BSS AR133

Active DI Box (Battery/ Phantom Powered)

  • Inputs: XLR and 6.3mm jack
  • Link: 6.3mm jack
  • Output: XLR
  • Output with ground lift
  • Pad: -20/ 40 dB
  • Galvanic isolation

Further Information

Multi-Channel Unit No
Active / Passive Active
19" No
Pad switchable Yes
Gnd/Lift switchable Yes
Powered by battery Yes
Speaker Simulation No

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My choice DI

Kar0l, 30.03.2018
I've been looking for a new DI for tracking bass and guitar. After some hefty research, I narrowed my options down to the following:

- BSS AR133 (EUR 105,-)
- Radial J48 EUR (235,-)
- Neve RNDI (EUR 299,-)


I plugged my Ibanez SR650 into each of these DI's, into my Focusrite 44. I tracked some parts in both active and passive setting. My findings:

BSS AR133: It doesn't look very slick. With its huge rubber sides, it does look indestructible. The sound is clear and transparent, with very low noise.

Radial J48: It looks good, and also definitely feels sturdy enough. The sound is noticeably warmer than the BSS, more analogue sounding. It sounds great, but definitely colored.

Neve RNDI: Looks wise, this is clearly the winner of the three. Like the BSS, it sounds very clear, even, and moderate in the lows.

The BSS and the Neve sound the most natural and clear, which is what I am looking for in a DI. I want the cleanest sound possible to feed to a pre-amp. However, the sound difference between these two is very small to my ears. So small, that it doesn't warrant the price difference.

Hence, my choice is the BSS AR133. It sounds great, is super sturdy, and very affordable. Recommended!
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Extremely versatile, great sounding DI Box - Worth the price!

Joel Nichols, 14.05.2013
While it may be pricey, it's fair to say this DI Box is definitely worth every penny! he design itself is of such a high standard that's it's been copied by numerous other manufacturers, but never beaten. The curved design allows easy stacking of multiple boxes, ideal for keyboard rigs, but also routing of cables underneath the box itself, perfect for tidy stages.

Connections are perfectly standard until you come to the XLR Input, which makes this box a fantastic problem solver. If you turn your main system on and find the whole system buzzing or humming, there's a good chance you're suffering a ground loop problem. No issue here! Just patch the main outputs of your desk into two of these boxes, throw in two 9V batteries (another useful "get out of jail" feature!), flick the ground lift on and go and worry about something more important! This feature bailed me out recently in a local theatre, saving a lot of embarrassment from a buzzing system!

In terms of sound quality, if it had a particular sound characteristic, it really wouldn't be doing it's job very well! Clean and clear is the order of the day here, with the AR-133 capturing very natural sound from whatever it;s used on. Acoustic guitars come through with warmth, but without a hint of mud, while the top end is clear and distinct without being harsh. Basses sound full with plenty of punch, and overall, whatever you put into this box will come out without any coloration; exactly what you want with a DI!

Finally, it's worth making a point about the construction quality. DI Boxes inevitably get kicked around the stage, dropped while being carelessly carried out of trunks, used as door wedges and suffer numerous other abuses - this one handles it with no issue. There isn't even the merest hint of creaking when the case is abused, the rubber is solid, and - I speak from experience - a drop doesn't phase it! It's also worth mentioning that all the connectors are Neutrik - I've lost track of the number of times a lock on an XLR input has snapped or bent over time if it isn't Neutrik, no worries here!

All in all, while it is an investment, it's sure to last you for many years, and prove invaluable in all sorts of situations.
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