The Steel Guitar Black Box™ is the ultimate tone enhancer for amplified musical instruments. It is a simple device using a single vacuum tube, yet it has a profound effect on just about any instrument signal that you pass though it. The SGBB is a true, audiophile quality, vacuum tube pickup driver (buffer/impedance matcher) especially designed for enhancing the tone of magnetic or piezoelectric musical instrument pickups. Originally developed for use with pedal steel guitar, the Black Box is equally effective at breathing life into and enhancing the tone of upright or electric bass, electric or acoustic guitar, mandolin, fiddle, Rhodes or Wurlitzer electric piano, synths and keyboards, drum machines, lap steel guitar, studio mix tracks, and more.
Ideally the SGBB is placed directly after the instrument's pickup. This pickup/tube relationship is at the heart of it's intended purpose, and by having the pickup directly "see" the tube, all of the benefits of the tube are maximized, and all of the potential of the pickup is captured. The Black Box's output will easily drive just about any device without subjecting your sound to tone-killing capacitive loads or inadequate input circuits as found in many effect units. Even though the Black Box runs clean, there is a very subtle amount of harmonic distortion and dynamic compression naturally created by the tube which adds a warm, sweet and musical smoothness that you just can't achieve with the use of transistors or digital modeling devices. This natural tube characteristic is at the heart of the Black Box's ability to bring out and enhance the richness of any amplified instrument's sound.
Over the years, a number of impedance matching devices have been developed for the purpose of conditioning or buffering a pickup's signal on its way to an amp, preamp, or DI input. However the biggest complaint remains that when compared to tubes, transistors lack the harmonic and dynamic richness, warmth, and feel that players desire. The SGBB is the first product in its class, and is unsurpassed in it's all around performance. The SGBB has found its home both on stage and in the studio whether it's driving an amp or a direct input. When used with acoustic pickups, the Black Box does an amazing job of taming that typical hard, brittle, crispy high end, and turns the treble into something much more natural, sweet, and musical. It also works wonders on that frustrating midrange often experienced with acoustic pickups, and makes it far less necessary for heavy and complex EQ notches and filters to get the right sound. The end result is an acoustic instrument that sounds much more like wood and strings, and a lot less like a pickup.
Unlike so many tube products out there today, the SGBB is designed and built as audiophile, "boutique", or high-end pro studio gear. The 12AX7 tube is run extremely clean with a robust 300V B+ supply as well as a low-noise DC heater supply, robust and high quality throughout. The Black Box is not an overdrive unit. The circuit uses only the finest, hi-grade components to preserve and enhance the richness and complex overtones generated by stringed and other musical instruments. Handmade film and foil capacitors, 100% oxygen-free copper pc-board, audiophile carbon-film and Dale metal film resistors help contribute to the warmth, sweetness, and high performance of the SGBB.
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