At the ISE 2020 show in Amsterdam, Radial Engineering (FACE booth, #S-197) is highlighting the new HDI flagship studio-grade direct box and preamp. It includes a color control knob that allows users to blend between a clean signal path and amp-like distortion that imparts unique character and “grit” onto the signal, employing an oversized custom Jensen transformer for additional saturation.
A single-control Opto compressor is provided to tame harsh transients, while a level control with a VU meter is intended to let users drive the internal circuitry for musical sounding results. The level control drives the inputs of the HDI with visual feedback from the front-panel meter, while the a high-pass filter is designed to clear up excessive low frequencies added by the color control. And, a presence control can be used to accentuate highs and high-mids.
The HDI enclosure has an anodized 1/2-inch-thick front panel, with a custom output meter providing a level check at a glance. The oversized chrome knobs are designed for precise adjustments and easier tweaking on the fly.
It comes with mounting hardware to install in standard 19-inch equipment racks — one or two HDIs can be installed side-by-side in a 2RU rack space. Retail Price: $799.99.