For those unfamiliar with the Bittree brand of patch-bays, it is worth noting that the company’s founder, CEO Glenn Garrard, got his start in the music industry by building and maintaining speakers and tape machines for Detroit’s Motown Records alongside the illustrious Berry Gordy, Jr. When Gordy relocated Motown to LA in the early 1970s, Garrard moved, too, eventually working in television (for The Merv Griffin Show) before founding Bit-tree later in the decade.
Even without that biography, one look at Garrard’s Bittree Patch-bays tells me that the man lives and breathes pro-grade I/O. Reviewed here, the PS4825F Lunchbox Desktop TT Patch-bay ($499 street) is an impeccably built analog hub for the modern recordist who ties together the best of analog processing and the latest digital recording and production platforms.
Built to be easily paired with 500 Series analog processors, the PS4825F fits precisely below any API 500-6B six-slot Lunchbox chassis, thus “lunchbox” is in its name, too. It is a 5 lb. desktop patch-bay measuring 12.5 inches wide, seven inches deep, and 2.5 inches tall with a 2×24 TT jack configuration and mono (even) jack spacing. On its rear is a DB25 interface featuring six 25-pin female connectors, allowing Pro Tools and TASCAM-style pinouts. Though it ships “full normal” with bussed grounds, it offers selectable normalling and grounding. Circuits can be changed via shunts under both designation strips. It is analog and digital 110 ohm compatible, too.
PS4825F promotional materials explain that solid-gold switching contacts are welded and electrically bonded to its spring leaves, “providing superior durability and higher electrical current ratings than competing solutions’ pressed-on foil approach.” That said, the unit feels as solid as any commercial studio TT patch-bay I have had the pleasure of using over the years. As such, for the delight of 500 Series aficionados, this is the perfect patch-bay to pair with an API lunchbox.
Strother Bullins is NewBay Media’s Technology Editor, AV/Pro Audio Group, active musician, recordist and club-level sound reinforcement wrangler. [email protected]