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Radial Engineering PZ-DI

Active DI for orchestra, optimized for piezo and magnetic pickups

Free Tech Support


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The Radial PZ-DI™ is a unique direct box that is specifically designed for acoustic and orchestral instruments. Unlike most direct boxes that are limited to a 'one size fits all' design, the PZ-DI lets you properly match the input impedance to the source to optimize the frequency response, dynamics and feel so that no matter what type of pickup you employ, you will enjoy smoother, more musically pleasing results.

The design begins with a 3-position load adjustment switch: The 1 meg-ohm position delivers the classic impedance found on most active DI boxes. The 220k-ohm setting warms up the tone of a magnetic pickup to give you the feel and tone as if connected to a tube amplifier. The ultra-high 10 meg-ohm impedance is used to compensate for the harsh, squawky tone that usually plagues piezo-equipped instruments. This is followed by a fully variable high-pass filter that lets you 'size the instrument' by gently rolling off bass frequencies to eliminate unwanted resonance. You could for instance, retain the low frequencies on a cello or increase the cut-off point to better suit a violin. For active instruments such as acoustic guitars that incorporate a battery powered preamp, you can engage a low-pass filter to gently soften the hard edge for a smoother more natural tone.

To maximize signal handling and reduce distortion, the PZ-DI incorporates an innovative DC to DC switching supply that converts the phantom power to deliver extra headroom. This provides ample dynamic range for acoustic instruments. Should an extra loud source such as an active bass or digital keyboard be encountered, simply activate the -15dB pad to satisfy the situation. Other problem solvers include a 180° polarity reverse switch to tame hot spots on stage that can cause feedback and a ground lift switch to help eliminate hum and buzz caused by ground loops.

The Radial PZ-DI is a ground breaking direct box that can instantly adapt to all types of pickups so that you can enjoy the full frequency response and dynamics of an orchestral string instrument, smooth-out the peaks of bluegrass fiddle, banjo or mandolin, split off a bass guitar without excessive loading, or naturally amplify an acoustic guitar without the usual tone-altering effects.


Variable low-cut filter to control bass resonance

Optimized for orchestral instruments on a live stage

48V phantom powered, does not require batteries

Adjustable load for piezo and magnetic pickups


Circuit TypeProprietary analog circuit with low-noise FET op-amp
Frequency Response20 Hz to 20 kHz
Dynamic Range105 dB
Equivalent Input Noise-98 dBu
Total Harmonic Distortion0.02%
Input Impedance10 M/1 M/220 kΩ, unbalanced 50 kΩ (with PAD on)
Output Impedance200 Ω (nominal)
FeaturesInput Pad: -15 dB XLR Configuration: AES standard (pin-2 hot)
Power48 V phantom- proprietary digital switching
Construction14 gauge steel chassis and outer shell, baked enamel finish
ApprovalsComplies with section 15 of the FCC Rules
Dimensions2.75 x 4.25 x 1.75" (69.85 x 107.95 x 44.45 mm)
Weight19.20 oz (544.31 g)
Package Weight1.75 lb
Box Dimensions (LxWxH)6.4 x 4.2 x 2.9"