Sunday, September 30, 2007

Demeter Tube Direct - A Review

The Demeter Tube Direct is a veritable sonic Swiss Army Knife for musicians. For those of you who aren't acquainted with this mainstay of studio and stage, I'm talking about the original vacuum tube direct box as designed by audio nerd par excellence and lead guitar slinger of The Heaters, James Demeter.

The DTB was originally conceived as a studio direct box. During the design process James came down with a bad case of the flu. He found himself wondering what would happen if he used a 12AX7 vacuum tube in his circuit. Sometimes delirium is the mother of invention. And so a modern pro audio classic was born.

Demeter's brain child has often been imitated but never equaled. Before he manufactured equipment Demeter paid his dues as tube amp guru to the likes of The Eagles, Bonnie Raitt, Ry Cooder, David Lindley, and many others. He knows how vacuum tubes work. I've been a tube direct user since the early days and I can't help but wonder when I see something running off a low voltage wall wart power supply and claiming to be a vacuum tube preamp. I guess there are folks who will believe anything...

My own love affair with the DTB began one day when I asked James if I could use my preamp with my newly acquired Sunrise Guitar Pickup given to me by our friend James Kaufman. Some folks will find this hard to believe but I'll swear on a motel full of Gideon Bibles that it's true... that's the first time anyone paired a Sunrise Pickup with a Demeter Tube Direct. Now it's become the reference standard for acoustic guitar amplification.