Radial has announced its next generation of super direct boxes with the JDV at NAMM 2015, with what is likely the most ambitious set of features ever inside a direct box.
The JDV Mk5 is a 100% discrete class-A active direct box that retains the original zero-negative feedback topology, yet adds an incredible array of features. The new design begins with two inputs, each with a volume control signal presence and overload LEDs, plus a fully variable high pass filter to tame excessive bottom end resonance. Selecting between the two inputs can be done using the front panel AB select or by adding an optional JR2 remote control. This also enables the user to mute the output to change instruments or quiet the system down between sets.
Although capable of handling any type of signal, the JDV Mk5 is primarily intended for use with bass and acoustic instruments. This means that the two inputs have been optimized to handle any type of instrument, be it electric or acoustic with an eye on making it easy to switch between them without losing a step.
Input-A is equipped with Drag control load correction that enables the artist to sweep the input range from 10-kohms up to 1-megohms.This is of particular importance when using bass guitar as it enables the artist to replicate the ‘sound and feel’ as if connected directly to the bass amplifier. A side-access ‘mic select’ activates a dedicated balanced TRS mic input to allow the JDV to be used with instrument mounted condenser microphones. This ‘set & forget’ switch is complimented with 48V phantom power with front panel LED indicator. A unique safety feature ensures phantom power will not be mistakenly activated which otherwise could harm a pickup if connected in the wrong input. The safety feature can be bypassed by changing the position of an internal jumper.
Input-B is equipped with a load selector switch that toggles between 200-kohms for passive basses and 10-megohms for use with piezo transducers. Elevating the impedance on a piezo extends the frequency response and smoothes out the transient response for a more natural sound. Where things get really exciting is when you combine the two channels. A side access ‘blend’ function turns both on at the same time so that you can combine a magnetic pickup with a piezo or mix a microphone with a pickup. The built-in Phazer lets you align the two audio sources so that you can find the sweet spot and deliver what can only be described as the most natural sound ever from an electrified instrument.
The rear panel is also jam-packed with features: In addition to the two unbalanced instrument inputs and the balanced mic input, a thru-put is provided to feed an on-stage amplifier. This is complimented with a side-access switch that can introduce an isolation transformer into the signal path should a ground loop be encountered. A dedicated tuner output has also been included to provide the artist with consistent visual feedback even when the JDV Mk5 is muted.
The balanced XLR output is equipped with a 180° polarity reverse to either phase align the PA system with the on stage amp or help eliminate acoustic hot spots on stage that could otherwise cause feedback. To reduce stage noise, a ground lift switch eliminates hum and buzz caused by ground loops while a transformer may be inserted into the XLR signal path to provide 100% isolation. When recording, the engineer can select between direct or transformer isolated outputs or elevate the output to a fully balanced professional +4dB line level to feed a recorder without having to pass the signal through an external preamp.