Finally. That's all I have to say. Radial finally cranked out a single-channel, guitar-focused DI. I've said in my other descriptions of Radial Engineering gear that theirs are the only DIs I'll take onstage with me anymore. The J48 (my favorite DI until now) is rugged, clean, and simple. It just makes my guitar sound good, and the soundboard crew at the back of the house is always asking me why my channel is so clean, balanced, and whisper-quiet compared to everyone else's.
But with that said, there just aren't many features on the J48 to satisfy most guitarists, at least not like you see on other leading DIs like the Baggs PADI. Sure, the PZ Pre, Radial's dual-channel guitar preamp+DI combo, is a great piece of gear. But that unit is overkill if you're just looking to plug in a single guitar, or if you don't feel like spending more than $200. Their PZ DI was another step in the right direction, but it frankly had the wrong feature set, no matter how good it sounded.
Enter the PZ Deluxe, the preamp and DI combo I've been hoping for since I started bragging about Radial Engineering 9 years ago. It gives you the controls you've come to expect, including EQ with sweepable mids. But check out the extras (also found on the PZ Pre):
• 15 volts of headroom. Nearly all other inexpensive stage DIs give you 9 volts at the most. This feature alone makes the PZ Deluxe a frontrunner in this category.
• Mute footswitch
• Boost footswitch. You'd normally pay $100 more for the mute+boost combo in a Venue DI or PZ Pre.
• Low-cut filter with 2 settings
• Dual-output phase switch, so you can reverse the phase of either the line out, DI out, or both.
• Ground lift
• Tuner send
This is a seriously good DI. I recommend it without reservation.
In one word this preamp/DI is AMAZING
The mute feature is just perfect to tune in silence. The phase reverse is very basic but it works fantastic to kill any feedback
very musical. I took my fishman platinum pro out of my pedal board since I tested both preamps face to face. Tonebone all the way
If you want a simple but really good preamp seriously consider the Racial Tonebone Deluxe. Super happy with mine. solid and well build.
With the myriad of great choices when it comes to outboard gear, and in particular preamps and DI's, it can be a daunting task to decide which is right for you. I think it's important to determine what your needs are depending on the pick-ups you use, the style of music you play, and where and what situations you'll be plugging in.
Once you've establish those things, you can narrow the options down a bit and then evaluate the merits of each offering as it applies to your needs. Having said all of that, let me say that I use and have used the K&K XLR pre with great results and the Red-Eye Fire-eye with fantastic results. BTW -- I use the K&K Mini's in all of our guitars. If these work so well, why did I buy the Radial Deluxe?
I was looking for the following feature set in a box that was built to last. The Radial is a very solid, professional grade unit and has everything listed below as well as fantastic tone shaping capabilities.
*Tons of headroom
*Low-cut filter with multiple settings
*Dual-output phase switch
*Tuner send for silent tuning
These are really top of the line pre/DI's. We currently have two Radials that we purchased from Shoreline along with the others, but if I could only keep one, it would have to be the Radial Deluxe.