Stewart Audio ADB4 Four-Channel Active Direct Box

The ADB4 features an XLR output on each of the four channels, immediately flanked by a 1/4-inch connector that can serve as the input from the Hi-Z source, or as the output link to an instrument amplifier. On the same surface, also directly next to the XLR, is a +4 dB or -30 dB input level switch.
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The ADB4 features an XLR output on each of the four channels, immediately flanked by a 1/4-inch connector that can serve as the input from the Hi-Z source, or as the output link to an instrument amplifier. On the same surface, also directly next to the XLR, is a +4 dB or -30 dB input level switch.
Product PointsApplications: Live performance, studio

Key Features: Four channels; ground lift

Price: $379

Contact: Stewart Audio at 209-588-8111, Web Site
The rear panel features an additional input or link 1/4-inch connector, with a -20, 0 or +20 dB level sensitivity selector switch and a two-position ground lift switch on each of the four channels.

All of this is contained in a stout steel box measuring approximately 8 1/2 inches long, 4 inches wide and 1.5 inches tall.

In Use

I tested the Stewart ADB4 on a show with country performer Andy Griggs, simultaneously using several types of inputs. I used two of the four inputs with Korg keyboards, one with a bass guitar and one input with an acoustic guitar. The ADB4 handled each of the inputs very well, and reproduced each sound with clear accuracy.

I employed the Stewart ADB4 on more than 10 different shows, with inputs ranging from bass and six-string guitars, to stereo keyboards, to multiple synthesizers. The electronic signal path was clean and quiet, the switches positive and smooth, and the connectors of good quality, offering solid and quiet signal transfer. I used a variety of input levels, and found the ADB4 to handle the hottest of signals very well, with no audible clipping at all. On more audiophile applications, the ADB4 was very quiet and quite suitable for recording applications.

Summary

The one and only thing I found to be a little questionable about the ADB4 was that the power supply provided with it employs a 1/4-inch connector to connect the power supply to the DI box. A not-so-experienced user of the product could be confused by the use of a 1/4-inch connector for power connection. (I am not a novice, and I almost plugged it into the wrong connector). Overall though, I found the ADB4 to be a quality direct box, and would recommend its use.

REVIEW SETUP

Yamaha M3000 mix console, Korg 01W, various Yamaha keyboards, Roland JC120 amplifier, Fender Precision bass; Gallien Krueger 400 bass amp.