You would think that makers of the world’s best passive DI’s would be closely clustered around the makers of the world’s best audio transformers, wouldn’t you? Well I would for one, it kind of makes sense. Which should mean that DI production should peak near Ipswich in East Anglia, where Sowter make top notch transformers, Norrtalje in Sweden or more plausibly maybe in California, where Jensen and CineMag wind away to the highest quality.
In support of my theory MMStudioz (check out their mic splitter review) have a close association with Lundahl and are based nearby. But what are that chances that two of the world’s greatest passive DI’s will come from Canada?
Yes Canada. For years I have been banging on about Canadian outfit Radial’s Jensen based DI’s and splitters to anyone foolish enough to broach the question of transformer based interfacing.
And Radial’s product line and profile has been expanding mightily over the past few years.
What I didn’t know was that one of the founding father’s of Radial, Dom Pingitore is still in the Canadian DI making business (and much else besides) with his BC based CableFactory brand. http://www.cablefactory.com
Cable Factory’s DI-Pro series of DIs all feature Lundhal transformers and despite low visibility in Europe seem to have a useful price advantage over Radial in North America.
However as Cable Factory don’t put prices on their webpage you’ll need to dig a little deeper to get the current state of the market. It seems a bit strange to me that we (we being Europe) send our transformers all the way to Canada for Dom to package them up and send them back. But that I suppose is the modern global economy.
However, here in the UK the DI-Pro P1 is currently without a distributor so getting your hands on one could be a little tricky. Having said that in these days of trans-world logistics getting one from Cable Factory is not really the hardest thing you’ll do in your life.
So what is cool about the DI-Pro P1? well for starters it features one of Per Lundahl’s greatest transfomers, second it is in a way cool aluminium case and thirdly, Dom has really aimed for the transformer and nothing but the transformer in this design. There are no options beyond ground lift, so no phase reverse or pad for instance. And therefore less circuitry. The DI-Pro aims at the very essence of DIness.
Have a look at a naked DI-Pro pic. Recently Lundahl have been on their no doubt well earned summer break and their website is due for a makeover so I was very grateful to Per Lundahl for sending me out the data sheet on the LL1530 transformer at the heart of the DI-Pro. In fact I would say I have had great feedback from Sowter, Lundahl and Jensen when asking for information, they are three very friendly companies. With Radial now owning Jensen it will be interesting to see how that new relationship develops.
But back to the Cable Factory DI-Pro. I have been using it on a weekly basis for about a month now and the sound is very good indeed. But I need to run some musical variety through the P-1 for a fuller review.
In the mean time here are some links for home work.