If you are in the sound reinforcement or broadcast business, there will more than likely be a day when you require a mult box. This device, which allows a signal to be directed to multiple recipients, is mandatory for high-profile events where there will be radio and TV journalists clamoring for a piece of your audio. RCI Custom Products manufactures the BM-30T ($1,895), as well as several other mult boxes targeted toward the audio and video professional.
The BM-30T is a passive, one input/30+10 output mult box whose XLR line level input feeds 30 transformer-balanced XLR outputs, eight 1/8-inch headphone outputs and two 1/4-inch headphone outputs. The balanced XLR outputs (26 male, four female) carry a microphone level signal, while the other jacks offer an unbalanced line-level signal. All these outputs are highly isolated.
The BM-30T also has an XLR link output for sending the line-level signal on to up to five additional mults. All these jacks are mounted to a rigid aluminum panel, which is also home to an input level VU meter. The BM-30T has a frequency response of 20 Hz to 20 kHz (+0.2 dB), a THD of 0.5 percent mid band, <0.5 percent at 40 Hz, and an isolation of 96 dB between its balanced outputs.
Removing the BM-30T’s connector panel reveals its construction ethic. Obviously, someone spent some time hand-wiring the unit’s components, which are largely American and German. All input and output jacks look to be Switchcraft components and are neatly soldered. The entire connector panel is housed in a tough, aluminum Zero Haliburton briefcase that measures 14 inches, by 18 inches, by 5 inches; case and all weigh just 12 pounds. The case is outfitted with two rubber gaskets, which keep moisture entry to a minimum.
The BM-30T exudes an air of professionalism. With its sleek, rugged looks, it evokes a James Bond, businesslike persona that inspires confidence in both you and your media people. This is a departure from the industry-standard black steel box that usually ends up looking like it was dragged behind a car on wedding day. Fortunately, I found that the BM-30T functions every bit as good as it looks.
Mult boxes are not the most complex audio gizmos, but they need to work and sound good. The BM-30T does just what it should do. It is simple, reliable and it delivers a clean signal to up to 40 users. It delivered very usable audio on all its outputs – balanced and unbalanced. Having those outputs highly isolated is a critical feature. It prevents one recipient’s rig from inducing hum or buzz into the entire output group.
I found the recently added VU meter a nice touch. It was handy for visually gauging how hot a signal you are receiving at the unit, even when you aren’t camped at the console.
My only gripe with the BM-30T is the exclusion of a 1/4-inch input. Having one of these could prevent fumbling for an adapter, should the console be lacking XLR outputs.
As mult boxes go, the BM-30T isa real class act – it is finely crafted with high-quality components. If you are in a position where you will frequently need a superb box that is durable and can handle a large number of recipients, the BM-30T may be well-worth the price.
Contact: RCI Custom Products at 800-546-4724; 301-984-2202; www.rcicustom.com