn't need any further processing: no amp emulation, no re-amping, no extra EQ. Its tone just sits perfectly in the mix, right out of the gate. I've found I usually don't even need to add any compression. It has been described as sounding very much like a miked Ampeg B15N. It's not intended to clip/overdrive much, but rather to provide a round heft and warmth, with plenty of punch. It offers up to 16 dB of gain, which is plenty for driving almost any recording channel new or old; unfortunately it's not enough to fully drive a power amp by itself, but then it wasn't designed for that purpose. The ads for most tube preamps and DI's, that go on about the "vintage warmth" their tube provides, are just blowing smoke. Simply having a tube will not give you "that tone". The REDDI, with its massive transformers, huge caps, and simple signal path, is designed specifically to give you "that tone" for real, with no hype. It may sound like I'm hyping it now, but in all seriousness this is the real deal. Because of that, for me the size and price are not even an issue.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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