Radial SB-1 - The Stage Bug with no Bugs

Posted: 28 March 2014

Synopsis: I had been searching for a small, compact, and clean sounding Acoustic DI for awhile, when the Radial SB-1 found its way into our showroom. it didn't take very long for me to hit up the boss and say "Hey, can i take this out for a road test on a show i'm


I had been searching for a small, compact, and clean sounding Acoustic DI for awhile, when the Radial SB-1 found its way into our showroom. it didn't take very long for me to hit up the boss and say "Hey, can i take this out for a road test on a show I'm doing this weekend?".  He said yes, so, i did, and I'm very glad i did.

For me,as the engineer, and for any guitarist that uses an acoustic guitar, the RA-SB-1 is gold. For the guitarist that has a mass of pedals on his pedal board for his electric, but needs to swap to acoustic, this DI is perfect. It takes up the most minimal amount of room and will easily squeeze onto the most overpopulated pedal board.

Apart from its size, there are some other handy little features. The Tuner out is a great idea, letting you plug your guitar straight into the DI, then splitting the signal, so one goes on a dedicated output to the tuner, the other to the mixing desk via an XLR. Very important for the engineer is the PAD and PHASE switches, which can tame those very hot input signals,and rectify the occasional phase coherency issues encountered on stages.  The GROUND LIFT is imperative for eliminating any unanticipated buzzes. The SB-1 is an active DI, so make sure you have phantom power running from the desk.

Now, enough about  all these features, but how about the sound? Well, i tried it on a relatively decent size club PA, with a nice sounding Maton, and the results were fantastic. Clarity of signal was the first thing i noticed, and then when the guitarist played, it sounded just as it should- like the top notch Maton he strummed. NO colouring, no signal loss, no distortion, no tone degradation. Just guitar.

This is the best DI for acoustic in its price range by far. With a 3 Year Warranty, the RA-SB1 is on sale at Swamp for $99.99. Contact us for more info and glowing reviews!

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Stu - SWAMP