REVIEW: Countryman Type 10 Active Direct Box 

Ok, so why do you need a DI box? Well if you have any instrument that uses a standard 1/4” connection and want to go directly into a mixer or interface, it’s the best way to convert that high impedance signal to a balanced, low impedance signal like a microphone has. Countryman has been doing DI’s for decades, and their Type 10 DI Box is the latest in their line.

Like most DI boxes, they have 1/4” in and thru connections, as well as the XLR output. A three-way selectable pad with -15dB, 0dB, or -30Db options sits on one end while at the other, ground lift, and power test selector switches reside. This unit is hefty and robust, with an extruded solid aluminum body. All the connections and switches are well recessed inside, as well. This is a fantastic feature, with no way something could break, or snap off one of the switches.

This is an active DI box, and it can be run off of an internal 9volt battery or by 48V phantom power. Active DI boxes run great with passive instruments like bass guitars, or acoustic guitar pickups, without active preamps of course. But the selectable pad gives plenty of range to work with active instruments. 

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Plugging in acoustic and electric guitars, this lil unit was super clean, and very articulate. A lot of times when doing a session with a mic on an acoustic guitar, and a DI off of the piezo pickup, when it comes time to mix, the DI kind of gets dismissed. Not here, that clarity really brings in a new dimension, without having to crank the track’s signal to get it to be heard. Bass guitars also really benefited, again, not having to max the volume out on the track means less noise and distortion of the signal you’re trying to maintain. It’s easy for basses to get a bit gritty, but in this case, the DI gave that extra attack and punch without coloring things. Electric guitar players using computer for re-amping or even as your live rig, this clarity is welcome in the world of plug-ins and modern impulse responses.

Some players may say, but my interface/mixer has combo XLR connections, why should I get an external DI? Well, this is an analog design, so no A/D conversion is taking place. Which means when the signal hits the interface/mixer it hasn’t been messed with, and the mixer/interface gets a much better, balanced signal, right from the start. The clarity and depth of this lil box can’t be understated. If you’ve used DI’s in the past and shrugged and said “meh,” look here, this will open your ears!


Super clear, low noise, well designed





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