When recording guitar and bass tracks many choose to record straight into the mixing desk. However, IK Multimedia believe the 1/4" inputs on most mixers and audio are less than ideal. To remedy this they've introduced the Z-Tone DI, an active DI box and preamp designed to get your guitar or bass sounding its best before it hits the mixer.
Sound and Connectivity
As a DI, the Z-Tone DI is designed to keep the natural tone of your guitar or bass in tact. The Z-Tone DI has a 114dB(A) dynamic range and a 3 Hz - 30 kHz (+/- 1 dB) frequency response so it'll be able to handle all dynamics in your playing and capture every detail.
The Z-Tone DI features a balanced XLR output for connecting to a mixer and has a Ground Lift switch for eliminating unwanted noise and hum from ground loops. There's also an unbalanced 1/4" output if you need it. If you want to record an amp signal alongside the direct signal you can use the Hi-Z Link output on the front. This mirrors the input signal and you can send it out to pedals and amps for a wet-dry recording. If you want to use keyboards, synths, and other instruments with the Z-Tone DI, simply use the 20 dB pad button to accommodate them.
The preamp on the Z-Tone DI provides options for shaping and colouring your tone - controllable via the two switches on the face of the unit and the control knob in between. The left switch features "Active" and "Passive" options to use depending on which type of pickups are in your guitar. The Passive option is designed to accommodate all passive pickups from low-output single-coils, to high-output modern humbuckers. The Active option is for active pickups, bypassing unnecessary gain stages for a more direct and transparent signal path. The right switch changes the tonal characteristics of the preamp - "Pure" is a transparent and accurate preamp that won't colour the tone, and "JFET" is a Class A JFET input buffer that provides a warmer tone with more midrange focus and subtle harmonic enhancement.
The control knob is a variable impedance control - by increasing the impedance you get a sharper, tighter tone, but when you increase the load you get a thicker, bolder sound. You can make noticeable differences to the tone and characteristics of your guitar or bass' tone with just a simple turn of the impedance control.
The Z-Tone DI can be powered by a 9V battery if you want to use it on the go but can also be run off a mixer or interface's +48v phantom power.
- I/O Gain: Unitary, from 1/4” input JACK to both 1/4” and XLR outputs when GAIN is at 0dB and Z-TONE at the SHARP position.
- Gain Range: From -8dB to +8dB
- Input impedance - Z-TONE set on PASSIVE mode: Variable from 1MΩ down to 2.2kΩ
- Input impedance - Z-TONE set on ACTIVE mode: Approx 20kΩ
- Output impedance, unbalanced out: 56Ω
- Output impedance, balanced out: 600Ω
- Max input level before clipping: +13dBm when powered by 48V phantom,+9dBm when powered by 9V battery
- PAD: -20dB
- Dynamic Range: better than 114dB(A) for both outputs, input gain at 0dB
- Total Harmonic Distortion, balanced output, 1kHz, +4dBm input: 0.0033% (PURE), 0.2% (JFET)
- Total Harmonic Distortion, unbalanced output, 1kHz, +4dBm input: 0.00055% (PURE), 0.2% (JFET)
- Frequency response: from 5Hz to 30kHz -1dB
- Phase deviation: 0° +/-10° from 20Hz to 20kHz
- Phantom power: +48V phantom on Balanced output.
- Battery power: 9V
- Current consumption from P48 phantom power source: 6.5mA
- Size: 13.7cm/5.39" x 15.8cm/6.22" x 4.5cm/1.77"
- Weight: 950g